MALIBU, Calif. — Adult production company X-art.com has filed a lawsuit against its former counsel who lead its massive copyright enforcement program that over six years filed more than 4,300 infringement lawsuits in federal courts against those who illegally downloaded its films.
X-art.com, in the suit, said that former general counsel Keith Lipscomb and his Florida law firm, Lipscomb, Eisenberg & Baker, didn't provide them the proper paperwork for its cases and related finances and that he was negligent in his representation.
X-art.com’s copyright enforcement program consisted of its parent company, Malibu Media, filing suits against individuals who illegally downloaded its films on the file-sharing BitTorrent network.
Lipscomb, on behalf of X-art.com, filed the suits, typically seeking out-of-court settlements from individuals the studio accused of illegally downloading its adult movies.
But the operation and partnership began to unravel after Lipscomb’s firm stopped distributing funds to X-art.com owners Brigham Field and Collette Pelissier Field.
In April, Lipscomb said the copyright operation was "winding down" because it was no longer profitable. Court records show X-art.com hasn't filed any new infringement suits since April 13.
Later, Lipscomb advised affiliated attorneys in numerous states that he no longer represented X-art.com. He also withdrew from a case pending in Michigan federal court, and X-art.com was unable to find new counsel, opening up the studio for liability over a defendant’s attorneys fees.
The federal suit, seeking disgorgement of Lipscomb’s proceeds from the litigation and punitive damages, charges professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
Lipscomb, meanwhile, said he filed his own lawsuit in Florida state court against X-art.com and a law firm that appears to have succeeded his in operating its copyright program — Beverly Hills, Calif.’s Pillar Law Group.
According to a report on Law.com, Lipscomb said X-art.com owes him “massive amounts of money” and that his lawsuit, which is filed under seal, alleges ethical violations “in spades” against the Pillar Law Group.