It is possible that current Marvin Cable’s losses soon be eclipsed by a mega trouble. According to my confidential source in the IBM’s legal department, this corporate giant is mulling the possibility of suing Law Office of Marvin Cable for trademark infringement.
IBM has been always very protective about its trademarks:
IBM trademarks include the famous IBM eight-bar logo and other designs and logos owned and used by IBM, as well as IBM product and service names. IBM takes great care in the development and protection of its trademarks and reserves all rights of ownership of its trademarks.
I don’t think that there is anyone on this planet who is not familiar with the iconic 3-letter logo:
Despite the difference in color, it is obvious that an outspoken fighter against the theft of intellectual property shamelessly pilfered a part of the IBM’s logo (“M”). The aggravating factor is that his law firm is a lucrative commercial enterprise, and the Lahman act’s maximum statutory fine for the willful commercial infringement is $2,000,000. According to the same source, IBM will be asking for $666,666.67: only one third of the logo was “stolen.” Additionally, IBM may demand monetary compensation for the insult caused by the terrible, amateurish, tasteless “C” next to the misappropriated yet flawless “M.”
My source does not know anything about a possible settlement offer, but he is positive that it will be just a little bit less than the cost of litigation. In addition, the inevitable demand letter will threaten to call Cable’s neighbors, parents and bar buddies — telling them that he is engaged in the dirty business of IP theft, and that because of his irresponsible (and illegal) actions children of IBM factory workers in Vietnam and Malaysia suffer from malnutrition.
(Mind the date of the publication.)
Friday’s Connecticut campaign delivered an (un)expected strike in AF Holdings LLC v. Elliot Olivias (MAD 12-cv-01401). The heroes and villains are the same, plus a local CT attorney Frances Codd Slusarz on our side.
As usually, it is easy to feature Booth Sweet’s pleadings: neither translation nor annotation necessary. Just skip the legal mumbo-jumbo “defendant denies the allegation in paragraph…,” have a quick look at 23 (!) affirmative defenses on pages 5-9, and proceed to slowly enjoying the counterclaims on page 10. There are four of them:
It is worth noting that prior to this Answer no one (to the best of my knowledge) attacked one particular link in the chain of fraud — the fact that in many AF Holdings lawsuits, including this one, the copyright assignee is not “AF Holdings” but a mysterious non-party “AF Films,” hence AF Holdings has no standing to sue:
Plaintiff provides contrary information to its standing in the Complaint. Plaintiff includes with the Complaint the “Certificate of Registration” from the United States Copyright Office for “Sexual Obsession,” which lists that the author and copyright claimant as Heartbreaker Films in California. ECF No. 1-2. However, the assignee signing the agreement is AF Films, LLC, which is not a party to this case.
In fact, the concept of “standing” is not applicable to ghosts, so I propose to replace standing by levitation: “AF Holidngs has no levitation to sue.” I urge Jason to incorporate my proposal in the next pleading v. AF Holdings, Ingenuity 13, Guava, LW Systems and other corporations run by ghosts.
In the meantime, John Steele discovered a new concept of judicial masturbation: a one-party lawsuit. Seriously. We all know how Prenda crooks have been doing a hard work of depriving people a say in the court, the very people they rape (again, in a judicial sense). First, scam artists argued that since subpoena is issued to an ISP, John and Jane Does have no standing to quash it. Didn’t work. Then a new trick was pulled out of the bag: to issue a subpoena not from a jurisdiction where a lawsuit is filed — with a sole goal to confuse John and Jane Does, as well as judges, making it unclear what court they should file their motions to quash with. Admonished by a couple of judges, trolls did not give up and came up with a concept of “co-conspirators” (not defendants — no standing), masking a mass shakedown lawsuits as single-defendant ones… If only this creativity was used to serve the society, not to rob it!
As the culmination of this crookery, John Steele (using an East Coast goon Daniel Ruggiero as a mouthpiece) declared that the sole defendant he is suing had no standing. I’m not joking.
This mind-bogging event happened in a federal case Guava v. John Doe (12-cv-11880) in Massachusetts. I wrote about this bad faith case recently in the post that dealt with the first powerful defense against the series of vindictive and vexatious lawsuits filed on behalf of a non-existent company “Guava LLC.” Two of our favorite attorneys, Dan Booth and Jason Sweet, have delivered a blow to Steele’s megalomaniacal march of naked kings. Defense asked the court to award fees for the prior action (an ongoing fraud in the IL Cook County court) before proceeding any further in this instant lawsuit.
Steele replied. As a rule of thumb, the more serious is a blow, the more hysterical is the reply (the most spiteful example is a sheer hysteria resulted from Erin Russell’s damage to what Prenda hoped to be a smooth extortion campaign). Steele asserted not only that the defendant in this case was not a defendant in the previous action, but also that the defendant in this case is not a defendant in this case (emphasis is mine):
Movants’ second critical flaw is that they¹ are not even defendants in this instant action. Plaintiff brought this action against an unknown defendant — John Doe. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff plans on amending its complaint to name and serve an actual defendant in this action, but until that time, the only party to this litigation is Plaintiff. Again, a defendant is defined as “a person sued is a civil proceeding or accused in a criminal proceeding” Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009). Movants’ claims that they are defendants in this action are premature, as they may never be named and served in this case. [...] At that point, and only at that point, will Plaintiff take that information provided by the ISP, perform a further investigation, and decide whom (and if) to name as the Defendant in this suit, and amend the Complaint accordingly. Until that time, there is no identified Defendant in this action.
Daniel Booth’s reply was, as usual, simple and elegant: No defendant? No lawsuit!
Plaintiff’s solitary version of litigation has no place in the federal courts. As Plaintiff conceded in the prior action, “courts only have subject matter jurisdiction over justiciable matters, which are matters in controversy between an actual plaintiff and an actual defendant.” […] The Court should order Plaintiff to show cause why its one-party suit should not be dismissed.
It is unrealistic to expect anything but lies from Prenda. If, hypothetically, Steele decided to tell the truth just once, he must declare that this lawsuit not only lacks a defendant, but also a plaintiff (Guava LLC is a fake business that is not registered anywhere in the world: I challenge anyone to find such registration). Judicial celibacy would ensue.
¹ You are probably confused: first it was a single defendant, now he or she is referred to as “they.” The reason is that the complaint asserts a single defendant who allegedly used three IP addresses. As the defense noticed, it is simply impossible that those IP addresses could belong to a single individual: those IP addresses resolve to different cities and even different ISPs. Double vision, triple vision… It’s not a secret that John Steele has a drinking problem, but I did not know that John is already reached the delirium tremens phase.
In the beginning¹, it was “Steele Hansmeier”. The name “Steele” became poisonous as Johns’ disrepute spread around the country’s federal judicial districts. Exactly one year ago (on December 13, 2011) “Steele Hansmeier” was dissolved. A couple of months prior to that John Steele created “Prenda Law,” using his acquaintance Paul Duffy as a nominal, fake CEO: only his name, signature and occasional court appearances were required. Paul Hansmeier decided to retreat into a shadow of the scam and pull the strings from there. John Steele “officially” retired too, de facto remaining Prenda’s day-to-day executive. He likes do decline his active role in Prenda: in statements to the press and, occasionally, in the court. This denial is funny (to say the least), because there is a plenty of evidence to the contrary.
It took only a year before the majority of judges in the country started recognizing the name “Prenda,” frowning every time they hear it. What our fraudsters are supposed to do? Maybe simply changing the name will help?
I bet you know an amateurish-looking portal Wefightpiracy.com², whose few goals are simpler than its design: to spread FUD, to justify criminal activity with the help of poorly-articulated ideas lifted from multiple copyright maximalists, and to facilitate defamation.
This WordPress software-powered site is currently under a make-up by the same designers (or ones similarly “professional”). Because of trolls’ natural sloppiness, the work in progress has become available online and even cached by Google, so you can see yourself that nothing has really changed from the previous reincarnation. The title is the only notable change: our bandits are now called “Anti-Piracy Law Group” in an attempt to squeeze a couple of more dimes from the judicial system bastardized by them.
LLC registration details are here. By the way, while checking this new LLC, I noticed that Prenda Law’s status is “NOT GOOD STANDING” on the Illinois Secretary of State site. I found this fact interesting enough to ask a couple of questions in an additional post.
As a matter of fact, ransom letters signed by Duffy, are already being sent using this new name, and some were received by represented alleged filesharers. Maybe Steele does not even bother telling Duffy where documents with his signature are sent, maybe Duffy himself is emboldened by the lack of complaints from attorneys. Let him not worry: certain attorneys have been duly recording every violation of the Code of Professional Conduct, and simply waiting for the right moment.
My personal favorite part of the new site is “Bittorent Betty,” a Twitter account that, if becomes alive, promises tons of entertainment. “She” only tweeted four times, but it already made my day and charged the upcoming weekend with a good mood.
To finish on a cheerful note, less than a day after this article was posted, this site received an unusual but nice early Christmas gift (don’t hesitate to click, it’s clean!):
¹ I omit Steele’s earlier shenanigans: prior to becoming a copyright troll, he was a divorce lawyer. He did not become evil overnight.
² All the links in this post are direct, so if you are paranoid and don’t want Prenda’s server to see your IP address, use a proxy — like Anonymouse — to browse. I couldn’t quickly find proxies that allow hotlinking: if you know one, let me know, and I change the links.
Thank you, everyone!
Enjoy the song with an appropriate title “Thank you.”
It takes only 6 minutes to walk from the House of Blues, where the magic took place, to the Troll Central at 161 North Clark. A different kind of “magic” happens there: Prenda Law throws a karaoke party and a special guest Daniel Ruggiero sings in Jersey anything’s legal as long as you don’t get caught. Their superband “AF Holdings” plays loud Halloween music, not knowing that the cover hiding the fraud it is based on has already developed serious cracks and is about to break.
Plaintiff is reminded of John Adams’ defense of the six soldiers in the Boston Massacre, in December 1770, where he took the case despite the reputational blow to his career as a lawyer, and said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Here, the facts are that Doe defendants violated Plaintiff’s rights, and federal rules allow for permissive joinder of these defendants. There are no facts, there are only speculations, that the Plaintiff is ill-ly using the Court system to fill its belly and that this Court cannot find ways to adjudicate each defendant in one civil action. As this Court respectfully noted in it’s denial of defendant’s request to recuse a judge in U.S. v. Bulger, it is irresponsible for this Court to comply to requests where parties “have chosen to make untrue accusations in the possible hope of subverting that process, or at the very least, forcing a delay of a trial by injecting a diversionary issue into the proceedings.” 1:99-cr-10371-RGS (D. Mass) at 9. Plaintiff feels this Court would agree that Defendants’ requests to sever based on tall tales or misconduct should not be complied with.
I suspect that another Adams, namely Samuel, was the inspiration of such passion.
I’m sure John Adams is turning in his grave, hearing that his noble actions are being compared to using underage pornography to extort quick cash from people who are defendants during the day but turn ISP subscribers at night. (As a weretroll himself, Marvin seemingly does not have any problem with this transformation.)
To commemorate this flabbergasting arrogance, Marvin Cable’s nickname will be “President Adams” from now on.
The brave defender of the “work of art” Dirty Little Schoolgirl Stories #4 proudly regards himself as a role model:
Another Court in this District noted there has been no report of Plaintiff’s Counsel (who is the same Counsel here in a similar case) engaging in any unethical or coercive tactics, using the content-matter to persuade people into settling. It has even been stated on the record in another Court in a similar case during a hearing (transcript for that hearing is currently being worked on by stenographer) that this Counsel (who is the same Counsel here), as opposed to many others around the country, is one of the most ethical and best to deal with. Plaintiff can nearly guarantee that every defense counsel that has dealt with plaintiffs’ counsel would agree, even those who submit fierce motions against plaintiff.
Well, Dan Booth agrees… kind of:
Note how Marvin “President Adams” Cable explained the reason why he missed the hearing: he did not check his email on a daily basis! Since courts went all electronic, dogs are dying from hunger: no more
homework judge’s orders to eat. This lame excuse resulted in short but entertaining order:
Ch. Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered. ORDER Setting Hearing on Plaintiff’s Renewed Motion for Early Discovery (Docket # 43). Plaintiff’s counsel failed to appear for the hearing scheduled for October 5, 2012. The Court has re-scheduled this hearing for October 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 24. Plaintiff’s Counsel is directed to check his email notices from the Court on a daily rather than weekly basis. (Chernetsky, James) (Entered: 10/09/2012)
Things go fast and downhill for Marvin “President Adams” Cable. The very same case, where he compared himself to Adams, just crumbled:
Docket Text: Judge Richard G. Stearns: ELECTRONIC ORDER severing all defendants but Doe 1 entered. Beneath the cloud of rhetoric, New Sensations, Inc., raises nothing in its Response beyond conjecture to suggest that these defendants are appropriately joined together. The court accepts counsel’s representation of good faith in attempting to litigate these cases. However, under the civil rules, in fairness to all involved, including the court, these cases should be litigated and defended in separate causes of action. Therefore, the court will dismiss without prejudice defendants 2 – 201. (Zierk, Marsha)
An anonymous commenter, who brought the news, also quoted John Adams, and this wisdom can serve as an epigraph to this site:
It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.
― John Adams
This short post is the total opposite, and it targets those who know about the topic and who can pass the History of copyright trolling in the USA exam with at least solid “B.” And instead of grievances, sometimes I must share lulz. To keep us sane.
Searching the Internet for “bittorent litigation,” I found a May 2011 print issue of XBiz World (pdf). It was beyond my control not to post one particular page (61).
I’m actually going to print this page and hang over my desk with two quotes highlighted:
Randazza is filing suits in jurisdictions where the defendants are located because he wants to give them a fair shot at defending themselves.
“I don’t believe in bullying people into writing checks,” he said.
A judge has already granted Time Warner’s motion to quash. Stone said the judge went beyond his authority.
“We will move to have the issue reviewed by a district judge,” Stone said.” We will file an appeal, and we want this addressed by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Every time John Steele (or one of his minions) appears at this and DietrollDie’s forums, he never fails to mention his intention to hire new lowlifes. I have no idea why he thinks that it will help scaring readers into submission, but he persistently tries to plant into our minds the idea that Prenda is legion. In reality, the times are hard for Steele and trolls in general: information about the copyright trolling scam is spreading fast. As a result, it is hard to find an attorney who will risk his reputation at the dusk of extortionists’ day. Even in Florida, Steele’s firm is having problems finding a Joe Perea’s replacement. One reputable attorney was tricked into cooperation recently, but ran away as soon as he learned what Prenda is about. The prospect to find anyone soon in Florida is seemingly grim to the extent that Chicago’s Paul Duffy, the nominal Prenda’s boss, has to appear pro hac vice to represent Steve Lightspeed in a farcical CFAA lawsuit that lingers in the Miami-Dade county court. In Texas, long-time faithful servant Douglas McIntyre decided to leave the sinking ship Prenda this week, a noble action that any self-respecting rat performs when the time is right.
Northern California is not a fertile ground for new trolls either. As I said, it is very hard to find anyone who is willing to risk his future career, especially if the salary that is offered is a joke. Nothing is impossible for a California’s Prenda attaché, brave Brett “Pinocchio” Gibbs, though, and our restless young man posts a job ad to Craigslist. If you access this text from the future, the link is most likely invalid: the lifespan of a Craigslist ad is short, that’s why I preserved a screenshot:
No copyright experience needed! $40K/year! I knew these people are vile, but did not expect them to be so cheap. My mood was already elevated after reading this ad, but Raul chimed in and made my day: I did not have such a good laugh for a long time. Below is Raul’s translation from Pinocchiolean:
Full-Time Apprentice Copyright Troll (mill valley)
Mill Valley Of Counsel to Copyright Troll Firm, Prenda Law, seeking full-time apprentice troll to help maintain the caseload provided by a nationally disdained Chicago-based copyright troll firm specializing in a barely legal extortion racket. Currently, this is a one-person scumbag operation, and will be looking for someone to work with that one person directly to accomplish the tasks presented. Very sleazy environment in the office but we keep lots of beer on hand to please our leader, Master Troll John Steele, in case he visits us from sunny Florida. A lot of opportunities to appear in State and Federal courts to receive lashing by judges, potential sanctions, and unanimous contempt by others in the legal profession.
Bonus Qualifications (not necessary):
NO copyright/litigation experience/background necessary as we fly by the seat of our pants.
• Compensation: to be defined (need to call the Department of Labor to learn the current minimum wage).
• OK to highlight this job opening for persons with mental disabilities: we hired Lutz and Duffy after all.
• Principals only! Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster unless you wish to be sued for copyright infringement.
• Please, no phone calls about this job! (as if you can find my phone number in this ad — LOL)
• Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests such as malpractice insurance.
At any given moment, tens of thousands share porn using bittorent.
Somewhere in Minnesota, a “forensic expert” spends sleepless nights in front of his monitor, tracking down evil porn pirates, writing IP addresses on a stained notepad with an obtuse pencil, and, opening a new box of Kleenex, carefully comparing downloaded flicks with master copies provided by pornographers, scene by scene, to make sure there is no mistake.
Given the faulty collection methods of such “experts” and their dontgiveafuckness about high collateral damage rate, it does not matter whether you are guilty or not: even if you never heard about bittorent, you are not immune to finding a scary letter in your mailbox one day. Wiping sweat from the forehead with a shaking palm, you, a “winner” of the “reverse lottery,” will learn about the prospects of selling your house, forgetting about your children’s education, and working years and years for free in order to pay $150,000 to the creators of the most useful of arts, low budget pornography.
But wait! The author of this letter, Joseph Perea¹, is not a douchebag, as fightcopyrighttrolls.com and dietrolldie.com try portraying him! He is a Santa Claus, bringing a gift of relief in a form of small, almost nominal fee to make this nightmare to go away! Just pay $3,400 and this ordeal will turn into an educational story you will tell your grandchildren many years down the road, a story about a wise choice.
It is difficult to get rid of the following question though: what happens to you if you refuse to pay? As the letter suggests, a lawsuit will be commenced against you personally and you will lose, sell your house, work for free… Right?
Wrong! Given the history of Prenda Law (as well as any other troll), out of 300,000 targets, not a single person was found liable based on merits. All the “victories” either resulted from default judgments (when a person ignores court orders — not wise) or instances when a not litigation-savvy defendant incriminates himself by talking too much.
Yes, we know, there were individual lawsuits filed, but most of them went nowhere, and two even turned against the crooks. A defendant-turned-plaintiff in one of those two lawsuits, Liuxia Wong, not only managed to be left alone, but also received some money from the blackmailers. Recently Prenda attempted a new round of FUD, filing more than 50 “individual”² lawsuits in three states, but it was too late: the majority of targets, after spending a day on the Internet and understanding the anatomy of the scam, started openly laughing at the trolls and replying to the hollow threats properly:
Needless to say, the author of this response never heard from Prenda again.
Thanks to the author for making my (and, I hope, yours) day.
The document is mirrored here for those who can’t access Scribd.
Apparently I was overoptimistic: this gentleman has heard again from the crooks, which provoked an expected result. I simply fail to understand a masochist Steele, who keeps deliberately inviting pain into his ass.
Perea recently broke from Prenda to pursue a solo troll career Update: it’s just another dirty game: Perea still signs Prenda’s papers.
²All these cases are filed against a “Doe,” not a named individual.