BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The owner of adult content site X-art.com has ramped up copyright infringement litigation efforts in the past two months, filing 451 more lawsuits against file-sharers said to be poaching their content.
To date, X-art.com’s parent company, Malibu Media LLC, has filed 6,329 infringement lawsuits in various jurisdictions across the U.S., according to stats obtained by federal-litigation database Pacer.
X-art.com and parent company Malibu Media, operated by Collette Field, started up offering erotic and artistically shot adult content in 2009, but later she found a new way to make money — through litigation.
In the past five years, X-art.com has been much more than a prolific litigant — it’s been the top filer of copyright infringement cases in U.S. courts.
The 451 additional filings against porn file-sharers in January and February came after a three-month hiatus for X-art.com, according to a report published today by Bloomberg Law.
Emilie Kennedy, an attorney at Pillar Law Group of Beverly Hills, Calif., who represents X-art.com, told Bloomberg that the three-month gap from October through December wasn’t “reflective on Malibu’s intent to stop enforcing its rights.”
The break was a result of X-art.com taking time to plan future litigation and work out schedules, Kennedy said.
Bloomberg noted that X-art.com filed the largest number of its cases in the past few months at Houston federal court, where it first started litigation last year.
Kennedy told Bloomberg that X-art.com, which relies on various counsel nationwide to litigate claims, is expected to file in one or two new district courts this year based on its analysis of the population and extent of infringement in new jurisdictions.
In 2017, the rate of its lawsuit filings “will be fairly consistent with years past, certainly with 2016,” Kennedy told Bloomberg.
Matthew Sag, a professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law whose specialty includes intellectual property litigation in federal district courts, told XBIZ today that X-art.com’s operators could be making millions on the claims.
“I don't know how much they are making, but an educated guess starts with the fact that Malibu Media, LLC, filed 5,982 individual cases between 2012 and 2016. This means they paid well over $2.3 million in federal court filing fees," he said.
“I would be very surprised if they were not making at least a million a year in settlement revenue, but how much of that is eaten up by legal fees and payments to their German technical advisors is anyone's guess.”