Gibbs, while pointing his finger to Prenda, has been choosing his words carefully though, and employing so painfully familiar weaseltalk, managed not to call the real criminals by name.
Judge Otis Wright, tired of the said weaseltalk, issued yet another order yesterday, consolidating five Prenda’s cases for the purpose of the March 11 sanctions hearing, and mandating Gibbs to answer simple questions directly and unambiguously (a skill that this miserable troll is obviously lacking):
Brett Gibbs is hereby ordered to respond to the following questions in a separate brief, to be submitted by March 1, 2013:
- The names and contact information of the “senior members of the law firm that employed Mr. Gibbs in an ‘of counsel’ relationship.” (Gibbs Resp. 2.);
- The names and contact information of the persons who make “strategic decisions . . . whether to file actions, who to sue, and whether to make a certain settlement demand or accept an offer of settlement.” (Gibbs Resp. 2.);
- The names and contact information of the “owners of these copyrights.” (Gibbs Resp. 2.) If these owners are business entities, then provide in addition the names and contact information of the principals of these entities.
- The names and contact information of the principals of AF Holdings LLC and Ingenuity 13 LLC.
I envision Gibbs whining about such a short time given to him to produce answers. Yet, just stop and think for a moment: how long would it take to answer these questions for an honest attorney employed by a reputable law firm that conducts legal and respectable business? Five minutes? Ten?
Additionally, the judge ordered that
The parties may each file a supplemental brief, limited to five pages, addressing the issues raised in the parties briefs submitted on February 19, 2013. These supplemental briefs shall be filed by March 4, 2013.
So, expect more crocodile tears from one side and the sound of a hammer hitting another nail in the coffin of copyright trolling from the other.
Last, but not least, Judge Wright is damn serious about burying Prenda:
Further, Mr. Gibbs is reminded to appear in person at the March 11, 2013 hearing.
I would say it is safe to buy non-refundable tickets to Los Angeles if you want to attend one of the most important hearings in the history of Prenda’s downfall. And, in the meantime, John Steele and Paul Hansmeier will have a lot of uncomfortable talking to do during this weekend in Utah.
In other news
- Enraged by abusive lawsuits, anonymous troll slayers fight back by Timothy Lee.
Brett Gibbs replied to the Judge Wright’s order (embedded above) in the evening of March 1st, 2013:
- John Steele and Paul Hansmeier were correctly named as the “senior members” of Steele Hansmeier PLLC / Prenda Law / LW Holdings LLC (“Livewire“). Paul Duffy was mentioned as Prenda’s sole principle.
- Gibbs refused to provide their personal addresses and phone numbers in an open document, citing the publicly advertised number and Washington DC’s virtual office instead. Agreed to file the personal information under seal.
- Gibbs claimed that “upon information and belief” both AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 were organized “under the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis,” provided the address (Springates East, Government Road, Charlestown, Nevis — the address that is a “home” to a shitload of companies).
- Mark Lutz was identified as a CEO of both fake corporations. He lives and works in Las Vegas, his address is not known to Gibbs, only the phone number. Agreed to file the phone number under seal.
- One copyright (“Popular Demand”) was transferred from Heartbreaker Films LLC to AF Holdings, the other two copyrights (“A Peek Behind the Scenes at a Show” and “Five Fan Favorites”) were assigned to Ingenuity 13 directly (it is not clear who was the initial owner: naturally Ingenuity 13 did not produce the smut).
- Neither Alan Cooper nor Salt Marsh has been mentioned at all.
Mysterious Anonymous commented:
Gibbs’ response to the request for contact information is filed. Total load of crap, i.e. he doesn’t provide the contact information requested “out of an abundance of caution” and wants to file it under seal.
I called that.
These guys are so pathetic, using public resources to play the blackmail, pay us or else we name and shame game and of course they don’t want anyone to know who they are. I’m sure, given the documented shadiness of everything Steele has touched, Judge Wright considered the possibility that lots of people want a piece of these scumbags, and if he wanted to give Gibbs the option to file under seal, he would have.
It is also clear that Lutz is being set up as the fall guy. Why else would he suddenly become CEO of all of the Steele’s creations? No wonder he had the sense to try fleeing to Mexico, too bad that didn’t work out for him, soon he’s probably going to wish he stayed in spite of the muggings and jail and whatever the hell other trouble he got himself into. I would suspect Lutz is being used as their fake CEO without his knowledge or permission a la Cooper, but since he is still making calls and should be able to use the Internet, there’s no way he doesn’t know. That may explain why he’s calling as Jeff Schultz or whatever, it would be kinda weird for the CEO of a real company to make dunning calls personally.
Nice try guys but with all the dirt Pietz and Ranallo dug up regarding Steele’s ties to these frauds, I somehow doubt he is going to forget about the Alan Cooper thing just because they say Lutz is CEO now. It’s looking like Gibbs really is backed into a corner here, for some reason he is not willing to dox these guys even to save his own ass, but Wright does not seem likely to put up with this crap.
As directed by Judge Otis Wright, at least one of the parties, Morgan Pietz submitted his last (before the hearings) brief in support of sanctions. At the same time, Cory Doctorow posted his very emotional article on BoingBoing. In my mind these two write-ups are mysteriously connected. Connected by a clear message from the bottom of the heart of every honest individual: “Enough is enough!”
A bit later, Gibbs filed his brief (via counsel). Nothing to comment on here, except the fact that the course on trying to clean himself up by blaming Prenda for all the wrongdoings was unambiguously confirmed:
[...]the Pietz Response relies on guilt by association in attempting to assail Mr. Gibbs for his mere association with, and the alleged activity of, Steele Hansmeier PLLC (“S&H”) and Prenda Law, Inc. (“Prenda”).
Mr. Gibbs no longer has a relationship with Prenda or Livewire Holdings LLC. He is no longer counsel of record for any cases involving Ingenuity and is counsel of record in one case for AF Holdings pending AF Holdings retaining new counsel.
- TechDirt: Prenda’s Brett Gibbs Finally Answers Some Questions; No Mention Of Alan Cooper by Mike Masnick.
- On the update 2:
- TechDirt: Prenda Law Showdown Happening Monday: Judge Orders Everyone To Show Up In Court by Mike Masnick.
- ArsTechnica: Angry judge calls porn troll’s bluff, orders entire firm to court by Timothy Lee.