Regular readers here need only hear the name Malibu Media to get their eyes rolling. This copyright troll that emerged from pornography producer X-Art has made quite a name for itself by attempting to shake down hundreds of accused copyright infringers, often using all kinds of shady tactics. Expert witnesses that nobody is quite sure even exist, failing to serve defendants, attempts to quickly dismiss cases against those who are willing to fight back: it all paints the picture of a shady operation looking to use shady tactics in order to collect shady infringement settlements. All, mind you, in the name of law and order in the realm of copyright law.
Except, as with most shady operations predicated on the law like this, the hypocrisy from Malibu Media is quite stunning. For example, Malibu Media accused defendant “W.M.” of infringement in court, only to have the defendant file a counterclaim demanding any actual evidence the company had of their infringement. No evidence was produced, leading the court to decide in favor of “W.M.” and to issue an order for Malibu Media to pay him/her nearly $50,000. In the least surprising news ever, Malibu Media didn’t pay that amount as ordered.
In most cases an order like this would end things but, in this instance, things went from bad to worse. Malibu Media failed to pay up and on top of that, the company actively diverted funds that should have been used to pay these fees.
To recoup the money, Mr. W.M. hired Joseph Stewart, an experienced collection attorney. They went as far as obtaining a order that required Malibu Media and its payment processor Epoch.com to restrain the subscription revenue from “X-Art.com” members.
You would think that would have been the end of it. But, no, Malibu Media continued its bad actions, this time trying to play a shell game with where its revenue was coming into and going out. Colette Pelissier, top executive at Malibu, failed to show up for court hearings without an excuse. As a result, Judge Thomas Durkin signed an order that would see Pelissier arrested if she failed to show up to the next hearing. While that forced her to show up, it was fairly clear she wasn’t prepared for that hearing.
We haven’t witnessed the hearing ourselves but copyright attorney and YouTuber Leonard J. French, who is not involved in this case, told us that the proceeding was quite messy.
Pelissier reportedly had a complete breakdown. She spoke quickly and panicky, while repeatedly interrupting the Judge, referencing issues that appeared to bear no relation to the case at hand.
The court was decidedly displeased with this performance.
“I deal with prisoners who are more appropriate, I have people who are mentally ill who can conduct themselves with more decency,” Judge Durkin said, before cutting off the call.
The result? Well, Judge Durkin basically doubled the amount of money Malibu Media owes “W.M.”, increasing it to just over $100,000. Now, such a six-figure sum is certainly warranted for a wrongfully accused defendant such as “W.M.”, but it remains to be seen if anyone can manage to actually collect this money. The payment processor has reportedly collected about half that much as restrained revenue from Malibu Media, leaving roughly half to go.
As with all of these stories, you would think this really should be the bottom of the hole that Malibu has dug for itself, but the shady copyright troll always seems to want to keep digging.