Giant Copyright Troll, Malibu Media, Sued By Investors

from the sketchy-companies-gonna-sketch dept

We’ve written a bunch of stories about Malibu Media, a copyright trolling operation. The company’s founders, Colette Pelissier and Brigham Feld, like to claim that they’re purveyors of “classy” pornography under the X-Art brand, but their business seems almost entirely focused on trolling practices. And its embrace of copyright trolling has resulted in some significant problems for the company over the years, as judges have very much caught on to the company’s long history of sketchy practices.

Apparently those sketchy practices may go beyond its copyright trolling, as two of Malibu Media’s investors are now suing the company, claiming that they lent the company money when it was short on cash, in exchange for 50% of its “net recovery” from the trolling operations, and a “50% interest” in the copyright of the porn X-Art created. So, how’d that work out?

In 2018 alone, continues the complaint, Malibu Media’s litigation stampede generated over $2.8 million.

But the plaintiffs say they haven’t seen any of the money and can’t get an accounting. They further allege, “On information and belief, Defendants are shuttling assets and interests out of Malibu Media and into more obscure entities, including the shell entity holding companies: Click Here, Colette Holdings, Colette Properties, Colette Production, Inc., Colette Productions LLC, and/or Zo Digital.”

Ah, shell companies and moving cash around. It appears that Malibu Media took all the wrong lessons from Prenda Law. Perhaps they’ll find themselves in the same place in the end.

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Companies: malibu media, x-art

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Comments on “Giant Copyright Troll, Malibu Media, Sued By Investors”

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67 Comments
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

"This case concerns the lengths to which an attorney has gone to steal from, and defraud, a client and persons affiliated with that client, including forging a number of documents"

Oh they finally looked at their own "evidence"

This is one of my more favorite openers in a filing because it lacks any self awareness but everyone else is in on the joke.

sophisticatedjanedoe (profile) says:

"Investors"

Here is one of the investors to the scam:

Joshua possess a passion for his work and feels like he was born to do the what he does. He has a love of people and has served in many church and civic positions giving back to the community where he resides. In light of his many successes, he feels his greatest work to date is the family he created with his beloved wife Rebecca. Together they share in the joy of raising their eight children and the adventure it brings. He enjoys traveling, backpacking, fishing, skiing, surfing, golf and getting away as often as he can with his family. His life is built upon the foundational principles of integrity, kindness, hard work, and a love of God and family.

Well, it’s not my job to reconcile "love of God and family" with investing in predatory lawsuits based on "barely legal" porn.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Oh reality, showing up fiction yet again...

Proclaims himself to be a devout religious person and family man, invests in a porn company with an easily researchable history of seriously scummy and predatory behavior.

I do have to wonder, does that ‘loving family’ know where he’s spending his money? Because if his portrayal of them is correct I imagine they might not be too happy to be tied to a copyright trolling porn company.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh reality, showing up fiction yet again...

Every so often investors prove themselves to be not the brightest bulbs in the bunch, especially when copyright enforcement is involved.

Rightscorp (coincidentally helmed by another "Steele") somehow managed to get investors into their antipiracy regime, something which they boasted about in their yearly reports… yet in the same reports, they also reported never making a profit.

Year on year, these bozos managed to get buy-ins from investors throwing money into a system that the investors knew full well weren’t making any returns on their investment.

It all came to a head in 2019 when Steele boasted that they finally reached one of their KPIs. Like mass-produced anime he managed to get RIAA-senpai and MPAA-senpai to notice them. Surely now, Steele proclaimed, those pirates were fucked!

Then they went silently into the night, never to surface again.

These chucklenuts managed to scam five years’ worth of investments that went nowhere.

Repeat after me: copyright is BRAIN DAMAGE.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Oh reality, showing up fiction yet again...

Honestly, the more someone virtue signals over their religion, the more suspicious of them I become. I rarely talk about my religion, but when I do, it’s never been to portray myself as a trustworthy, good moral person. I let my conduct do the talking where self-portrayal is concerned.

As I’ve said before, wolves like to dress in sheep’s clothing to make themselves look less wolfy. But no matter how much wool they wear, they’re still predators.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "Investors"

Those two co-founded the firm, and Hunter is CEO; Cook isn’t anything at the firm except "scout" looking for new opportunities. That doesn’t mean there’s no one else making decisions… like the board of directors for the firm. Unless you can find info on how investment decisions are handled by the firm, you haven’t shown him to be solely responsible (or jointly responsible with Cook) for deciding to invest in Malibu Media.

sophisticatedjanedoe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "Investors"

"Abductive reasoning" means that I assume there was a rain overnight when I see wet pavement in the morning. I may be wrong though and it was a mobile fish tank accident.

Similarly, I may be wrong thinking that there is no such thing as de-facto board of directors when I see at least three corporations registered by the same two people at the same suite of a corporate rental building.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "Investors"

Yeah, I don’t get it either. This isn’t nearly the first time folks dabbling in porn trolling relied on their "Christianity" or "morals" to sidestep responsibility. Part of Lipscomb’s appeal of character was that he was a fervent churchgoer and volunteer. Even John Steele attempted the "mother-in-law surprise" in his initial "I’m not Prenda" defense by insisting that he wasn’t involved in porn, because his mother-in-law would disapprove.

Seriously, it’s not like this shit isn’t public knowledge. Legal requirements mean that your data stays on record. What fucking genius thinks that "I’m a God-fearing Christian" should be enough to claim that "I’m a Christian who involves himself in pornography production and related prosecution" is kosher?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "Investors"

"I first erroneously read "eight wives" instead of "eight children" – likely because I encountered a mention of Brigham Young earlier in the text, which put my thinking on the wrong track."

I honestly think there isn’t a "right track" to be on when the topic of discussion is a porn producer waxing high and mighty about his christian values.

That One Guy (profile) says:

I am shocked, shocked I say!

Oh noes, they treated their investors with the same honesty and integrity that they show the courts and their would-be victims, who ever could have seen that coming…?

On the one hand if this lawsuit can seriously put the hurt on Malibu then awesome, full steam ahead.

On the other hand, given exactly who the schmucks invested in I’d say those ‘poor’ investors really had it coming and deserve to share at least a portion of the suffering they helped along by funding MM.

Anonymous Coward says:

Couple notes from the article.

"Update 8/14 1 pm PST: Pelissier and Feld have filed their own complaint in Los Angeles against Edgar Sargsyan, an attorney they blame for allegedly failing to turn over nearly $2.4 million in funds from the copyright litigation."

If that sounds familiar, it is. Malibu Media did the same thing to their original chief of enforcement, Keith Lipscomb, in 2016. The same guy who Colette personally swore up and down was an outstanding legal mastermind and was winning her case after case. Because you can always count on copyright-types to paint Vermeers from scenes of monetary hemorrhage.

And who can forget "According to the legal action, Pelissier and Feld’s "high-end lifestyle has begun to outstrip their business income.""? A year before Malibu’s divorce negotiations with Lipscomb they were burning money on $16 million mansions to film their smut in without a permit.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you… the glorious heroes of copyright, patron saints of Hamilton, John Smith, and out of the blue!

sophisticatedjanedoe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

…and Sargsyan is connected to very dangerous people. I don’t want to dive into this rabbit hole, so I just leave it here:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4059868-Sargsyan-declaration.html (Note that Colette is in the list of defendants)

Story: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/09/10/strange-winding-fraud/

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

"Those are fighting words, Masnick," screamed John Smith, his thighs clasped around blue’s head, violently shoving his strap-on into his partner’s mouth. "I’ll get you for this. Press releases, police investigations, I’ll fuck up your Aspie face and your little dog, too! Wright is wrong, and Shiva Ayyadurai invented email! Long live SOPA, I mean Article 13! Oooooooh, I hate you Masnick!!"

Anonymous Coward says:

Moving money around – doesn’t that sound exactly what Alexandria Ocrazyo Cortez was accused of with her campaign funds? Are you going to call her names and try to shame her too, or is she off limits because she’s a liberal?

Have you ever considered that calling people names and trying to shame them turns everybody off, even your supporters?

Have you ever considered trying to frame your arguments in a different way, perhaps appealing to people’s better angels, rather than trying to dominate them a phony mob slinging childish names and disgusting sexual images?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I was wondering when Hamilton was going to show up like he did about John Steele and Paul Hansmeier’s arrests.

Personally I think it’s hilarious that Mr. "I Support the Man Who Says to Grab Them By the Pussy" takes offense to the usage of sexual terms. They’re pornographers who opted to cheat their investors out of money, for fuck’s sake. What do we refer to them as, fine people who work in the birds and bees industry?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Personally I think it’s hilarious that Mr. "I Support the Man Who Says to Grab Them By the Pussy" takes offense to the usage of sexual terms."

Well, if you were the US president, tasked to not only guide and lead the nation but to set an example unto the citizenry by his conduct then you could proudly describe on open camera your worst private fetisches to the point where half the audience had to vomit on the spot…

…and, assuming you were on the GOP ticket, a certain type of self-styled conservative would still support you, especially if they were…"clean-living, god-fearing christian men and women".

It’s just one of those dichotomies involving religion where cognitive dissonance can always be suppressed with an "Amen!" and a "Let’s light the damn cross!".

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Using religion as a fig leaf for bad behaviour is an abomination."

And, sadly, quite normal. Everyone wants to be able to repress the moral conflict they might otherwise experience when they do unto others what they would find horrible when done unto them.

Faith is all about taking as truth that which can not be observed.
But that also means to the religious person that which can be observed is not necessarily true as long as one believes otherwise.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

[Sad but True]. I actually prefer to trust what I can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste. Due to some incredibly excellent personal experiences (I’ve just landed a new job that seems tailor-made for me since it demands a person with my personal attributes) I firmly believe in the existence of God. I find answered prayers to be proof enough of His existence.

Or you could argue that I’ve had a lot of lucky coincidences, take your pick.

The faux religious virtue-signalling types generally think of God as being some kind of cosmic slot machine or a dotard granddad figure who pays no attention to what they actually do as long as they make the right noises. Since it makes those of us who make an effort look bad I can’t be dealing with them.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"I firmly believe in the existence of God. I find answered prayers to be proof enough of His existence."

Sadly, my experience is the opposite. no stray meteorite ever landed on the HQ of SCO, Sony, or the MPAA/RIAA. Nor have i observed actively malignant gormless morons being served with lightning from a clear sky despite their very existence becoming an unnatural affront to common sense, rationality, and sanity every time their jaws flapped open.

Tentatively I’m an agnostic deist with the idea that if there is an almighty creator then like any good scientist It does not interfere in It’s experiment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Have you ever considered that calling people names and trying to shame them turns everybody off, even your supporters?

I kinda did, but then I saw your first line that included the tasteful little phrase:

Alexandria Ocrazyo Cortez

And then I thought, fuck it. Malibu Media can follow the Prenda playbook for 14 years in the slammer.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Are you going to call her names and try to shame her too, or is she off limits because she’s a liberal?

Right, because we’ve never critized lib…

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190529/17504942298/this-is-silly-pelosi-says-facebook-is-willing-enabler-russian-election-meddling-it-is-not.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181213/23594941226/want-box-grammies-with-two-bigshot-congressmen-thatll-be-5000-entertainment-lobbyists-only.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170919/11061838242/senator-blumenthal-happy-that-sesta-will-kill-small-internet-companies.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120406/12325418410/once-again-administration-vindictively-charges-whistleblower-as-being-spy.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130620/18182823551/obama-administration-has-declared-war-leakers-claims-any-leak-is-aiding-enemy.shtml

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190308/17593441768/it-sure-sounds-like-elizabeth-warren-wants-to-bring-eu-copyright-directive-stateside.shtml

Oh wait…

slinging childish names and disgusting sexual images?

What childish names and what "sexual images" are you talking about, because we did neither.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Those are fighting words, Masnick," screamed John Smith, his thighs clasped around blue’s head, violently shoving his strap-on into his partner’s mouth. "I’ll get you for this. Press releases, police investigations, I’ll fuck up your Aspie face and your little dog, too! Wright is wrong, and Shiva Ayyadurai invented email! Long live SOPA, I mean Article 13! Oooooooh, I hate you Masnick!!"

In the five years that I have been recording Techdirt comments, this is the first time I have ever seen a disgusting sexual comment censored. Look for yourself.

I have heard a LOT of comments about how the job of a Police Officer is less dangerous than a logger, if you can imagine that. Ridiculous, outrageous comments that are never censored, but anyone with an honest opinion that does not "fall in line" with the Techdirt religion IS censored, and often treated to the same disgusting sexual images shown above.

Today in Philadelphia, no loggers were shot. You assholes should all be ashamed of yourself and the destruction you are bringing to American society.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: If you're going to lie at least TRY to hide it

In the five years that I have been recording Techdirt comments, this is the first time I have ever seen a disgusting sexual comment censored. Look for yourself.

A claim which not only highlights a serious obsession you should see a psychiatrist for but is just as believable as saying ‘I’ve been watching the sky for a month solid in a country not near the poles and not once have I seen the sun set’.

People who have been around TD a fraction of that time have seen multiple ‘disgusting sexual comments’ flagged, the overwhelming majority made by TD’s trolls, including ones along the lines of that one that weren’t parody in poor taste, so you’re either lying about ‘recording comments'(but seriously, get help, that level of obsession/fixation is not healthy), or lying about not seeing any ‘disgusting sexual comments’.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I have heard a LOT of comments about how the job of a Police Officer is less dangerous than a logger, if you can imagine that. Ridiculous, outrageous comments that are never censored,

See that’s the difference between your idiot opinion and actual fact.
You are offended because we point out your lies. Which would be hilarious, but you just double down and proclaim that we are wrong for bringing the facts to your attention.

Logger is more dangerous than cop.

https://www.ajc.com/news/world/these-are-the-deadliest-jobs-america-study-says/pKusOItm8JG6m0P4SCrXuN/#

For someone who claims to support the pigs, you should smoke less crack.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"In the five years that I have been recording Techdirt comments, this is the first time I have ever seen a disgusting sexual comment censored. Look for yourself. "

An outright lie. We also flagged until hidden those comments you made where you threatened all us techdirt readers and posters with imprisonment and sexual assault.

To name but a few dozen examples.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Have you ever considered that calling people names and trying to shame them turns everybody off, even your supporters?

…says the asshole who refers to a sitting congresswoman as “Alexandria Ocrazyo Cortez”.

Have you ever considered trying to frame your arguments in a different way, perhaps appealing to people’s better angels, rather than trying to dominate them a phony mob slinging childish names and disgusting sexual images?

But that worked out so well for Donald “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Methinks we should call you cryababy closetcase hamilton

“Alexandria Ocrazyo Cortez”

“Have you ever considered that calling people names and trying to shame them turns everybody off, even your supporters?”

“Have you ever considered trying to frame your arguments in a different way, perhaps appealing to people’s better angels, rather than trying to dominate them a phony mob slinging childish names and disgusting sexual images?”

The cognitive dissonance inside your head could be picked up by deep space probes leaving this solar system.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Alexandria Ocrazyo Cortez"

"Have you ever considered that calling people names.. turns everybody off"

"slinging childish names "

I’m curious, do you actually understand how stupid you look, or do you just not see the contradiction between your words and your actions? I mean, it must be frustrating to have so little ability to defend this company’s actions that you have to deflect attention to the right-wing echo chamber’s favourite new boogeyman, but at least try to do it without making your own arguments unintentionally hilarious.

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