Judges start to understand the wrongs of “copyright trolling” model

Posted: September 7, 2011 by SJD in Copyright Enforcement Group
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Magistrate judge
Bernard Zimmerman

As expected by many, judge Zimmerman has practically dismissed (all the Does except one were severed) the “On the Cheap v. Does 1-5011” case filed by copyright troll Ira Siegel last year. Although the case was dismissed on the grounds of improper joinder and wrong jurisdiction, judge Zimmerman went much further questioning the entire extortion-like “business model”.

The entire ruling is amazing, not a single sentence is boring. Must read for everyone who has even slightest interest in these mass extortion-like cases (especially for the trolls!). I don’t believe that judge Zimmerman has read my blog (though it is not impossible since he is aware of my existence thanks to Mr. Siegel), but this is the first time a judge has commented on the foundation of the problem, and these comments were pretty close to my own opinions and the views of my brothers-in-arms. Although many injustices we’ve been discussing have not yet been addressed by judges, we are getting there, no doubt.

Please read the entire document, it is worth your time. Trust me.

Priceless.

(See the analysis by Rob Cashman)

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Comments
  1. ira jr. says:

    What? No contempt for the plaintiff for obviously trying to con the court into doing its bidding and showing no respect for the order of the court? How can they claim that they follow the rules of the court system when they can’t even follow a very simple judge’s instructions.

  2. jd says:

    In the rulings the judge does not tell plaintiffs to notify isp’s that subpoena’s are quashed and to notify the isp’s as such. Also tells plaintiffs to notify anyone he already has names for, or anyone’s name plaintiff obtains in the future, that they have been released. Usually the the judge would include this in their orders. Does this mean the outstanding subpoena’s are still valid? If so this is open ended, meaning that plaintiff can keep receiving names / addresses so implying they can keep harassing john / Jane defendants. I agree he was direct, falling barely short off saying extortion. Is this what the judge intends on taking care of on 09/09/2011? Many deadlines are 9/11/2011. If everyone except 17 was severed how can this be right that plaintiff can still get does identity? Is it possible that subpoena’s can still be allowed to obtain personal information of individuals no longer being sued?

    • jd says:

      I read the comments and it says effectively that subpoenas are null, but in none of the judges orders does he tell ira to notify all isp’s the subpoenas are quashed. My deadline is the 11th of September. He has a deadline tomorrow regarding subpoenas, but will it be on time? Also will it affect all defendants or only the ones which filed motions to quash? I can’t believe he dismisses everyone except doe 17 yet still allows discovery of dismissed does.

      • anon says:

        I think that keeping one doe on the case is genius on the judges behalf. This forces Ira to bring one of these sham cases to trial and expose all the bull shit evidence that these trolls have been hiding for so long. Plus the expense of an actual trial will cut into Iras profit.

        Of course that hinges on that one Doe fighting it and not settling. The EFF or some attorney should pro bono this guys case.

  3. jdoe says:

    If your IP has been severed then your IP is no longer part of the case. So they shouldn’t be able to get your information and you ISP shouldn’t give it out. Just make sure your ISP knows your IP has been severed.

    If they get your info and demand settlement after your IP has been severed then I believe they are breaking the law.

    However I am not a lawyer.

    • jd says:

      Ok, tks jdoe

    • Pit says:

      I agree with jdoe. I’m in the similar situation and I’m planning to send (or fax) a letter with a copy of the judge’s order to my ISP asking not to disclose my identity as the subpoena is void and disclosing my info will violate my privacy rights.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t get it, now the judge has cancelled the subpoenas for under seal does. How can the other does subpoenas still be valid? I thought you had to be involved in a lawsuit to be subpoenad? He, like I thought is still allowing early discovery of dismissed does…. Any insight as to what will ultimately happen?

        • I think that subpoenas are still valid. If Ira obtains a list of Does from a particular ISP now, he can still in theory pursue that Does in the future, but for doing that he has to file new lawsuit(s). My conclusions came from looking at the latest documents on the case:

          1. Judge Zimmerman granted a couple of motions to quash filed semi-anonymously (i.e. with Doe# and IP address specified) on 9/12, 6 days after his famous order to severe all defendants except one. So the fact that the judge granted motions to quash implies that subpoenas are still valid. I don’t know if there are any pure anonymous motions pending on this case.
          2. I see a bunch of motions filed this week, all of them under the seal: I expect them to be granted soon. Usually I advise not to use your IP in a motion, even under the seal, because historically such motions were denied and the risk that an IP address becomes known to a troll was very high. In this particular case (and other judge Zimmerman’s cases), though, I’m sure it is safe to file a motion under the seal using your IP address – it is implausible that judge Zimmerman won’t grant them all, especially if you reside not in Nothern California.

          I hope that judge Zimmerman’s actions create a good precedent, and if other judges follow his steps, my advice against using IP address in motions to quash will be modified.

  4. [...] until after the date on your letter, and some cases are dismissed entirely. Some judges have dismissed all Doe defendants except one, because of issues with the way Plaintiffs group all the defendants together. This is great for the [...]

  5. Doe DOA says:

    Why don’t they first start by getting search engines to remove at least the first page of search results that link to torrent sites before going after everyone? It’s kind of weird how the torrents are higher on the list then the official distributer of the copyrighted material.

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