Copyright troll of the week
So I want to use these powers to expose those smaller trolls, noting that what’s fair is fair: they use legal knowledge — the weaponry they perfectly mastered — to abuse the judicial system, while their tactics remain technically legal; and I use one of few legal weapons available to me: Internet with its amazing ability to shed light on the dark corners where copyright trolls dwell. I’ll try to write small posts like this one as often as I can, so that any prospective client of a troll lawyer could find out his or her dark secrets easily. And yes, I will keep choosing embarrassing titles deliberately.
So, meet this week’s troll:
Joseph C. Peiffer
FISHMAN HAYGOOD PHELPS WALMSLEY WILLIS & SWANSON, LLP
201 St. Charles Avenue, 46th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70170-4600
Tel. (504) 586-5259
Fax. (504) 586-5250
Attorney for Plaintiff 4: Twenty Media Inc.
Mr. Peiffer has filed a mass bittorrent lawsuit on January 10, 2012 against 1,341 Does alleging illegal sharing of a porno movie with a classy name “Teen anal sluts.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first mass copyright infringement case filed in Louisiana.
And who is the plaintiff? A shady company registered in Seychelles, as I believe, for a sole purpose of procuring copyrights and using them to extort settlements, and no doubt with the ultimate goal “to promote useful arts,” as written in the Constitution. This “company” does not even have a registered URL: the only contact information listed is Seychelles address and firstname.lastname@example.org email. I would love to see a proof that this company even exists — nothing can be found on the Internet, and even searching the Seychelles International Business Authority website yields nothing.
Also, unlike in cases with some smarter trolls (Gill Sperlein, for instance), who adapt and don’t use the arguments that were already defeated in many courts, this lawsuit is so last-year:
- Joinder. The complaint lists 3 separate swarms, while even participating in a single one did not justify joinder in many judges’ eyes.
- Jurisdiction. This is simply laughable: only 7 of 1,341 Does reside in Louisiana, and Mr. Peiffer admits that.
One particular statement regarding jurisdiction is arrogant and funny at the same time:
Defendants nationwide purposefully availed themselves to the jurisdiction of this Court and should anticipate being haled into court in this State.
Another interesting detail:
Copying (or “stealing” if we use trolls’ own misleading terminology) other trolls’ complaints (including misspellings – see Sperlein’s complaint, p. 4 for example) inevitably leads to embarrassing bloopers. So, reading the complaint attentively, we first learn that
16. Plaintiff is a Seychelles company located at Global Gateway 2970, Rue De LaPerle, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles, that markets and distributes motion pictures
43. Plaintiff’s Motion Picture is easily discernable [sic] as a professional work. Plaintiff created the Motion Picture using professional performers, directors, cinematographers, lighting technicians, set designers and editors. Plaintiff created the Motion Picture with professional-grade cameras, lighting, and editing equipment.
Yet another thought. Neither complaint, nor any other currently submitted document contains any hint on where and if this “work” can be bought legally. This blog’s readers searched and all they found were torrent links. In many porn troll cases I saw references to websites where allegedly shared porn could be purchased. Not here. If an illegally copied “work” cannot be purchased, all the damage claims are effectively moot. So in addition to many wrongs described herein, we probably deal with a brazen honeypot scam. So much for an attorney who “was named as one of the fifty Leaders in Law by New Orleans City Business Magazine”. Note that I will be happy to remove this paragraph if I’m pointed to an online store that carries the title in question.