IP addresses as evidence – like it's the 1990s again
The company has also been criticized for using IP addresses as "evidence" of who was responsible for downloading its content, even though an IP address rarely attaches to a single person and can be used by multiple people in the same building.
In the past, the company has sued a 90-year-old woman who explained that she had no idea how to download a file, and any number of individuals who claim to be completely innocent. Back in 2012, a judge was sharply critical of this and the company's overall approach. He noted:
Plaintiffs have employed abusive litigations tactics to extract settlements from John Doe defendants. Indeed, this may be the principal purpose of these actions, and these tactics distinguish these plaintiffs from other copyright holders with whom they repeatedly compare themselves.
There have been numerous similar criticisms by judges since then, and even a racketeering lawsuit brought against the company by a Kentucky woman who was targeted and claimed to have nothing to do with the content (the court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction and her lawyer told us she had decided she didn't want to pursue it in the Malibu Media's home state of California).
The company and its lawyers have continued suing individuals all over the country however, and have actually increased their number of lawsuits – and presumably letters and phone calls.
In its filing asking for the terms "copyright troll" and "pornographer" to be banned, Malibu Media recognizes that there is an increasingly vocal group attacking its methods (past court filings have tried to remove mentions of sites like FightCopyrightTrolls.com which extensively covers the company's antics; TechDirt has its own archive going).
Due to the content of Plaintiff's copyrighted works and Plaintiff’s proactive stance against online copyright infringement, it is no secret that Plaintiff has garnered much criticism and negative feedback from the online community. Accordingly, Plaintiff has been referred to in many different negatively connoted ways, including: "copyright troll," "pornographer," "porn purveyor," and "extortionist." Referring to Plaintiff at trial by any title except "Plaintiff" or "Malibu Media" would be unfairly prejudicial and would only serve to impede the impartial administration of justice.
The reason Malibu Media is especially concerned about the Harrison case is that not only does he seem determined to fight the case (it has been going on since August 2012) but that he is using the company's very legal tactics as a reason for why its case should be dismissed.
In other words, the fact that it is a "copyright troll" means a jury should find against it. If that approach is successful, it's game over for Malibu Media's one-company money-making anti-piracy campaign. ®