Somewhat under the radar, several new copyright suits were lodged in recent months on the dockets of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
One such case was filed by LHF Productions, Inc., one of the most prolific “troll-style” copyright enforcers in the nation. As noted on this blog, LHF holds copyrights to the action flick London Has Fallen, featuring Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart in an assassination plot caper. The Maryland case follows many other LHF suits recently filed in other jurisdictions across the land.
As noted, Criminal Productions allegedly holds rights to the sci-fi flick Criminal, which stars Kevin Costner as a brain-damaged convict implanted with the memories of a deceased CIA operative. This follows other Criminal Productions suits filed in several other states.
Another suit was brought in the name of September Productions Inc., which holds rights in the 2015 film Septembers in Shiraz, described by Variety as an “autobiographically inspired tale of a wealthy Jewish family in Tehran suffering under Iran’s shift to fundamentalist Islam.”
As reported before, LHF, Criminal Productions and September Productions are each affiliates of Nu Image / Millennium Films, which hold interests in several other film titles that have been the subject of prior BitTorrent suits, including Automata, The Humbling, The Expendables, Charlie Countryman and Bad Lieutenant.
A final case concerns CELL Film Holdings, LLC, which claims copyrights to the John Cusack/Samuel L. Jackson zombie-themed movie Cell. As noted by Troll Defense in a post on similar Oregon CELL Film Holdings cases, Cell is based on a 2006 Stephen King novel of the same title about a signal sent out over the global cell phone network that transforms every cell phone user into a mindless killer.
The BitTorrent cases filed in the Maryland District Court allege copyright infringement by scores of separate “Doe” parties through their use of BitTorrent file-sharing software. The plaintiffs are out for actual or maximum statutory damages (“$150,000 per defendant”) pursuant to the Copyright Act, attorney’s fees and costs, and an injunction against further infringement.
UPDATE 1/7/17: New cases were filed by ME2 Productions, Inc., and Cook Productions, LLC.
As Troll Defense reported before, ME2 Productions Inc. has rights in the 2016 action thriller Mechanic: Resurrection, which stars Jessica Alba and Jason Stratham. ME2 Productions is quickly emerging as one of the most prolific filers of “Troll” copyright actions. The films’s predecessor, The Mechanic, was also the subject of BitTorrent lawsuits.
Cook Productions, LLC, owns rights in the recently released Eddie Murphy period drama, Mr. Church. As troll defense previously reported, Cook Productions is an affiliate of Cinelou Films, a production company with a “notable catalog of major motion pictures.” The Mr. Church lawsuits filed in federal courts across the U.S. represent the first known attempts by Cinelou Films at “troll-style” copyright litigation.
These complaints were all signed by attorney Jeffrey R. Schmieler of Columbia, Maryland. A case listing with links to the complaints is below.
Parties and subscribers receiving ISP notices of these actions can contact attorney Benjamin Justus for a free consultation regarding possible options.
Case No. 1:16-cv-02759
LHF Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-14
Case No. 1:16-cv-03043
CELL Film Holdings, LLC v. Does 1-15
Case No. 8:16-cv-03208
Criminal Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-12
Case No. 8:16-cv-03429
September Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-3
Case No. 8:16-cv-03730
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-15
Case No. 8:16-cv-03873
Cook Productions, LLC v. Does 1-10