Home > News > 88% of All U.S. Copyright Trolling Cases Involve Porn, Study Says • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


88% of All U.S. Copyright Trolling Cases Involve Porn, Study Says

88% of All U.S. Copyright Trolling Cases Involve Porn, Study Says
Get XBIZ News
Aug 20, 2015 1:59 PM PDT    Text size: 

CHICAGO — Eighty-eight percent of all copyright-trolling cases in the U.S. in 2014 involved an adult entertainment film, according to a new study on intellectual property litigation.

The study, titled "Intellectual Property in U.S. District Courts: 1994-2014" and authored by Matthew Sag, a professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, also noted that one porn company — Malibu Media, aka X-art.com — accounted for 80 percent of all John Doe suits in 2014.

Sag’s report, just released yesterday, undertakes a broad-based empirical review of intellectual property litigation in federal district courts from 1994 to 2014.

It undertakes a systematic analysis of more than 190,000 individual case filings and examines the subject matter, geographical and temporal variation within federal IP litigation over the past two decades.

In the study, Sag said that the numbers of porn copyright infringement claims in the past four years have remained at a steady high rate.

“[A]lthough BitTorrent monetization has always been closely associated with pornography, the percentage of pornography in the John Doe category has varied from 70 percent in 2010, 93 percent in 2011, 85 percent in 2012, 69 percent in 2013 and most recently, 88 percent in 2014,” Sag wrote.

“I have criticized the Copyright Office for ignoring this phenomenon; however, in light of the 2014 data it is increasingly apparent that policymakers should be cautious about extrapolating from current trends in this context because the BitTorrent monetization era cases appear to be inherently idiosyncratic.

One measure of this idiosyncrasy, Sag said, was the extent to which litigation is driven by just a few porn companies that appear to be copyright trolls. Those trolls typically enforce copyrights it owns for purposes of making money through litigation, in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic.

“The trend from 2012 to 2014 is one of increasing concentration of plaintiff activity,” Sag wrote. “In fact, the pornography producer, Malibu Media is such a prolific litigant that in 2014 it was the plaintiff in over 41.5 percent of all copyright suits nationwide.

“John Doe litigation is not a general response to Internet piracy; it is a niche entrepreneurial activity in and of itself.”

When reached today, Sag told XBIZ that he thinks that Malibu Media, or X-art.com, has found a way to transform copyright infringement from a problem into an opportunity with big returns.

Sag said he believes Malibu Media could be making up to $10 million a year out of copyright infringement litigation alone.

“To some extent, they are taking advantage of a loophole in the law,” he told XBIZ. “Statutory damages were originally intended to provide relief for copyright owners whose actual loss was difficult to calculate and to serve as a deterrent.

“There is no doubt that Malibu Media is getting some compensation and perhaps even creating something of a deterrent, but their primary aim seems to be monetizing infringement as a separate profit center. That is not really want statute three damages were meant to do.”

Sag said that he’s heard stories of Malibu Media attorneys being “quite indifferent to evidence that they are going after the wrong people.”

“I think that misidentification is quite common when all you have to go on is an IP address, but that it's quite difficult for people accused of infringement to prove their innocence.” 

Nevertheless, Sag said that adult content creators should be entitled to copyright protection.

“My only issue with this type of litigation is that the statutory damages available are absurdly excessive and that some plaintiffs in Malibu Media's position have resorted to sleazy tactics designed to leverage the social embarrassment some people feel about pornography.

“Some judges have called this extortion, and it certainly comes close.”

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Cam World: Jim Austin Puts Stripchat / xHamsterLive on the Cutting Edge

Meet Jim Austin, head of business development for Stripchat and xHamsterLive. Austin helps run the two free online communities where amateur models — women, men, couples and transgender folk —... More »

Crave’s Jack Morocco Brings Fresh Perspective to Channel Manager Role

Jack Morocco must be in the right career. They’ve been hit on by Nina Hartley and already had to fend off Ron Jeremy, all in their short one-and-a-half years with San Francisco boutique outfit Crave.... More »

Cam World: Cam Star of Month BlazeFyre Loves to Be a Pleaser

Webcam model BlazeFyre certainly is looking forward to a fruitful 2017. She just moved into new digs this past month, and is eagerly anticipating another banner year as a Chaturbate web model. The naturally... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.



Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!