Copyright Troll Sues Over Wrong Movie

from the slow-down-sparky dept

Copyright troll lawyers aren’t exactly known for being the most thorough and careful in what they do. You may remember, for example, that when Uwe Boll jumped into the copyright trolling game, his lawyers sued over films that hadn’t had their copyright registered at the time that many were accused of downloading them. That’s a no-no. And, of course, there are plenty of examples, from Evan Stone to (of course) Prenda, of the lawyers apparently focusing on quantity rather than quality in their efforts.

Torrentfreak has the story of one copyright trolling operation that was apparently in such a rush to cash in that it sued over the wrong movie. Yes, you read that right. The screwup appears to have been originally noted by Die Troll Die, which pointed out that some documents in the case refer to Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection while others refer to Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation. These are different movies by different people. But the lawsuits claim to be about the first, even though they’re representing the producers of the second. Oooops.

And that has made the guy who made the first one not at all happy. As he told TorrentFreak:

“I’d like to respond by saying that the real story here is that the court documents have named the WRONG movie involved in this case. Dimentional Dead Productions LLC are actually the makers of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 3D: RE-ANIMATION, and not NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD RESURRECTION which was produced by my production company North Bank Entertainment,” Jones told TorrentFreak.

[….] “I have actually been personally contacted by one of the downloaders accused in this case to inform me that the court documents have mistakenly named my film as the subject of this case,” Jones explains.

“I was sympathetic to his plight and think this whole practice of suing individuals is nonsense and I would personally not be interested in pursuing any case of this nature. I support people’s rights and freedoms and do not want my film to be mistakenly associated with Dimentional Dead Productions LLC or their nonsense lawsuit,” he adds.

As Jones also points out, this most likely provides a very good defense to anyone sued or threatened. This also, certainly, raises some questions about the lawyering of Van R. Irion, who filed the case. Suing over the wrong title? Yikes.

That said, the real irony here may be that the whole reason so many “Night of the Living Dead” offshoots exist is that the original is in the public domain. To have someone go copyright trolling on a product that only exists because it was built off of the public domain — and then to go after the wrong derivative work… well, once again, we’re left looking at yet another example of copyright working exactly as not intended. There has been a ton of creativity around the original movie because of its public domain status. It seems rather insulting to then use some of those offshoots (correctly or incorrectly) for trolling.

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Comments on “Copyright Troll Sues Over Wrong Movie”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Umm, AGAIN, unearned money and lawyers, NOT copyright.

This is why I focus on taxing the hell out of unearned income: it limits most of what’s wrong with the modern world.

And yet again — I really need to put this boilerplate into a numbered menu — what Mike is concerned with here is only the irony, doesn’t even make an attempt at solution. — Oh, the irony!

So WHERE is Mike leading you pirates? Where’s his roadmap? See any checkpoints for progress? What’s his destination? Are you on time? (15 years +) IS there a goal?– In fact he apparently does just fine with only the controversy, may not want anything solved! Mike is the zombie here: he feeds off brains, and YOU is lunch.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Umm, AGAIN, unearned money and lawyers, NOT copyright.

There is a solution. Sue over the correct movie (or not at all). I’m sorry (actually, no I’m not) if that went right over your head. Mike didn’t feel the need to spell it out because when you’re writing an article about suing over the wrong movie, you don’t need to say sue over the right one.

Inside_the_cerulean says:

Re: Umm, AGAIN, unearned money and lawyers, NOT copyright.

I focus on destroying the inside of the contradiction. Blasphemy begets hegemony.

Once again, deterministic prevalence belays cognitive dissonance. Bombastic ignorance extrapolates to loquacious and virulent facetiousness.

Mmm. Brains.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Umm, AGAIN, unearned money and lawyers, NOT copyright.

“So WHERE is Mike leading you pirates?”

Maybe when you can stop lying about the people who comment on this site, you’ll finally be able to read the actual words being written and work it out. It’s only difficult to work out because you depend on fiction to make any points. Try facts, they work better.

PaulT (profile) says:

“the lawyers apparently focusing on quantity rather than quality in their efforts.”

Amusingly enough, this accusation could also be levelled at the filmmakers themselves. The mentioned Uwe Boll made a name for himself by making atrocious movies that destroyed some beloved videogame franchise properties. Neither of the NOTLD films have been particularly well received, but Re-Animation gets a lower score on IMDB – and amusingly the last thread on the forum there is about how half the crew hadn’t been paid yet as of June 2012.

A quick snap judgement – the producers thought that by getting a cheap known tile and a couple of stunt casting choices (Wishmaster’s Andrew Divoff and cult favourite Jeffrey Combs) they’d make a quick buck as they possibly did with a previous NOTLD film by the same director (which was sold based on a Sid Haig cameo and the same 3D gimmick). It failed, they can’t afford to pay the crew, so to fend off lawsuits against them, they rushed out an attack to blame pirates for the failure.

The levels of failure here are quite astounding – and they ironically prove both why the public domain is a positive thing (multiple works that only exist because their inspiration is not copyrighted) while also demonstrating why the current copyright regime is such a problem (both North Bank Entertainment and wrongly accused members of the public have to defend against false accusations, but those making the accusations are unlikely to face any punishment themselves). It’s sloppy, but this is exactly why the system has to be fixed.

Sterngard Friegen says:

Wrong movie

Van Irion is a birther lawyer who filed frivolous lawsuits claiming President Obama was not eligible to be POTUS for made up reasons. He filed those lawsuits in Tennessee and Arizona.

He also believes that most precedents with which he disagrees (which don’t follow his Christian Dominionist agenda) were decided wrong. And his goal in life is to reshape the law to conform to his religious beliefs.

To date he has been as successful in these endeavors as he has been in figuring out what movie his client owns.

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