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Quick summary of the 2012 Malibu Media (x-art.com) troll cases:
140 total Federal cases since 2/8/12, up to 5/15/12. Included are 1,982 Doe defendants. Cases by month:
Feb- 29 cases
Mar- 14 cases
April- 67 cases
May- 30 cases
Cases by State (& Division):
CA- 35 (8 ED, 17 CD, 15 SD)
NY- 21 (6 ED, 15 SD)
FLA- 18 (15 MD, 3 SD)
PA- 15 (ED)
VA- 8 (ED)
There are also 4 cases filed in Miami Dade county court in Florida which include Malibu Media. These are cases for a single plaintiff, and may be missing Federal or state cases not posted on web listings. The large amount of cases over 8 states may indicate a multi-state scheme.
Thanks for the observation. I saw the response to SJD’s comment later in the day. Let’s just say there’s grounds to guess the forensics-lawyer groupings. There appear to be a small number of major agents. Some data is discussed in the general issues section. If there was real trials, real discovery by the defendant could get some of these documented. The story about porn purveyor copyright holders only getting 10% of collections is a little surprising. Other operators are running things and taking most of the cash.
New troll BlueBird films LLC ?
Yes. The MAD case is their first RFC listing. New troll plaintiff Bluebird Films is reportedly financed by Paul Chaplin with “useful works” arranged by CEO/producer/director Nicholas Steele.
The porn purveyor Bluebird Films may have signed on to the scam due to some recruitment pitch from the trolls. However, some web posts suggest that this porn business is postponing payments due to lack of cash.
“Other stories on the same site [AdultFYI] mention that Paul Chaplin has stopped funding Bluebird Films USA and well the long and short of it is, looks like if Bluebird Films owes you money you are SOL.”
“BabeShows.com, the companies official forums have seen a rash of posts recently complaining about lack of affiliate payments, shotty customer service and problems with their websites. “
I haven’t really seen someone mention this unless I overlooked it horribly. But, is it off base to speculate on the turnaround time generally from these trolls harvesting IP’s and filing a complaint in court? I’d venture a guess and say it would be around a month or maybe two? I don’t see them waiting too long. Anyone have any input on this because I’m curious.
Also, this is also a speculation on my part but are one of the reasons for the influx of the smaller amounts of Does in cases due to the trolls adapting and trying to “narrow” down the location of said Does to the court’s jurisdiction? I might be wrong, I don’t know. I know there are other reasons. I just thought this to possibly one of them and wanted someone’s insight.
Oh, I forgot to put why I thought they wouldn’t wait too long. I don’t see how a troll harvesting IP’s and waiting 4, 5, 6, etc. months or more to send a complaint in helps their argument. I thought one of the arguments they place forward is that the Does involved basically conspired together.
It’s generally true that trolls file suit within a month or two of the LAST alleged infringement in their alleged swarm. Be aware that the alleged swarms on the troll exhibits are usually at least two months in length, some much longer.
While I don’t know the troll reasoning, I think that mainly
1) trolls know that ISP’s keep the customer dynamic I.P. addresses lists for a limited amount of time. Allegations for recent dates are likely to still be on record.
2) the timing often is related to trolls getting copyright registration for their plaintiffs. Many cases were filed within days of weeks of the copyright application/registration.
3) the honeypot scheme needs some arranging. The trolls want to select titles to focus on, based on registered copyright, alleged torrent activity, and number of allegations in one jurisdiction to maximize profit in one case.
Minor factors may be:
4) A colder case is more difficult to make, so Does might feel less pressured. People move, neighbors move, recollections fade. If the trolls actually did investigation, it would be harder. (They haven’t, except possibly limited investigation in extremely favorable cases for them.)
5) It would look bad to the court. If alleged infringing goes on months or years, it will be more obvious that trolls took no measures beyond the money grab machine to “protect” copyright. The troll lawyer sham interest in looking out for the “creative rights” of their clients looks very weak.
I agree that an alleged swarm lasting many months makes the conspiracy and joinder allegations look even less credible.
So if I understand you correctly, the trolls focus on particular titles in a particular jurisdiction..let’s say the southern district of NY.. to maximize the amount of money they can scam off people? (I assume they also pick that particular state cause they are licensed to practice there?)
Do they usually go after a particular ISP as well? I ask because I wonder if certain ones are more liable to give up information quicker than others.
The copyright troll LInda Ellis got my videos taken down from Youtube using 2 copyright strikes. The videos tell my story of harassment by Linda Ellis and her copyright troll. I made the videos – all original content. How do I get my videos restored?
Unfortunately that’s the reality with copyright today: it is easy to abuse. You can (and should) file a counter-claim with Google, and your videos will be restored for sure. Unfortunately the troll will get away with that and won’t be punished.
Our main weapon in fight with trolls is publicity. I suggest contacting Mike Masnick from Techdirt and tell him your story: it’s a major news outlet with huge exposure. I’m sure he will be interested in covering that.
You need legal representation at his point, do you have a law school nearby? If so, there may be an internship program to give the students experience while protecting constitutional freedoms (First Amendment in your case).
Sound legal advice from CA: Do not feed the trolls and read SJD’s blog! http://pietzlawfirm.com/slaying-the-copyright-troll-help-i-got-a-letter-from-my-isp-seeking-to-subpoena-my-identity-because-a-copyright-troll-wants-to-sue-me-for-copyright-infringement-what-do-i-do
Thanks, Raul. Now prepare for the Lulz: an “advice” from a licensed lawyer that made my day (emphasis is my):
I just took a quick look at fightcopyrightrolls.com, and the commentary provided on this web-site concerning the impact of various recent procedural opinions in certain so-called copyright troll/john doe cases. To say the very least, the authors on this web-site misunderstand the cases they discuss, and overreact to the alleged implications of those cases. Most importantly, the authors, while acknowledging disagreement among federal district judges, mislead by suggesting that there is a trend in the case law in opposition to the assertion of copyright claims based on illegal bit torrent downloads. The vast majority of federal district courts allow these cases to go forward. Moreover, even Judge McMahon will allow the plaintiff’s counsel to proceed with individual claims against the John Doe plaintiffs. The fact is that the vast majority of persons whose internet protocol addresses are associated with illegal downloads have engaged in willful copyright infringement, knowingly using file sharing services to avoid paying a modest sum to download a movie, song or other work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with plaintiffs (and their lawyers) who pursue copyright infringement claims on this basis—indeed, some would argue that it is in the public interest that they pursue these claims. And while the courts are developing procedural rules for how these cases must be litigated, these procedural rules do not mean that the “anti troll” people are winning—in the long run the battle against illegal downloads will continue. The reason that only a few such cases are tried is not that the plaintiff’s lawyers are engaging in extortion—it is that most defendants acknowledge having engaged in the illegal activity, and wisely choose to settle rather than litigate This is not extortion—to the contrary, it is an entirely legitimate way to handle these cases. Anyone who receives a cease and desist letter concerning an illegal download should take it seriously, and unless valid defenses exist, it remains wise to settle the matter.
Befoe I saw your comment I saw your tweet, went to avoid.com and posted my own little comment. This guy is truly a pompous nincompoop.
I clashed with this guy a long-long time ago, and frankly think that arguing with him is a waste of time.
I couldn’t get my wallet out of my pants fast enough!
This guy lost me at “bit torrent,” and by referring to an IP address as an “internet protocol address.” Maybe he learned computers in the 1970’s too, but he is not up with the lingo. Perhaps if we’re lucky, we’ll see him as one of Copyright Enforcement Group’s new attorney trolls. ;) I’d like to see him try to explain what a bittorrent swarm is to a judge.
Just a general question here for educational purposes. Looking at the cases like in NY and Mass for example.. the trolls have a lot of small amount of Does.. such as 1-20 or 1-30 etc. Is this because they are finding the people who actually live in the jurisdiction of the court/state or whatever? I noticed before that cases would have thousand + Does and then it went down to hundreds.. now it is down to barely even close to 50. So my take is that they started doing that primarily for jurisdiction reasons. Can anyone give insight on this?
Different strategies for different times; right now it is called forum shopping.
Can you explain what forum shopping means or direct me to a place where I can possibly read about it?
I did find something on another recent case in Mass that I Google’d where the troll lawyer said this..
“To ensure that venue and jurisdiction are proper, Plaintiff, through its agents
and representatives, has undertaken efforts to only identify alleged infringers who are
within or near the geographic location of the Court. See Exhibit B, Declaration of Jon
Forum Shopping – this is a trick used by crappy lawyers to get away from Judges who ask questions and instead get infront of Judges who just rubber stamp everything. It is wrong but many trolls do this.
If I remember correctly, Nicolini was the expert in a case recently where they had to admit that the geolocation tools they were using were not as accurate as they lead the court to believe. The reason it matters is if they file a case in Mass and target a Doe in lets say CA, that is the improper jurisdiction. The Mass Court doesn’t have the authority over the Doe in CA. They used to pile IP addresses from all over the country into mass Doe cases and then forum shop them to a Judge who would just rubber stamp, and then they were getting motions to quash and dismiss coming in from all over the country. Now they make sure people are in the “right” place using tools with up to a 70% error rate.
I wrote an article on forum shopping here. I hope this helps. https://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/forum-shopping-by-copyright-trolls/ -Rob
I see what forum shopping means now.
So basically, without proper jurisdiction, the trolls would have to re-file in your own state if they wish to go after you individually but to do that they have to be licensed there as well. However their actual goal is just to get the judge to sign off on finding out the locations of the people and get money out of them by fear tactics.
> but to do that they have to be licensed there as well. <— everything you said except this was pretty much accurate. They can file in jurisdictions in which they are not licensed, and they can get local counsel there as well in order to file against you. Their goal is to get the contact information to match with their IP list so that they can start eliciting settlements.
That would still require them to re-file against individuals and pay more court costs even if they go into your local jurisdiction. But, at the end of the day, the main goal is as you said, to elicit settlements and dump out on the scheme once they could get as much as they can and move onto others.
Is there a breakdown of which Trolls have named & taken individuals to court? Like is Malibu more likely than Patrick Collins for example. Also, what is the average time between the last call/letter before someone receives a court summons, for those that are actually named? Lastly, how do the Trolls access someone’s assets?
so i was not sure where to post this but i will be interesting how the ipv6 changeover will impact bittorrent trolling
“At the moment, if someone suspected of committing a crime is posting about it on Facebook, for instance, police can obtain a court order to trace an IPv4 Internet address such as 220.127.116.11 back to a single household.
But the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses is prompting many Internet providers to embrace a transitional technology called carrier-grade Network Address Translation, or CGN, that allows a single Internet address to be shared by hundreds of homes, or even an entire town, at the same time. It’s common to have 1,000 people share one Internet address.
That means it’s no longer enough to know that someone’s publicly visible address is 18.104.22.168. ”
should be interesting how this plays out with bittorrent.
Meier has named an individual in Maryland, 8:12-cv-01710-AW. The named individual is a 70yrs+ years old woman, Thunga Satyapal. Wait wait, if you think her husband is a dirty old man, he passed away 2 years ago and she lives alone. I think Meier is foaming in his mad dog mouth as she lives in a rather nice hood and he thinks he has hit jackpot and must name to get 150K
If this is not a poster case for the bastards trolls are, then what is….
Weird, he filed the lawsuit on 6-11 and closed it on 6-12. FUD tactic or was he contacted by Satyapal’s attorney?
How do you know that she is a 70 y.o.? Any links?
Or maybe he realized this might be the waterloo case that brings down his trolling, i guess his greed backtracked to the bigger ongoing greed. Can you imagine the backlash to a 70 yrs old woman walking into courtroom to defend against porn download accusations. I just checked the details and it crazy what these scums can do.
Quick sample numbers:
In June so far, as listed on RFC, 56% of ALL new copyright cases filed (47 of 84) are copyright troll cases, mostly on behalf of porn purveyors.
Brief preliminary May 2012 numbers: On RFC lists, 167 of 311 new copyright cases across the U.S. were (mostly porn purveyor) copyright troll cases. That’s about 54% of all U.S. copyright cases in May.
It’s a fair guess this was not the intent of the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
How can I determine if a karaoke manufacturer has *ALL* the necessary licenses and approvals for recreating an original music recording to a karaoke version (compulsory, sync, etc)?
If the karaoke manufacturer has a single registered copyright for a full CD of karaoke songs does this mean that they fully complied with all the requirements to copy, sync lyrics, and sell the original work of the song?
Where can I find a list of ALL the requirements a karaoke manufacturer must meet before producing a karaoke version of an original song?
Hey everyone, just wanted to give you all a heads-up about a VPN service I had a rather unexpected experience with. I had heard about a VPN called Hidemyass.com and so I decided to trry it out for a month’s fee. I got the usual confirmation email but I also got a suspension email stating that I had like 44 hours to provide a mobile phone number in order to verify. Seriously??? I immediately emailed them back to cancel this order and refund my account the money I paid. Has anyone used this service and is it legit. The “mobile” phone number demand really made me wonder. I am not saying they are a scam or anything but all I am doing is relaying my personal experience TODAY. This all occured today and I have a strong feeling I will be calling my bank tomorrow to ensure no other transactions are allowed from them to my account.
So, I guess my question is: Did I just get played?
Here is the story about HideMyAss and their misleading policy. I can’t blame them for handing out logs when subpoenaed, but why they keep logs in the first place? It is not mandatory. And as I hear you, they dag themselves even deeper in a hole by requesting identifying information: seems that they were seriously shat their pants when threatened by by authorities.
There are plenty VPNs that honor the letter “P” in the center of the abbreviation. Many don’t keep logs and some accept bitcoins as payment. Read this TorrentFreak article and make your informed choice. I use AirVPN and so far I’m happy: these guys not only businessmen, but fighters for the net freedom. Just look at their Twitter feed and you’ll see why I trust them.
Thanks, I had a feeling, a gut feeling, that by them asking for a mobile number through a convenient suspension notice, the day I paid for the service, that there was something very fishy going on. I think the money is lost but I will contact my bank tomorrow and make sure they cannot make any further charges.
Thinking about a post but not sure where the research will go so am going to use this space as a bulletin board of sorts to post tidbits and see if something coalesces.
1. Notice PA MTQ by an attorney who argues that 47 U.S.C. §551 which trolls rely upon for orders permitting third party subpoenas only applies to law enforcement agencies, not private litigants. http://ia600502.us.archive.org/34/items/gov.uscourts.paed.461467/gov.uscourts.paed.461467.6.0.pdf
2. While walking dog, can’t help but think “Does the Emperor have no clothes?” or have prior Doe/ISP attorneys missed this legal argument or is it even valid?
3. Begin looking into issue and stumble upon 2007 Comcast Cable Law Enforcement Handbook which answers question as to how long does this ISP retains customer internet records? Answer: 6 months http://cryptome.org/isp-spy/comcast-spy.pdf
4. Find DCD case Arista Records v. Does 1-9 (7-cv-1649) which might kill idea for post http://www.steptoe.com/assets/attachments/3410.pdf Will look at issue afresh tomorrow.
To the best of my knowledge, Kollar-Kotelly made a series of very bad ruling during the latest trolling syphilis ourbreak. Almost Howell.
Will dig deeper tomorrow.
Thanks for the heads up, had no idea.
Regarding item 1, if subpoenas to ISP’s are only allowed to government entities then how is it that judges have been granting subpoenas to the ISP’s for the personal info? I have not read through the 47 USC 551 and so I am wondering if there is something in there that allows third party intrusion. If not, then that would raise some extremely serious issues would it not?
I dont see how #4 kills the idea.
“Defendant’s Motion offers four reasons as to why the Court should quash Plaintiffs’
subpoena: (1) Plaintiff’s subpoena is not authorized by 47 U.S.C. § 551(c)(2)(B); (2) Plaintiff’s
subpoena is not authorized by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1984, 17 U.S.C. § 512(h);
(3) Plaintiff’s subpoena is not authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and (4) the
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(2), prohibits
disclosure of the information sought by Plaintiffs’ subpoena. See Def.’s Mot. at 7-14.
The first and second grounds raised by Defendant do not require discussion because
Plaintiffs concede that neither statute authorizes Plaintiffs’ subpoena in this case” (my emphasis added)
The decision is based on the defendant being a student at GWU which is not a cable operator, thus not bound by 47 U.S.C. §551.
If this is true and holds water, than this should be disseminated to every case pending BEFORE the Judge grants discovery. The argument provided, I don’t believe, requires to be provided by a John Doe. This argument could kill all pending legislation in the country.
Even if it limits the disclosure to not include phone numbers and e-mail addresses than it would limit there ability to provide FUD, finally all written notifications from them could be used against them in future proceedings.
47 usc 551(c)(2)(C)(i) is the kick in the ass I believe: “the cable operator has provided the subscriber the opportunity to prohibit or limit such disclosure, and…..”
The ISP letters we got referred us (LMS/ILL) to the troll law firm for mitigation. I do not see that as a method or means to prohibit or limit disclosure, but I am sure they would claim that it is. Nothing I received from my ISP (And I received nothing at all directly from my ISP, but rather Neustar) offered any means to me to prohibit or limit the release of any of my info. Seems to me there might be grounds for a massive (history making) class action lawsuit against the ISP’s, troll operations, and a “walk the plank” scenario for some judges.
I will supply the rope.
Caution: this notion of mine is half baked and may be a deadend but the idea is to reveal what can be discovered while running down such a notion and, who knows, it may lead to something useful.
The ISP’s will claim ignorance, they contracted this service out to Neustar because they are not experts and Neustar is supposed to be in compliance. Instead they skirt the letter of the law by letting you know the release has been requested, and refer you to a lawyer actively seeking your information who is supposed to tell you how to defeat them trying to get your information.
It would be interesting to see what happens id someone were to sue their ISP/Neustar for failing to provide all of the information.
But the law clearly states that the cable provider must provide you the information. It does not mention that a hired agent (Neustar) who will refer you to the lawyers trying to get your information to tell you how to defeat them is a valid alternative. Seems to me that would not fly as it does not constitute a good faith effort. It would be interesting indeed to see someone sue their ISP under this statute. I can already smell the creative legal interpretive shuffling. Because there is no way in hell a Doe suing an ISp over this would ever be allowed to win. Can you imagine the consequences if the Doe were to win??……All the ISP’s would suffer enormous class action lawsuits in the multimillions from tens of thousands of victims. No, this notion of following the letter of the law will never work and it will be shut down……just watch.
It would injure some of the smaller ISPs in a massive way, they are just trying to do what the courts require and are overwhelmed.. They didn’t have staff to handle this sort of thing. It also raises the question of who all uses Neustar, if larger ISPs are doing it how are the names getting to the 3rd party contractor?
I think the questions about Neustar deserve some consideration and exploration, the problem is going to be there will be nothing that can be done to compensate those who took the advice and settled with the trolls. This is going to get messy.
I know of a case where when called the ISP told the Doe that the threat letter was bogus, a scam, and to ignore it. Only after multiple calls was the Doe informed it was a legit letter and they had notified Doe via email only. Sent to an account the Doe never used. It was messy.
There are lots of little stories like this where people are not getting the information they should in a timely fashion, courts not questioning how legitimate it is to approve a case of 2000 people moving forward in their courtroom, ruling you have no right to privacy when there is totally unproven tech making the accusation. So many things being done wrong and it sometimes seems impossible to make them go right…. but we fight on…
I’ve been reviewing the Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. et al. v. Stellar Records, Inc. et al., 2012 CV 00512 (M. D. Tenn) case and have found that several of the songs that the music publisher is disputing are already under a fully registered and received copyright by Stellar Records.
In the case, one of the songs Warner is disputing is a song entitled “Someone Like You” by the original artist Adele. This song is on Stellar Records “May 2011 Pop Hits Monthly -Pop” CDG (this CDG also contains 8 other songs by different artists/publishers)
Stellar Records appears to have a valid copyright (SR 690-806) for this specific CDG.
If the music publisher (Warner in this case) did not provide permission/license to Stellar is the copyright invalid?
Assuming Warner’s allegations are true, why would Stellar copyright a song (or group of songs) for which they did not have permission/license?
Are these songs used as background music in pornos? For example Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokin%27_in_the_Boys_Room as the background music for “Blumkin Blowjobs” (NSFW) http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=8539016&style=ice
Has anyone questioned the method that Trolls used to get the IP address? To find out the IP address in the p2p, the Troll has to upload the file in a swarm to monitor whoever downloading the file from it. In another word, the so called ‘unauthorized file sharing’ complained by troll can not be accomplished without the Troll’s participation. Is it a legal way to get the evidence for these cases? How can the Troll proves itself not the original seeder for these p2p files?
Either this blog or my iPod is possessed somehow. Allow me to explain. Almost every time I am mucking around on this blog with the iPod on random I get mostly fight songs. Just heard this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCpdkbo-_co Weird!
Of course those trolls who like Warren Zevon prefer this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwrel&NR=1&v=b0NlXKPaqZg
Need a little insight. This weekend, while on PACER, I found another case file in the Texas court by Douglas McIntyre on behalf of Hard Drive Videos (4:12-cv-00699), that has the typical list of IP numbers. However, one of the IP addresses is the exactly the same one they claim was assigned to us in a completely different John Doe case in Texas. What could that mean? None of the other IP addresses matched up between the two cases. And I was never notified in any manner regarding the Hard Drive case.
Specific response directly to the question coming later. I found this INTERESTING passage on a web site:
“Determining the physical location down to a city or ZIP code, however, is more difficult and less accurate because there is no official source for the information, users sometimes share IP addresses and Internet service providers often base IP addresses in a city where the company is basing operations.
Accuracy rates on deriving a city from an IP address fluctuate between 50 and 80 percent, according to DNS Stuff, a Massachusetts-based DNS and networking tools firm.”
Recall that ALREADY an I.P. address is not a person:
“accusations…have tremendous potential to be wrong and to result in disastrously expensive litigation for wrongly accused private citizens….”
Adding the possibilities of spoofing, misappropriation, other misidentification, and trolls making things up, to a baseline 20 to 50% error rate, the potential for wrongful allegation by trolls is huge.
Here is a link to a NBC Bay Area story on the Trolls. Randazza was the only one who would talk to them. Least he isn’t a chicken-shit like Steele and Siegel. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/161158025.html
Here is the NBC Bay Area video of the story. ;) http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/161158025.html
It’s my understanding that a NBC station in Boston and Las Vegas is also doing a story on this. Does anyone know what stations? I would love to see this story go nation wide! Trolls don’t like the spotlight shining brightly on their scams.
But Las Vegas attorney Marc Randazza, who represents a major adult film company, says in the 30,000 cases he’s pursued – only 4 of the accused were innocent.
And we all know how truthful trolls are – right? Maybe what troll Randazza meant to say is “there were 4 people we couldn’t bully and threaten into a settlement, so we gave up”. Yep, that’s what I think he meant.
Just fr shits and giggles, I am curious. Is Liberty Media Holdings totally gay porn or do they operate straight porn also. I know Corbin Fisher is a gay porn site but that Liberty Media is the parent company and so I am not sure if Liberty parents other websites as well, and if so are they gay and/or straight.
They have/had a bisexual line at some point. Makes it so much more believable that the str8 guys having sex are really str8.
My home address received a letter today from Prenda Law, Sunlust Pictures, LLC vs John Doe. It seems that quite a few of the messages in this thread seem knowledgeable, and I am not on this matter. What are the repercussions of receiving this letter, and what should I do?
Yesterday, I too received a letter from Prenda Law, Sunlust Pictures, LLC vs John Doe. It was addressed directly to me because my provider, Neustar released my information complying with the subpoena. In the letter it states that they will accept $3,400 to settle and release me. And today, some paralegal named Kip McGee contacted me. I only told him that I am awaiting a call from my attorney. Will they go away? Will they file suit against me? I believe it will be filed in Florida correct? Should my attorney offer to settle for a much lower figure? Help!!
Stop – Take a breath…. calm down.
Sadly they will not go away.
The odds of them filing an actual lawsuit are small.
They want to scare you into paying them for things you may not even be involved in.
They would have to file the case in Federal Court in the district that actually covers you, the use of Florida is a trick they have been exploiting to avoid limitations in Federal Court.
Speaking to them is ALWAYS a bad idea, you might think you could explain it wasn’t you but they do not care. They want to get you to say something they can claim is an admission of guilt and then use that to get you to settle. They will keep bothering you for a while, you could opt to hire a lawyer to try and fend them off but that will cost money.
Only you can make the final decision for you and your situation, the common advice is to not settle, not talk to them, and wait it out… but some people opt to settle to avoid hassles in their lives. The evidence they claim to have against you isn’t very strong and you should get legal advice in crafting a settlement, do not assume Prenda is above playing games and dirty tricks.
At the top of this page is the discussions tab, under that is John Steele and Prenda topic where I am sure you will find more people similarly situated and others who have gotten these letters before you. You will be able to see their stories and decide what is best for you.
I recived the sopena months ago and was freaked out. I was calling all around town trying to find a lawyer that wouldn’t charge so much and has knowledge of this kind of stuff. I found a very good cheap attorney that didn’t really have to much knowledge on this stuff but had many connections leading to where they were sending this sopena from. His advice was to just relax, don’t sign for packages or letters, tell your family to also not to sign for anything, and don’t admit your idenity to any stranger asking if your so and so (maybe some kind of server). So I took his advice pretty much forgot all about this CRAP then recived a second sopena same exact as the first one nothing new it got me thinking about this deal again but then forgot about it a little later. They are trying to put fear in you and make you contact them to settle. I also told the lawyer that I’m being wrongfully accused I had no password protection on my wi-fi in my apartment building complex which at that time housed hundreds of people. He said that makes sense but they will come back saying it was YOUR responsiblity to password protect so its all bs. IGNORE IT!
I received a demand letter from Prenda Law recently. My question to the forum is: What if the allegations may be true? I have alot of people using the computer. If this is problematic for me, how can I mount a defense? Don’t I have to settle?
They want you to think that you have to settle or they will sue you and you’ll have to defend it. I’m pretty sure there have been zero cases tried on the merits of their claims, and they have only named a handful of defendants, so the chances of you being sued are slim to none.
Also, depending on the allegations, there have been a number of motions and decisions lately that completely shut them down
Read up on this site, and you will see the overwhelming advice is don’t pay them anything, don’t talk to them, and they’ll most likely go away.
Too frequently, these cases are so volatile that there are a number of procedural steps that you (or your lawyer) can take to keep you out of trouble. They sue too many people, you benefit from their mistakes.
Latest report on the Corbin Fisher versus Oron case,
Below is a comment from an attorney Allan Gelbard towards Marc Randazza,
“I can tell you that I have never seen or even heard of him making any deliberate misrepresentations to the court or opposing counsel. Marc is a smart, thorough and resilient litigator.”
Is this true ??
I hope others chime in here but IMHO Randazza is a multifaceted asshole. His hypocrisy and cynical disregard for the consequences of his actions, let alone his perversion of the law to make a buck makes me want to puke.
Just a heads up SJD.. CEG changed it’s name recently.. you might want to update the CEG sub-page. I think you still have Terik listed on there as well.
They are also at Comic-Con this past week.
Thanks! I will.
I thought it was a joke about CEG TEK at Comic-con. As if Ira Siegel, Mike Meiers, Marvin Cable, Carroll Law were dressing up as Jabba the Extorthutt, Ripoffeth Maul, MisRep Vader and other faves.
But CEG really is going, using their usual doublespeak, Pretenda’ing to support “the world’s greatest creative artists”:
“CEG’s proprietary system provides multiple anti-piracy solutions including a fully customizable Monetization service solution that is available at no cost to the content owner.”
TRANSLATION: We’ll threaten decent people in YOUR name, grab cash, and give you a few crumbs.
I hope fans at Comic-con go up and ask CEG how heroic they are in falsely accusing deployed soldiers, police, the elderly, the blind, and the dead. And why their “business intelligence services” are so great that only pornographers will use them. And why both their lawyers and their plaintiffs hide behind questionable business pseudonyms and legal devices to mask their actions and their finances.
My guess is a few of the attendees will have a passing familiarity with CEG and will not be pleased with their presence. My other guess is that Trolls are also comic book nerds and this is a boondoggle as no publisher in its right mind is going to hire assholes to tarnish its brand and trolls know it.
I doubt the people who are at Comic-Con want any association with these clowns. Most of them are big-name reputable companies that have their own methods/agents in dealing with piracy. They don’t need morons like CEG to bring down their name.
They attend every industry event. I can see Ira now, sitting at a fold-up card table, talking about how changing their name will help them.
Owen is suspended from practicing law, Ira is in bankruptcy….
How is that working out for the two of you?
Off topic. About a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the 2-year yield on German Treasury notes going for a 0% return (unheard of, and a sign of imminent trouble). Well guess what???? The same notes are yielding a negative interest rate now, and this includes comparable notes for 4 other euro countries (beyond unheard of). These are very strong indicators that the economy (specifically in Europe) is about to take a massive dump. Invest in the 3 precious metals: Gold, Silver, and Lead. Fuck these trolls. We have bigger problems to worry about. See yall on the other side.
If the troll already has my name and info. My ISP can fork it over without notifying me. How long after filing the original complaint do they have to serve me?I mean my case is over a year old they have all of my info so there’s no need to file a motion to quash. Do I just need to wait around until they serve me if they ever do?
Yep, that’s about it. just don’t talk to them at all. Or if you already have then don’t do it again. thank God for this site. Before I did anything at all I googled this shit and found this site. My letter from my ISP informing me of my case was actually from Neustar and the letter stated that if I had any questions to contact the trolls. Seriously??? WTF? Can you be any more corrupt and bought out than that? Yeah, there is a guy over there holding up the bank with a gun. If you are not sure of what is transpiring then I would advise you to go over and ask the gunman personally what is going on. Neustar can blow me. Fortunately I got educated before I did anything at all. Some are not as fortunate and they pretty much shot their wad before they should have. I hope your not one of them. I mean Neustar should have a lot to answer for with that letter they sent out. That is total entrapment and quite obviously it was worked out with a troll present. Actually, I bet the troll crafted the Neustar letter. What a set-up. I hope judges read these posts so they can get a clue of what is REALLY going on here in Amerika, the land of the bent over and fucked up the ass by that big red white and blue dick.
Hmmm. We all feel your anger, hopefully some of us personify your need for action. It is always better to be proactive as opposed to reactive, better to attack the problem head on than to attack a symbol.
I posted a similar post in the Indiana thread, but I thought it might be good to cross-post here to get a wider response:
I am involved in one of the recently-filed Nicoletti suits in Indiana. This is all very confusing, and due to my job, I truly can’t afford to be named publicly. Despite my innocence, the overwhelming incentive is to settle.
It seems like most of the cases that are tossed out are tossed out *before* the judge grants a subpoena for the identities associated with the addresses. If that’s not the case, someone please correct me. I’d love to believe that this could still be kicked to the curb without my having to invest a large amount in attorney fees or settlement. My money situation right now is not what you would call bountiful.
didn’t know where to post this. you should make an “in the news” post where people can post all the links to news stories about this throughout the country.
from tucson, az:
protect yourself from copyrighttrolls:
“tucson mom fights back”
trolls target tucson mom:
Very good, and a good suggestion! Will add a page shortly.
here is a non video version of that story
John J. Regan of Dolan & Regan filed a well written motion to quash or sever on behalf of DOES 3-9, 39-41, 51, 52, 66-73 in the Patrick Collins, Inc, v. John Does 1-79 case in Massachusetts. It was filed on 6/28/12.
For recent Does working on responses, and defense attorneys newer to the troll junkyard, it is worth reading. The case citations are useful The motion is concise and brings up many of the usual objections, with citations: potential abuse misdeeds by the plaintiff, lack of clear technology grounds, wrongful joinder, failure to show good cause.
“ The plaintiff has filed nearly identical complaints in at least 160 similar cases in 27 different jurisdictions against more than 10,000 such unidentified defendants. It appears none of these defendants have been served.”
“The Courts have recognized the potential for abuse in the tactics utilized by this particular Plaintiff”
“There is real risk that defendants might be falsely identified and forced to defend themselves against unwarranted allegations….there is a risk not only of public embarrassment for the misidentified subscriber,…the innocent subscriber may be coerced into an unjust settlement…Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Doe, No. 12-cv-02964, …(S.D.N.Y. June 1, 2012). The Northern District of California stated… “If all the concerns about these mass Doe lawsuits are true, it appears that the copyright laws are being used as part of a massive collection scheme and not to promote useful arts.” On the Cheap, LLC v. Does 1-5011….’”
“In similar cases, Courts have recognized the unidentified defendant’s standing to quash and to proceed anonymously…citing, Liberty Media Holdings, LLC v. Does 1- 62, 2011”
“The sole purpose of the discovery sought by the Plaintiff is to identify the DOE so that the Plaintiff can push monetary settlements. The Plaintiff’s conduct in similar litigation demonstrates that it has no intention to fully litigate this case or to obtain an injunction….There is no irreparable harm identified.”
“Several courts encountering suits from this Plaintiff have held that the Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the claims against the defendants arose from the same transaction or occurrence.”
No doubt some arguments overlap with other excellent defense motions against trolls.
So today SJD tweeted about the Mafia and the classic porn flic “Deep Throat”. As a lifetime student of history the tweet intrigued me to Goggle it and came across this fascinating piece about the pornography business and the Mafia (at one time they were the same; today… .) http://www.lukeisback.com/essays/essays/mafia.htm
There are intersections of trolling with the underground economies. The change to easy content distribution through the Web accelerated things. Greedy sociopathic trolls want it both ways: they want to hide from the law while distorting the law’s application towards others,to feed their greed.
“Chapter 3: An Empire of the Obscene details the history of pornography in American culture, starting with the eventual business magnate Reuben Sturman.”
I just want you all to know, i received a letter that i downloaded movies (porn) scared the heck out of me. I called and talked to a lawyer, (big mistake, no help) I finally called the lawyer filing the lawsuit at the very last day I was so nervous and explained I had nothing to ever do with porn, etc….he actually was very nice and I haven’t heard from them since this has been about a year now.
Is your name Joseph Perea? Just joking…I think.
I’m glad your experience was so easy, however, for most of us that is simply not the case. FYI: there is a 4 year statute of limitations on these cases, so they still have 3 years to come after you unless you got an ironclad release.
I believe it’s 3 years for copyright infringement, 2 for CFAA.
What is an ironclad release?
A General Release from Liability which you get in exchange if you succumb to fear and give the troll a wheelbarrow of cash.
That is might be the worst advice I have ever heard. Don’t ever talk to Trolls!!! If you must get an attorney to do it for you.
I don’t think it was an advice, he even stated that it was a big mistake.
…Although thanks for repeating: reiterating the perils of contacting a troll is never redundant.
I think Anonymous means he/ she contacted an attorney to work on his/her behalf first, then contacted the troll. Which, of course, is NEVER a good idea. To all Does out there: remember trolls don’t work for you. They may be nice on the phone, but their goal is to get you to pay. They do not care if you are innocent, they only see $$$$.
It’s possible that this was dumb luck. The specific case could have gone south for the trolls. The Doe could be in a bad jurisdiction for the trolls. Disorganized trolls may have lost a few Does in harassment follow up. Maybe the trolls found a more profitable case for their scam.
While not “ironclad” relief, it’s some comfort to be free of harassment for a year. Track record suggests fresh marks are easier for the trolls. But let’s not confuse luck with skill or strategy.
If you still have your paperwork you might want to look and see if the case used to get your information was dismissed WITH prejudice. If the Judge took away the names they won’t be able to do much of anything.
If my insinuation the other day is too indirect, let’s be clear trolls (do not work for) are leeches on a Mafia created industry. For those who believe that Mafia goons are gone-Wrong! Google Kevin Beechum the President of K-Beech who went so far as to sue and settle with Does over videos he did not produce or have copyrights for. This is just scratching the surface.
It seems that one of the copyright troll groups is testing the ground in Mississippi.
On August 3rd, a troll named Thomas G. Jacks filed a suilt against 3 Does in the Mississippi Northern District Court for adult film company Combat Zone Corp.
i was not sure where to post this, so i figured generl discussion would work.
the film “the expendables 2″ will be realeasing in a little over a week and it will be released through nu image productions. i would like to see a boycot of their film especially on opening weekend (nu image is probably the largest non porn copyrighttroll out there). i am going to create a reddit account just to try to further a boycot and would encourage you all to post on places like reddit and slashdot and facebook and twitter to promote a boycott of this film. a main post would be nice to see as well, but at a min please spread the news to show the trolls that suing their fans is infact bad buisness.
I’ll support this. If you write the text, I will gladly post it. Even a single paragraph will do.
Nu image (a company primarily known for making those amazing syfy original movies you see every friday night) has sued thousands of IP addresses gleaned from bitttorrent downloads for such amazing works as ‘the mechanic’, ‘conan’, and the first ‘the expendables’ represented by us copyright group aka ‘Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver’ they are probably the largest of the non porn movie plaintiffs out there.
the first of the expendables films made $34,825,135 (USA) on opening weekend (not super good in the grand scheme of things) and had an est budget of $70 mill (stats from imdb). and in order to padd their wallets they used this film, which because it has such a star studded cast was a definite hit for bittorrent users, to make some extra extortion money.
Nu Image is releasing a new film called “the expendables 2” on aug 17 2012. they will more then likely use this film for more copyright trolling efforts, and more than likely see no reason to stop the extortion. i say we give them a very good reason right in their pocket book. boycott the expendables 2. do not watch it in the theaters. give them an opening weekend that can earn them awards from sites like rottentomatoes. post on reddit, facebook, slashdot, twitter, worldofwarcraft forums (or stand in org chat and yell, (yes i am a wow nerd)), and anywhere else that you can spread the word. this company will continue to plague our legal system and movie fans unless they are told that bad ethics will not earn them high profits .
I’ll post something tomorrow or on Wednesday. We are bit too late, and to be honest, I’m skeptical. Id toes not mean we shouldn’t try though: miracles happen and the interwebs are unpredictable in their meme-generation.
I was thinking along similar boycott movement lines last fall. While there have been few DGW/Nu Image cases, they have cause lots of harm because of many Does involved.
Yes, more lead time would be better. But sometimes word goes out quickly. Also, many of these stinkers make most of their money through DVD sales, longer after the theater release. Bad reviews and stench around the film could cut into main profits.
Nu Image also faces a lawsuit for the death of one stuntman and the injury of another during Expendables 2 filming:
Some company. Disregard for safety plus repeated participation in widespread extortion.
Survey of RFC case listings for the first week of August (1st-7th) ONLY:
In a total of 67 nationwide new copyright cases, 42 (or 62.7 %) were copyright troll cases. That’s over 8 NEW troll cases nationally per work day! All but a few involved porn purveyor plaintiffs. Allegations involved over 337 Does (some filings mask the number of allegations initially).
The plaintiffs with the most new filings (for early August) are:
AF Holdings LLC: 12 cases
Malibu Media, LLC: 10 cases
Ingenuity13 LLC: 9 cases
Though the rationale of Judge Beryl A. Howell’s ruling in favor of the porn purveyor plaintiff A.F. Holdings has many weak points, here is one low hanging fruit: “judicial economy”.
Judge Beryl A. Howell’s opinion that severing Does in infringement allegations would “burden” the judicial system is not consistent with recent events. What’s clear is that porn purveyor copyright trolls and their plaintiff generally DON’T file individual cases. After allegations involving about 300,000, a fraction of one percent have been individually named. Even the naming of those few happened mostly after trolls were chastised by courts for the apparent use of discovery for cash demands rather than adjudication.
It’s also clear that part of what has slowed down the filing of porn purveyor copyright troll cases has been troll fear of exposing the large number of cases being filed. The same trolls file in different jurisdictions, and different court locations in the same district, to mask the large number of cases.
Currently, there are dozens of troll cases being filed monthly. If Judge Howell’s reasoning were followed, the flood gates would be opened for troll cases. What if dozens became hundreds? With brakes, this would happen quickly. The U.S. civil court system would be devoted to pornography “rights”. I don’t think any court would look forward to this.
One more thing:
Wikipedia lists well over 200 separate porn studios, and that list is incomplete. Each of those studios has dozens or hundred of titles. Some have thousands of titles.
Many studios release dozens or hundreds of films per year. (The vermin like proliferation of these titles is strong argument itself that they are not “useful works”. Each poop may be singular without being creative.) If the video profit shifts entirely to allegation instead of sales, every studio will have incentive to boost allegations.
They will try to re-splice old films with new titles and do everything to enable non-sales dissemination. That means the basis for thousands of new cases per year, not even counting “re-release”. Since there has been virtually no preliminary check to allegations, all that’s really necessary is a porn film title and a list of semi-plausible I.P. addresses. Since Judge Howell has suggested that geo-location is not necessary to screen allegations, I.P. address allegations would have an even lower threshold.
I should have said: “With brakes removed” the number of troll cases would greatly multiply.
not sure how to make this short, her is my letter i received,….. I represent XPays etc…case is sealed and you have not been named a defendant at this time….here is the questionable part, I am writing to notify you that you were not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, and that all defendants, except for John Doe defendant 1, have officially been served and dismissed from the case.
Plaintiff may now seek local counsel on your home jurisdiction to re-file this suit against you, seeking maximum damages. If you wish to avoid a new lawsuit, please contact my office immediately.
I found out first of all jasmine w. is a porn star YUCK i dont watch porn nor would i download it why do they point fingers at me and what should i do HELP!!!
Is kevin harrison a real lawyer, I got a letter from him months ago about downloading movies. I am reading the info here, and some is good and some is not. SHould i be worried?
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