Archive for the ‘Not so serious’ Category

Woke up this morning to a nice surprise: a quick meme I made yesterday was retweeted 200+ times overnight:

 

I often play with Photoshop, making funny collages and parodies. This time my quick idea became unexpectedly popular, so I thought it would be worth to preserve my 15 minutes of Internet fame here. For posterity.

This video is no longer available due to DMCA abuse by the purported rights holder. Sorry about that.

 

Inspiration.

I recently promised not to write about Prenda except for entertainment purposes, and I couldn’t miss this opportunity.

We all know that one of the three Prenda stooges (Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy) is especially entertaining. Paul Duffy, being contacted by the press regarding the fact that Prenda finally began to pay its victims, solemnly responded:

I hope you are doing well. I am devastated by the loss of Nelson Mandela and I hope you join with President Obama in remembering his legacy. He ranks with Mohandes Ghandi, Dr. King and President Kennedy in the struggle for human rights over the past 50 years. There are larger issues than the ability to steal porn… You seem like a nice guy. Thanks.

…only to later merrily celebrate Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Day on December 12, 2013:

 

The document embedded below describes some hilarity from the past: how our highly professional attorney avoided service 26 times in 2012:

 

..and how he threw a temper tantrum to the amusement of passersby during one of the service attempts:

[...]Mr. Willson and his associate rode the elevator with Mr. Duffy down to the lobby of the Daley Center. Mr. Duffy exited the building, followed by Mr. Willson and his associate. Mr. Willson called out Mr. Duffy’s first and last names, and, when Mr. Duffy turned around, Mr. Willson confirmed Mr. Duffy’s identity and handed him the summons.

Mr. Duffy tossed the summons to the ground. Later that morning, counsel’s office received a phone call from a County employee how works in the Daley Center who advised that the summons and complaint had been found on the ground outside the Daley Center.

After all this amusement, Duffy had a nerve to contest the way these events have been presented… with a straight face. Note how he states that he is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, which alone disqualifies him as one who can be perceived seriously. I also wanted to note that Duffy’s firm was involuntarily dissolved, but to be fair, this honorable achievement took place only shortly after the affidavit was filed.

 

According to the Illinois Attorney’s Registration and Disciplinary Record, an infamous copyright troll John Steele is not authorized to practice law in Illinois. Voluntarily inactive:

 

It’s quite a radical way to avoid disbarment. Will John incarcerate himself to avoid jail?

 

 

On a serious note: inactive status does not actually mean “auto-disbarment”: if an attorney does not want to pay Bar fees, he can voluntarily temporarily suspend himself. And it is perfectly normal… unless motives are questionable… oh, well.

Here is the rule:

Lawyers who register as inactive must pay an annual fee of $105.00. Inactive status lawyers may not practice law based upon their Illinois license or hold themselves out as being so authorized. An inactive lawyer may resume active status by submitting written or online notification of the intent to do so, and by paying the balance of the fee active lawyers must pay for the registration year in which active status is resumed. Inactive lawyers are also subject to a $25.00 per month late fee if registering late.

So in theory he can reinstate himself by simply paying the outstanding balance and clicking a button. Yet in light of the current investigation, it is not likely John will be practicing in Illinois again (or anywhere else, because Illinois is the only state where he is licensed). It is clear that this is not about saving on fees. If I had to guess I’d say that’s why he did it: to be able to say “You can’t sanction me! I’m not a practicing attorney anymore!” Won’t fly, of course.

Media coverage
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.

 

 

If you have been following Theatre of Absurd “Prenda” for a while, you’ll smile, chuckle, giggle, and laugh out loud more than once. Enjoy.

 

 

Poor copyright troll from Massachusetts Marvin Cable has had enough troubles recently. I wrote about his failures here, here and here, but after a while, MA judges’ rulings became so consistently and predictably anti-troll that they lost their newsworthiness.

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:

 

Now visit Marvin’s law firm’s webpage or its Twitter avatar and compare:

 

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.)

Related

A trolling lawsuit ends with style.

While Dan Booth and Jason Sweet are currently involved in multiple battles with Prenda’s local goon and swindler Daniel Ruggiero in their home state of Massachusetts, sometimes the defenders move their troops to other states.

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:

  1. Declaratory judgment on non-infringement
  2. Abuse of process
  3. Copyright misuse
  4. Defamation

 

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.

You are correct.

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.

Update
Media coverage

 


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.

It seems that John Steele and his clique is in the process of assuming a new title: “Anti-Piracy Law Group.”

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.

It seems that the work is staled a bit. I think that both the “Coopergate” and impending fraud revelation in the CFAA cases have reshuffled some priorities.

 

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!):

Media coverage

 


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.