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Intellectual property: ‘copyright troll’ seeks to limit epithet

Indiana residents interested in intellectual property issues may be interested in a new Malibu Media case. Malibu Media, a noted producer of legal pornography, recently asked a judge to limit the use of the terms “copyright troll” and “porn.” The request was part of an upcoming trial involving the company and a person who allegedly downloaded Malibu Media’s productions without permission.

The term “copyright troll” refers to a company or individual that actively seeks out people who have downloaded their copyrighted materials unlawfully. Once they locate these people, they will send a threatening demand letter requesting significant compensation. If a “troll” does not get cooperation at that point, then it will sue for $150,000. Often, a “trolls” target common people who do not have the resources to fight a lawsuit.

Malibu Media considers the term derogatory towards its own practice of holding people who download the company’s products without permission accountable for their actions and so seek to keep the term out of the courtroom. However, it is true that the company does keep a close eye on who downloads its pornography and does aggressively pursue even those who commit isolated, individual acts of infringement. At this point, Malibu Media has filed over 3,500 lawsuits

Indiana residents who are members of the general public need to remember that copyrights protect those who make art, music, movies and other intellectual property from all types of unlawful use. It is not just the most flagrant of cases that can be prosecuted. On the other hand, Fort Wayne residents who own a copyright on anything should be aware of both their rights to enforce that copyright and the practical limitations of doing so aggressively.

Source: The Consumerist, “Noted porn copyright troll asks court to block use of terms like ‘porn’ & ‘copyright troll,” Chris Moran, Aug. 4, 2015.