‘Copyright Troll’ boss arrested for payment failure in hacking case * TorrentFreak

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In recent years, adult entertainment company Malibu Media has often been described as a copyright control operation.

The company, known for its popular “X-Art” brand, has sued thousands of alleged file sharers in US courts, raising millions of dollars in settlements.

The accused subscriber retaliates

Most internet subscribers who are accused of hacking don’t fight, but sometimes one does. Among them is MWM who filed a counterclaim and asked Malibu to back up his claim with the digital evidence that led to their charge.

Despite a court order, this evidence never arrived. It frustrated the court, the accused subscriber and even Malibu’s own lawyer, who withdrew from the case last year because his client failed to comply.

In the months that followed, little progress was made, and earlier this year U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Durkin handed MWM a victory. The court ordered Malibu to pay $ 48,656.73 in legal costs and fees.

Malibu did not pay

In most cases, such an order would put an end to things, but in this case the matter is far from settled. It turns out that Malibu Media did not pay. On top of that, he actively embezzled funds that should have been used to pay these fees.

Over the past few months, MWM’s legal team has hired Joseph Stewart, an experienced collection lawyer, to try and get what they are owed. They went so far as to obtain a restraining order that required Malibu Media and its payment processor Epoch.com to block “X-Art.com products”. This order also applied to ZO Digital, a company operated by the husband of the boss of Malibu, Colette Pelissier, which collected these payments.

The legal team also obtained information from Epoch.com which showed that X-Art.com’s bountiful income continued to flow. However, after several months, the fees still had not been paid.

This prompted MWM’s lawyer Joseph Stewart to seek a rotation order and other declaratory measures, in order to increase the pressure and ensure that the proper payments are made. This week, District Court Judge Thomas M. Durkin approved the request.

Lots of income

The court order notes that in about six months of this year, X-Art.com has generated well over $ 100,000 in revenue.

“Epoch’s books and records indicate that between February 17, 2021, the date on which this court rendered its judgment, and August 14, 2021, the date on which the restraining order was served on it, Epoch paid ZO Digital a total of $ 125,397.07 (net of fees and charges) of the X-Art.com product.

Judge Durkin orders Epoch to ensure that the money does not go to Malibu, but to MWM’s law firm, until the fees are paid.

The order further confirms that ZO Digital failed to obey the court order that required it to produce documents and restrict funds. To ensure that the company follows the orders in the future, Justice Durkin issued a conditional judgment in the amount of $ 51,333.

The court slams Malibu

As expected, the order is also very critical of Malibu Media and its designated representative Colette Pelissier. The company hindered the legal process on several occasions when it had sufficient financial means to pay.

“Rather than pay, Malibu Media chose not to cooperate with the additional captioned proceeding by failing to produce any documents, twice failing to appear for a debtor examination, and a third time failing to appear despite the court order which ordered Pelissier to do so on pain of arrest. Justice Durkin writes.

“Malibu Media has repeatedly deliberately failed to disclose documents related to the Epoch merchant account for X-Art.com and documents showing that it was diverting products from X-Art.com to ZO Digital. Malibu Media thus obstructed, delayed and impeded these proceedings.

Conditional arrest order

Since Pelissier did not appear in court without cause, Judge Durkin signed an order for the conditional seizure of the body. This effectively means that she will be arrested if she does not obey.

“The court orders the issuance of a body seizure order for the arrest of Colette Pelissier, but suspends this order for 14 days, until the next court status date of October 22, 2021 at 10:00 am. “

At this next hearing, the court will check whether ZO Digital has complied with the order of conservatory seizure. If not, an arrest warrant against the CEO of Malibu Media will follow.

The above suggests that Malibu Media has only made matters worse in recent months, and the end is not yet in sight. The company, whose social status is suspended, may also have to pay additional costs as a result, the court said.

A copy of Justice Durkin’s order and injunction is available here (pdf)


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