California Attorney General’s Office Asks Schrock for MoviePass Help

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: July 19th, 2006

I received a call today from a Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General’s office regarding MoviePass and their MediaPipe software.

Last week I tracked down the individuals who own the corporations responsible for MoviePass, MovieLand and MediaPipe and published it on the Schrock Innovations website.

As you can imagine, there is a great deal of interest in locating the individual responsible for the annoying “Pay Now or Else” pop-ups that follow a 3-day free trial of the MediaPipe software. Evidently, the CA Attorney general’s office has received complaints about this software and they were interested about how we tracked the owner down and if it would “hold up in court.”

I spent about 30 minutes on the phone explaining how I traced their multi-layered corporations through the CA Secretary of State’s website to find their names. After the conversation, the Deputy AG I was speaking with said that he was going to drive by the addresses we provided and investigate any criminal or consumer cases that could be brought. If you are unaware of what MoviePass is, is a website that advertises video content that it delivers to your desktop via its MediaPipe software for a monthly fee. They offer a free 3-day trial of their service, which many people have downloaded and installed.

In the terms of service (which almost no one reads) it explains that if you do not cancel your service before the 3-day trial expires, you will be required to pay MoviePass a monthly fee for the service.

Needless to say, many people installed the software and forgot about it – that is until it MoviePass started reminding them.

The “reminder” was actually a pop up window that continually appears on the user’s screen demanding payment. Supposedly, the only way to remove the pop up is to pay them what they say is due. While the MoviePass Terms of Service appear to cover them from any criminal charges (although I am not a lawyer and do not claim to be) California has many consumer protection laws against deceptive trade practices.

The California Attorney General’s office said they plan to “look into” any laws that may have been violated by the MoviePass ( also known as MovieLand) business model.

  1. JS said on July 20th, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    i would hate to be this guy right now. wonder if her will stop or just switch companies again

  2. adam said on July 21st, 2006 at 8:50 am

    holy crap, that’s impressive

  3. thorschrock said on August 12th, 2006 at 8:03 am

  4. Maggan said on August 15th, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    It is unreal that people can be basically threatened by this kind of "business". I am sick and tired of pop-ups and viruses. There needs to be a national do not e-mail list like the telemarketers have to abide by. Thanks to people like Mr. Lutz, I do not want to browse on the internet.

  5. thorschrock said on August 16th, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    It gets very old, but you have to stay on top of it. In fact, MoviePass has just been renamed Same old threat with a new name and a new website. Removal instructions for theis new threat are located at:


  6. michelle said on August 17th, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    They got me. I was actually looking to download online language courses and a link on a website either sent me to their pop up, or had unprotected me to allow the popup to come up. I thought it pertained to my search and even downloaded it. When I saw the content, I simply closed the window and moved on. Never thought (and didn’t read the terms, I admit) that I would have to uninstall it or pay. That’s never been the case before for anything I’ve downloaded. I finally got a computer tech to remove it, and it cost me. Even he said the whole thing was ridiculously difficult and probably criminal.

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