copyrightclerk

On issues of internet copyright law

Flava Works Motions for Discovery; CEO files declaration

with 11 comments

A Motion for Discovery has been filed in Flava Works, Inc. v. John Does 1-293, case no. 1:12-cv-07869. I wrote about this case when it was first filed.

First, let’s look at the Motion for Discovery, which reveals some information on how the BitTorrent swarm was monitored, and who monitored it:

Mr. Bleicher observed the BitTorrent swarms that were formed to copy and distribute the copyrighted works of Flava Works. (Exhibit A, par. 9.) He used Vuze software and Flava Works’ proprietary software to monitor and capture in real time BitTorrent swarms…

There is an attachment with the Motion, titled Declaration of Phillip Bleicher. Who is this person?

I, Phillip Bleicher, having been sworn, attests as follows:
1. I am the CEO and Webmaster of Plaintff, Flava Works, Inc. (“Flava Works”).

Wow, the CEO!

 

5. As CEO of Flava Works, I am responsible for implementing and supervising the monitoring of infringement of Flava Works’ copyrighted works. I have employees who monitor, track and document infringement of Flava Works’ copyrighted works. I supervise these employees and they report directly to me.

How was the swarm monitored?

10. I used Vuze software and Flava Works’ proprietary software to monitor and capture in real time BitTorrent swarms involved in distributing the copyrighted works of Flava Works.

There’s no further information on the name or details of the proprietary software used.

Here is the motion in full:

View this document on Scribd

And the attached declaration:

View this document on Scribd

Written by copyrightclerk

December 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

11 Responses

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  1. FlavaWorks proprietary most likely is code that reads a watermark in the file.
    We were aware from previous defaults they trace the source of the files (AKA customers) from an embedded waterwark.
    Using Vuze is troublesome, swarms hate clients not sharing and Vuze off the shelf is set to upload and download. If your assisting people to infringe on your copyright you have unclean hands, your making the problem worse. As they had to participate in the swarm to obtain a full copy of the file to verify it was indeed a full complete copy of their work, there is a possibility they infringed others copyrights had a file been mislabeled or bundled with others works.
    Funny how no one brings these facts up.

    I grow weary of this smoke and mirror based code that can do all sorts of magical things, but no one else can see or gets to know how it works.
    Yes your honor my secret special potato tells me if people are guilty, now let me have their names the potato told me they were all bad people.

    that anonymous coward

    January 1, 2013 at 4:36 am

  2. June 17, 2010;
    Thug Porn War: Flavaworks Sues Black Rayne & Pitbull Productions-

    http://taylorsiluwe.typepad.com/taylor_siluwe/2010/06/porn-war-flavaworks-sues-black-rayne-pitbull-productions.html

    falcon789

    January 1, 2013 at 5:05 am

    • Here’s another weird one that has Bleicher involved as the Plaintiff, its from the flavaworks website, but I cannot tell if it was ever filed?
      http://www.flavaworks.com/legal/files/100201IstackPornAmendedComplaint.pdf

      and this one was filed in cook county 09/12, plaintiff: 933 W Irving Corp; defendant: Phillip Bleicher. 933 W Irving looks to be the defendant’s previous address.
      https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/Finddock.asp?DocketKey=CABC0MB0HCDBJA0MD

      falcon789

      January 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      • It seems there was copyright infringement lawsuit filed in February of 2010 by Flava Works, and their attorney was Jesse Lanshe at 933 W. Irving Park Rd., Ste. C, in Chicago. It appears Flava Works won a judgement in that lawsuit of $52,451.75.

        The suit in Cook County has “933 W. Irving Corp” listed as Plaintiff – strangely, the same address that Jesse Lanshe used when representing Flava. Flava Works listed as defendant.

        Perhaps Flava’s former attorney is suing them. This is my first glance impression; I am not sure exactly what’s going on here.

        copyrightclerk

        January 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      • Did you see this list of their legal filings?

        http://www.flavaworks.com/legal/

        copyrightclerk

        January 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        • Yea this guy seems super scummy, here’s another article I found
          http://kenyonfarrow.com/2007/07/18/flavaworks-sues-black-lgbt-bloggers-loses-staff-to-pneumonia/

          Here is the filed version of the one I posted earlier but wasn’t sure if it was filed, this one includes the exhibits
          http://ia600409.us.archive.org/35/items/gov.uscourts.ilnd.240127/gov.uscourts.ilnd.240127.1.0.pdf

          Then there’s this, which I kind of remember seeing this on the news in FL
          http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-11th-circuit/1529080.html

          and via flava work’s wiki
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flava_Works

          The “House Next Door” controversy and its legal resolution

          On May 8, 2007, NBC 6 aired a news investigation entitled, “The House Next Door.”

          The investigation surfaced when neighbors and zoning authorities were sent anonymous printed copies of webpages, a DVD of a sex show and of a fight that happened at the dorm, and photos of the red brick home.

          In the documentary, models were shown half dressed behind windows, and these images were juxtaposed with those of children playing in the street and unsuspecting neighbors being interviewed. The Miami Department of Code Enforcement visited the residence on May 8, 2007, and imposed five citations: (1) Illegal rooming house. Flava Works denied these allegations, on the grounds that the company was not charging any of its models for rent while they were residents in the CocoDorm. (2) Adult entertainment not permitted in C-1 zone property. Flava Works responded stating that they do not run an “Adult Entertainment” service on the property. (3) Failure to Maintain Exterior of Commercial or Residential Property. Flava Works maintained in response that the property’s landscape was well maintained and cleaned. (4) Failure to maintain lot in safe, clean condition; not allowing accumulation of debris, trash or dense growth of grass. Flava Works maintained that the yard was in good condition. (5) Illegally operating a business in a residential zone. Flava Works responded that the company was not operating a business at the property; all business activities and Internet servers are located off-site.

          On August 13, 2007, and after “three acrimonious public meetings … in sessions going past midnight,[10] Miami’s Code Enforcement Board ruled that Flava Works was “illegally running an adult entertainment business out of a single-family home … and ordered that those operations cease.[11]

          However, Flava Works filed a lawsuit against the City of Miami in response to the verdict, invoking First Amendment rights and arguing that it was not running an adult-oriented business out of the “House Next Door.” Flava Works also argued that business transactions do not take place in a residential neighborhood in Miami, but rather in virtual space.[12] The case attracted some interest in legal circles.

          Ruling on the case was made in January 2009, when Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, ruled in favor of Flava Works.[14] She based her judgment on the precedent of a very similar case involving a heterosexual porn site, “Voyeur Dorm,” operating webcams in a Tampa, Florida, residence. The judge ruling on the Voyeur Dorm case came to the conclusion that the residence provided no “offer[ing] [of adult entertainment] to members of the public.” The offering occurs when the videotaped images are dispersed over the internet and into the public eye for consumption [15]

          Judge Cooke agreed, writing on the CocoDorm: “Because the public offering by Flava Works, Inc. occurs via cocodorm.com in cyberspace, and not in a particular geographic location, the City of Miami zoning ordinance cannot be applied to the 503 residence.[16] Furthermore,

          the servers necessary to transmit the live and recoded video feeds to subscribers are not housed in either the 503 residence or the North Miami avenue business office. Here, although the performers are paid to be at the residence and capture d on video, the processing and transmitting of the resulting images is done at a different location; a location not at issue in this case.[17]

          Judge Cooke’s decision was featured on NBC 6 on February 3, 2009, in a story entitled, “Porn House Can Stay.” The report indicated that the City of Miami’s intended to appeal the decision [18]

          The city appealed, and in June 2010 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that regardless of whether the CocoDorm was an adult entertainment establishment, it was a business operation, and Miami zoning ordinances forbid operating a business in a residential zone. The court distinguished the Voyeur Dorm case by pointing out that the latter involved a Tampa ordinance against adult entertainment establishments, not business operations in general.

          Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter lawsuit
          Main article: Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter
          In 2010 Flava Works filed a lawsuit against Gunter who was operating myVidster.com claiming copyright and trademark infringement. This case became an important case in copyright law as it shows the boundaries of the safe harbour provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The case resulted in a preliminary injunction in favor of Flava Works.

          falcon789

          January 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

          • I think that instead of wasting money on defense attorneys all the people who Bleicher, all the enemy’s he has accumulated and all the people he has cheated should get together. We can all save money, make the world a better place by hiring an elimination specialist. Time to rid the world of this problem.

            Like a disease such as cancer, you destroy it.

            Phils Thorn

            November 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

  3. Interesting stuff that sometimes mirrors moves made by Marc Randazza on behalf of Liberty Holdings Corp. I think we need TAC to weigh in here but he may have already.

    Raul

    January 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    • FlavaWorks hadn’t ever touched my radar before the default was covered.
      It was at that time I became aware of the watermarking they use to pursue clients.
      There was another company that had their session house outed in FL, republican neighbors are sooo predictable. There also were the claims of them paying local charities while taking actions of not such a nice nature.

      From a quick scan of the legal page, it does seem to mirror some of Randazza’s work for CF. Suing tubesites, former employees, people using their images… etc…

      And then they decided to sue customers. I am guessing they are bleeding cash, or think they are.
      Suing customers for $150,000 tends to dry up the customer base…
      Not adapting to a changing market does cause troubles. Amateurs on tubesites charge less, and can cut videos to specific customer demands much faster.

      I always enjoy seeing them keeping the tracking in-house, it lets them keep costs lower. It also raises the specter of having a clear financial motive to make the claims and see them move forward.
      At least everyone using the Germans, has the illusion of an outside impartial company providing the proof.
      The simple fact they clearly state they are using Vuze should be hugely problematic and needs to be addressed with the court. I get so tired of all of this unclean hands crap being slipped past the courts. This is half a step from how Stone (oh the Chutzpah!) did business. They have their watermark reader which seems to be the only difference.

      Times are tough for the porn houses right now, this looks like easy money, but that whole cutting off your nose to spite your face seems to come to mind.

      that anonymous coward

      January 4, 2013 at 3:55 am

  4. [...] case. In Flava Works, Inc. v. John Does 1-293, case no. 1:12-cv-07869 – a case I wrote about when the CEO filed a declaration in support of discovery – appearances have been entered by ISPs Suddenlink Communications [...]

  5. [...] work “Thugboy V11″. When Flava entered their Motion for Discovery, it was accompanied by a Declaration from none other than the Flava Works CEO and Webmaster himself: Phillip Bleicher. [...]


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