Ah, the allure of anonymity. It’s like being a real-life superhero, hiding behind a mask, fighting for justice in the shadows against the apparent villain, Kerry Culpepper and his Culpepper IP law firm. In the world of copyright infringement lawsuits, accused defendants often find solace in their “John Doe” status. They receive ISP subpoena notification letters, but their secret identity remains intact.
But picture this: an accused John Doe, lurking in the darkness, ready to interact with Kerry Culpepper, the movie plaintiff’s attorney. Of course, it’s wiser to have your own attorney handle the situation, but our protagonist can argue the legal points, deny the downloads altogether, or even negotiate a settlement—all while remaining an enigmatic John Doe. The power of anonymity is at play.
But wait, before you don your cape and sign that settlement agreement, heed this warning from our experiences defending against Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases: settling anonymously comes with its perils.
You see, when settling anonymously, some copyright attorneys try to cleverly phrase the agreement to refer to “John Doe Subscriber assigned IP address 188.8.131.52.” Sounds specific, right? Well, the problem lies in the fact that regular movie downloaders often have other IP addresses linked to their activities.
Settling for just one IP address does not automatically resolve all claims against you for all the IP addresses you’ve used in the past. This is where having a knowledgeable attorney negotiating the agreement becomes crucial, using the correct terminology to ensure your liability is truly released.
In my article explaining ‘Why an Anonymous Settlement is a Bad Idea’ (May, 2023), I highlighted the pitfalls of settling anonymously, focusing on lawsuits by Strike 3 Holdings, LLC. However, the topic of “anonymous settlements” remains relevant today, especially with Kerry Culpepper’s lawsuits.
Imagine this never-ending spiral: you settle for one movie, pay up, and breathe a sigh of relief. But lo and behold, the Culpepper IP plaintiff’s attorney reappears, demanding another settlement for yet another movie you downloaded. It’s an infuriating merry-go-round of demands that can leave anyone feeling exasperated. To tackle this issue, your attorney should be aware of the “one IP address problem” and consider it in the release of liability within the settlement.
Now, let’s turn our attention to Kerry Culpepper and his movie lawsuits.
Feast your eyes on the screenshot showcasing Fallen Productions, Inc.’s lawsuit against alleged infringers of their film “Angel Has Fallen.”
The lawsuit, Fallen Productions Inc. v. Does 1-17 (Case No. 1:20-cv-03170, I know, the website I referenced did not list the 100+ court docket entires that occurred before they listed the case), was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
In this ongoing battle of the silver screen, Kerry Culpepper boldly named and served his defendants, bringing them into the light of the legal system. The fight against piracy takes many forms, and Culpepper’s approach involves unmasking the alleged infringers rather than relying on anonymous proceedings.
So, dear readers, as you navigate the treacherous waters of IP-based lawsuits, remember that anonymity can be a tempting path to tread. However, proceed with caution, as settling anonymously may not provide the ultimate shield of protection you desire. Arm yourself with a skilled attorney, negotiate with precision, and consider the broader implications of any settlement agreement you encounter.
And if you are going to break your anonymity (as Culpepper’s letters request that you do), be sure to have an attorney doing for you in a way that protects you legally before you blindly jump into muddy waters that have a few alligators (in Houston, we have alligators; if I were in New York, I would have mentioned sharks). 🙂
After all, in the world of copyright infringement, it’s not just about one IP address—it’s about the many faces behind the screen.
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In Summary (and really, the content you were looking for):
In sum, I just wanted to take a moment to note that I have been reading about what has been going on with Kerry Culpepper of Culpepper IP. He has been leading a campaign to sue uploaders, site owners, and now internet users who have used either the YTS or 1337x.to torrent website.
Initially when I wrote this article in 2020, he and his staff were merely sending DMCA settlement demand notices, and I wondered whether these accused internet users will find themselves on the receiving end of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
However, later in the year, his methods evolved, and Culpepper began sending e-mails directly to internet users who signed up to the YTS piracy website using their real information. This was a huge leap from his previous generic “online swarm software user downloaded my client’s movies” lawsuits.
At the time, I wrote about those topics here: The truth about why Culpepper IP is sending settlement demand letters VIA E-MAIL to YTS users.
Also at the time, I thought a good article to explain what was happening can be found here: The evolution of privacy as it applies to hardware devices such as Kodi.
But as you can see, from history, we learned that his end goal was not the internet user with small pockets who downloaded his client’s movies. Rather, his goal was bigger.
I realized that he was possibly trying to take over and monetize the very piracy trademarks which were pirating his client’s copyrighted movies. After this, he started suing ISPs and Virtual Private Networks, which is an ongoing litigation battle. I will write more about this as the story unfolds…
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[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Culpepper IP cases and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your case), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about the letter you received from their office, or you can SMS/Whatsapp us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].
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