A new page about a Pennsylvania’s frivolous lawsuit brought by a new troll, Jordan Rushie

Posted: August 6, 2012 by Raul in Housekeeping, M. Randazza
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Update 9/27/2012: Jordan appeared to be a decent fellow, and after some research and conversations with colleagues, he decided not to be involved in mass bittorent cases anymore (as a plaintiff’s counsel). We wish him the best of luck.

I have added a new page dedicated to a case filed in Pennsylvania’s local court — Liberty Media v. John Does 1-441. Raul wrote a nice overview of this case, which is duplicated below for casual surfers, those who don’t want to dive to the depths of this site. I only want to add a few points:

  • This case was filed by an otherwise reputable (although undeniably snobby) relatively young attorney, Jordan Rushie of Mulvihill & Rushie LLC. Since this case’s plaintiff is a gay pornography purveyor Liberty Media, even a moron in a hurry understands that Rushie is only a puppet, and Marc Randazza is the one who pulls the strings. Randazza is infamous for shaking down Liberty’s current and potential customers. Sure, this strategy brings some short-term cash to benefit a few, but extorting business’ targeted audience is an assisted suicide in the long run. I’m not even talking about ruined careers, families and lives. Marc Randazza surely learned how to count to One, and he became quite known as a First Amendment attorney. The problem is that his hubris prevented him from mastering bigger numbers, Eight in particular.
  • The entire business model of copyright trolls was never based on the law, it was always based on loopholes in the law, and this case is not an exception. By abusing local rules and misleading the court, Randazza and his devotees have finally stooped to the low area previously occupied only by such scum as Prenda Law. In the past Randazza and his admireres mocked John “Buffy” Steele and claimed that Liberty’s strategy of going after infringers is ethical: today I would like to hear any convincing argument why this lawsuit occupies a higher ground than Florida’s “Pure Law of Discovery” fishing expeditions run by con artists John Steele and Keith Lipscomb.

To avoid duplication, please discuss this case in the comment section of the cases’s page, not below.

Case overview

By Raul, copied from the page dedicated to this case

All warfare is based on deception.
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Such is the lawsuit entitled Liberty Media Holdings, LLC v. John Does 1-441; a deception being practiced upon the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in which the plaintiff is seeking pre-complaint discovery of the personal identifying information of 441 Comcast subscribers. Plaintiff has claimed that it needs this discovery in accordance with Pa. R. Civ. Procedure 4003.8  (writ of summons) so as to bring a future complaint for unjust enrichment and conversion against these individuals based upon their alleged pirating of plaintiff’s unspecified adult content during the period of 10/30/2011 through 2/2/2012.


Jordan Rushie

On 3/18/2012 Judge Allan L. Tereshko granted the plaintiff pre-complaint discovery by means of a subpoena on Comcast. Subsequently on 6/11/2012 Comcast filed a motion to quash the subpoena and a motion for a protective order which was denied on 7/13/2012. Plaintiff filed a petition on 7/20/2012 to hold Comcast in contempt of court for failing to produce the pre-complaint discovery which has yet to be decided. Comcast made a motion for reconsideration of the judge’s denial on 7/23/12 which the judge also denied on 7/31/12. Undeterred Comcast filed a motion for permission to take an interlocutory appeal of the judge’s denial of their motions to the Superior Court on 8/1/2012. One of the John Does filed a motion to quash the Comcast subpoena on 8/3/12 which is pending.

Does wishing to fight this lawsuit should look at some of its obvious problems:

  • Lack of subject matter jurisdiction: A future state lawsuit for unjust enrichment and conversion is preempted by the federal Copyright Act.
  • Lack of personal jurisdiction: TAC has pointed out that the large majority of the IP addresses are located outside of Pennsylvania and the individuals linked to those addresses may be outside of the court’s jurisdiction (long-arm statute).
  • Improper joinder
  • Damages: Unlike a copyright infringement lawsuit, there are no statutory damages for unjust enrichment or conversion. In all likelihood plaintiff’s damages would equal a lost sale (i.e. purchase price of the adult content). Plaintiff has admitted this in its motion to take pre-complaint discovery (unjust enrichment = “…film’s sale’s price, which is normally paid by law-abiding customers”). So assuming the high end of a retail sale for plaintiff’s content; $60 per film downloaded as damages.
  • The best grounds for a motion to quash comes from the standard for pre-complaint discovery: “Under no circumstance should a plaintiff be allowed to embark upon a “fishing expedition,” or otherwise rely on an amorphous discovery process to detect a cause of action he lacks probable cause to anticipate prior to the pre-complaint discovery process under this standard.” He said that he couldn’t find any previous case where pre-complaint discovery was used to obtain the identity of a John Doe, let alone 400 of them, which made this a fishing expedition. (This is a lawyer’s opinion: thanks to anonymous commenter for this update.)
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Comments
  1. “today I would like to hear any convincing argument why this lawsuit occupies a higher ground than Florida’s “Pure Law of Discovery” fishing expeditions run by con artists John Steele and Keith Lipscomb.”

    No you don’t really. If you wanted that, you’d contact me to ask me. Feel free. My number isn’t hard to find. I’ll give you 20 minutes of my time.

    • Kill All the Lawyers says:

      God, you’re an asshole.

    • Raul says:

      Pity that the distinction cannot be articulated in a comment because, I for one, am curious.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yet you won’t just spend the 20 minutes typing up a response here, so we have it in your own words. Probably because you are not confident enough in the answer to print it in public without the plausible deniability a private phone call allows. In any case you didn’t just come out and explain it because you don’t want to.

      And come on, the recent maneuver of “defending” a client in a BitTorrent case in a way that attempts to undermine other defenses is pretty sleazy.

      Still, it is satisfying to know this site bothers you enough to come over and whine within hours of a post going up.

    • Drifter says:

      I could not help but notice that you failed to answer SJD question or even really bothered to give a real and meaningfully articulate response to what she said. Also why what anyone with a function brain ask a copyright toll lawyer for answer to question about their trolling and expect an honest answer. I mean seriously, who do you think you are fooling here. You know damn well that you would not give anyone a truthful answer about any the serious legal abuses and troubling ethical issues found so abundantly in the litigation practices used by copyright troll groups and lawyers throughout United States of which you are most assuredly one of.

      Just because you cloak yourself in the costume of a 1st Amendment defender does not cleanse you of all your wrong doings nor does it somehow obfuscate your current trolling activities. You my good sir are a blowhard and douchebag of epic proportions who is nothing but an annoying shit stain plaguing the American legal system with your frivolous lawsuits and predatory litigation practices. I look forward to the day when you attempt to extort money from the wrong person who counter sues you and your client into oblivion. Then we will see how arrogant you are when your are standing in line for a meal at a soup kitchen because you are now penniless and homeless all because you chose to become an ass-hat copyright troll for greed.

    • that anonymous coward says:

      Awww gonna take your ball and run away? And I hadn’t even made it here yet to call you out.
      So tell us all your brand new idea for getting names in PA for a NV/CA based company against users scattered across the country.
      Have you fallen so far that your going to settle for people paying the retail price for the boring clips CF pumps out in the vain attempt to keep a boring porn brand alive?
      Or are they gonna take the settlement money and run out and do another bareback project in a foriegn country to drum up business?

      You as bad as Steele pookie, you claim we don’t know shit from a hole in the ground but you can’t stop coming here watching what we discover. If we were so wrong and you were so right you’d not bother.

      Exactly how in a bunch are your panties as I got ahold of this case so damn quick and got lots of publicity right off the bat?

      Oh and thanks for confirming your involvement and masterminding this new attempt at shakedowns. It was a missing card as the local for this case looks like he doesn’t have time to play, he has to do his paper route.

      So is this a swarm or are these Oron users? Come on now its that time in the movie when you gloat and reveal your whole plan right before we shove you off the cliff. Don’t let me down now, you know your ego won’t like it if you take all of this shit from me and don’t say anything in response… or are you scared of some Anonymous person on the interwebs is smarter than you?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Well I will say it doesn’t occupy a higher position that the garbage FL/AZ Pure Bill of Discovery case. It is the same general issue. Abusing the State courts withworthless claims just to obtain ISP subscriber information on the cheap. Unjust Enrichment and Conversion??? At least negligence was decent attempt. This is copyright law and you know the law better than many. It was a better attempt and probably got people to settle until the judges shot it down. Now everyone knows about the “Unicorn Tugboat” and what an unseaworthy vessel it is. Seriously, trying to raise yourself above Steele and Lipscomb????? Your Copyright Troll uniform is a different color, but it doesn’t change what it is. BTW, I didn’t see an answer from you when I Tweeted a question concerning my Web site. You stated that it incited violence (correct me if I’m wrong). I assume it was because of the name. Really??? Sad.

      DTD :)

    • SJD says:

      What about Twitter? Oh noes! Marco blocked me when Kate D., seeing more than one side of the story, started calling him out: it’s much more easy to lie when no one opposes. So our free speech connoisseur cowardly ran away from uncomfortable questions and remarks, as he always has been running from TAC in the past.

  2. Imakethelaw says:

    The issues that currently surround our economy and legislative attacks on the Constitution pale the insignificant antics and banterings of this legal venue. I shant give the trolls nor the porn industry a moment more of my energy. May they fizzle into the depths of a septic pond. mainstream porn has died. They are recording IP’s of all visitors to their sites for extortion revenue as a last ditch effort to make money. They are finished. We no longer need lawyers. With the rapid deterioration of our society, people will and must find justice outside of the courts. What we are dealing with here is two industries who sadly realize their days of living high on the hog are just about over. Imagine Greece x 4. You do not need to imagine it for long. In less than 1 year you will be living it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Looks like John Steele and Marc Randazza have decided to swap notes. Steele is maybe, finally, sort of going to name some defendants and Marc is going to get into the bill of discovery loophole business.

    Come on Marc, at the very least we can do the geolocation ourselves and see that you guys are playing games with jurisdiction, care to comment on that?

  4. J. says:

    I’m one of the Does in this case and I’m terrified.
    I contacted a lawyer who said he charges a flat $500 fee to hire him and that he would be able to bring the settlement down from around $8,000 to between $3-5k.
    I got the notice about the subpoena on the 2nd of this month and I only have until the 16th to do something.
    All of this legal stuff is way over my head and I’m freaking out.
    Ever since I got the letter from Comcast (my internet provider), I’ve been stressing out over this. Lost sleep, heart racing constantly, I’m always on the verge of tears.
    I haven’t told anyone in my family about this, just my friends. It’s hard to be with my family and not tell them a single thing about what’s going on with me right now. I haven’t told them because it’s just too embarrassing.
    Not sure what to do. Not sure if I should just ignore everything and wait to see if I get a settlement letter from Liberty Media and pay that, or go through a lawyer and settle through them. My worry is that if the settlement amount is the same either way, I would’ve been out hundreds of dollars even hiring the lawyer when I could’ve settled on my own and pay the same price. I also worry that without a lawyer, the settlement could be steep, around or more than $25,000.
    I only work 24 hours a week and I take the city bus to get around, so even meeting up with a lawyer is hard for me. I’ve thought about suicide if the settlement goes up that high, but then that might just mean I would be burdening my family with that debt. One of my other worries is that if I don’t do anything and Liberty Media gets my information, I wonder if my name would be associated with the type of content that I’ve allegedly downloaded. I don’t even have a facebook page so if friends or family were to Google me, nothing would show up. I worry that after this all goes down, I will show up on Google as the person who downloaded that kind of stuff, which would be so bad.
    What sucks is I’m against piracy. I buy all my music on iTunes, movies on Amazon.com and rent and stream movies from Netflix. I won’t even let my friends put their bootleg DVD’s in my blu-ray player when they come over to hang out. And this one incident is what gets me in trouble. :( So I hate that I’m going through this when I’m sure other people who have been illegally downloading stuff for a long time, just gets to sit back and relax.
    If there’s any advice anyone can give me, I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t help you but I’m in the same boat but I wanted to let you know you’re not alone. I’m losing sleep and my heart rate is constantly above normal. To say I’m terrified is an understatement. I too am thinking about ways to kill myself to avoid the shame from family and co-workers. Don’t know what to do. Everyone says wait it out but how can I live like this for months while this thing drags out?

      • Raul says:

        Glad you found this blog because you are not alone. Banish those destructive thoughts as these scumbags are not worth it. Comcast may very well ultimately prevail and this will become nothing more than an unpleasant memory. I have reached out to others about this, just hang in there.

      • recovering Doe says:

        Raul knows what he’s talking about. My information was up for grabs in the another case. I found this website, and have a family friend who’s an attorney, and I’ve found the same advice in both places.
        (1) Take a deep breath.
        (2) There’s no real legal process to serve you if you don’t give them any information.
        (3) Don’t answer if you know it’s THEM calling.
        (4) They prey on fear (guilt & anger), so don’t give into them.
        (5) Trust in your FAITH (God, karma), whatever it may be.
        (6) Let them give up before you do.

    • that anonymous coward says:

      @J and @Anonymous
      Step 1… Stop. Breathe. Take a deep breath, hold it, now blow it out.
      I’m TAC, glad to meet you. I’m here because I hate bullies, and your being bullied by this troll.
      You have fallen into the trap the troll has set, they want you terrified and freaked out.

      Your not alone in this, I think the current count is 300,000 “Does” have had their information sought in these sorts of cases.
      I have not heard any numbers mentioned as the settlement amount in this case, so the $8,000 seems awfully high. This is specifically spelled out in the filing as not being a copyright case, which means the standard scary number of $150,000 isn’t on the table.

      This “lawsuit” lacks merit on several levels, and is currently being challenged by Comcast as well as another Doe. It might get thrown out, it might not.

      Your concerned that people will “find out” about this, it should not be much more concerning than getting a letter from a Nigerian Prince who wants you to help him move millions out of the country. Trolls have sued – the dead, the blind, Senior citizens who can barely email… they don’t care if you actually did anything, they just want to shake you up so you will hand them money.

      Your making yourselves sick over this, and all “this” is… they saw an IP address they think was doing something bad. They have asked the court to tell them who was paying the bill for that account at the time. They are supposed to then use that information to find out who did the bad deed, but its much more efficient for them to scare the crap out of you and use your embarrassment and fear to pay to silence them.

      Unless you talk to them and say I did it, they have a very difficult path trying to prove you have done anything wrong.
      They really don’t want to name you and take you to court, it will cost them much more money to file another lawsuit, you might live in a state where they will then have to give a cut to a local lawyer to argue the case for them.

      Please stop and take another deep breath. Now let it out.

      There is another page where we are discussing this more indepth…

      http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/discussions/liberty-media-and-marc-randazza/liberty-media-v-john-does-1-441/

      When talking about yourself, be more general about yourself and your situation. We have been “blessed” with visits from the lawyer who is behind this case. Think about that for a minute, if his case is so airtight and perfect… why is he coming here and checking up on what we are doing?
      Because he is scared of us, we know he is a liar who bullies people and preys on their fear and we tell others this truth.

      Your not alone, you do not need to be afraid anymore.
      If you head over to the other thread, we can try and help you calm down and think clearly about this case and your fears.
      We are the people you can talk to about this, we can explain what will happen and why it is not the end of the world.
      Take a deep breath… now click that link. Read what other people targeted in this case are saying, if you have a question ask it. The only way to drive away that fear is to get educated and drive the fear away. We are here, we can help.

    • SJD says:

      if you read the “About” of this site you know that I’ve been in the same situation, thus I understand your feelings not with my logical mind only, but with the entire heart: I do remember fears, anxiety and some thoughts about some irreparable actions. So I assure you that — I don’t know how soon — your fear will fade away, and anger will gradually replace it.

      Of course we don’t have a crystal ball, but based on experience, many think that this frivolous fishing expedition will be dead due to Comcast’s involvement.

      I redacted your post a bit for your protection: email me if you want to know why.

  5. [...] Media v. John Does 1-441, Marc Randazza, Mulvihill & Rushie LLC 0 The header says it: this case is over for now. Although this dismissal is without prejudice, which means that the Does can be [...]

  6. Lisa says:

    Help! My family was contacted by the Trolls attorney today and they have told us that we need to hire an attorney. What are our best options? what should we do to fight this case!??? please e-mail me at skyangel22503@yahoo.com

  7. [...] of this blog remember that Liberty Media tried to exploit the very same loophole in the Pennsylvania civil law half a year ago. At that time, Marc Randazza [...]

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