Archive for May, 2012

No Agenda fragment about XArt

One of the most recent episodes of “No Agenda,” a popular podcast show, discussed, among other things, the copyright trolling phenomenon. One of two show hosts, Adam Curry, told the story about x-art.com (Malibu Media) and its owner, Adam’s former colleague, Brigham Field and his relations with “mobster” lawyers.

Apparently, it was the first time Adam heard about this legal plague. However, he (as any person who was taught the difference between good and bad by his parents) immediately recognized that it is nothing else but a “Mafioso operation” and that this “business” is ethically wrong no matter how lucrative it is.

There is an interesting bit: the porn purveyor gets only 10% of the collections. Seemingly, Brigham Field and his wife Colette are not really on top of what is going on and simply receives checks from the trolls who use his copyrights to harass citizens into paying ransoms. News outlets, when talking about these cases, often name plaintiffs, but barely mention troll lawyers (and sometimes do not mention them at all). However, such a small cut of the loot a pornographer receives leaves no room for speculation who is the boss.

In addition, Adam mentioned that “they stopped doing this because they thought it is inherently wrong.” I’m not sure if he meant x-art/Malibu Media by “they” at this point: Malibu Media still actively files mass lawsuits across the country; in 2012 alone copyright trolls have filed 144 cases in 11 districts against more than 2000 Does on behalf of Malibu Media (between 2/08/12 and 5/24/12; that’s almost 2 troll cases per working day filed nationwide!)

“No Agenda” has about half a million listeners, so it is great that so many people became aware of the ongoing scam.

I remixed only relevant 7 minutes of the episode for this post, but I encourage you to visit “No Agenda” website: listen to their podcasts and contribute.

SoundCloud Listen this fragment on SoundCloud (you can also download it from there).

 

Thanks to commenters who spotted this news last week, and of course to Adam Curry and John Dvorak.

Here is the list of “mob lawyers,” who keep assaulting semi-random Internet users on behalf of Malibu Media:

I have a question to Bar associations: can someone explain how these scumbags managed to correctly answer questions related to legal ethics during their Bar exams? I bet they were cheating.

Graham Syfert is an attorney from Jacksonville, Florida. Those who follow the news concerning copyright trolling phenomenon, know him as an author of popular self-help forms for alleged file-sharers, which included, a motion for protective order, a motion to dismiss, an affidavit of defenses, and a template for a motion to quash a subpoena issued to ISP. It’s not a surprise that many trolls attacked Mr. Syfert, which only shows that he hit the nerve. Graham states that he doesn’t defend pirates, and respects copyright law, but genuinely despises trolls’ extortion-like “business”, and he continues to help many trolls’ victims. He was the source of this story.

1. The move to Sunny Florida


Copyright troll
John L Steele

Back in August 2011, we first heard that John Steele filed a change of address in many of his federal cases, moving to a Miami address. “Steele|Hansmeier, PLLC” now had offices in Florida and in Illinois, but no one in the firm was admitted to practice law in Florida. Despite that, Mark Lutz, the paralegal for Steele|Hansmeier at that time, was placing calls from Florida, and soon their letter writing operation got underway from their Lincoln Avenue, Miami address. Before this move John Steele’s divorce law office was in downtown Chicago.

At that time, none of demand letters, now coming from his Lincoln Avenue address, stated where John Steele was licensed to practice. The practice of letter writing of this kind by an unlicensed attorney is unethical, but apparently not anywhere near as big of a deal as an Illinois attorney opening up a branch office in Miami without having any attorneys licensed in Florida. Graham Syfert, annoyed with the phone calls from out-of-state attorneys and clients asking him how John Steele was practicing in Florida, filed the first bar complaint of his legal career, against John Steele, partner of Steele|Hansmeier for opening a law firm in Florida without a license.

It may have been pure coincidence, but sometime around the time Graham filed his bar complaint, a new name of a Florida licensed attorney began showing up on the letterhead of Steele|Hansmeier on Florida’s demand letters, that of a Florida licensed attorney who, as I found later, was never agreed to participate in the shakedown factory, yet Steele fraudulently used that attorney’s identity (surprised?). They also, around that time, changed the signatures of their demand letters to include in what states they are licensed to practice. We can only imagine that they believed that the solution to jumping the gun on the Steele|Hansmeier Miami branch office was to add a Florida partner.

On October 20th, 2011, a short while after the bar complaint was filed, a new company was formed, with Kerry Steele, Mr. Steele’s wife, at the head. The address was the same office as the old Steele|Hansmeier location at 1111 Lincoln Road, Suite 400, Miami Beach, FL 33139. The name of the business was Miami Beach Consulting, Inc. This company is now dissolved. (A month earlier Kerry Steele was reported as working in her husband’s Chicago divorce law firm, Family Law Lifeline, as a manager. No doubt, Mrs. Steele got many talents previously attributed only to Julius Caesar.)

2. The end of Steele|Hansmeier, and the beginning of Prenda Law

On November 7, 2011, Prenda Law was incorporated in Chicago, Illlinois, with Paul Duffy at the head; on the next day, Prenda Law was incorporated in Florida, also with Paul Duffy at the head. This is atypical: normally, the Florida attorney would be listed as the officer, and by all means he should be listed instead of Duffy. Steele|Hansmeier vanished from the scene for a while. There was talk of John Steele’s retirement in Florida.

On November 14th, 2011, about two months after the bar complaint was filed, John Steele, perhaps because of Graham’s bar complaint or perhaps coincidence, was requested to sign an affidavit of no unlicensed practice of law in Florida.

 

This is becoming a tradition: you may remember, as it was widely reported in the news, recently a copyright troll associated with Copyright Enforcement Group, Terik Hashmi, was caught practicing law in Florida without license after he signed the exactly same type of affidavit, which has opened him to criminal prosecution.

 

Sometime near November 15th, 2011, Prenda Law took over the Miami office, and began filing pure bill of discovery cases in Florida. Such cases were already being filed by Keith Lipscomb of Libscomb, Eisenberg & Baker PL by that time.

Steele|Hansmeier was dissolved on January 13 2012. Prenda Law took its place, and appears to be a interstate partnership between Florida licensed attorney Joseph Perea and Illinois (as well as DC) licensed attorney Paul Duffy. Prenda Law employs many attorneys in obtaining John Doe information, all over the country. They write letters today, and still fail to include some of this basic information that might help determine where they are licensed to practice.

Prenda Law has started to e-mail their demand letters, from the Florida office in Miami, and those demand letters contain the name of a Florida licensed attorney Joseph Perea. These e-mails, are being sent by a Mark Lutz, a paralegal in Florida, who was featured in the Mark Lutz Remix. During the winter, Prenda had previously requested payments sent to their offices in Miami, and are now asking for ransom money to be sent to Prenda Law at John Steele’s office at 161 North Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois. Confusing! Even more confusing is that Paul Duffy’s office not at 161 North Clark Street: it is across downtown in a different high rise at 2 N. LaSalle. John Steele’s office, however, is confirmed to be in 161 North Clark Street. Perhaps the letter writing operation has stayed down south, but the money collecting operation has moved up north! Like birds, for the summer, headed north. They seem to be hovering back and forth between Chicago and Miami.

There is plenty of evidence out there regarding recent filings of John Steele being located in 161 North Clark St.

Graham was not wanting to speak regarding any more current events except the recent change in demand letter, and would only state,

I am again being bothered by people from out of state who cannot tell if they are dealing with an Illinois matter, a Florida matter, or a D.C. matter, and I hope something changes soon with this business model, or at least their letterhead. Or, maybe you can just get this story out there so that the people who receive these strange demand letters will have some idea of what is going on.

I want to conclude with my usual advice, which is applicable in 99% of cases:

  • Don’t pay these clowns. I understand it is very scary in the beginning, but take your time to get educated: you’ll thank yourself for not succumbing to fears and saving your money, starving the troll in the process.
  • If you can afford a lawyer, hire a lawyer. Not any lawyer, but one with a good heart and lots of experience with troll cases. This is a much better use of your money than paying a ransom. Trolls want to convince you that fighting is more expensive than settling. Not always true. Do your research: many lawyers charge very reasonable fees. If you can’t afford a lawyer, sit tight and don’t let this scam derail your life; unless a virtually improbable event of serving you with summons happens, there is no reason to worry.
  • Don’t talk to trolls: it is dangerous. Don’t overestimate your ability to keep potentially self-incriminating information to yourself: crooks have perfected the art of provocation; you never know which words will be used against you. Refer the caller to your lawyer or give a minimal response. Don’t answer any questions.
  • There are valid reasons to settle: for example, if dragging your name through the dirt can jeopardize your employment or marriage. In this case, if you are resolved to pay no matter how you despise feeding the troll, hire a lawyer to assist you. Don’t settle on your own: you will be scammed.

Two weeks ago a New York (Eastern District) judge Gary Brown made it clear that copyright trolls are not welcome in his district. His epic ORR (Order and Report and Recommendation) still reverberates in the online news (see the incomplete list of publications about Brown’s ruling at the end of my other post).


Federal judge
Colleen McMahon

Following Brown’s recommendations, a district judge Colleen McMahon completely destroyed troll business in the Southern District of New York yesterday: she dismissed all Does but #1 from “My Little Panties Two” case (11-cv-08170-CM) brought from under the bridge by a weretroll Mike Meier on behalf of a pornographer Digital Sins. “I am second to none in my dismay at the theft of copyrighted material that occurs every day on the internet. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to litigate, and so far this way strikes me as the wrong way,” judge concluded, preempting any doubts about her position regarding these abusive lawsuits.

It would be outstanding news half a year ago, but these days, when trolls are on the run, such events fill all the honest people with joy, yet at the same time we don’t exclaim “wow!” anymore, and that’s wonderful.

What about Does #1?

We always express our joy and congratulate Does who are dismissed from improperly joined cases. But what about the hapless Does who were unlucky to find themselves at the top of the trolls’ lists? Scapegoats as they seem, in reality are not in any more danger: trolls rarely pursue them further; it is not in trolls’ interest to spend their time and effort on random individuals when there are so many new uneducated fresh victims to extort.

After a spectacular downfall in Maryland, where chief district judge Deborah Chasanow assigned most of mass bittorent MD cases to herself and subsequently cut them to single Doe suits, Mike Meier was expectedly quick to use any excuses to get rid of his not-lucrative-anymore cases. For example,

  • 12-cv-00023-RWT: Doe #1 is dismissed because he “used a mobile device as he was traveling through New York. Doe #1 resides outside the jurisdiction of this Court.”

…and, back to this SDNY case,

  • 11-cv-08170-CM: Doe #1 is dismissed because “Plaintiff has received a notice from ISP for Doe #1 (Verizon) that Doe #1 cannot be located.” Note that this dismissal notice comes the next day after McMahon killed the lawsuit.

Given the rich history of documented lies produces by trolls, I would take these claims with a grain of salt and double-check this information: if Mike Meier could be caught lying, it wouldn’t be a surprise, yet would undoubtedly be another nail in the coffin of copyright trolling.

Updates

5/17/2012
Rob Cashman posted a very interesting in-depth analysis of this ruling.

6/20/2012
Raul’s follow-up featuring the same actors: Mike Meier has an audacity to continue fishing in the Southern District of New York. Judge McMahon is not impressed

By Raul
Disclaimer: This post in a way constitutes legal advice but is being submitted for discussion purposes only.

Since my last post regarding this matter, Does have been receiving letters from their ISPs and have been raising questions and concerns, which this post will try to address. Please keep in mind: a lot of this is based upon pure speculation and certain assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect, so be forewarned.

Before I start, I want to remind the rule #1: never talk to the troll! You may want to consider the “Richard Pryor Response” advocated by DieTrollsDie, but do it only if you clearly understand the perils, and exercise the utmost caution.

Q. I just received a letter form my ISP. What should I do?

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends upon your particular circumstances. As it will be discussed below, the odds that you will be named and sued in a state court are slim. I do not think that Does’ pro se motions to quash the subpoenas are working at the state level in these lawsuits. Please let us know if I am wrong. So if you are strapped for cash, can withstand some harassing letters, emails and, possibly, some phone calls, just sit tight. On the other hand, if you can afford to retain counsel who can file a motion to prevent or delay the release of your personal identifying information, do so. An attorney by the name of Celestine Dotson, whose number is (315) 454-6544, has appeared on behalf of at least one Doe in St. Clair, I don’t know anything about her, but I hope she is competent enough to make a difference, we’ll see. Likewise, the Electronic Frontier Foundation maintains a list of attorneys offering assistance with these kinds of lawsuits.

Q. What are the chances that I will be named in a lawsuit and served with a summons and complaint?

Very slim indeed. LMC’s Steve Jones has indicated that they have identified 6,500 Does as targets. Obviously, they are not going to sue that many individuals. However, a commenter (presumably John Steele) over at dietrolldie.com has boasted that he recently spent $4,000 on process servers (the people that hand you the summons and complaint). I find it remarkable that none of these served individuals have shown up at this blog or at dietrolldie.com yet. Nonetheless, assuming that figure is true, it means that Prenda has (or plans) to name and serve approximately, at the most, 65 Does or 1%, merely to help spread FUD. Consequently, your chances of being named and served hover at or below 1%. Prenda has associations or affiliations with trolls in FL, IN, VA, DC, TX, and CA. So your risk is slightly increased if you reside in those locales.

Q. In the unlikely event that I do get named and served, how will it play out?

In answering this question I am relying on the assumption that Prenda knows its Lightspeed complaint is largely garbage that will not withstand a careful judicial review, so it will drop those lawsuits in which such a review will occur. As I commented earlier, I think the rough parameters of Prenda’s Master Plan are:

  1. Get Doe info out of both St. Clair and Miami-Dade cases.
  2. Send extortion letters to the 6500 Does.
  3. Name and serve a very small percentage (at the most 1%) of Does in those state courts where Prenda has attorneys to spread FUD.
  4. If a named and served Doe retains an attorney and will not settle, Prenda will drop the lawsuit either before or at the time the Doe’s attorney interposes an answer or motion to dismiss.
  5. If a Doe does not retain an attorney, does not settle and does not put in a pro se answer or motion to dismiss, Prenda will wait 30 days and move for default. Get the default and shout it from the rooftop to spread more FUD. Prenda will have a hard time getting a sizable default judgment because Lightspeed’s damages are small ($40 ballpark plus court costs which would be less than $400 IMHO for a total default judgment).

Q. What is the Statute of Limitations for these various claims?

  • 2 years for the CFAA claim.
  • 1-4 years for the conversion and unjust enrichment claims; depending on the state, with most being either 1 or 2 years.
  • Civil conspiracy is a damages theory that needs to be tied to a wrongful act and the Statute of Limitations controls that wrongful act. In this case the theory dovetails with the conversion claim and the unjust enrichment claim, so the Statute of Limitations would be in the 1-4 year range.
  • 2-6 years for the breach of contract; depending on the state where the suit is filed.
  • The Statute of Limitations is working against Lightspeed and Prenda. This is because in the same ynot.com post Steve Jones indicated that he started compiling the list of alleged hackers back in December of 2010, and for those Does the Statute of Limitations began ticking away as it would for subsequent Does, once their IP address was discovered. So, say, you live in a state where the Statue of Limitations is 2 years for all the claims being asserted in Lightspeed’s complaint, and he discovered your IP address on December 10, 2010, which means that Lightspeed’s complaint against you will be time barred by the Statute of Limitations on December 11, 2012. With 6,500 Does to harass and threaten you can easily see how this becomes problematic as the trolls race the calendar.

    Q. Why do you think the breach of contract claim is especially moronic?

    For several reasons, but the main one is that the complaint alleges that unlawful hackers violated the membership agreements of its websites. The complaint can’t have it both ways: either the Doe is a unlawful hacker or the Doe is a member who breached the membership agreement, but the Doe cannot be both.

    Best of luck to all the Johns and Janes out there!


    ¹Pay attention to the address where deposition is set to take place: this is the official Prenda Law headquarters (a.k.a Troll Central).


    Copyright troll
    Douglas McIntyre

    TGIF!

    Copyright trolls are so busy extorting their fellow countrymen they have hard time keeping up with the court rules. Not all the judges tolerate sloppiness though. Copyright troll from Houston, Douglas McIntyre, a local goon for multiple troll masters (including Prenda and DGW), was lashed by a district judge Lynn N. Hughes in a short-but-sweet fashion:

     

    To those who can’t read the embedded document:

    Case 4:11-cv-04431 Document 11 Filed in TXSD on 03/16/12
    First Time Videos, LLC, Plaintiff, versus Does 1-46, Defendant.

    Order Striking Report

    The court ordered First Time Videos to report by March 7, 2012. When it had not reported by March 15, the court called its counsel to ask on the status of the case. A few hours later, First Time sent an e-mail to the court’s case manager attaching a three week old report. The next day, Fist Time filed it without a caption or a signature by counsel,

    The court is not an ex-girlfriend’s Facebook wall. All documents must be filed with the court, captioned, signed by counsel, and with service certified.

    The report filed by First Time on March 16, 2012, is struck

    Signed on March 16, 2012, at Houston, Texas

    Lynn N. Hughes
    United States District Judge

    Update

    6/19/2012
    Judge Hughes dismisses this frivolous lawsuit, with style.

    Since we broke the news about a game-changing ruling by a New York judge Gary R. Brown, a dozen or so news outlets wrote about this fantastic news, and I’m aware of at least three non-English articles (Spanish, German and Swedish). Good folks from SourceFed, Joe Bereta and Elliott Morgan, brought the most hilarious of all the stories about this groundbreaking event. There is nothing to add or remove. Enjoy and share:

     

    This video has 114,000 hits at this moment, and I couldn’t be happier: it is exciting that general public is getting aware about the rampant abuse of judicial system.

    By Raul and SJD

    Yesterday Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown submitted an Order & Report & Recommendation (ORR) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York involving four lawsuits, all of them related to the “blizzard of civil actions brought by purveyors of pornographic films alleging copyright infringement by individuals utilizing a computer protocol known as BitTorrent.” A lawsuit on behalf of a pornographer K-Beech had been brought by Frederic Abramson, and Aaron Kotzker had filed the other three lawsuits on behalf of Malibu Media. The judge decides to recommend that K-Beech’s third part subpoenas be quashed, severs all Does from the remaining lawsuits with the exception of Doe 1 and prohibits the troll from obtaining Doe 1’s telephone number and email address. In arriving at this conclusion the judge makes the following factual determinations:

    The factual defenses presented are vastly different and highly individualized. One movant — John Doe #16 — has stated that he was at work at the time of the alleged download. John Doe #2 states under oath that he closed the subject Earthlink account, which had been compromised by a hacker, before the alleged download. K-Beech, Decl. of John Doe #2, ¶5, DE [34-1]. John Doe #29’s counsel represents that his client is an octogenarian with neither the wherewithal nor the interest in using BitTorrent to download Gang Bang Virgins. DE [13]. John Doe #10 represents that downloading a copy of this film is contrary to her “religious, moral, ethical and personal views.” Mtn ¶5, DE [7]. Equally important, she notes that her wireless router was not secured and she lives near a municipal parking lot, thus providing access to countless neighbors and passersby.

    […]

    [I]t is no more likely that the subscriber to an IP address carried out a particular computer function — here the purported illegal downloading of a single pornographic film — than to say an individual who pays the telephone bill made a specific telephone call.

    The judge even points to troll Meier’s admission that there is a 30% rate of false positives in these lawsuits.

    [M]ost, if not all, of the IP addresses will actually reflect a wireless router or other networking device, meaning that while the ISPs will provide the name of its subscriber, the alleged infringer could be the subscriber, a member of his or her family, an employee, invitee, neighbor or interloper.

    Next the judge takes exception with the trolls’ “improper litigation tactics” citing this statement from a sworn Doe statement as but one example:

    Upon receipt of the Complaint, I reached out to Plaintiff and spoke to a self-described “Negotiator” in an effort to see if I could prove to them (without the need for publicly tying my name to the Complaint) that I had nothing to do with the alleged copyright infringements. The Negotiator was offered unfettered access to my computer, my employment records, and any other discovery they may need to show that I was not the culpable party. Instead, the Negotiator refused and was only willing to settle the Complaint for thousands of dollars. While the Negotiator said on October 24, 2011 that he would check to see if he could come down from the thousands of dollar settlement amount, the Negotiator has not responded to two voice mails that were left on October 25, 2011. Notably, the Negotiator justified the settlement amount because, in part, I would incur legal fees in hiring an attorney.

    He also quotes Judge Gibney, who found that the usual troll lawsuit is nothing more than a shakedown racket.

    Having made these factual findings, Judge Brown next makes the following determinations of law:

    1. K-Beech does not have a valid copyright registration, and its trademark infringement claim is idiotic (actually the judge decides that it fails to state a claim). Likewise the possible negligence claim is disposed of in footnote 1 as nonsense.
    2. That the trolls do not need the telephone numbers and email addresses of the Does to proceed with their lawsuits (they are only needed to further abusive settlement strategies).
    3. That the Does have an expectation of privacy in their internet activities.
    4. That the “most persuasive argument against permitting plaintiffs to proceed with early discovery arises from the clear indicia, both in this case and in related matters, that plaintiffs have employed abusive litigations tactics to extract settlements from John Doe defendants. Indeed, this may be the principal purpose of these actions, and these tactics distinguish these plaintiffs from other copyright holders with whom they repeatedly compare themselves.” Further “[t]he Federal Rules direct the Court to deny discovery “to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). This situation cries out for such relief”
    5. Permissive joinder is inappropriate for a host of reasons including that swarm joinder complicates the lawsuit and results in a waste of judicial resources.
    6. That “[i]n the four cases before this Court, plaintiffs have improperly avoided more than $25,000 in filing fees by employing its swarm joinder theory. Considering all the cases filed by just these three plaintiffs in this district, more than $100,000 in filing fees have been evaded. If the reported estimates that hundreds of thousands of such defendants have been sued nationwide, plaintiffs in similar actions may be evading millions of dollars in filing fees annually. Nationwide, these plaintiffs have availed themselves of the resources of the court system on a scale rarely seen. It seems improper that they should profit without paying statutorily required fees.”

    Even the footnotes in the ORR are a delight to read. An example is footnote 7 which reads:

    Plaintiff K-Beech’s rambling motion papers often lapse into the farcical. In its papers, counsel for K-Beech equate its difficulties with alleged piracy of its adult films with those faced by the producers of the Harry Potter books, Beatles songs and Microsoft software, and compare its efforts to collect from alleged infringers of its rights to the efforts of the FBI to combat child pornography. Mem. in Opp. at 4, 10, DE [22]. In an ironic turn, the purveyors of such works as Gang Bang Virgins, explain how its efforts in this matter will help empower parents to prevent minors from watching “movies that are not age appropriate” by ensuring that viewers must pay for plaintiffs products, and thereby effectively notify parents of such activity because “many parents would surely notice if they showed up on billing statements.” Id. at 7-8. It is difficult to accord the plaintiff, which features “Teen” pornography on its website, the moral high-ground in this regard.

    No doubt this is another super-milestone (the previous excellent ruling came from California a month ago), another nail in the coffin of the legal plague of copyright trolling. The order lists all the injustices and sleazy practices employed by the trolls. I have a feeling that we are not far away from hearing judges call trolls’ practices by their actual names: extortion, blackmail, and racket and recommend Attorneys General to investigate the scammers. This order means that trolls are not welcome in the Eastern district of New York anymore, but of course it will impact court decisions country-wide, and I foresee that more and more districts will follow EDNY’s steps pretty soon.

    Judge Brown concludes his excellent analysis (emphasis is mine):

    For all of the reasons set forth herein, it is respectfully recommended as follows:

    1. That the complaints in Malibu 26, Malibu 11 and Patrick Collins be dismissed, sua sponte and without prejudice, as to all defendants other than the individual designated as John Doe 1 in each action;

    2. That the complaint in K-Beech be dismissed, sua sponte and without prejudice, in its entirety; and

    3. That plaintiffs and their counsel in all four actions be directed that any future actions of a similar nature in this district be filed as separate actions as against each John Doe defendant, so as to avoid unfair outcomes, improper joinder and waste of judicial resources, and to ensure the proper payment of filing fees. See, e.g., DIRECTV, Inc. v. Armellino, 216 F.R.D. 240, 241 (E.D.N.Y. 2003) (Spatt, J.) (“plaintiff is advised that all future claims of this nature must be instituted separately against individual defendants”), (citing CSC Holdings Inc. v. Tack, CV 00–3555 (E.D.N.Y. June 16, 2000) (Seybert, J.)).

    I’m humbled by judge’s fairness and ability to listen to the public: I wish more judges look outside the sophistry of courtrooms and rule based on the common sense and the spirit, not solely the letter, of the Law.

    Interestingly, I have a strong suspicion that judge stumbled upon this blog: he mentions the Kevin Beechum involvement in criminal activity, which has not been widely publicized. I mentioned this fact in my post about Frederic Abramson, one of the trolls being lashed by the judge.
    Media coverage

    Bold: an article links back to this post (It’s fine not to or link to or mention this site: spreading the news is by far more important. Nonetheless, it’s always appreciated and makes us happy.)

    Also, don’t miss this amazing video!

     

    Page views since the beginning

    Yes, it has been one year and half a million page views since I fired my humble flashlight… Not all the wishes have been fulfilled: mass bittorent lawsuits flourish, uneducated Does settle, trolls continue inventing new ways to game the judicial system.

    Yet the past year was not spent in vain. This site, as well as DieTrollDie’s and others, is super-visible on the Internet and anyone, who knows how to search the web, finds us in no time. As a result, the knowledge (and anger) kicks in faster than fear manages to take over one’s senses and ability to think critically. It is difficult to estimate, but I’m sure that a significantly smaller number of people settle these days, and one of the ways to stop the speculative invoicing disease is to cease feeding it’s bearer — the troll.

    Of course, we will win. I am indefinitely grateful to everyone who is about to make it happen.

    I want to ask for a small favor: please answer the following easy question. Be comfortably honest: I don’t have any means to see the poll log and hence to match IP addresses with results, so your constitutional right to anonymous speech is respected. I’m just curious.