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WWE Studios Finance Corp “Eliminator” lawsuits

Sep 17th, 2017 | By | Category: Bittorrent Defense

WWE Studios Eliminator Movie Lawsuits Overview!ISP copyright noticeIntroduction

Here is another movie to add to the torrent movie lawsuit list.  Eliminators is another movie, which when illegally downloaded or shared via P2P (peer to peer) bittorent protocals can be the subject of legal action.  Lawsuits have been filed in Utah, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Nevada and Oregon.  This blog will provide a basic overview of sample allegations being made against “Doe Defendants.”

What is the Eliminator movie?

According to wikipedia:

“Eliminators is a 2016 American action thriller film directed by James Nunn. The direct-to-video film stars Scott Adkins, Stu Bennett, Daniel Caltagirone and James Cosmo. Eliminators is the latest release from WWE Studios. Adkins plays a former U.S. Federal agent in witness protection, being tracked by a deadly contract killer played by Bennett (perhaps better known as WWE wrestler Wade Barrett).”

Sample allegations in the complaint

Here are some of the allegations pulled from a recent law firm filed in Utah”

“This is an action for enforcement of copyright. The United States Constitution and enacted Copyright laws prohibit the unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrightable works. This permits copyright owners, including the owners of motion pictures, to enforce their copyrights against infringers. This protection incentivizes and encourages the production of creative works.  Consistent with the federal copyright law, in Utah the development of the motion picture industry is a state public purpose1 which significantly impacts the state’s economy and contributes to the fiscal wellbeing of the state and its people.  For example, it is reported that the Sundance Film Festival alone brings more than $60 million into Utah annually and that the film industry in Utah is responsible for hundreds of jobs and over $30 million of income to Utahns.  Plaintiff WWE Studios Finance Corp. is owner of rights in the motion picture Eliminators (“Copyrighted Motion Picture”) featured in theaters. Plaintiff brings this action in an effort to stop Defendants and others from copying and distributing to others infringing copies of the Copyrighted Motion Picture.”

Defendants wrongful conduct was alleged

“Defendants are infringing through use the BitTorrent file sharing protocol. Defendants’ infringements allow them and others to unlawfully obtain and distribute copies of the Copyrighted Motion Picture that the developer and producer expended significant resources to create. Each time a Defendant unlawfully distributes an unauthorized copy of the Copyrighted Motion Picture to others over the Internet, each person who copies that motion picture can then further distribute that unlawful copy to others without any significant degradation in sound and picture quality. Thus, a Defendant’s distribution of even a part of an unlawful copy of the Copyrighted Motion Picture can further the nearly instantaneous worldwide distribution of that single copy to an unlimited number of people. Further, Defendants acts of distributing the Copyrighted.  Motion Picture support, maintain and further a for-profit exploitation by Defendants and others of the Copyrighted Motion Picture. The Plaintiff now seeks redress for this rampant infringement of its exclusive rights.”

Infringement alleged

“Upon information and belief, each Doe Defendant 1-18 (Exhibit B) copied and/or distributed or allowed to be copied and/or distributed Plaintiff’s Copyright Motion Picture Eliminators using a file bearing the hash number SHA1: 53FB1F5227AF516DCDA02C0C651326D87D65C813. The true name of each Defendant is unknown to Plaintiff at this time. Each Defendant is known to Plaintiff only by the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address below used by each Defendant and which address is assigned by a local Internet Service Provider (“ISP” – Comcast) to the user or subscriber.”

“Plaintiff also knows the date and at the time at which the infringing activity of each Defendant was observed, as explained in detail below. Through published geolocation data, the IP address used by each Defendant has been traced to the District of Utah. Based on this information Plaintiff believes that information obtained in discovery will lead to the identification of each Defendant’s true name and location and permit Plaintiff to amend the Complaint to state the same. In addition, activity of each IP address of Defendants has also been observed and associated with significant infringing activity and associated with the exchange of other titles on peer-to-peer networks. The volume, titles and persistent observed activity associated with each Defendant’s IP address indicates that each Defendant is not a transitory or occasional guest, but is either the primary subscriber of the IP address or someone who resides with the subscriber and/or is an authorized user of the IP address. The volume of the activity associated with each Defendant’s IP address further indicates that anyone using or observing activity on the IP address would likely be aware of the conduct of Defendant. Also, the volume and titles of the activity associated with each Defendant’s IP address indicates that each Defendant is not a child, but an adult, often with mature distinct tastes.”

The computer forensic investigation was discussed – COMPUTER FORENSIC IDENTIFICATION OF BITTORRENT INFRINGEMENT

“In this case Plaintiff has identified each infringing Defendant. This is done by identifying the IP address assigned by the ISP used by each Defendant and the date and at the time at which the infringing activity of each Defendant was monitored and observed. This monitoring and observation is accomplished using forensic software to collect, identify and record the IP addresses used by seeders and peers using BitTorrent protocol to unlawfully share, copy, reproduce and distribute copyrighted works.”

“More specifically, forensic software is used to scan P2P networks for the presence of infringing transactions with respect to a particular copyrighted audiovisual work. Whenever a digital copy of an audiovisual work is prepared by a seeder for distribution the computer system assigns a unique, coded, string of characters called a “hash checksum” (“hash ID”) to that seed file or piece(s) thereof. The hash ID is a string of letters and numbers generated by a commonly used mathematical algorithm known as US Secure Hash Algorithm 1 or “SHA-1.” The unique hash ID then accompanies a copy of the file or parts thereof whenever a copy is made or sent to another.”

“In this way the computer system software facilitates the monitoring and identification of computers that are used to transmit a copy or a part of a copy of a digital media file identified by a particular hash ID because the computer having its own unique, certain IP address can be shown to receive or transmit files with particular hash IDs at a particular date and time.”

“To confirm reliability of such monitoring and identification, the forensic software uses recognized Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to establish a direct electronic connection to each Defendant’s computer. This permits the forensic software to establish and maintain a network conversation through which the forensic software and the Defendant’s computer exchange packets of data with each other. The exchange of data between the forensic software and the Defendant’s computer directly identifies the Defendant’s computer by its unique IP address and that on a given date and at a given time Defendant’s computer possess files with particular hash IDs.  Additional software using geolocation functionality is then used to confirm the geographical location of the computer used in the infringement.”

“Though an IP address alone does not reveal the name or contact information of the account holder, in this case the Doe Defendant, it does reveal the likely general location of the Defendant. IP addresses are distributed to ISPs by public, nonprofit organizations called Regional Internet Registries. These registries assign blocks of IP addresses to ISPs by geographic region. In the United States, these blocks are assigned and tracked by the American Registry of Internet Numbers. Master tables correlating the IP addresses with local regions are maintained by these organizations in a publicly available and searchable.  An IP address’ geographic location can be further narrowed by cross-referencing this information with secondary sources such as data contributed to commercial databases by ISPs. This regional data of IP addresses puts the Defendants in this judicial district.”

“The end result of the forensic software are evidence logs of infringing transactions and the IP addresses of the users responsible for copying and distributing the audiovisual work, here Eliminators. The IP addresses, hash IDs, dates and times, ISP and geolocation contained in Exhibit B correctly reflect infringers using the IP addresses and that they were all part of a “swarm” of users that were reproducing, distributing, displaying and/or performing the copyrighted work.”

We will keep an eye on these cases.

Contact a file sharing (p2p) piracy defense law firm

If you received a notice of subpoena from your ISP, call us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-5084.  In most cases we can help DOE defendants get these case settled (a) anonymously, and (b) for the lowest amount possible based on past negotiations.  Some other cases have actually be dismissed. Give us a call and we can discuss what a Motion to Quash is, and to discuss our industry leading low flat rate (predictable) legal fees that so many of our customers love. 

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We are a business and civil litigation firm with a focus on copyright infringement cases involving illegal movie downloads (torrent cases such as London Has Fallen, ME2 Productions and Malibu Media defense), software audits (ex. Microsoft audits, SPLA, Autodesk audit notification letter, Siemens PLM defense, SIIA, Adobe and Business Software Alliance defense) and other software vendors threatening piracy and infringement. We also handle cases involving internet law, anti-SLAPP, media law, right of publicity, trademarks & domain name infringement, and we have a niche practice area handling California BRE licensing disputes, accusations, subpoena response, statement of issues and investigations. We have offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, San Diego & Phoenix, Arizona and accept federal copyright and trademark cases nationwide. All content on our website is general legal information only and not a substitute for legal advice, and should not be relied upon. Decisions to hire counsel should not be based on advertising alone. Blogs, videos and podcasts are authored by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise noted. We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.

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