Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne encourages copyright troll victims to file complaints with his office

Posted: August 27, 2012 by SJD in Copyright Enforcement Group
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A month ago, KGUN9-TV (Tucson, Arizona) aired a program about copyright trolls. Anchor/reporter Tammy Vo, while talking about a mother of two Jenny Phan, an apparently innocent victim of a local CEG-affiliated troll Wayne Carroll, did an excellent job presenting to the general audience the ongoing rampant abuse of judicial system. Unlike a recent sloppy reporting by a Las Vegas TV station, Ms. Vo did her job diligently, researched this topic deeply, and as far as I know, this rather expressive program had a significant resonance in Tucson and the entire state of Arizona.


Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne

To our pleasant surprise, this theme was not closed with that program: apparently, Tammy Vo continued to investigate one of the most shameful “legal” scams in recent history, and, as a result, she interviewed a man who has a real power to put an end to semi-legal extortion in his state: Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time when a state attorney general speaks about this issue. In the video, Tom Horne looks polite and friendly, but what he says in a calm and casual voice must be sending shivers down the spines of trolls and their co-conspirator porn purveyors:

“I’m not aware of any legal basis for why you would be responsible for someone else’s wrongful acts if they wrongfully accessed your computer” said Horne. He also says that if there was no reasonable basis to believe that Jenny pirated the porn, threatening her for money would be extortion.

Ms. Vo mentioned a couple of examples when trolls have been preying on the most vulnerable people — immigrants.

“If they are targeting immigrants, then that would be a bad sign and indicate they’re doing it because the immigrants don’t know how to defend themselves and it could be an aggravating factor for any action” said Horne.

Hearing that, I couldn’t help remembering a sad story of a clearly innocent immigrant who was conned into paying by California troll Gill Sperlein a year ago. I hope that soon such predatory assaults will not be possible anymore.

It is difficult to overestimate the significance of an attorney general weighing in on this investigation, even if he would simply articulate his opinion. However, he went farther than that: he encouraged victims to overcome illusionary embarrassment and file complaints — something that I, DieTrollDie, and Rob Cashman have been advocating for a long time:

The Attorney General’s office would like you to file a complaint with them if you feel that you’ve been wrongly accused of pirating porn. To do that, click here. Scroll to the bottom of the screen to access printable or online complaint forms.

It is clear from the program that Mr. Horne sincerely was not aware of the problem, and just learned about it. Someone had to inform him: in this case, it was a journalist, but it could very well be any victim. Look, we have been witnessing a Florida Bar investigation of troll Joseph Perea, and this investigation would not start if not for a pissed off innocent Doe, who filed a complaint. And it is just the beginning.

In order to win, you have to pick up the fight, and in order to secure powerful allies, you should reach them, and you have to be persistent if at first you are not heard.
Update

There is a follow-up 8/24/2012 KGUN9-TV story that I overlooked: More threats for Tucson mom accused of dirty deed.

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Comments
  1. Subscribe says:

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  2. Raul says:

    Even if you are out of state and are being harassed by AZ based pornography producers such as CP Productions, Hard Drive Productions or Lightspeed Media Corp., you can file a complaint with Mr. Horne’s office as I am quite sure they will be anxious to investigate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i HOPE HOPE HOPE horne drops the hammer on these fools. they fucked with the wrong state. seriously though i second what raul says if you are either in Arizona or are being wrongfully accused by ANY ARIZONA BASED PORNOGRAPHER please contact horne about it. if he get 100+ hits about this he will have to dig a bit, if he gets 1000+ complaints there will be no stopping some sort of formal intervention. at&t and comcast will bankrupt lmc, and horne will put jones in jail and/or freeze his assets. yay for good news days.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d love to see this get to the point of the State of Arizona, AT&T, and Comcast all duking it out court over Jones’ assets. If he gets 500 complaints he’ll have to do something. I really think that he just wants a handful on each company because he’s chomping at the bit to open an investigation but needs more than “someone told me about it.” Since they’re all Prenda clients, enough complaints showing a pattern of racketeering which could and likely would result in a giant Arizona RICO criminal clusterfuck with John Steele as the ringleader. Oh how great would that be.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Horne’s gonna HAVE to do something after a stack of complaints coming from Does in all 50 states plus territories. LMC is already in trouble and HDP is…still in trouble. This won’t be good for either of them, or for “Chica’s Place.” Steve Jones will have AT&T, Comcast, and the Arizona AG coming after his ass if this all works out…wow that was a well thought out strategy, wasn’t it Steve? Using the “I relied on advice from my counsel” won’t fly.

  5. anon says:

    Updated-KGUN9-TV (Tucson, Arizona) August 23, 2012 story:

    http://www.kgun9.com/news/local/167285935.html?hpt=ju_bn6

  6. anon says:

    More threats for Tucson mom accused of dirty deed – Aug. 24, 2012 KGUN9-TV (Tucson, Arizona)story:

    http://www.kgun9.com/news/local/167403035.html

  7. Anonymous says:

    Horne, not Horney.

  8. that anonymous coward says:

    *tilts head to the side and listens carefully*
    Hear that creaking noise? Its the scales of Justice slowly starting to lean back towards the Does.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s not like it’ll be hard for the AG to substantiate the complaints since all of the stuff people will be sending in will be dated letters, CDs full of timestamped MP3s of voicemails, a dated copy of the subpoena received from your ISP and that’s about it. You do have to provide your name on the complaint otherwise they can’t proceed, and your name will go to the opposite party/respondent. I doubt a forensic examination would even be needed since this is more about a criminal enterprise than actual legitimate infringement claims. Horne would need like five complaints per AZ plaintiff.

    Since they’re all Prenda clients, he can tie them to Prenda. This can and likely will turn out very very bad for “Chica,” HDP, LMC, and Prenda (and maybe its attorneys).

  10. Watching the fall says:

    Really, the first the AG has heard of it? This is one of the first resources the police and FBI pointed me to back in late December or early January. My complaint is on file! I don’t want to read between the lines but I think more is happening behind the scene

    Excellent to see the media is covering it now so this thing is not going to get filed in File 13. The power is in numbers here people. They have a huge case load so we need to unite and bring awareness to this issue. I’m pretty sure the people of AZ will not look kindly on this sort of thing. And keep in mind that the trolls are always asking for a jury trial. It would be interesting to see what the prudent interest is in AZ for this type of activity. I don’t thing think the conservatives and Mormons would condone such activity–especially filmed in their neighborhoods.

    I would love to hear Mr. Lightspeed’s commentary here!

    • Anonymous says:

      It takes a while to build a RICO case, which I believe is entirely feasible given the circumstances. CP Productions, HDP, and LMC all located in AZ, all represented by Prenda or its predecessor. Since Prenda is foreign to AZ, the FBI would have to investigate and build a case.

  11. SuperFly says:

    I have been saying for some time that the trolls will get their asses kicked if they poke around Tucson. They may get away with some crap in Phoenix but Tucson is an entirely different animal and if they don’t realize it and real damn soon it’s gonna bite them in a way they are not gonna like. My fellow Tucsonan got Tammy Vo’s interest in the story. I happen to be friends with someone who is quite a bit higher on the food chain at KGUN 9, and KGUN 9 is the premier news station in Tucson. When that station runs news it gets noticed, period. And just to let the trolls know up front, Tom Horne DOES NOT! back down. Arizona has the tendency to make the news, and I sincerely hope we have a lot to do with crushing troll operations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Prenda’s already stuck its honey-covered dick into a massive bee-hive and been stung. This has the potential of being much much worse. It’s one thing to go against AT&T and Comcast…and lose. It’s another to go against a state AG, especially a pitbull like Horne. It’s comparable to sticking your entire head into the mouth of a very large and very pissed off grizzly bear…or even standing in front of it and letting the bear bitchslap you with its wall clock sized paws.

  12. Anoonie says:

    Now if only trolls would get this kind of exposure in the state of Florida.

    • Anonymous says:

      AG Bondi isn’t aware this is going on in her back yard? She’s a regular on Fox News, I’m sure she’s pro-family values, therefore anti-porn.

  13. rob8urcakes says:

    This article has me experiencing ambivalent, swinging emotions from shock & horror that any Attorney General is not already well up-to-speed with the underhand and unlawful activities of the Nation’s copywrong trolls.

    But then I get a feeling of outright elation as we know that all Trolls shrink from the light, and yet that’s exactly what the Tuscon AG is going to shine on them (at long last).

    This article will hopefully be updated as we see the Trolls going to Court and being prosecuted by the AG – now THAT would be oh sooooo sweet :)

    • I get a bad feeling every time I think of the attorney generals in SO MANY STATES now still sitting on their chairs and NOT taking action, when no doubt HUNDREDS of Does have called and complained. I know they know because I myself have complained and have sent Doe Defendants to complain. The problem is that a few calls here or there don’t do anything — they are too comfortable on their government salary with their cushy reelection funds sponsored by “copyright-friendly” organizations to lift their privileged finger. There needs to be some kind of organized campaign, just as the EFF does with the legislators when a bill comes up which threatens our freedom.

      • AC says:

        “There needs to be some kind of organized campaign, just as the EFF does with the legislators when a bill comes up which threatens our freedom.”

        Then maybe that’s exactly what we need to do. This seems to be the obvious place to organize such a campaign. Maybe we can start a topic specifically dedicated to such a campaign, and start linking to information for each state’s AG, creating a repository of form letters for each plaintiff, etc.

        • Anonymous says:

          Unless Prenda sues all of Cook, Lake, and/or Will Counties, fucks with a friend (crony) of the Madigan family, or sues a bunch of minorities in the aforementioned counties, AG Madigan (Illinois) won’t do a damn thing and even if she is made aware, she still won’t do a damn thing.

          Same with the legislature. They’ve got bigger problems like trying to pass more gun control laws (which are then overturned by either the Seventh Circuit or SCOTUS), permitting Amish people to have photo-less IDs and driver’s licenses (why the hell not defeat the purpose of an ID since if you’ve ever driven in Illinois, you know that the DMV must just hand out licenses), allowing semis to go just as fast as everyone else (that’s my favorite since it’s a moronic law and was sponsored by “my” State Senator who’s a moron), a fine imposed on anyone who improperly recycles electronics devices, yada yada. Why would they wanna deal with an actual issue like an interstate extortion racket of Biblical proportions operating in their own back yard? Oh God why haven’t I moved to a less fucked up state.

      • Anonymous says:

        Heh I doubt that the Illinois SA, Lisa Madigan, has much time to read the news since she has her hands full at the moment with all kinds of lawsuits against her, the ISP, and the State of Illinois for multiple Constitutional violations, most notably the state’s big “fuck you” to the Second Amendment. She’s a named defendant in two of those cases. She also sued S&P for “enabling the financial crisis” and some for-profit school for “deceptive marketing.” Yeah, Lisa, we don’t have any bigger problems here than for-profit schools and Standard and Poor’s. Oh and her daddy is the Speaker of the Illinois House of Reps and Chair of the Illinois Democratic Party. Bottom line, the State of Illinois doesn’t give a shit about anything but trivial garbage so getting a complaint to the SA here is nearly impossible. I mean, look at how long Steele pulled this shit and he’s still pulling it in family court apparently. The legislators, they’d rather pass bills regulating colors of cotton candy (I just made that one up but they did pass something similar) rather than even visit the issue of state pension reform even though the state is damn near bankruptcy.

        • that anonymous coward says:

          So you would have a sad if I pointed out we have a National Vanilla Cupcake Day as well as a National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Our tax dollars at work… we have people living in cardboard boxes but damn it we need cupcake days!

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh, yes, instead of pension reform they passed a bill allowing miniature horses to be used as guide…horses.

          “You heard that right. Under a measure the House sent to Gov. Quinn Thursday night – the evening members were supposed to consider a cost-saving pension bill – people with disabilities could use miniature horses as service animals in public places, much like guide dogs are used.”

          Today, Governor Quinn, who is Blagojevich’s former Lt. Gov and won the popular vote but only won 3 out of 102 counties in the state, vetoed a Chicago suburb Democrat sponsored bill to expand gambling which would have brought in millions in revenue, on the grounds of that it lacked “strict ethical standards and comprehensive regulatory oversight.” Ethics…Illinois…Blagojevich…Ryan…Cook County…where to begin.

    • that anonymous coward says:

      ohai rob!
      funny running into you here ;)

  14. Pho-Q says:

    Amerika, what a pho-ked up country.

  15. [...] spend it on a trusted attorney. And, of course, complain, complain, complain: to the media, FBI, Attorneys General, Bar associations. One voice can be ignored, ten voices can be ignored, but hundreds and thousands? [...]

  16. [...] Arizona continues to amaze me: first it was Adam Sekora, who continues to confuse (and scare) extortionists by his unusually strong resolution to fight to the end and win. And now we have David with his Answer. Oh, I almost forgot about Arizona’s Attorney General calling trolls’ MO “extortion” on camera. [...]

  17. [...] my (and not only my) opinion, Mr. Lipscomb’s “business” is better described as an extortion racket rather than a mere “bastardization of the litigation process.” Yet Lipscomb took an offense and [...]

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