I have become aware of an internet patent “trolling” case captioned “AF Holdings LLC v. Matthew Ciccone” and filed in the Eastern District of Michigan. The company AF Holdings claims to own the copyright to “Sexual Obsessions,” a pornographic movie. Their attorneys employed a computer forensics expert to identify IP addresses (specific numbers assigned to computers connected to the internet) at which someone allegedly downloaded the movie in violation of the copyright.
The suit names one defendant (Matthew Ciccone), and subpoenas Comcast for the names associated with the other IP addresses, with the intention of suing (and embarrassing) those people as well. Up to 300 defendants in Michigan likely received a letter from Comcast informing them that their personal identifying information (name and address) will be released by Comcast to counsel for AF Holdings, Jonathan W. Tappan, pursuant to a Subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The letter indicates that each person sent a letter has until February 13, 2013 to file a Motion to Quash the Subpoena, or else their identifying information will be released to attorney Tappan. There are several options for responding to this letter, but anyone who delays until after the February 13 deadline does so at their own peril.
Drew Cooper and Anding has the right combination of Copyright and Federal Court experience to represent individuals in these potentially reputation-damaging cases.
Update to Blog Article on AF Holdings
February 13, 2013
As I further researched similar cases nationwide, I located two additional company names involved in these suits: Malibu Media, LLC and Patrick Collins, Inc., who together have filed twenty-four cases in the Eastern District of Michigan and five in the Western District of Michigan. I anticipate that subpoenas have already issued or soon will be issued in these matters as well. The attorney representing the companies is Detroit lawyer Paul Nicoletti. As stated above, inaction may be a dangerous and reputation damaging response to one of these subpoenas or lawsuits. You should review your legal options with a qualified attorney.