Is The Sun Finally Setting On X-Art / Malibu Media?

At The Hollywood Reporter, Eriq Gardner writes that a firm that provided financing for the notorious business that sues untold thousands of people for copyright infringement says “it hasn’t seen a penny.”


“Malibu Media didn’t invent the art of filing mass litigation with the hopes of shaming porn aficionados into settlements,” Eriq Gardner writes at THR, “but in the past few years, the studio’s lawsuits against thousands of individuals have become notorious.”

Now, Colette Pelissier and Brigham Feld, the husband and wife who direct the operation, may be facing a reckoning in the form of a lawsuit that alleges their racket “has generated over $26.5 million with not a penny to show their financiers.”

The complaint, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, targets Pelissier and Feld, responsible for such X-Art titles  as My Neighbor’s Wife and Perfect Threesomes.

But it’s not the couple’s ownership of X-Art that makes them infamous in legal circles; it’s the fact that Malibu Media has filed countless lawsuits since 2012 against “John Doe” defendants using BitTorrent to download pornography. The unprecedented scale of their litigation is remarkable.

Malibu Media’s name has become nearly synonymous with copyright trolling, and “the company has faced its fair share of legal troubles along the way.” (Read AVN‘s extensive coverage here, including an examination of “the road bumps Malibu Media has faced in courtrooms around the country as it attempts to tie individual IP addresses to individuals it believes have illegally downloaded videos for which it holds the copyright.”)

Now the tables have turned, and Malibu Media and its principals find themselves the defendants in a lawsuit filed by its former financiers, Genova Capital and Warmblood Inc., both run by Joshua Hunter and Robert Cook.

The complaint alleges that Pelissier and Feld’s ‘high-end lifestyle has begun to outstrip their business income.”

A capital infusion

The Hollywood Reporter summarizes the background go the case:

Genova says it first extended $2.5 million in loans to the duo in 2016 to assist them in fending off an ownership dispute over a real estate property in Malibu. Later, Warmblood invested $400,000 in Malibu Media.

Pursuant to the agreement, according to the suit, Malibu Media got consulting services in the form of financial forecasting and budgeting and gave up 50 percent of its net recovery from the mass copyright litigation, as well as a 50 percent interest in the copyrights to the adult films.

We’re talking big money here.

In 2018 alone, continues the complaint, Malibu Media’s litigation stampede generated over $2.8 million.

But the plaintiffs say they haven’t seen any of the money, nor can they get an accounting. They further allege, “Defendants are shuttling assets and interests out of Malibu Media and into more obscure entities, including the shell entity holding companies: Click Here, Colette Holdings, Colette Properties, Colette Production, Inc., Colette Productions LLC, and/or Zo Digital.”

The lawsuit also states that there are now efforts underway to foreclose on promissory notes.

UPDATE: Pelissier and Feld have now filed their own complaint in Los Angeles against attorney Edgar Sargsyan, whom they claim failed to turn over nearly $2.4 million in funds from their copyright litigation.

In their complaint, Pelissier and Feld state “PLG and Sargsyan represented Malibu Media in connection with the copyright litigation for approximately six months.”

“During that time period, PLG and Sargsyan recovered approximately $2.4 million in the copyright lawsuits. Those funds should have been deposited into PLG’s client trust account on behalf of Malibu Media for distribution to Malibu Media. Yet PLG and Sargsyan only remitted $40,000 to Malibu Media. Malibu Media is informed and believes that PLG inappropriately transferred the funds rightfully belonging to Malibu Media to, or for the benefit of, Sargsyan, Mosesi and Kalantar.” ~ Pelissier and Feld’s complaint

h/t: The Hollywood Reporter

495930cookie-checkIs The Sun Finally Setting On X-Art / Malibu Media?

Is The Sun Finally Setting On X-Art / Malibu Media?

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