A detective story and How to catch a thief.
Years of losses, research, and writings. Finally some definitive results.
Not only can we talk about it . But finally can point the finger at one of
the worst of pirates. with all the documentation and proof in black and white.
A year and a half investigation by a prosecutorial agency and a l60 page
report it looks like Synergy Entertainment and it’s president Phillip
Hopkins has been involved in criminal activities in connection with IP theft
Illegal copying , copyrighted properties and selling stolen works to
Facts;Around 2003 he( Hopkins ) acquired illegally of course some six film titles
owned by this writer . He had no scruples of transferring my titles to
a third party ; Digital One stop Distributors ( aka Mill Creek Entertainment)
A legal issue arose between these parties. Outcome: Phil Hopkins and his
partner Film Chest received a settlement of some $ 200.000 Dollars.
It get’s better. After the transfer of the titles to Digital One Stop
Hopkins kept right on marketing the same titles under the Synergy
Film Chest banner. ( that’s nerve)
2005 This writer discovers that Digital One Stop is selling The Giant Spider
Invasion with changed artwork widely on the inter net and major retail outlets
globally. Plus five other films of this writer. Given to them by Phil Hopkins
and associate. Upon confronting the CEO of Digital a restitution deal is reached
in form of a legitimate licensing agreement That would pay for damages
in form or royalties from retail sales. ( The only title not included would
be The Giant Spider invasion.) Meanwhile back at the Ranch,…Phil Hopkins
is still marketing all of the films illegally. When confronted in 2008
Hopkins pay’s restitution for One film and another licensing agreement
is negotiated for the rest of the films with Hopkins as restitution. A reasonable arrangement since one
can not squeeze blood out of a turnip . The licensing agreement entered into
early in 2010 was to last for 3 years. ( a trial period). It works until in
June 2011, when it is discovered that not all venues for the films show up on the
mandatory accountings. And Synergy and Hopkins admit in writing that
all the films have indeed been pirated since 2007. ( four years short) but
never the less an admission and enough for legal actions.
May 2011. This writer is preparing an action against the original Distributor
of the Giant spider Invasion for being l6 years behind in mandatory reports
( Group one Intl Films. )When Hopkins and Synergy interfere in an attempt
to obtain the negtive materials of the Giant Spider Invasion and coerce
this writer into signing a mutual release with Group one Films. Loss $ 400.000
The investigation records are now with the FBI and Dept. of Justice.
The cat is out of the bag now .And surely there will me more to come.