HB Productions, Inc. is a production company that produced the 2019 movie, Hellboy, starring David Harbour. HB Productions has filed lawsuits against individuals that, it alleges, illegally downloaded, acquired, or otherwise shared digital copies of the film using file sharing systems such as BitTorrent.
How It Works
BitTorrent is what is known as a Peer-to-Peer network: it operates by having users download parts of the film and then upload those parts when they have been watched. This type of transmission may be legal if the film has been purchased and the production company receives appropriate royalties; however, HB Productions alleges that the copies of Hellboy that are on BitTorrent are pirated (i.e., stolen) copies. This means that users who share the film and/or have copies of the film on their computer may be liable for copyright infringement, regardless of whether the individual intended to share the film or knew exactly how BitTorrent worked.
In order to identify the locations of the allegedly stolen films, HB Productions uses a geo-location software to identify which IP addresses contain these films. IP addresses are the unique tag that identifies any computer that uses the Internet to communicate over a network. Once the IP addresses have been identified, HB Productions and their lawyers file copyright infringement lawsuits against “John Does,” or the unknown people behind the IP addresses.
In order to identify the “John Does,” HB Production’s lawyers obtain leave to serve subpoenas to be issued to Internet Service Providers (ISPs; i.e., Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner) for the names and addresses of the individuals corresponding to the IP addresses. After the subpoena is received, the ISP will contact the applicable subscriber(s) that the subscriber’s information has been requested. If the subscriber fails to take action, the ISP will then authorize the release of the appropriate subscriber’s information to HB Productions.
Why Did I Receive a Letter?
Many individuals have received letters from their Internet Service Providers, such as Comcast, alerting them to the fact that they have been named in a lawsuit. The internet provider is informing their client that there is a subpoena for the individuals IP address and account information. The letter states that the individual was identified by their IP address and their name will shared with HB Productions unless action is taken. If this letter is ignored, the individual could be named in a public lawsuit and summoned to court. It is important to get help right away if you receive such a letter.
HB Production Lawsuits in the Chicagoland Area
Chicago has been a hotspot for copyright infringement lawsuits. Michael A. Hierl and William Kalbac of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. are the lawyers for HB Productions.
What to Do Next:
If this situation sounds familiar, Saper Law Offices can help. Our attorneys have represented numerous individuals who allegedly illegally downloaded films. We have years of experience as torrent defense lawyers. If you received a letter or notification from your ISP or an attorney representing a Plaintiff, such as Michael A. Hierl or William Kalbac of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., contact Saper Law at (312) 527-4100 or click here to book a consultation.