A porn company is being fined for accusing random people of pirating obscene porn, like "Dog (wwwsickporn.in)," and telling them to pay to make the charges go away.
Worst part? It doesn't even own those sick titles.
Malibu Media is perhaps the country's second-most notorious "porn troll," after the infamous Prenda Law. That means its business plan is allegedly to make substantial earnings by sending out mass letters, accusing people of pirating their videos. Then, regardless of whether those letters' recipients actually did try any funny business, the troll sends an extortion letter, accusing them of embarrassing activity—like, say, downloading dog porn.
But Malibu got a little comeuppance Tuesday when judge William Conley fined the company $2,200 for its apparent shakedown tactics. It does make porn, but not the kind of stuff that's illegal.
"Malibu Media and its counsel chose not to rely on the relatively tame names given its own pornographic material," Conley wrote in his order. Instead, the company "concedes it holds no copyright on any of these other downloaded files." He explained:
QQParticularly troubling to the court, the list on Exhibit C [a list of porn videos Malibu doesn't actually own] consistently includes far more disturbing lewd, unusual and unredacted titles of pornographic films allegedly also downloaded by the defendant than those belonging to plaintiff. For example, Malibu Media titles include “Red Satin,” “Dreams Come True” and “Tuesday Morning,” while the titles in Exhibit C include “[Bestiality] Young Blond ... Dog (www.sickporn.in),” “Lada.Nice ... Young.Girl” and “Dirty ... Stories 5.”
Apparently, the lewd and obscene nature of the graphic titles and content are enough to persuade many initially anonymous defendants to reach early settlements out of fear of being “outed” should the lawsuit proceed
Photo by 2dogs_productions/Flickr (remix by Fernando Alfonso III)