Archive for the ‘Community contributions’ Category

By Kat Anon and TAC

If for some (frankly, inexcusable) reason you know nothing about yesterday’s Prenda smackdown resulted from the April hearing in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, these articles will bring you up to speed:

 

Now, enjoy the movie:

 

 

A community member, who prefers not to reveal his name at this time, wrote this thorough analysis of a recent pseudo-technical Malibu’s missive. I think it is very good and will help defense attorneys.

Sentence-by-sentence analysis of Nicoletti on IPP
Judge Frederick Kapala

On February 6 Paul Nicoletti filed a response to a defendant’s motion to compel (embedded below). The defendant in this case (Malibu Media v Hind, et al, INSD 12-cv-01117) demanded that Malibu hand over, among other things, the PCAP files that IPP collected. The section at III(A)(1), “The Nature of IPP’s Evidence” (starting at page 4) is possibly the most detailed description yet of precisely what IPP does — and what they have to hide. Here I go through sentence by sentence, explaining what the significance of each sentence is.

IPP establishes a direct TCP/IP connection with a computer that is distributing a “piece” of Plaintiff’s copyrighted work.

Nothing terribly controversial here. The use of the term “direct” is somewhat odd — the IPP servers most certainly do not have a direct physical connection to the defendant in question. On the networking front, assuming that Nicoletti isn’t just an attorney far out of his element and making stuff up, we are apparently to conclude that IPP does not make use of proxies or VPNs. (This will be important later.) TCP/IP is only mentioned to lend the sentence a false air of technical gravitas.

Note that it is never mentioned precisely how IPP finds this computer…

The “piece” is a packet of data. The packet of data correlates to Plaintiff’s copyrighted work because it has a unique cryptographic hash value.

Here Nicoletti trips up. Yes, each BitTorrent piece is accompanied by a cryptographic hash. (In traditional BitTorrent, these hashes are in the .torrent file.) However the only thing that can be calculated is whether the downloaded piece is what the .torrent file describes.

There is no way any investigator could a priori say that because the piece corresponds to its hash that it corresponds to a portion of an X-Art movie. In fact, downloading the entire torrent from the defendant and hashing it would not help; the video file spread on BitTorrent would generally not be identical to the file sold by X-Art¹. This is why Tobias Fieser declared in 2012 — in what I can only assume was a poor attempt at a joke — that after the torrent was downloaded from a host he would sit down and watch the whole thing side-by-side with a copy of the movie provided courtesy of X-Art.

Again, Nicoletti uses big technical-sounding words to mask the fact that he has no idea what he’s saying. Spoiler alert: this will be a recurring theme going forward.

Cryptographic hash values act as digital fingerprints. They are long alpha-numeric codes.

They’re binary (hexadecimal when displayed), Nicoletti, not alphanumeric.

Via the algorithms governing the hash system, hash values are capable of being calculated with the type of mathematical certainty and precision as 2 plus 2 equals 4.

This is largely meaningless chest-pounding. He is trying to convince a non-technical audience that the existence of cryptographic hashes is incontrovertible (“mathematical”, even!) evidence of infringement. The argument does not hold water. In fact, there is no argument there, just rhetoric and fluff.

Next paragraph.

IPP servers are synchronized to both an atomic clock and GPS clock.

This just refers to NTP; Tobi Fieser has said so before. It means that their servers’ clocks can be considered somewhat accurate (in Fieser’s own words, to about 1/10 s). This is so the logs have the correct time. This is standard practice for pretty much every server in the world.

Now we finally get to the meat of the matter: the PCAP files. Nicoletti:

IPP logs transactions between its servers and a person distributing a piece of a copyrighted work on a log file. Each transaction is saved in what is called a PCAP. A PCAP is an electronic recording of the transaction. It is analogous to a video recording. The software that IPP uses to create PCAPs is called TCPDump. TCPDump is one of a handful of widely recognized forensically sound Packet Analyzers. It is an open source free software program.

A “PCAP”, i.e. packet capture, is not analogous to a video recording. It would be more like the results of a wiretap. (In fact, a packet capture is precisely that: a recording of every packet of internet traffic going in and out of a computer.) Regarding tcpdump (properly all lowercase), yes, it is a venerable piece of software whose reliability is beyond reproach, but there’s nothing “forensically sound” about it. Not sure what it being open source has to do with anything.

It turns out that Nicoletti’s exposition is also bad, so let’s skip ahead a bit…

PCAP files can be read by anyone with the equipment to read them. The information contained in them can also be converted to word documents. The PCAPs speak for themselves and conclusively establish that the infringing transaction occurred. IPP charges Plaintiff to produce PCAP files. At trial, Plaintiff intends to introduce one PCAP file for each copyrighted work as well as the log files associated with the Defendant. Put another way, Plaintiff does not intend to introduce the thousands of PCAP files that evidence each infringing transaction committed by Defendant. That evidence is contained in the log file which, as previously stated, is also simultaneously created and saved in the same way that the PCAPs are created. To be clear, Plaintiff will produce to Defendant everything that it intends to introduce at trial. And, Defendant can subpoena IPP to produce any other evidence that Defendant wants from IPP.

You might have noticed that IPP really, really doesn’t want the PCAP files published. Why? Let us back up and cover what we skipped to find out:

Each PCAP covering each transaction is stored on a WORM tape drive. So too is the MySQL database log file to which the PCAP correlates. WORM stands for “write once, read many.” IPP uses a WORM drive because it is impossible to modify data after it is written onto a WORM drive. In addition, it is impossible to delete any data, outside of destroying the tape drive itself. Additionally, within twenty-four hours of a PCAP file’s creation, a German government-issued time stamp is placed on the WORM drive.

Now the reason is laid bare. The “German government-issued time stamp” is a requirement under the German Digital Signature Act. (There is no corresponding requirement under US law.) I have to correct Nicoletti once more—the timestamps (formally, Qualifizierte Zeitstempel, ”qualified timestamps”) are not issued by the German government, but by approved private “certifiers”. The function of the timestamp is to certify that some file existed at a particular time (the time of submission to the certifier).

Given a file and its qualified timestamp (in reality, a digital signature), you can confirm that the file you have been given is the same one that was submitted to the timestamper at the listed time. The problem is this: you cannot modify the file at all, even innocuously, otherwise this timestamp confirmation process will fail.

Why won’t they give up the PCAP files?

Note that they are willing to give up the logs, but not the PCAP files. This is because PCAP files contain everything. In particular, someone looking at the PCAP file (which IPP, because of the timestamp and WORM drive, would not be able to redact) would be able to ascertain the IP addresses used by IPP’s servers. This is of course something IPP would very much like to be secret, as if it were public infringers could simply block it. (The PCAP file might also reveal which BitTorrent trackers IPP is monitoring, another thing that would blow their cover.) The files would also detail how IPP goes about showing infringement — the sort of thing found in Delvan Neville’s famous analysis outing John Steele as sharkmp4.

IPP has so far given few details about its INTERNATIONAL IPTRACKER client and how it determines infringement; those that it has given sound technically questionable and legally unsound. The PCAP files would confirm this.

Nicoletti seems to say that he is willing to provide one PCAP file per claimed infringement at trial. This is complete BS and should not be accepted. Nor should the thousands of PCAP entries corresponding to the defendant demanding discovery be accepted. The only useful — the only meaningful — thing in this case is the entire WORM drive with the qualified timestamp (yes, all 3 terabytes of it). Any excerpt of the PCAP record can and will be selectively taken, redacted, modified, etc. in order to facilitate IPP’s continued unwillingness to transparently describe their monitoring process. The log files are worse; they record exactly what IPP wants them to (they are written to a database by the INTERNATIONAL IPTRACKER software itself) and provide zero transparency.

The next few pages are full of whining about how it would be difficult to provide the PCAP files that I won’t reproduce here. I must note, however, one thing…

Further, IPP charges Plaintiff a fee to extract information from its servers. Therefore, in this one request alone, Plaintiff would have to spend several if not tens of thousands of dollars to produce this information.

lol!

Soapbox time: a message to Doe defenders

Nicoletti’s response contains several potential lessons for Doe defenders.

First, familiarity with the technical side is crucial. Don’t be like Paul Nicoletti, and don’t be fooled by Paul Nicoletti. At least know what a cryptographic hash is, how the BitTorrent protocol works, and so forth. Discovery isn’t of much use if you don’t understand what you’re getting. It is much more useful if you have advanced technical knowledge. A great deal of BitTorrent copyright trolling, X-Art’s included, is based on extremely shoddy and fundamentally unsound technicals, but to date no Doe defenders have been able to take plaintiffs to task for it — and now a body of BitTorrent-trolling caselaw has formed which is highly unfavorable to Does.

Second, aggressive discovery works. Even in cases like this when all it gets is a bunch of whining, it can still be useful.

A more serious closing thought

There is one small aside nestled inside the response that I would like to draw attention to:

The WORM tape drives used by IPP contain three terabytes of storage. […] IPP goes through several of these tape drives each week.

That some company is keeping data — indefinitely — on Internet users’ activity to the tune of more than a terabyte a day is a sobering thought and should trouble everybody.

 


¹ Careful readers may have noted that there is one way in which this hashing method could work, which is if X-Art made the torrent themselves. I think it is far more likely that Nicoletti has no idea what he’s talking about.

Below is another story from the AF Holdings v. Patel (GAND 12-cv-00262) hearing held on 1/28/2014 in Gainesville, Georgia. Thursday’s post featured transcript-like notes made by Oralia Oglesbee. Today’s story by Kat is a bit more personal and perfectly complements the previous report. I also storified Kat’s tweets related to this event. Enjoy and send big thanks to both ladies.

Nazaire was a surprise to me. The word that came to mind when he started speaking was “cultured”. Which is proof that crazy comes in all forms.

The man wanted names. He initially asked the Judge to order every member of the audience to identify themselves. He did so after looking over to where Graham, Oralia and I were sitting. And when he did, I couldn’t help but smile back at him. He was worried that one of us was a surprise witness. The judge asked Blair if he had any witnesses in the audience and that is when Graham was identified and forced to leave.

At this time John Steele was not in the audience. I think he must have come in while Graham’s back was turned because nobody saw him enter.

Later Nazaire demanded that Blair turn over the names of all donors of the crowd source fund. He wanted to know if any of the lawyers in the other cases had donated. That ain’t happening either. Nazaire made a big deal of how Blair had promised videos and transcripts of Mark Lutz’s deposition to all donors and said that the purpose of the deposition was to serve as evidence for cases outside of Georgia (where discovery had not been granted). The Judge didn’t see a problem with this and pointed out that one of the court reporters had made a small fortune selling copies of a transcript an “expert” witness’s deposition “from here to Hawaii”.

The thrust of Nazaire’s questions, arguments, and discussions with the Judge is that this case should have been over. He asked Patel if he understood what “dismissed with prejudice” meant. He accused Patel (and Blair, by proxy) of “going after” (his words) AF Holdings. This was an accusation that Patel didn’t deny. While the judge was berating Chintella over how he handled discovery, and how long this case has dragged out, Nazaire pointed out he had offered Blair $3,100 to dismiss. The Judge called this inappropriate and chastised Nazaire for interrupting.

During his cross examination of Blair, Nazaire wanted to know how much had been raised. How much had been spent. And what it was spent on. He seemed to be implying that Blair was embezzling funds. He also spent a fair amount of time grilling both Blair and Patel over the logistics and accounting of the money raised, citing various rules and regulations. Gotta hand it to him, the man knows the rule book back and forth.

Lutz’s testimony

Mark Lutz stated that he was — to his knowledge — the sole owner of AF Holdings. Nazaire asked if Steele, Hansmeier or Duffy (among others) owned any shares and Lutz answered in the negative. When speaking of AF Holdings, Lutz kept saying “we”. When Blair asked who “we” was, Lutz said that it was just “AF Holdings,” but since Lutz wasn’t entirely consistent with the royal “we”, I’m pretty sure that was a lie.

Lutz claimed that AF Holding consisted of just himself. That he was the sole owner and had no employees. He said that Hansmeier was not paid to represent AF Holdings. He said that AF Holdings had the right to go after pirates because they were stealing. He also claimed that he had not had the opportunity to testify in the past and that he had failed to appear at the deposition because he felt its sole purpose was to humiliate him and that the questions would have no relation to the Patel case.

Lutz stated that this and other lawsuits had forced him to start over. That he is currently rebuilding by starting a new business in a new industry. He implied that he didn’t have a lot of money. He said that being there in court had cost him $500.00.

When Blair cross examined Lutz, Lutz said that he had known John Steele for three years; that they were not living together; but that they may have leased an apartment together.

Lutz said that AF Holdings no longer has any assets. That it had previously owned copyrights to several videos which were worthless because of pirating. He stated that AF Holdings was not distributing the videos commercially because there was no point in doing so while they were being pirated. He also stated that AF Holdings’ intention was to increase the value of the copyrights (presumably by going after the pirates) and then distribute the videos commercially at a later date.

He said that AF Holdings had purchased the copyright to Popular Demand in 2011.

Lutz stated that at one time or another he had worked as a paralegal for Paul Hansmeier, John Steele, and Paul Duffy.

Blair asked if AF Holdings was a client of both employers (Steele|Hansmeier and Prenda Law). Lutz answered “yes”.

The judge asked where Blair was going with all this, and Blair said that he was illustrating how the CEO of AF Holdings was employed by the firms retained to represent his business.

They then moved onto the subject of trusts. And boy does Lutz have Trust Issues.

Oralia already mentioned the inconsistencies with the trust names and the mindboggling explanation for them. But here’s something else: Lutz admitted that the Trust’s sole source of income was Prenda Law. He also stated that he had instructed his attorney to answer the interrogatories. He didn’t seem to be overly familiar with the interrogatory documents.

And that’s when the weather intervened. Dammit.

Minute Sheet for proceedings
Followup
Today a long anticipated hearing in the AF Holdings v. Patel (GAND 12-cv-00262) took place in Gainesville, Georgia. Oralia Oglesbee was there and documented the event. Let us thank her: it is understandable how challenging the task was.

Although I previously reported on this case (I counted four posts), this case is so eventful that I did not cover all the important moments, especially the recent ones. Fortunately, there are stories on the net that fill the gap, particularly the one by Mike Masnick that discussed the order that called for this hearing.

In short, Judge O’Kelley was unhappy with both parties (primarily with Prenda) and ordered AF Holdings’ counsel Jacque Nazaire to explain a lot of things related to Prenda’s shenanigans (the only alleged violation defense attorney Blair Chintella would need to address was his campaign to crowdfund Mark Lutz’s deposition). The conclusion of the order suggested that the judge was quite serious about getting to the bottom of things:


US District Judge
William Clark O’Kelley

In case this order did not adequately drive the point home earlier, the court is not pleased with how this litigation has progressed. Failure to attend the show cause hearing will not be well received. Failure to attend will result in severe sanctions and may result in referral to the State Bar of Georgia. Failure to directly address the court’s concerns will result in equally severe sanctions.

Notwithstanding this court’s prior order prohibiting the parties from filing additional motions, the parties may file a supplemental brief addressing the court’s concerns to the extent that the supplemental brief provides facts not already present in the record. The parties are strongly encouraged to bring any relevant evidence to the show cause hearing. Specifically, plaintiff must produce the original assignment agreement for inspection. If a party wishes to present testimony that it deems critical to its case, the party should be prepared to solicit that testimony through a live witness. The parties are on notice that they may not use affidavits as a means to circumvent cross examination.

(more…)

A note from TAC to the community

Posted: September 19, 2013 by that anonymous coward in Community contributions, Housekeeping
Tags:
Ohai campers!

Uncle TAC is here with some sage advice for those of us tweeting.

Counsel of Record (its a big word for those lawyers we like fighting against the trolls) do not, will not, should not tweet about details of cases. It is best to leave them off from tweets asking questions/or for comments about specific cases / clients / opponents / filings they are involved in/with.

Given that Prenda has run with the fantastical idea that many of us are actually alter egos of these lawyers this can get messy for the good guys. They imply we are these lawyers or closely connected to them when this is clearly false. Showing any connections distracts from the actual case, while they have to deal with defending their good name against these idiotic claims.

Don’t be mad if one of the lawyers doesn’t engage you in conversation on twitter over a comment. There is the bright line they can not cross, and several of them have borders around those lines they chose not to cross to avoid any possible fallout from Judges. We’ve seen that some Judges have wider takes on some issues first hand.

I am the poster child for someone they opt not to tweet with. I have a trendy avatar, the word anonymous, am vocal about the system… To people just glancing I am obviously an Anonymous super hacker out to cause trouble. I am also an unnamed Doe in an active legal proceeding. So yeah, I do not take it personally that some people can’t tweet with me or we avoid certain topics. I do not wish to cause them any more trouble or grief that might distract them from the cases they are working hard on.

Prenda can and is watching our tweets looking for anything they can use to throw a monkey wrench in the mix. Given how many of us were included in the exhibits in GAND from Nazarine, it should be clear that they are keeping an eye on us. They are looking for any possible thing to use as leverage to avoid the court staying focused on the case.

Please keep these tips in mind the next time you tweet.

TAC

I know that the Popehat crowd is sensitive about copyright and encourage linking to their musings rather than copying wholesale (otherwise they couldn’t afford their famously posh living style resulting from the sidebar advertisement commissions). Usually I follow the recommendations, but today I’m going to copy one particular Ken White’s post in its entirety. There are two reasons for that:

  1. The subject of this post: it discusses the event that happened yesterday to yours truly: after reading one of Prenda’s filings (by Jacques Nazaire), I was visited by a fairy who told me to write a personal message to Mr. Nazaire expressing my butthurt disappointment (you’ll understand what I mean by reading along). So I did, and I received a reply shortly.
  2. This reply, published on Twitter, prompted Ken “Popehat” White to write a post, and, unfortunately but not surprisingly, he did it better that I would ever do. So, the same fairy told me: go ahead and copy it, all of it! It’s about you for the God’s sake!

Thus, I consider the inclusion of the entire post from the Popehat blog a fairy use.

 

Team Prenda Is A Classy, Classy Bunch | Popehat

Aug 27, 2013. By Ken White.

All of Popehat’s Prenda coverage is collected here.

It really can’t be easy to be on Team Prenda these days. Hordes of detractors scrutinize your every legal filing. Mean bloggers say embarrassing things about you. The threat of sanctions always looms. A tangled web of legal proceedings across the country complicates your efforts and constantly generates new evidence and assertions.

So, I guess I can see how a Prendarast could lose his cool on occasion.

Take Jacques Nazaire. Nazaire has found the waters in the Prenda lagoon to be unstill and unpleasant. Craigslist court appearances never generate such negative attention. It’s enough to make a man go off on a rant about a witness or launch an ill-conceived detour about gay marriage or rend his garments and bewail how posts by mean blogers “lead to anger.”

So: when Mr. Nazaire asked a Georgia federal judge to quash some subpoenas calculated to uncover facts about Team Prenda, it is perhaps understandable that he indulged in a little dig at his detractors:

In addition to the facial defects of the subpoenas, these subpoenas should be quashed because the “Google” and “Comcast” subpoenas are issued for the sole purpose of gathering information of third parties and the undersigned and putting them in display on such websites as “techdirt”, “dietrolldie” and “Popehat”.

Actually, I suspect that the purpose of the subpoenas is to gather evidence to test the theory that Team Prenda, far from being a victim of piracy of pornographic videos, deliberately posted the videos on piracy sites to attract downloaders in a scheme to manufacture copyright violation claims. Watch this space for a discussion of the legal significance of that theory.

Anyway, Mr. Nazaire’s gripe was banal and unsurprising — but also rudely exclusionary. How could he have forgotten the site Fight Copyright Trolls, one of the most steadfast foes of Team Prenda? The proprietor of Fight Copyright Trolls wanted to know, too. So he wrote Mr. Nazaire, and got a response. And such a response!

Dear Mr. Nazaire,

In 2:12-cv-00262-WCO Document 68 (filed 08/26/13) you wrote:

10. In addition to the facial defects of the subpoenas, these subpoenas should be quashed because the “Google” and “Comcast” subpoenas are issued for the sole purpose of gathering information of third parties and the undersigned and putting them in display on such websites as “techdirt”, “dietrolldie” and “Popehat.”

I cannot express the extent of emotional distress this paragraph caused to the undersigned. You mentioned three of the major resources that cover Prenda, but failed to include my “fightcopyrighttrolls.” FYI, while my blog is not the oldest, it has the most extensive coverage of the Prenda soap opera: if you navigate to the “Prenda” tag (http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/category/clans/prenda/), you will find 122 posts, not to mention numerous informative pages. Thus, not including “fightcopyrighttrolls” where it belongs is offensive and scandalous.

Please govern yourself accordingly and refrain from hurting my feelings in the future.

Very truly yours,

SJD

Quoth Mr. Nazaire in response:

I like your Mom. She’s a nice lady but not so good in the sack. I guess she has too much mileage on that poon.

Tsk Tsk Tsk. All worn out.

You think that you are funny, huh?

How’s that for funny?

Now, insulting somebody’s mother is a venerable rhetorical device. It can be a stylized vehicle for creativity, as in a yo’ momma competition, where it’s not actually about any real person. (The geeky ones are the best. “Yo momma so fat, her patronus is a Ding Dong.”) It can be delivered to inflame with some degree of style. (“I wrote a paragraph about your blog, SJD, but I left it on your mother’s nightstand.”) But it can also fall flat and just sound creepy and angry and needy. So it has here.

For someone who spends so much of his time angry, you would think that Mr. Nazaire would be better at it.

 

 

By Mysterious Anonymous

Since I made it to the Spring Street Courthouse again to see Friday’s performance, SJD asked me to write up my impressions as a community representative. I had a super-busy weekend so I didn’t think there would be anything left to say by the time I found time, but I came up with an editorial angle that might be more entertaining to people who have come to read this site not because they have read about John Steele on Techdirt and Ars Technica, but because they were actually threatened by Steele | Hansmeier, Prenda or one of their other guises.

I had seen John Steele previously at the April 2 hearing where he plead the 5th, but I had never actually seen him perform, and the take-home lesson from last Friday’s hearing is…

John Steele is an idiot.

I had assumed Wright was simply calling Steele’s bluff by scheduling a hearing on Steele’s motion for reconsideration. Surely, given Steele’s history of trying to avoid Wright’s courtroom, Steele was bound to no-show even with his own motion scheduled for a hearing, giving Wright justification to deny the motion by default. But Wright’s plan was far more devious than that. After briefly chewing Steele out for filing documents that have nothing to do with anything, Wright had Steele staring at his own request to substitute counsel (or in Steele’s case go pro se) that had an incorrect mailing address… When Steele was there to complain about not being served by mail…

Unhappy troll

Things went all downhill. Steele basically couldn’t put a sentence or an argument together. As covered in detail elsewhere, Wright had gone over Steele’s filings in meticulous detail, found the inconsistencies, and grilled Steele with pointed and specific questions. Steele was desperate, pathetic, grasping for straws. He could barely answer any of Wright’s questions and never had a straight, specific answer, it was always an appeal to emotion, or his rights, or a wild conspiracy to deny Steele said rights. Wright repeatedly asked him to make an argument, explain a problem, and/or state some facts to back up anything he was saying, and Steele just couldn’t do it. He did manage to keep talking, we all know Steele can’t keep his mouth shut, and that is true no matter how deep of a hole he digs himself. Steele’s mouth kept running but the garbage coming out became less and less intelligible. It sounded like “blah blah blah MY RIGHTS blahbaddy blah 5TH AMENDMENT blah blah blah PATTERN OF FRAUD blah.”

The incoherence, paranoia, ego. Unbelievable. John Steele is so full of shit that I won’t even try to describe how full of shit he is. If you had tried to explain to me that a person could be that full of shit before I saw John Steele performing in Los Angeles, I would not have believed it was possible.

For those who have been intimidated and scared by Steele in the past: There is no evil genius here. There is no master plan, no craft, no clever, no intelligence. Just a bully who got lucky a few times bluffing laypeople with no understanding of the law. Now that he must practice his profession against real opponents he is a complete and utter failure. Such a failure that Wright joked about the Ninth Circuit having a reserved parking space for him. Such a failure that many attendees were wearing government ID badges. Investigators from the DOJ and IRS? Maybe. We can hope. But they looked a bit young to be seasoned investigators, so I think it is likely that John Steele has become a celebrity in the courthouse, and anyone who could slip away from work was there to watch him make a fool of himself.

John Steele has become the Court Jester of the Central District of California.

He brings shame to the University of Minnesota for having such low standards it awarded him a JD.

He brings shame to the state bar exam preparers of Illinois that created an exam so weak that John Steele could pass it.

He brings shame to every lawyer in every state where Prenda has filed cases, for having such collectively low standards and ethics that they call this scum their peer.

I would like everyone who has been threatened by Steele, intimidated by Steele, harassed by Steele, who has lost sleep because of Steele to know that John Steele was very, very unhappy on Friday. John Steele was mad. John Steele was worried. John Steele wore a deeply concerned and unhappy face that I wish all of you could have seen (I had to work to suppress the urge to break courtroom protocol and try to sneak a picture of Unhappy John Steele; it would have made great memes). I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time, and like many other attendees could not keep from chortling and snorting with derision, glee and surprise at the contemptible foolishness of John Steele.

John Steele is struggling to deal with all the trouble John Steele has made for himself and behaved like he’s coming apart at the seams. His final words in the courtroom, a bellowed “It’s called cutting and pasting!” are a suitably pathetic example of how ridiculous this sad excuse for a man has become.

Everyone who has worked with or for Prenda should read this, and read everything else about Friday and their current state of affairs, and be scared. Very, very scared. Because their mastermind is a clueless buffoon of little ability who went all in with an empty hand and had his bluff called.

Update

SJD, 7/16/2013

On 7/9/2013 John Steele filed an apoplectic reply to Ranallo/Pietz/Heller response. The caveat is that, as a manual filing, it was stamped only on Friday (right before the hearing), and appeared on Pacer only today.

You’ve read the story above, now read Steele’s BS through the glasses of Friday’s event: it is entertaining.

 

Another [fantastic] update

SJD, 7/18/2013
Judge Wright issued an order on Steele’s motion for reconsideration, denying it and referring a purported attorney John Steele to Pro Se Clinic! This is probably the second-best (after the “Star Trek order”) by Wright in this case:

Based on these findings, the Court finds Steele’s Motion meritless and frivolous. Therefore, it is appropriate to consider whether sanctions should be awarded to Pietz and Ranallo for the expense of defending this Motion, one where Steele sought sanctions against them for their failure to serve.

Pietz and Ranallo are hereby directed to file a regularly noticed motion for Rule 11 sanctions against Steele in connection with his filing of this Motion. A hearing should be noticed for the motion no later than August 26, 2013. The Court hereby reminds Steele that failure to timely oppose the motion may result in the automatic imposition of the requested sanctions. L.R. 7-12.

Steele’s Motion for Reconsideration is hereby DENIED. Steele is advised that the Federal Pro Se Clinic is located in the United States Courthouse at 312 N. Spring Street, Room G-19, Main Street Floor, Los Angeles, California 90012. The clinic is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Federal Pro Se Clinic offers free, on-site information and guidance to individuals who are representing themselves in federal civil actions. Steele is encouraged to visit the clinic for advice concerning his case.

 

I still can’t push myself to listen to the Bellwether trial audio recordings. While I’m procrastinating, some opinions began to emerge on the web, and the chorus of those opinions is not singing in unison:

 

One particular comment to my recent post has struck me as very insightful: I simply couldn’t help making a post out of it. Thanks to the author, whoever he is.

 

By Anonymous

X-Art
The “Winning” Team:
Patrick Paige, Tobias Fieser,
Christopher Fiore,
Colette Pelissier/Field,
Keith Lipscomb, Michael Patzer

You know, I’m listening to the audio transcript, and I have to say it’s worth doing so just to hear the cringe-worthy ass-kissing of the judge by Lipscomb in the beginning. Listening to it, you’d think the bellwether trial was Lipscomb being raised to Master Mason or something. His tone is so sycophantic that even the judge, clearly embarrassed, admonishes him for his unsubtle brown-nosing. Were you not aware of how the trial was going to go, you’d almost feel embarrassed for Lipscomb. If nothing else, the transcript is worth listening to just to get a fix on Lipscomb’s voice and manner — it is plainly indicative of the kind of man he is.

As it goes on, Lipscomb’s voice is bugging me more and more — it reminds me of something.

Far different from John Steele’s vaguely simian mumble-grunts, Lipscomb sounds like the guy who got shoved into lockers and had his glasses smashed by minions of same kind of people who now run Malibu Media (or people like John Steele, now that I think about it). I don’t know anything about Lipscomb, but just listening to this transcript, you get the sense of a very small man on stilts: Now that he’s a lawyer he gets to hang out with the popular kids who once shunned him and pushed him around, and he has, in predictable fashion, taken pleasure in tormenting others as he was once tormented. No more smashing Keith’s glasses and pushing him into a locker! He runs with the cool people now and he’s finally going to experience the sublime pleasure of ruining people, and getting paid to do it.

And then it hit me: Shoeshine Boy. Underdog’s meek, milquetoast alter-ego. That is what Keith Lipscomb’s voice sounds like, to me.

Two other things, on another note

(a) Any mention of Malibu Media on blogs should always mention X-Art. People searching on X-Art should see the way they treat people — hits to this blog and others should be near the top in search hit lists. There are thousands of ways to spend money on pornography on the Internet. People ought to really consider whether enriching these people serves any purpose, given the alternatives. The tendency of pornographers to regularly conflate the “right to be compensated for work” and “destroying people’s lives because that’s how the statutes read” needs to be brought to light: they are not the same thing.

Pornographers and their advocates insist regularly that because an argument can be made that downloading porn you didn’t pay for is wrong (and illegal), that an appropriate and proportional remedy is to relegate people to debt slavery. X-Art seems to have no moral compunction about doing this and people who are going to pay for porn ought to think about, concerns about sexual exploitation aside, whether or not they want to pay sanction to people who behave this way. I sure wouldn’t want the Malibu people as neighbors, and I sure as hell wouldn’t give them my money.

(b) A lot of bad blood could have been avoided by simply sending out settlement letters asking people whose IP addresses they subpoenaed to buy a year’s subscription to their site. Not only would this have grown their subscriber base (and compensated them for supposedly lost revenues from torrenting), but maybe people would have found a subscription worthwhile and renewed it (not only for the content but for having been treated equitably).

Maybe positive word of mouth (“Good Guy X-Art”) would have attracted other people to the site as well (“Look how good our stuff is — we think a subscription is worth buying and we think you’ll agree.”). X-Art has decided to be the sleazeballs people tend to assume all pornographers are. I understand feeling like you’re being ripped off and you’re angry about it, and I understand insisting on compensation and even reasonable damages — I cannot understand a human conscience that believes wrecking lives and relationships is a just response to such relatively minor transgressions — transgressions I would add that in balance probably drive more subscriptions to your site than actually deprive you of revenue. The greatest fallacy in anti-piracy arguments comes into play here: the idea that every download represents a lost sale.

It doesn’t. It never has.

Lastly, I admit to some fascination with Keith Lipscomb’s putative religious roots. He is now being compensated to humiliate people, possibly wreck families, and even destroy people’s lives on behalf of pornographers. Even if one takes the road of principle, that people ought to be compensated for the content they produce, I wonder if he has any pangs of conscience whatsoever about completely steamrolling people for blagging one molecule out of a giant landfill of pornography that covers the Internet. I get a pang of conscience when I kill a moth by mistake or go through the express checkout aisle with one too many items — I would love to get into Lipscomb’s head for just five minutes to know what it is like to be him. His grossly exaggerated description of BitTorrent bringing on the Tortpocalypse (or something — he made some sort of ludicrous exaggeration along these lines) is so absurd, I cannot accept that he believes what is coming out of his own mouth. Or maybe the problem that as a pornography lawyer, Keith Lipscomb has fallen so far, that he actually does. And that’s sad.

I’m not a religious person — and even when I was, I was a horrible sinner, but I might make an exception and say a prayer for Keith Lipscomb. I hope he truly questions what values it is he is serving and how he is living his life before it is too late.

I have no such hopes for the pornographers he represents. I am sure they believe themselves to be honorable business people who are the victims of Internet porn hounds. But I think when you get to a point that you’ve decided to slap your name on pornography, you’ve damn near reached the moral point of no return. Like a sort of ethical diabetes, human conscience is just ineffective at curbing your worst instincts anymore, and little you do triggers any sense of guilt or shame… or mercy.

Shame on you Keith Lipscomb and shame on you X-Art.

by Dragon

The first time I read Judge Otis Wright II’s order issuing sanctions against Prenda et al, I knew I was witnessing history in the making. There were many times, in this blog and elsewhere in the community where Does expressed frustration that judges were simply not paying attention to the various infringement suits that were coming across their desks. It was an anomaly for a judge to question or put restrictions on discovery. While Prenda had everyone’s full attention in California, and justifiably so, Malibu Media took advantage of this fact with a landslide of lawsuits headed up by the weasel Keith Lipscomb and his “merry men.” As in the past, most of these lawsuits were granted discovery, which allowed Plaintiff the opportunity to “plunder the citizenry.” Then came May 6th. As word of Wright’s “proclamation” has begun to spread, judges are starting to lift their heads and pay attention to what is going on. Two particular districts in the past few days, where judges have looked beyond face value, have now taken an interesting turn.

Wisconsin

Magistrate Judge
Stephen L. Crocker

Three days ago, in the Western District of Wisconsin, Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker, took a closer look at what was going on and decided it was time for “the court to go to battle stations.” He issued an order today that literally had me clapping and cheering (at work mind you) for his ability to get to the root of what is really going on with these suits. Malibu has filed 11 suits in his district, which even though he is well aware of the criticism levied against them, has “no problem” with plaintiff protecting its copyright or negotiating settlement, regardless of the content involved.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. You may recall in Malibu cases, that additional infringement is now being entered as exhibits (exhibit “C” to be precise¹) under the guise of asserting that the Doe is a “serial infringer.” This community had concerns about including infringement of works that did not belong to Plaintiff and clearly those concerns are shared by this Honorable Judge.

This is nonsensical. Complaints are pleadings, not affidavits, so they have no “evidentiary purpose.” Complaints are to provide “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” F.R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2). Here, in each case, plaintiff is explicitly disavowing any claim based on Exhibit C. If it were to matter, under what rule of evidence would Exhibit C be relevant at any stage of this lawsuit? Propensity evidence is forbidden by F.R. Ev. 404(b)(1). Plaintiff makes no claim that Exhibit C is relevant under Rule 404(b)(2), and if it did, then the weighing process of Rule 403 would militate forcefully toward excluding this evidence. So what’s really going on here?

Well, we knew all along “what’s really going on here.” Slap down a complaint, coupled with 100 plus additionally alleged infringements, and you have now increased the chance of settlement exponentially. Trolls prey on FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) and these exhibits are one unhealthy dose of it. It’s no surprise that the average settlement amount in these particular cases is between 10 and 15 thousand dollars. Unfortunately for Malibu, Judge Crocker gets the joke; and he’s not laughing.

Even a cursory review of each lawsuit’s Exhibit C shows first, that it is always much, much longer than the short list of titles that is the actual subject of plaintiff’s lawsuit, and second, thatamong the innocuous titles listed in each Exhibit C (e.g., “Top Gear,” “Star Trek VI”) are numerous “adult” programs, usually many more than the handful for which plaintiff is claiming a copyright violation, and many with titles exponentially more lewd than any title claimed by plaintiff Compare “Red Satin”with“[Bestiality] Young Blonde . . . Dog (www.sickporn.in).” One needn’t be a cynic to suppose that an intended purpose–perhaps the primary purpose–of Exhibit C to the complaint in each of these lawsuits is to increase the pressure on a subsequently identified Doe defendant to settle before s/he is publicly linked to hardcore/deviant titles that are completely irrelevant to plaintiff’s actual claims in the lawsuit. If this is true–and right now it is the court’s operating hypothesis–then plaintiff probably has violated F.R. Civ. Pro. 11(b)(1). Nothing else is going to happen in these lawsuits until the court decides this matter.

 

Put another way, GAME OVER. He concludes by ordering all documents sealed, “to protect them from prying eyes” while the court is able to determine if these exhibits “should be stricken and whether plaintiff should be sanctioned” (emphasis added). Malibu now has to explain to the court what they were up to, or face sanctions.

 

Illinois

Moving on to the Central District of Illinois. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore has long been handling Malibu cases, essentially passing local counsel Mary K. Schultz the keys to discovery without so much as breaking a sweat. Currently, I count 38 cases pending in this district alone. While there isn’t a whole lot of detail to share yet, the following text was entered in each of these cases yesterday:


Chief District Judge
James E. Shadid

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned to Chief Judge James E. Shadid and Magistrate Judge John A. Gorman for all further proceedings. Judge Michael M. Mihm, Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore no longer assigned to case. All discovery and deadlines are stayed pending further order of the Court. Entered by Chief Judge James E. Shadid on 5/30/2013. (MC, ilcd) (Entered: 05/30/2013)

Again, while there isn’t much detail to relate with these particular suits, it is worth noting that the Order issued has taken the cases from Springfield, IL and placed them now in Peoria to be handled. That raises some eyebrows as to what exactly was happening in Springfield that caused the reassignment.

Along with the Bellwether trial, Malibu Media is finally starting to get some much deserved notice and it couldn’t have come sooner in my opinion. As the winds of change start to blow, hopefully more judges across the country will start to uncover the truth: the troll “business model” is alive and in full swing with Malibu Media.

Update

6/1/2013 (SJD)

According to RFC Express (which is buggy, so the numbers may be slightly off), orders reassigning cases and staying discovery have been filed in at least 21 cases². Strangely, exactly at the same date (5/30/2013) Malibu/Lipscomb/Schultz voluntarily dismissed without prejudice (example) at least 9 cases. Feeling the heat and running away like thieves caught pilfering cigarettes? All these cases feature “extended surveillance” Exhibit “C,” which I hope will serve as a ground for sanctions against Lipscomb and his gang — first in Wisconsin, then in other states. I urge all the named and unnamed defendants in all states file judicial notes attaching Judge Crocker’s order.

Followup

@SaltMarshGhost has posted an interesting analysis of recent events on the copyright trolling front, with big emphasis to Judge Crocker’s order and its possible impact. Below is the entire piece (I only linkified it).

The Copyright Troll Big Picture

@SaltMarshGhost
2013-06-01

Several big things have happened in the last month in the copyright troll world. First, Ingenuity 13 v. Doe, 12-cv-08333 (C.D. Cal.) has essentially ended (some drama regarding Klinedinst’s withdrawal notwithstanding). Several Prenda characters have filed appeals with the Ninth Circuit; those will not bring about any news until October, when their opening briefs are due (fans of schadenfreude, however, can look at In re: Hansmeier, in which Paul Hansmeier has to file a “status report” regarding his sanctions by July 14. Or perhaps he will not file one, and withdraw his application to the bar. Anything is possible with Prenda). Paul Duffy posted a bond to the district court, but will not motion to stay until June 24 (not sure why this is), so there won’t be any news out of the Central District of California for at least three weeks. The CAND 12-cv-02396 AF Holdings LLC v. Joe Navasca case was closed recently, to our dismay, with Judge Chen saying that Prenda had “substantially complied” with his order to produce the Salt Marsh signature by claiming to no longer have it (given my twitter handle, I am personally disappointed by this). Sunlust v. Nguyen in FLMD also ended unexpectedly, with Syfert withdrawing all sanctions motions, in an apparent deal.

But in this lull, M. Keith “don’t call me a pornographer” Lipscomb has been busy. As discussed above, Judge Crocker in W.D. Wisconsin warned Lipscomb that his now-infamous Exhibit C put him in serious jeopardy of sanctions under FRCP 11(b)(1). (Note that Judge Wright, before moving to inherent sanctions power, was considering sanctioning under FRCP 11(b)(3).)

The relevant paragraphs of FRCP 11:

(b) Representations to the Court. By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;

(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.

Wright’s assertion wrt FRCP 11(b)(3) was that Prenda did not sufficiently show that the Doe they were going after was actually the infringer; basically, that the IP address does not equal the infringer. While this is important, this isn’t actually central to the copyright trolling M.O. And his sanctions were not based on that at all; his sanctions were for Prenda’s asshattery with regards to their corporate structure, the Alan Cooper issue, etc. That’s where Judge Crocker comes in, and where Lipscomb has made a very, very bad mistake.

The primary component of the copyright troll’s M.O. is of course that a person who is accused of illegally downloading pornography will, much of the time, settle to prevent the news from being public. This smells of extortion, and Paul Duffy’s wife has admitted of Facebook to what amounts to inter-state extortion, according to Popehat. Where Lipscomb made a very bad mistake is in the so-called “Exhibit C”, which listed *other* works the Doe is accused of infringing, which appears to be nothing more than a print-out of the Bittorrent monitoring software and includes works that Malibu Media doesn’t even own the copyright to, such as real Hollywood movies. Crucially to Judge Crocker, it also includes several works with titles much cruder—and so more incriminating and more embarrassing—than used by X-Art. Judge Crocker finds this to be in violation of FRCP 11(b)(1).

This could be a crucial step in the dismantling of the copyright troll business. Judge Wright’s sanctions on Prenda, if upheld by the Ninth Circuit, would destroy Prenda but leave Lipscomb and other trolls intact. The broadest effect it might have is tilting other jurisdictions toward adopting an IP-address-is-not-the-infringer doctrine, due to Wright’s findings of fact. A finding that Lipscomb violated FRCP 11(b)(1), on the other hand, would strike at the heart of the copyright troll business model by saying that *filing a porn lawsuit based on trying to get somebody to settle to keep it out of the public eye* is legally-unacceptable harassment.

There is, however, one caveat—Judge Crocker seems to be interested in Exhibit C specifically. This leaves room for suits where the troll is not so stupid as Lipscomb and files a suit against a single, named Doe, for a single work. My understanding is that Lipscomb/Malibu are leaning toward this angle. (See Cashman on this.) If Crocker rules broadly and says that even that would violate FRCP 11(b)(1), then porn copyright trolls are all absolutely dead. If not, then Lipscomb/Malibu Media need to be watched very closely.

What with this and the talk of “copyright small claims” by Judge Titus in Maryland, the post-Prenda era (fingers crossed) still remains an exciting time for copyright troll watching.

Followup 2

 


¹The linked exhibit is from a different case: the complaint and all exhibits in this case are sealed per judge’s order embedded above. Yet it is perfect as an illustration: all such exhibits are essentially the same, only filenames differ.

²ILCD Malibu Media cases stayed and reassigned:

  • 2:13-cv-02096-HAB-DGB (dismissed)
  • 2:13-cv-02097-HAB-DGB (dismissed)
  • 2:13-cv-02094-HAB-DGB (dismissed)
  • 2:13-cv-02093-HAB-DGB (dismissed)
  • 2:13-cv-02059-MPM-DGB (dismissed)
  • 2:13-cv-02044-MPM-DGB (dismissed)
  • 2:13-cv-02058-HAB-DGB (dismissed)
  • 1:13-cv-01073-JES-JAG (dismissed)
  • 1:13-cv-01200-MMM-BGC
  • 1:13-cv-01201-JES-JAG
  • 3:13-cv-03116-RM-BGC
  • 3:13-cv-03118-RM-BGC
  • 3:13-cv-03119-RM-BGC
  • 1:13-cv-01194-JBM-BGC
  • 1:13-cv-01195-JBM-JAG
  • 1:13-cv-01189-JES-JAG
  • 1:13-cv-01096-JBM-BGC
  • 1:13-cv-01075-JES-JAG
  • 3:13-cv-03044-SEM-BGC
  • 1:13-cv-01074-JES-BGC
  • 1:12-cv-01493-JES-JAG
  • 1:13-cv-01102-JES-JAG
By Dragon

Yesterday we took a look at the newest filing from AF Holding’s v David Harris (AZD 2:12-cv-02144) where Prenda’s lackey Steven Goodhue attempts to dismiss the fact that Cooper’s identity was stolen and downplay the events in Honorable Judge Wright’s courtroom. Hopefully, I was not alone in immediately identifying several “holes” in the story he presented related to Cooper’s now alleged involvement at the outset of this debacle. Here’s a more in depth look at the Response as well as the inconsistencies presented.

Goodhue starts with the same song and dance that we have seen since the start of Coopergate, namely it doesn’t matter who signed the assignment, AF Holdings still has standing to file suit against infringers. This argument didn’t work before, however I’m not surprised that it is still an integral part of their defensive strategy. It will be interesting to see how the Honorable Judge responds to this…

Next, Goodhue embarks on an extensive explanation into Cooper’s involvement in the copyright scheme. He leads through a heartwarming tale of Cooper and Steele being best of friends after they entered into their arrangement with Cooper as live-in caretaker of Steel’s property:

Steele visited his vacation property regularly between 2005 and mid-2011 and became close friends with Cooper. Steele and Cooper spent substantial time together, including, for example, boating on Lake Mille Lacs, riding all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiling, and attending estate auctions. Steele and Cooper would regularly collaborate on various handyman projects, including building a porch addition to and reroofing the guest cabin. Cooper and Steele regularly attended county fairs and other Northern Minnesota social events together, including the White Pine Logging and Thrashing show, Howie’s Mud Bog, the Aitkin County July 4th fair, and the Kanabec County fair. Cooper’s relationship extended to Steele’s family. Conservatively speaking, Cooper joined Steele’s family for dinner over 100 times. On several occasions he babysat Steele’s daughter. The two were such good friends that Cooper remarked on several occasions that Steele was the brother he never had.

But Cooper had a small problem, he was broke. So Mr. Steele, being the charitable man he is, introduced Cooper to Mark Lutz (CEO for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13) as the answer to his financial woes. Cooper was involved in two copyright assignments as a “corporate representative”, even though he knew nothing about the adult industry, but soon this created too many issues with his second wife, so he soon withdrew from this status. Finally, Goodhue ends this saga with Cooper’s downhill slide, that started with his divorce coupled with Steele putting his property up for sale (which would end Cooper’s “free” residence) and ultimately drove him to a mental state where he was attacking guests, vandalizing Steels property and pilfering everything that wasn’t nailed down:

[…]Cooper used a chainsaw to remove large portions of load-bearing walls in Steele’s guest cabin, tore down nearly every interior wall in the guest cabin, stole 4 rifles, 1 shotgun and 5 pistols Steele stored on his property, threatened prospective buyers of Steele’s property, cut down significant acreage of wood and unlawfully removed it from Steele’s property, and stole hundreds of items, including tools, equipment, lumber, and virtually every item that was not bolted down in Steele’s kitchen. Cooper even stole a large trailer of Steele’s that Cooper used to haul away entire rooms of furniture from Steele’s cabin.

Hungry for revenge, Cooper was conveniently “recruited” through text by Godfread to file a lawsuit against Steele. Of course the EFF was involved, essentially asserting that they along with Cooper and Godfread collaborated together to “launch collateral attacks on Plantiff’s copyright infringements lawsuits.”


“Cooper used a chainsaw to remove large portions of load-bearing walls in Steele’s guest cabin.”

 

I can’t help but think of one of my favorite lines from Ace Ventura, “well fiction IS fun, but I prefer the story where”… Goodhue must have selective memory. Let’s go back to the very beginning of Coopergate and follow the events leading up to the pivotal ruling in the CACD and the recent Goodhue Response. Way back in November, when Cooper initially retained Godfread, his goal was clearly stated, “My client would like certainty that his identity is not being used without his knowledge and against his will as the would be CEO of AF Holdings, LLC or as a manager of Ingenuity 13, LLC.” It wasn’t until several months later, after Prenda and Duffy dodged their question, including flat out stating that they refused to answer, that Cooper was forced to file suit (January 22nd to be precise).

During this same time, Attorney Morgan Pietz, defending Does in California, engaged in several emails requesting that Prenda’s Brett Gibbs answer two simple questions. First, identify if there was another Alan Cooper that was being held out as the Principal of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13. There was a mess of childish behavior including the now famous line, “I’m sure there are hundreds of other Alan Coopers in this world”. Secondly, when Gibbs purportedly had to ask his client for the original assignment, Pietz requested to know who “the client” was. As events unfolded, Gibbs threw “tantrum” after “tantrum” to avoid answering these two simple questions. Shortly thereafter, Nick Ranallo and Morgan Pietz asked Judge Wright to allow discovery on these two issues and a few more pointed questions to get to the heart of the Alan Cooper issue. And they got it. Gibbs response? “I think I’ll try to disqualify the Honorable Judge Wright for abhoring Plantiffs who try to protect their pornography copyrights.” When that didn’t work, Gibbs tried the cut and run, dismissing the case. Duffy substituted in for all the Gibbs cases and then stated dismissing them one by one.

 

All of this history begs the answer to a couple of questions relating back to Goodhue’s response. If Alan Cooper was truly involved in from the beginning as “a Corporate Representative” for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 and signed the original copyright assignment, why would Gibbs et al go through such great lengths to avoid answering that Alan Cooper from Minnesota signed it? When asked to provide the identity of his “client”, why would he not simply identify Mark Lutz as the client? Mr. Goodhue, the facts clearly show that Cooper’s intent was not to file suit as was stated, but to clear his name. When this failed, he had no option but to file a lawsuit. Further, Mark Lutz was not identified as the CEO of the off-shore companies until the February Deposition of Paul Hansmeier, which is why Gibbs was unable to identify him before that date. But Goodhue doesn’t bother to mention any of these discrepancies.

Goodhue also attempts to incorrectly reference the transcript of the March 11th hearing to prove that Godfread sent a text message to Cooper to recruit him to his cause. However, Cooper never stated under oath that it was Godfread that sent him the text, simply that someone alerted him to the situation and told him to contact Godfread. He also conveniently skips the part where Cooper, still under oath, states that it was not his signature on the documents in question, that he uses a middle initial in his signature. And let’s not forget that the fairy tale woven by Goodhue comes from the Affidavit of John Steele, who was not under oath. Should we trust the words of a man who “suffers from a form of moral turpitude unbecoming of an officer of the court?” Let’s hope that the Honorable Judge does his research and is able to quickly dismiss Goodhue’s Fable.

(The illustration above does not show the actual John Steele cabin.)
Followup
Update

5/28/2013
Yesterday, 5/27/2013, defendant David Harris filed his response.