Guava LLC, Arte de Oaxaca, LW Holdings and other Prenda’s bogus corporations

Guava LLC is not registered in any state, it is simply a facade for Lighspeed Media. Arte de Oaxaca is the same. It is shame that courts allow such BS complaints by bogus plaintiffs to be filed.

Guava LLC v. Skylar Case (Cook county IL)

Case No: 12-L-7363
Attorney for Plaintiff: Paul Duffy
Attorney for Defendant: Adam Urbanzcyk
Judge: Sanjay Taylor
Cook County court docket


By Raul

Allow me to preface this overview with a personal disclaimer: I do not like writing about anything of which the facts cannot be verified. So little is presently known about this lawsuit, that much of the following is pure speculation which may prove to be false.

Rotten Guava

The plaintiff in this lawsuit is a mystery; it seems as if the plaintiff’s attorney is being purposely vague in this regard. If you Google “Guava, LLC” you will discover a handful of USA corporations, none of which appear to be this plaintiff. Likewise a Google search reveals no password protected websites. Accordingly I am guessing that Guava, LLC is a an offshore corporation which is the assignee of the rights to certain pornographic works of Prenda Law’s current client base of pornographic content producers/distributors. Plaintiff’s attorney, Paul A. Duffy, is the “founding partner” of Prenda Law, Inc., f/k/a Steele Hansmeier, LLC. If you are not familiar with either law firm please search this blog and as well as the internet to get up to date, I promise it will be an eye opening experience.

Basically this is a computer hacking lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims Skyler Case and unnamed “co-conspirators” hacked into its systems and wrongfully obtained its “valuable information”. I am guessing that Prenda’s clients have pornographic pay sites which are password protected which were allegedly hacked into with compromised passwords. The complaint alleges four causes of action: violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), trespass to chattels, breach of contract and civil conspiracy. Rather than get into the lack of legal merit of these claims you should know that Prenda has previously filed lawsuits on behalf of Lightspeed Media Corp., which have been analyzed at length on this blog. In particular you should read SJD’s post regarding a motion to dismiss filed by Jason Booth, Esq., which exposes the weakness of similar claims in this lawsuit. Laura Long, Esq., has filed a similar motion after getting the state lawsuit removed to federal court (ILSD).

Prenda was able to get discovery of thousands upon thousands of the personal identifying information of the “co-conspirators” by reason of an Agreed Order, dated 7/30/2012 between Duffy and Skyler Case’s attorney, Adam Urbanczyk (signed on 7/11/2012 — less than two weeks after the complaint). We do not know what, if any, consideration the named defendant received in exchange for this agreement but Duffy received discovery and the foreclosure that this lawsuit will be removed to federal court by any of the “co-conspirators”. We think the number of alleged “co-conspirators” could well be in the five digit neighborhood judging by the list of ISPs attached to the Agreed Order.

Arte de Oaxaca v. Stacey Mullen (Cook county IL)

Case No: 12-L-9034
Attorney for Plaintiff: Paul Duffy
Attorney for Defendant: Adam Urbanzcyk
Judge: Lynn M. Egan
Dismissed: 03/13/2013

Guava LLC v. Spencer Merkel (Hennepin county MN)

Case No: 27-CV-12-20976
Attorney for Plaintiff: Michael Dugas
Attorney for Defendant: Trina Morrison
Judge: Tanya Bransford

Guava LLC (petitioner) v Comcast Cable Communications LLC (respondent) (St. Clair county IL)

Case No: 12-MR-417
Attorneys for Petitioner: Paul Duffy, Kevin Hoerner
Attorney for Respondent:
Judge: Andrew J. Gleeson

LW Systems v. Christopher Hubbard (St. Clair County IL)

Case No: 13-L-0015
Attorneys for Plaintiff: Paul Duffy, Kevin Hoerner
Attorney for Defendant: Adam Urbanzcyk
Judge: Andrew J. Gleeson



Other resources
  • Morgan Pietz created a page dedicated to this case. He is accepting defendants, and based on his performance in California, to say that I recommend him is a huge understatement.
LW Systems v. Juan Leonard (Maricopa County AZ)


Attorneys who defend Does
  • (IL) Adam E. Urbanczyk — attorney for the only named defendant, Skyler Case. I do not recommend using his services: Adam is almost certainly “in bed” with Prenda — scaring and pushing people to settle. Don’t let the fact that Adam U is listed on the EFF site deceive you: attorneys on the “Subpoena Defense” page are self-listed, and being on this list does not imply EFF’s endorsement.
  • (IL) Erin Russell — IMO she is good. She keeps us informed about this case in the comments to this page. Don’t miss her comments.
  • (IL — St. Clair county) Morgan E. Pietz, a California attorney, one of the best: no introduction necessary in case you read this blog regularly. If not, check the “Coopergate” post series.
  • (IL) Jeffrey Antonelli: an attorney from Chicago.
  • (MN) Paul Godfread.
  • (MN) Mark Santi of Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley.
  • (MN) Scott M. Flaherty of Briggs and Morgan.
Relevant posts

These cases are farcical and can be fought and defeated. There is simply no way anyone can be found liable by any jury. Pure, perfect bluff.
Do not talk to trolls. Do not succumb to fears. Do not settle. This house of cards is going to collapse soon and I hope Prenda will be pursued criminally.


1,039 responses to ‘Guava LLC, Arte de Oaxaca, LW Holdings and other Prenda’s bogus corporations

  1. So anyone hear the latest on whats going on with this one, got a letter from Prenda earlier this week about having till the 15th to settle with $4,000, of which they will see none of but caught me a little off guard as I have no idea what the defendent did/took exaclty.

  2. I noticed Adam E. Urbanczyk from as listed as the attorney for the defendant (who I assume is a guy named Skyler) on the Cook County Courthouse website. Does anyone know anything about this guy? His website seems a little less than legit, his bio picture is just a silhouette. Do you think he is worth a phone call?

        • Just got a settlement letter…. it states that I have until this weekend to settle with them or they may name me as a defendant in this case. Had I not found this website I would freaking out…. at this point I am just going to ride it out…. what is the worse that can happen?

        • Two questions about your settlement letter (if you feel comfortable responding):
          1. Did you receive notification from your ISP prior to receiving the settlement letter from Prenda, and
          2. How much are they asking to settle these days?

          The going rate for settling the Lightspeed case appeared to be around $4K. I’m just curious if Prenda as gone up, down, or held constant at that figure for a “hacking” case.

  3. Yeah that’s the vibe I was getting from the website, and from the testimonials it looks like he just tries to get you to settle.

    I called a lawyer in the state I live and he said they have had dealings in the past with Prenda Law. (called them sleazy lawyers), and said they would write a letter telling them basically to “back off” from our client. He said most likely Prenda would not pursue because they have done settlements with their clients in the past (ie. Prenda doesn’t want to piss off a firm that is getting them occasional settlements). The drawback is that this “stern letter” will cost around $1000.


    • It is a personal decision to hire an attorney as a shield in these lawsuits. On the plus side, Prenda is not supposed to harass you once you have retained counsel (there are instances where the idiots still harass). On the negative side, you are out $1000

    • Got a copy of a subpoena today from my ISP – Also a little confused as the case itself is Guava LLC vs Skyler Case – No John Does or even an et al. And from what I read here: – it looks like it’s some kind of hacking case, not specifically a download/infringement case like many of the others. Although, the fourth count says that whatever info was stolen from the site was then shared out. However, that’s not mentioned until like the 4th charge. It alleges that an individual or individuals used up a bunch of Guava’s bandwith and also attacked their sites with (still ongoing) dos attacks or something. It’s bizarre. Do they all read like that? From the wording, and from what I’ve read on this site, I can only assume that Guava represents one of those paid porn sites that put up a lot of videos and somebody with access to the site has been scraping that data, packaging it and then sharing it. I’m guessing they mean this Skylar character is the person they assume did the scraping and distributing and the unnamed co-conspirators are people that downloaded what he shared through some sort of p2p network. But I don’t know. It’s all guesswork on my part. The complaint is pretty ambiguous with no specifics.

      Anywho. No idea what to do about it neither. Can’t afford a lawyer. Guess I’ll just have to wait until my ISP sends them my info then see what they send me once they get it. After that, I’ll probably ignore it until it either goes away or I get some sort of inspired suggestion on some good steps to take. Especially interested in how to submit motions for myself anonymously.

      There’s some more talk about this specific case here: – start looking around the August 7 2012 mark.

  4. I just made a payment to them out of fear before i started reading through people’s experience with them. I called my credit card company to stop the payment and am wondering what are the repercussions of doing this and what can i expect to happen?

    Any help will be great because i know i’ve dug myself a hole.

  5. no i only gave them my card information (which has been canceled now) and an email address i use for span and things i do not want traced back to me.

    • Prenda my single you put for some increased pressure but it seems they cannot go after you breach of a settlement agreement.

  6. If this is Guava LLC vs Skyler Case, how can they issue a subpoena to my ISP for my information? Is the plaintiff usually a bunch of John Does?

  7. I got a settlement letter for the skylar case last week. I’m already named via ISP subpoena. The guy couldn’t even tell me what was downloaded only told me the ip address for the infraction back in feb. I don’t even have a file sharing program. Looked pretty much like the charge was me being a partner in crime for p2p and a computer hacker. Would like to know what it was that I have done. Any suggestions. Btw they want $4000 to settle. Also checked the list and ky doesn’t have a recommended attorney. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanx

    • If you are at the stage of receiving (harassing) calls and letters, you don’t necessarily need an attorney in your state. You could consult any Doe defense attorney for advice. (Mr. Ranallo is mentioned in a comment above, and other attorneys are mentioned favorably on this site.) If you were actually named in your jurisdiction, you would need an attorney in your state. If you’ve been reading this site, it seems less than 1% of Does are named in individual actions.

      If you haven’t already done so, call your ISP and get details of if and when they released your information, and what the subpoena to your ISP said. Right now you don’t know what you are accused of, or even the case where discovery was granted. If you did consult an attorney, this starting information would save time.

      If you go to RFC Express, you’ll see that there has been one porn troll case in you state TOTAL ever. The trolls obviously did not serve individual subpoenas for that case, which would be obvious to state judges if there was another case.That was nearly a year ago, when trolling was not on judge’s radar. If trolls have not filed again, it may be that either they don’t view the state as a good extorting ground, or they had trouble with their local lawyer underling, or both.

      Also, it’s six months since the time of the allegation. Even in the unlikely event you were named, trolls would go through weeks or months of trying to force a quick settlement. The case is no longer recent and will grow even more remote. The combination of unfriendly jurisdiction, no recent local troll rep, an informed Doe, and an older case lowers the already small chance of being targeted. Trolls tend to go on to fresh targets. Remember also, that if trolls take a case to individual naming, or to court, they would be responsible for all your attorney’s fees if they lost. It’s easier (and possible) for them to make threats and collect quick settlements, so much easier that they haven’t tried to bring a real case to trial.

      (Usual disclaimer: This is not to be construed as legal advice and is for discussion purposes only.)

      • Thanks doecumb I’m breathing a little easier now. Hopefully soon will know what charge is. In meantime getting a secure router since I live in a subdivision just to be sure nobody else but me would be to blame. Found out mine is open to anybody. Feeling real stupid. Oh well live and learn

  8. Can anyone give instructions on how to submit a motion to quash in this case? can not afford an attorney and have not done anything wrong.

    • Is that even a possibility? Having an attorney do it keeps you anonymous (the whole point).

      • Yeah you can have an attorney file an anonymous motion to quash but I can pretty much guarantee you that it’ll be denied on the grounds that you have no standing since you’re not a named defendant in the suit. The only purpose of a motion to quash is to get your ISP to not turn over your information, but filing one will put a giant target on your back. I can’t tell you what to do but I never filed a single motion. I just sat on my ass and let it play out and what happened was exactly what I expected…they extracted settlements out of about 30% of the Does then Duffy bailed on the case.

  9. unless I can find someone to do it for free… there is no way for me to pay for it… the big question is does this case seem to have any merit at all and what are the chances that a judge is going to let this case go on…. I have no issue with weathering the storm if this is just a scare tactic as I have not done anything wrong

  10. I also received the notice to quash from Neustar (RCN).

    From my understanding the case doesn’t involve bittorrent whatsoever, it is about being associated with alleged “hacking” into an adult membership site. Individuals in the case (at the moment, your IP) used the password to pass themselves off as members of the adult film site. In my case I can guarantee I did no such thing, so I’m not sure what evidence they plan to use in litigation should it go to trial.

    If you do nothing, at the very least Guacva LLC could choose to amend the case to include the names of those who did not quash, then your name would show up publicly on a case associated with an adult film industry. Scare tactic or not, Guava is betting on your name being associated with the case being enough for you to pay them some sort of compensation.

    I am awaiting a response from some layers on that site. A few have responded and they seem to be giving their consultations for free although having them quash will end up costing something.

    • Thanks for the info J. Maybe that’s why I was told my ip illegally downloaded a file because they don’t know what to charge me with yet. All the guy I called at prenda said Duffey wasnt in and didn’t know when he would be available. Just gave me 1 instance in feb with an ip. Probably a third party trying to collect money from me before they actually figure out what to do

      • They what and you did what? Please PLEASE tell me that you didn’t call Prenda but I already know the answer to that. Now they know that you’re interested in how this case pans out which, in my opinion, targets you for “extra attention.” Why do you think I won’t even go to their website without using a proxy? So they have ZERO record of me answering my phone when they call, talking to them, or even going to their website. Do not call them again, do not take their calls…screen your calls. Do not go to their website. Don’t do a damn thing that could possibly give them a shred of anything to take to a judge, especially a judge in Cook County. I have no idea how a judge in Illinois will handle this case but if Prenda’s track record is any indicator, you stand a slim chance of being named, have an even slimmer chance of receiving summons, and there’s no way in hell they’re litigating this especially with the complaint being so ambiguous.

        • I called them because I’m not a doe. The letter had my name on it. Got a letter of subpoena from ISP then 7 days later got their “extortion” letter. Was just a little pissed off of the whole deal since I’m 100% sure I myself havent done anything illegal as to the charges indicate. New to all this. But won’t call them anymore because they hung up on me anyway

        • You’re a Doe. You’re a Doe until they name you, and they haven’t. A Doe defendant is any defendant who cannot be identified prior to the lawsuit commencing. The letters they send to everyone contains their name because they got yours and everyone else’s names, addresses, phone numbers, and too much other shit from their Rule 26(d) expedited discovery bullshit they feed judges. You’re no exception and first comes the extortion letter They’re supposed to amend the complaint, name, and serve Does once they discover their identities but that’s not how Duffy or any other Prenda laywer handles it. Prenda hardly ever names anyone, never serves anyone, and judges (up until recently) have been sitting on their thumbs allowing them to do this for time limits that far exceed the maximum number of days even though it’s a clear violation of FRCP Rule 4(m). I believe a few cases were kicked because of this and some plaintiffs’ lawyers ordered to show cause as to why the case shouldn’t be dismissed (after 6 months of nothing).

          Here’s Rule 4(m):
          “If a defendant is not served within 120 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period”

          They’ll start calling soon. Just do yourself a favor and screen your calls, then use your phone or a digital voice recorder to record every single voicemail they leave. Keep a file of all mail correspondence as well. Essentially, keep records of EVERYTHING so if you do end up in a precarious position, you have ammo against them. They lie about everything and chances are you’d catch them in a lie e.g. “We only attempted to contact plaintiff once via the US Postal Service and five times via telephone” but in reality they called you twice a week for 8 weeks and sent you 4 letters. If you can weather the storm you should be good. Just read the FAQ on this site and stay informed. The worst enemy of these assholes is someone who’s informed.

  11. J I got the same thing from Neustar… Please, please post what advice they give you so I know what I need to do….. if need be I dont mind contacting them as well, just let me know who i need to contact.

    • The one that responded the quickest was:

      Andrew Cook of Saper Law Offices, LLC.

      I am waiting until tomorrow when I can call before I’ll have any good information to share.

  12. Thanks to everyone!

    So am I the only one who got a letter WITHOUT an IP address or ‘data sheet’ (as was referenced in the letter). For clarity, I’ve been posting excessively in the old forum.

    I got one of these letters and I’m not in the US. Anyone else get one outside the states?

    The only real concern I have is that I have no idea how or why they got my name and mailing address. No letter was sent to my ISP. My ISP has never received a complaint about me and they are genuinely concerned (investigating) about this breech of privacy.

    From the sounds of it I should still be worried about being named in the suit in spite of the difficulties (I think) it is to name someone who doesn’t live in the country let alone state… But I don’t see why they would go through that hassle to name a non-US citizen (without US interests or assets or whatever).

    I’ve already contacted lawyers in my country who think this is a joke but I’m holding them off for now. I kind of want to see how this goes.

    So, is it common for these guys to send letters to you before letters to an ISP?

    I thought how it works is they harvest an IP addy from somewhere for doing something (hacking… I had to wikipedia bittorrent when I started reading these sites last week), contact ‘co-conspirator’ ISP who provides them with subscriber info, then they tell the Doe this happened over your network so give us money or we’ll take you to court.

    It appears they skipped a step… does technology exist that allows them to pinpoint a mailing address without needing to request that info from an ISP?

    • This lawsuit ought to be adjudicated in Alice’s Wonderland as we are already down the rabbit hole with this one.

      1.Does are getting letters from Prenda without advance notification from their ISPs?

      2. Complaint is extraordinarily vague, even by Prenda’s standards. The fact that the complaint does not set forth Guava’s state/country of incorporation and the nature of its business is highly suspect but Sleaze is the likely answer.

      3. Another bizarre CFAA claim (newbies search this blog for the Lightspeed Media Corp.posts so as to get up to speed quickly)

      Usual advice, ignore settlement demands and in the unlikely event you get served have your attorney immediately remove the lawsuit to Federal court. Also certain unannounced developments in the Lightspeed Media Corp., lawsuits will likely impact this lawsuit in a good way. Stay tuned!

      • Will you write something like you did for the PA case? Would appreciate that. Seems that many folks are caught in this scam.

        Amazing is that so many found this site at once.

        • Will try but there is so very little to work with and you know how shitty the docket is…but agree that this is a massive mess.

    • I haven’t heard of anyone who’s received an IP list but it appears as though the complaint was drafted with extreme haste. One thing is clear, they’ve been mailing these letters to people who are way the hell out of the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois, much less the U.S. so I’d venture to say they didn’t even bother to check to see where the victims are located before doing a mass mail.

      Either the technology exists to turn an IP into a home address without going to the ISP, Duffy manufactured an IP list that he kept to himself, or Duffy is literally mailing letters to random people. For some reason, and don’t ask me why *grin* but I’m more inclined to believe in options 2 and 3.

      Either way, skipping the ISP step pretty much invalidates all of their “evidence” as no sane judge, not even in Crook County, whould even allow this suit to proceed given the facts that they somehow found people with no subpoenas. An Asst. U.S. Attorney can’t even prosecute someone (in a case such as this) unless the FBI has properly identified a defendant via a subpoena to his or her ISP. Even if the judge does allow the suit to proceed, anyone dragged into it has a mother of a case that, not only does an IP not equal a person, but no subpoenas were issued to ISPs so how can they be sure about anything?

        • Well, read below. This guy states that he received a copy of an ISP subpoena. He’s the first and only Doe I’ve read of to receive one and no, I’m not a Doe in this case nor do I live in Cook County but I do know that it is crooked as all hell in that place. This case just smells bad, from start to finish. Why rush a complaint so hastily that you almost forget to include a demand amount? Not to mention that I have difficulty believing an attorney drafted the complaint because it’s just that bad. Maybe Duffy drafted it and went off-script from Steele’s template?

  13. I have been calling several lawyers where I live and also in Illinois regarding this case. I would advise anyone involved in this case to do the same. Most if not all of the phone consults are free. I called Adam E. Urbanczyk of torrentlitigation, who is allegedly the defending attorney for Skyler, based on the court documents on the Cook County Courthouse website. He said his client was moving in a slow and deliberate pace with the case. I talked to him for probably 45 minutes and he was very forthcoming over the phone (albeit a little legalese), and obviously would not get into specifics regarding his client. His basic assessment was that this was a fishing expedition as well as forum shopping for judges in Cook County (also laziness because the cook county courthouse is literally across the street from Prenda Law offices). It is also interesting to note that this is a State Court and not a Federal Case because they have been getting only 50% success rates in Federal Courts, and are trying to better their odds.

    Adam told me this was not a copyright torrent case but a hacking case about someone who hacked a “fetish” (would not divulge more than that, whether it was gay, etc.) porn site and then posted it on a message board or something. Whether he knew or not and wasn’t telling me I’m not sure. Then people used that password and username to download illegal content from porn sites. I have never done this but the complaint is so vague I’m guessing it could be anything from “Skyler” did this and people downloaded it form a megaupload type site or a P2P. I seriously have no idea. But I asked Adam repeatedly if he was certain this had nothing to do with torrents and he kept saying no it didn’t. So I’m not sure what to believe regarding that because the plaintiff complaint is so vague and only talks about hacking and its alleged co-conspirators.

    Another interesting fact to note. Guava LLC is totally unknown and new. Adam said this Guava case was similar procedurally to the infamous Lightspeed case. But because Lightspeed used its own name in the court case, they were severely attacked with Denial of Service and other attacks to their website once people got wind of which porn site and title specifically was under litigation. (He told me there were 5000 Does in that case so I can imagine some of them taking matters into their own hands). So they seem to be changing their tactics in regards to using shell corporations to hide their claims and avoid backlash.

    Personally I am in an ultra fucked position as my roommate is the one that is receiving the subpoena (under his name). I would be willing to fight these fucktards but he is scared shitless (understandably) and trying to settle ASAP (tomorrow). Obviously if I do not compensate him all or most of the settlement fee our years long friendship is done for. So basically is $2500 worth a friend?

    Would be interested to hear anyone elses thoughts or advice on this.

    JZED: To answer your question plain and simple. Just because YOU personally did not receive a subpoena letter in your flesh and blood hands from your ISP does not mean it was never sent. You either never opened your subpoena letter from your ISP, ignored it, lost in the mail, or an owl swooped down and took it from your mail carrier. Your ISP probably gave them your information for whatever reason without you being forwarned. Unless you call your ISP and they tell you for certain they didn’t give Prenda your information, this is most likely how they got it. So figure that out before you get all conspiracy enemy of the state on us. You seemed to be absolutely obsessed with this fact despite that you live in another country and are probably totally fine. I would ignore all correspondence from Prenda but I would NOT ignore any court summons from US courts. US courts do not like it when you claim they do not have jurisdiction over you. Good luck.

    • Thanks A!

      You’re probably right… Owls could have taken the letter. Jerks.


    • Do you live in Illinois and if not, would they have enough to assert personal jurisdiction?

    • Great info. Thanks for sharing. I definately am not involved in this charge. Maybe all the subpoena ip’s are trying to be used against skyler plus trying to make money off us as well. Definately going to contact Adam. Sure wish I could find out more on Guava

  14. Adam also said the doomsday deadline of ISP disclosure seems to be around 8/15 for a lot of people. So I imagine this forum will be blowing up pretty soon. He also said he gets multiple phone calls a day about it.

    • What does the last docket entry from 8/9 (yesterday) mean from the link in the post above: STRIKE OR WITHDRAW MOTION OR PETITION – ALLOWED (by Judge Sanjay Tailor)

      Which motion did he allow to be stricken or withdrawn?

    • It would seem that my 68 year old mother has received one of the letters from Neustar/RCN with a 8/22 date…. the letter included an ip address and the date and time of the alleged download. She is on a fixed income and there is no way that she can “lawyer up”. I can not help as I am barely making ends meet myself. I am planing on calling Adam next week to see if he can give any advise. I am considering calling some of the local news outlets and seeing if any would pick up the story so we can get some help…. anyone have any better ideas?? If it matters any we are in Virginia.

      • I should add that I have looked at the computers in the house and none of them have any activity in house and none of them have any history of any use at the time the letter stated. Thanks for any help.

        • OK, first try to relax. This is a spectacular BS lawsuit which should never have seen the light of day. Trying to decipher this lawsuit with the incredibly vague complaint and the state docket is difficult (fuckers did this on purpose, I bet) makes it trying to summarize but early next week will try to post something that sort of organizes this bizarre lawsuit. In the meantime read the posts regarding the Lightspead Media Corp. lawsuit as they have mostly the same complaint and the same troll pulling the strings.

        • Thanks Raul….. my biggest issue is that I would like to keep them from getting my mothers personal information…. I am ok with weathering the storm with her as an ip address jane doe

  15. No clue. You would need to talk to a lawyer, probably one involved with the case. Like I posted above, I know Adam is defending Skyler at present, but obviously he will not be allowed to divulge specific information about the case.

    • Can you post it on scribd? No one has any idea about this case except for what we see on this shit Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County website. I’ve seen criminal complaints for hacking (not a porn site) drafted by AUSAs that are much less ambiguous than this. This complaint is complete and utter garbage and should’ve been kicked based on the fact that it contains zero detail not to mention it looks like it was drafted in about 5 minutes using cut and paste. First, under the CFAA violation civil conspiracy claims as well as under prayer for relief, it asks for damages to be determined at trial. Then, under prayer for relief, it asks for $150,000 and that’s been penciled in by three difference people as far as I can tell just based on the different handwriting. This whole case just smells like shit.

      How the hell is anyone who doesn’t live near downtown Chicago so they can physically go to the clerk’s office expected to mount a pro se defense against this garbage if their only resource is this God awful “docket.” Most people posting on here (99%) say they never even received a copy of the subpoena from their ISP. And for the record, no, I’m not part of this case but seeing this shit go on just pisses me off…especially when I’ve been drinking :P

    • Have they already issued all their subpoenas to the ISP’s or are there literally 100’s (or even 1000’s like in the lightspeed case) to come down the pike in the not too distant future. BTW, thanks for explaining what the docket entry means.

    • I’m dying to see this document. I’m all for giving AU a benefit of a doubt, but my intuition tells me to be on alert and don’t trust this guy.

      Any piece of information helps victims to understand what’s going on. Information vacuum is the worst thing.

      As I understand, you are in Chicago. A friend of a friend works downtown Chicago and is willing to pick up document copies from the court. The only question remains, and I couldn’t find the answer on the Cook county clerk’s site: how much does it cost? State court copy rates differ dramatically – from free to $1 per page.

    • Just calm down, this is not the end of your life. When I got a subpoena it scared the living shit out of me. Now I just laugh whenever I get one of their overtly threatening robocalls or whenever I’m fortunate enough to get a voicemail from Mark Lutz…their paralegal/collection agent/village idiot.

      This lawsuit is a load of shit and it should be removed to federal court due to the fact that its assertions are all preempted by federal law (18 USC § 1030 – CFAA). Then it should be assigned to Judge Milton Shadur, the judge in the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division who tore into John Steele (Paul Duffy’s mentor), effectively called him a liar, and told him to never bring one of these suits into his court again. Now, whenever the judicial lottery assigns a Prenda case to Shadur, Duffy dismisses it right away.

      The complaint basically says “violations of this, this, and this part of the CFAA, but because most of the IPs involved are located in Illinois, this should be an Illinois case (the venue is proper)” and “the venue is proper because the plaintiff has computers in Cook County.” No, Paul Duffy. That’s not how it works. You claim violations of federal law so you should file suit in federal court. Also, the breach of contract claim should be chucked since this case alleges hacking, where whoever did it did not agree to the terms of service and therefore there was no meeting of the minds, thus no contract.

  16. If anyone has questions about this I’d contact David @

    He’s responded the most to my inquiries about the case and my options.

    Quashing the subpoena seems pointless as you’d have to pay an attorney to do it is not even guaranteed to work. I was told “50/50” and “unlikely to work” by several lawyers in chicago.

    if they subpoenaed your isp they’re going to get your contact info and harass you but it’s unlikely to go any farther than that. If they decide to prosecute you and they lose, their gravy train of extortion dries up and they’ll no longer by able to harass voicemails and mailboxes of the co-conspirators.

    Beyond the high possibility of this case being thrown out in federal court (as its asserting the violation of a federal law) they’ll also have a hard time proving your IP = you in court. WPA/WPA2/WEP are not secure to hackers, spoofers, etc. As long as you can show you made an *attempt* to secure your wifi you should be okay. Leaving your wifi open and claiming someone else was on your network would be negligent. If they did take you to court, you’d have to hire a lawyer and prove your innocence.

    Once that happens your only recourse would be to motion for costs & fees associated with hiring a lawyer. I am personally betting that Prenda does not want to take anyone of the co-conspirators to court for fear of losing the case and not being able to collect settlements from those who are intimidated by their scheme.

    My information is being released from my ISP on 8/22 and I plan on calling Neustar next week to change the contact info on my account. Not sure if that will help avoid the phone calls or not, in the unlikely event they get my actual cell # associated with my account I am just going to have their # blocked through my cell provider.

    • Largely agree with your lawyer’s assessment but most strongly disagree with the open wifi=negligence theory as it has been trashed (so far) in SDNY and EDNY. Search this site for unicorntugboat’s post last month and you’ll see what I mean.

      • I am aware of the case, however they will still try to use the negligence claim and you will be forced to hire a lawyer to defend you in court. That is the point. However they know their claims are weak at best, and it’s highly unlikely they will EVER pursue the court option for co-conspirators.

      • I agree that open WiFi shouldn’t fly since it’s been shot down, albeit in federal court although state courts have been known to follow federal precedent. Although open WiFi may be incredibly stupid (ask the people who’ve been accidentally raided for kiddie porn), it’s certainly not negligent. That being said, this is the State of Illinois, which makes it even worse for obvious reasons. On top of that, the state judge is likely completely ignorant of how these trolls work and of the technical details involved in these types of cases not to mention grossly overworked. In my opinion it’s a crapshoot as to whether the judge tosses it even after the issue is argued.

        I went over this complaint multiple times and each time it was exponentially worse than the previous time due to just how awful and ambiguous it is. This case alleges no ILCS violations but Duffy cites CFAA violations in every other paragraph. My conclusion, well one of them, is that this case shouldn’t have even been permitted to be filed in a state court and should be removed to NDIL immediately. I’d be tickled to death if this case was then assigned to Judge Shadur but Duffy would just dismiss and refile. I’d like to hear your opinion, Raul.

  17. one thing with these cfaa complaints that many people have pointed out but i feel like re posting is that this case claims that hackers broke through a site’s security. this would logically push false positives higher than your standard bittorrent cases because anyone who can hack into a site to gain access to data not only can also crack the soft security of most wireless network passwords, but also more than likely knows they are doing something illegal and thus WILL use someone elses network to help keep themselves anonymmous. thus if bittorrent claims are around 30% unreliable then these cases would logically be closer to the 60% rate that the infinger is not the account holder because of the technical expertise needed to hack through a website’s encryption.

    • I think the thing to remember is that the people being caught up in this are people who clicked on a link or used a login they saw on a message board. The allegation of hacking is a real stretch. Instead of going after the people who actually did the hacking or stole the login, they are targeting the people who walked in the front door after it was left wide open.

      • i agree with what you are saying in principle but can only offer my assesment of what the complaint actually says. which is not that all these people googled “user:pass@members….” but that they are infact hackers that are part of a collective community that is actively breaching the data on the plaintiff’s sites. they say that everyone is trained and thus they must also agree that if there ip list represents trained hackers then the people who used their passwords would also have the knowledge and skill to breach wifi passwords, and would also be concious of the dangers of getting caught and thus would use breached wifi to breach their site.

        if they weren’t so negligent in securing their site then my network would have not been hacked and my bandwith would not have been abused because the hacker woud have had no reason to use my wifi network to breach their security. so in essense according to their negligence theory anyone who lost data due to a hacking breach can sue them for enticing hackers to breach private networks so as to access their easily breachable site. even if a network that lost data was not necessarily used to hack their site. the sheer ease of breaking into the porn sites enticed the hackers into creating the tools to break private wifi passwords. thus they are responsibe for tools used such as trojans and bots for ANY AND ALL private wifi intrusions..

        • Hey folks, thanks as always for everyone (victim, former victim and champion alike) that is helping on this.

          I’ve spent a lot more time researching this and am so grateful for this site for pointing me in the right direction in so many ways.

          My home scanner is busted so I can’t upload my demand letter. I can’t imagine it will be long until one shows up on this site. For those that can’t wait, I’ve written the following:


          After comparing it to the original Doe letter posted on the Lightspeed page, the letters are more similar than different.

          Same vague accusations (“The CFAA provides the private right of action for misappropriation of computer data, unauthorized access with the intent to defraud and unauthorized access resulting in damage to computers”), settlement amounts, and writing style. Not surprisingly both letters have the same payment authorization and sample conditional release form with similar letterhead.

          Interestingly mine does not contain the Florida Prenda law offices info (new letterhead?)

          Differences that I could find (my Mandarin is better than my legalese) was my letter has a big focus on the whole ‘maybe it wasn’t you, so if it wasn’t you pass this letter onto the person who did it and we’ll settle with them and leave you alone. Otherwise, we’re just going to assume it’s you so pay up you loser’ aspect.

          For me, the most glaring change is that the letter references a “data sheet” that according to the letter is attached and would allow me to verify the “IP address that is associated with this group” as well as what I would assume to be the date/time of whatever they are accusing has taken place.

          As I’ve already mentioned, I didn’t get this data sheet.

          I can only guess this saves them from having to add anything beyond a name, address and case reference number on each of these letters. But read into it as much as you’d like.

          Unless my letter has been personalized in some way, I’m assuming this is the case for all. Could someone who got this letter verify that their letter didn’t list their IP or any actual information that relates to the allegation?


          Again (as posted before) “Your Internet Service Provider identified you as the account holder associated with an IP address that is associated with this group.” Is the line that is most important to me. My ISP claims to know nothing about this, and I’m inclined to believe them.

          From what I read, it seems like I may not be alone in the ‘letter first, subpoena maybe” collective. From my last conversation with my ISP, no request for my information has been made.

          As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not in the US.

          To give some of the doubters a bit of insight into what’s going on and why I’m confused, my country got hit with its first set of subscriber info subpoena requests from a reputable US media conglomerate somewhat recently.

          Sorry for the vagueness of details, but I’m not interested in giving away anything until Prenda is out of my life or if a US lawyer wants to represent me pro bono. I’m only sort of kidding.

          It was front-page news on nearly every media outlet (very different countries, seriously). Funny enough, the story is where I first learned about file swapping. I thought all that stuff died out with Napster (neeeeeewwwwb).

          This case has since been dropped before settlement letters were even distributed.

          My ISP is known as a world-leader in fighting for a free and open internet. They were not one of the companies that had subpoenas sent to them (this has only happened once, so it was and is very big news). As such, with the exception of National (or world I’m assuming) investigations launched by my nation’s equivalent to your FBI, they’ve never provided subscriber information before.

          I should repeat that. My ISP has NEVER provided subcriber info.

          I just thought they were the cheapest ISP… Score!!!

          Anyhoot, any information that might help defeat these fucking bottom feeders is something I want to help get out there.

          BTW, no offense to anyone here, but when the articles about the subscriber info subpoenas broke, all of the national news outlets mentioned how by letting these cases into our courts that we might be providing ‘US-style ambulance chasers’ a foothold within our legal system.

          Public response to the whole fiasco was extremely negative (Hrrumph! with emphasis).

        • Jzed,

          Thanks for the input even though it makes this puzzle even more puzzling. Still it makes me think that perhaps Guava is a offshore corporation and certain trolls reek of sunscreen.

        • You don’t need to be that skilled to break into someone’s wireless network, especially someone you know. Some of these programs are so user-friendly that anyone who knows how to use Linux (read Linux for Dummies and you’re golden) and has it installed on a laptop could easily hack a wireless network using two different methods. I’m not even gonna get into the details but needless to say it’s as easy as running a program and having some patience. Seeing as how most people don’t use secure PINs such as basically a random jumble of uppercase and lowercase letters mixed with numbers and symbols in no particularly predictable pattern, it makes it much easier to compromise your neighbor’s wireless network because you know stuff about them. The ONLY way to keep someone out who’s not completely hell-bent on breaking into your wireless network is to use MAC filtering and only allow the devices you want, deny everyone else.

          I can’t see the negligence theory flying here. If it does fly, then it’d end up being at the worst modified comparative fault (51% rule – injured party can only recover damages if party’s fault doesn’t exceed 50%, if it exceeds 50% then no damages may be recovered, if less than 50% then damages may be recovered). The negligence theory didn’t fly in the Eastern or Southern Districts of New York and, even though this is a state case, state courts may follow federal precedent. Frankly, I don’t believe that this case should even be in a state court. It belongs in a federal court because it alleges violations of a federal statute, no ILCS violations. Either way, this has a snowball’s chance in hell of being litigated, just like all of Prenda’s cases. Duffy’s just gonna use his little scare the shit out of people routine to extort money out of as many Does as he can and then bail on the suit without ever naming anyone besides the named defendant, who is basically boned judging by the assertions in the complaint.

  18. I’d like to take a minute to say that, based on my observations, I think it’s safe to say that most of the new people posting on this page haven’t the slightest clue what’s going on. First of all, calm down. It’s not the end of the world. I know I freaked the fuck out when I got a copy of a subpoena from my ISP, then I found this community, as well as DTD’s site and anti-troll attorney blogs. Now I’m much more informed, still being harassed by Prenda but it’s entertaining. Just please please go read the FAQs. If it’s one thing these trolls hate it’s an informed, well, “victim” for lack of a better word.

  19. No, thank you Raul, your insight (and the help of others thanks to SJD) really moved me from the freakout tent back to the show… Time to party.

    But seriously… if someone in the US wants to represent me, let me know.

    I’m not feeling like Superman in terms of my vulnerability, but I feel I have enough troll protection to weather this storm.

    In all honesty, this whole experience (thus far) done me a solid! Without this push, I would have never locked down my network or really cared about the availability of my personal data.

    BTW if trolls are reading this, representation won’t be a problem if you actually decide to send me something my attorney cares to do anything beyond wipe his ass with. Your mother feasts on dicks in hell and I’m truly hoping your oncologist has bad news for you.

    • Rest assured, I think it’s safe to assume that John Steele reads this site religiously but never comments but he does on DTD’s, through a VPN…he should put his money where his mouth is and show his true IP since he always wants ours. I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Duffy reads this from time to time either and I believe SJD has snagged Mark Lutz’s (Prenda’s paralegal/resident bully) IP address visiting this site as well. He’s the one who’ll be calling you…unless it’s a computer doing it.

      • Should this be a concern or are you just pointing it out?

        I mean really, if I read about these “people” in the obits, I won’t be sad.

        • I’m not gonna tell you whether you should worry or not for obvious reasons but if I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t be worried. I still have Prenda calling me (it’s been 7+ months since I was dismissed), telling me they’re filing an individual lawsuit against me and I laugh every time I listen to the computerized voice. Given Duffy’s history, and the fact that you haven’t incriminated yourself, and Duffy has litigated ZERO of these cases, I see very little occurring in this case. I have more fingers than the amount of people Prenda has served (to the best of my knowledge). This complaint is pure shit and this lawsuit (and its plaintiff) is questionable to say the least and likely will be removed to federal court where it should be squashed by a judge who is familiar with these cases. On top of that, Duffy’s gonna be the lead attorney in the Lightspeed v. AT&T et al case that was just removed to SDIL (federal court) so it’s gonna be all hands on deck just to handle that mess.

    • Well if it gives you any comfort, according to Dante’s Inferno, Prenda lawyers will be relegated to the Eighth Circle of Hell, reserved for those who have committed fraud. They’d be in good company with historical pieces of shit such as Caiaphas, the Jewish priest who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion, as well as multiple notorious Pontiffs. Based on the Old Testament, I can think of five of the seven deadly sins that Prenda attorneys have committed. Greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, the real damning one (just look at Steele’s posts on DTD), pride.

  20. So I got one of these Prenda letters last week, and I just assumed it was a scam…….it’s incredibly vague, and has no details whatsoever. It’s basically “somebody did something wrong, and we’ll sue you unless you give us $4000.”

    After reading all about them online (here and dietrolldie), I got a phone call. Not sure who it was on the phone, but he was very forceful and kinda rude. I told him the letter looked like a scam and it had no details. Then he tells me that it contains ALL the info, including the time of the alleged action and the ip in question….it contains none of these things! When I informed him that I didn’t do anything his response was “We’re not saying you did, but we need to settle this.” These guys don’t take no (I didn’t do anything) for an answer. He said we could “settle it now, or let the courts settle it over the next couple of years.” Once again, I said I didn’t do anything. He then asked if I’d rather be served at home or at work??? I told him neither, said thanks for calling and hung up. This is pretty annoying……

    I’m in a state that Prenda has no presence in… likely is it that they’ll actually try to serve me? Also, how can you be accused of something, without any details whatsoever?

    • It’s a scam. They are only looking for settlements so far. If you make incriminating statements or something they will potentially file papers in your jurisdiction (which will cost them anywhere between $300-$500), and name you in a personal lawsuit. So only if they think they got you will they spend money going after you, or if you are in a “plaintiff friendly” district. IE. if you live in a trailer park in Montana they are probably not going to go after you.

      None of these cases ever go to trial, they just try to get you to settle if they have reason to believe you:

      A. admitted guilt or made incriminating statements to them.
      B. they think you have a lot of money (based on where you live, if you told them what you do for a living, etc.) Then they might go after you more forcefully, but more or less by just upping the pressure through more phone calls, letters, etc.

      This whole thing reminds me of that movie Boiler Room. They justified their actions saying they would try to go after the “white whales” who had lots of money, but then the main guy realizes they were just out to scam anybody and everybody. I just imagine a bunch of coke-addled people making these terrible phone calls trying to scare average joes out of their kids college funds.

      • Even if you are in a plaintiff friendly district, judges don’t like to make decisions that have the possibility of being overturned on appeal and there are numerous issues with these cases that make a court-entered judgment ripe for appeal…except Judge Shadur from NDIL who’s overturned on an almost yearly basis by the Seventh Circuit. The judges in NDIL (where my case was filed) are very well informed because each of them has probably presided over 20+ of these cases. Same with CASD and CAND. Judges in other districts are beginning to wise up and refuse to even issue subpoenas. It’s the ignorant judges I’m worried about since there’s a learning curve involved.

        If you’ve admitted guilt (like said “I did it”) then you’re boned. I dunno if what tax bracket you’re in makes a difference to them since they’re only entitled to $150,000 in statutory damages plus attorneys fees and court costs and that’s assuming that the act is actually copyrighted (most aren’t) and most importantly if they actually win in court. Social status or occupation might be a good indicator of who’ll settle though. A pastor would be more likely to settle than…well, most everyone. I’ve got a reputation to keep but I’m not gonna let myself get extorted for something I didn’t do without learning everything about what they have and what they don’t have and, after doing research, I learned that not only do they have nothing but they’re also grossly incompetent. I’ve also ignored every attempt they’ve made to contact me so all they have is an IP address and being tech-savvy, I know they might as well have nothing at all on me. They upped the pressure on me AFTER dismissing my case, threatening to sue me individually, calling me twice a week, Perea mailing me letters stating that I can still settle for $3400. My tactic, ignore. Then all of their attempted communication ceased suddenly.

  21. Their chances of losing in court are very high. If they lose, they’ll no longer be able to extort the thousands of names/phone numbers/addresses they’ve subpoenaed. Just call your cell provider / home phone provider and have them blocked.

    • Their evidence is shoddy at best. Their “technician” isn’t licensed nor does he have any formal training in the field that he’d be considered an “expert witness” in for purposes of testifying. Their method of collection, who knows. IP geolocation is unreliable. NONE of their “evidence” has ever been used in a court case so they don’t even know if the judge will allow or toss it. If it’s tossed, then case is tossed too. Misconduct on the part of Prenda’s agent (Lutz) as well as its members (lawyers) would be fair game, especially if it’s part of this case. Suing ~5000 people isn’t practical or affordable. It’d cost them millions to depose and forensically examine each defendant’s computer. They know all of this, they don’t want their victims or judges to know about any of this but the tide’s slowly shifting in our favor.

      • As pointed out, contested individual infringement disputes generally don’t reach trial. But even if they did, 150K is the MAXIMUM possible award for statutory damages. No porn infringement allegation judgement has ever come near that figure. Even claims of large awards, if actually collected, are probably negotiated way down. The 150K figure, along with threatened embarrassment, is troll fear mongering.

        Copyright law allows the courts much discretion:
        “…the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200.”

        Judges could quash a lot of trolling by making the default porn purveyor trolling cases awards the minimum.

        • There were two default judgments in Arizona last year for $750 per defendant, the lowest allowed award. Shows you what judges think of these trolls. No one would ever be awarded the maximum $150k, especially if it’s a jury trial. As far as juries go, I’m pretty sure the members of the jury would be thinking “well, this scumbag could very well snag me up in one of these and I didn’t do anything wrong…screw him.”

  22. Talk to Erin Russell if you want to hire a lawyer to file a motion to quash for you in person. She is going to IL. on Monday to file one on behalf of a client.

    She said the complaint is fraught with errors making it a good case for MOQ. Although she is not cheap.

  23. I don’t even know of a word in the English language that accurately describes this case if the Lightspeed cases are considered farcial. A shell company of a porn company created for the specific purpose of this lawsuit. An (likely) assignation without any evidence submitted of the mere existence of assignment agreement of rights to Guava from the producing company. A state lawsuit alleging civil offenses covered under the CFAA alleging hacking, trespass to chattels (why not conversion?), breach of contract, and civil conspiracy. Not sure what to do with the trespass to chattels claim.

    First of all, the Copyright Act preempts the breach of contract and civil conspiracy claims, assuming that a contract was ever created which is not the case and any 1L will tell you the same. So, chuck claims 3 and 4, keep the CFAA claim (1) and extremely ambiguous trespass claim (2), remove suit to federal court where the CFAA claim should be tossed because the claim states that a loss of at least $5,000 occurred, then states that loss is incalculable. Well, is it $5,000 or “who the hell knows?” It’s one or the other, Paul, but that really doesn’t matter as outlined below. Wild ass guess here but Duffy put $5k in the complaint because that’s what’s required under the CFAA.

    Breakdown of the CFAA claim. First of all, Duffy cites 1030(a)(2) which states “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains,” so uhh, obtains what? Mr. Duffy was in a hurry, 1030(a)(2) contains three subparagraphs and the complaint only cites…well, 1030(a)(2).

    Damages under the CFAA, assuming that they even lost $5k+, Guava is only entitled to economic damages since the complaint fails to state the amount of damages that would entitle it to compensatory damages. Specifically, 18 USC § 1030(g) explicitly states “A civil action for a violation of this section may be brought only if the conduct involves 1 of the factors set forth in subclauses (I), (II), (III), (IV), or (V) of subsection (c)(4)(A)(i)” and further states “Damages for a violation involving only conduct described in subsection (c)(4)(A)(i)(I) are limited to economic damages,” (subclauses II through V do not apply in this case) and subsection (c)(4)(A)(i)(I) explicitly states “loss to 1 or more persons during any 1-year period (and, for purposes of an investigation, prosecution, or other proceeding brought by the United States only, loss resulting from a related course of conduct affecting 1 or more other protected computers) aggregating at least $5,000 in value;” yet Duffy is asking for compensatory damages To get compensatory damages, the damages must qualify under 1030(e)(11) and I see nothing that explicitly states damages qualifying under 1030(e)(11), only that losses are “incalculable.” Well, if you can’t figure it out, then it might as well just be $0 because no court will award compensatory damages when you don’t even know how much money you’ve lost. Chuck the CFAA claim.

    What I’d like to know is how do you break into a shell company’s computers if said shell company did not exist when the alleged act(s) occurred? They’re alleging Guava’s computers were broken into, not its parent’s computers. Prenda Law, making the impossible, possible. This time it’s time travel.

    • They don’t give a shit about what will or will not make any sense in court. Because none of this will ever go to court. It is just a fishing expedition to get as many Does information as possible, shakedown settlements, and then move on to the next case. Just the legal justifications are slightly different. They are getting trounced in Federal Court so they have to move to State court where the judges might not yet know about this fraud.

      • You’re right, this is a fishing expedition and they are preying on ignorant people and moving their suits to courts with ignorant judges. IMO they’ll be shaking people down until a higher court intervenes because so many federal judges have issued differing individual rulings on these cases. The unifying fact is that each ruling is different and federal judges aren’t bound by their colleagues’ rulings. Until there’s one, clear precedent on this issued by a higher court or a statute is enacted by Congress, it’ll keep happening. I just want people to be more informed than they were when they got a letter in the mail that scared the shit outta them, which seems to be happening more and more lately because news of this garbage has been reaching mainstream media outlets.

      • Thank you and please feel free to use whatever you want. I’m used to going through FASB and IASB codifications and tax stuff so it’s kinda a transferable skill.

  24. I got a letter in the Mail saying my ISP (RCN) was going to give out my info to these guys. I freaked out for a day, then I found this forum and called a couple lawyer.

    This is a definite shakedown. I wasn’t even in state when they incident was alleged to have happened. How is this legal? Should I just wait it out or move to quash. I am not a rich man.

    • I’m waiting it out, there’s nothing they can do to prove their false claims. They don’t just lose if they take you to court, they’d get destroyed. And then you and your lawyer could file a claim to make them pay your legal fees.

      • This is a cut and dry case of extrajudicial extortion. This suit shouldn’t even be in state court, it should be removed to NDIL and summarily dismissed with prejudice. Duffy should not be allowed to take a second crack at this not to mention this suit is patently frivolous. Plaintiff’s counsel along with plaintiff should be sanctioned and a complaint should be filed with the IARDC. As I outlined above, the case has NO MERIT at all, whatsoever. The complaint was either drafted by a lawyer in 10 minutes without any consideration for details (damages specifically) or a paralegal who has zero understanding of the CFAA, contract law and copyright law.

        Half of the claims in the complaint, preempted by the Copyright Act. The CFAA claim, so vague and ambiguous that it should be tossed. The trespass to chattels claim hinges on the CFAA claim, so toss that. Breach of contract, no meeting of the minds, no contract ever existed…chuck it. What’s left? Nothing. Not to mention that AU stated that the plaintiff is a shell company of a parent, porn purveyor. The complaint alleges defendants and co-conspirators broke into the shell company’s computers which raises the question of how do you break into a shell company’s computer(s) if said shell company didn’t even exist at the time?

    • Apparently they continue to troll you with automated calls, in-person calls demanding you settle, and strongly worded letters declaring you’re a criminal (which they have no evidence of) and that you pay them. All of which can be completely ignored. The only future hassle would be if you receive a summons, which you most definitely should not ignore. The case has a 2 or 3 year statute of limitations from earlier this summer so they can technically continue to harass you until June 2014-15.

  25. I got the letter from RCN/Neustar, and after reading all of this am not that worried and choosing to ignore it as I’m pretty sure I have nothing to do with anything, but what does the letter from Prenda actually state? Do they ever name the content that was allegedly distributed? All I have is a date and time.

    • I hope to get into it in some detail tomorrow but just ignore these pricks for the time being, shady lawsuit will not be pursued vigorously IMHO.

  26. OK so…I don’t wanna misinterpret this
    (I’m reading the conversation on Rushie’s Twitter feed, not Raul’s)
    Raul tweets
    “@marcorandazza @JRushie Please don’t sue me if you fall out of chair laughing & crack noggin reading Guava complaint”

    Then Rushie Tweets
    “@Raul15340965 Oh I see, they amended it to add Comcast. It’s pled strangely, at least to the ISPs”

    Amended it to add Comcast? What…the…fuck? Was he referring to the Guava complaint?

    • No, I pointed Rushie to Lightspeed BS (very similar to this lawsuit) and I think he got the two mixed up.

      • Or maybe not, anyway there is no amended complaint on the docket and no ISP involvement so far. That may change as I was afforded a peek at a very suspicious looking agreed upon order between the plaintiff and the defendant which allows Prenda to subpeona ISPs across the USA. Those of you who received a demand letter without any notice from your ISP, there may be an explanation for that which is quite sleazy. You Does are in a HUGE old school troll lawsuit which is actually good in a sucky way. Promise, promise to explain at some length soon

        • An agreement between the plaintiff and defendant to allow for ISP subpoenas, reeks of collusion to me. Also reeks of a prior relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. I can’t find any record of anyone who resides in Illinois with the name “Skyler Case” so is this more pseudonym shit? This case just gets sleazier and sleazier as the layers of it are peeled back.

      • Once the large ISP’s start getting mass subpoenas from Duffy for this, how do you think they will take it, given what’s going on with Lightspeed (it sounds like 100’s, or maybe even 1000’s, of subpoenas are coming their way from Cook County)?

        Also, given that a defendant is named, why wouldn’t Adam Urbanczyk have this removed on behalf of Case to NDIL which is less plaintiff friendly to this sort of stuff?

        I’m only taking a guess, but if there is an agreement between the two parties, I’m betting in exchange for some sort of admission of a conspiracy, Case will be released for nothing or next to nothing. That way, they get some form of an argument about proper joinder and jurisdiction of co-conspirators, which is the info they really want.

        • Thanks! Also, read carefully paragraphs 16 and 20 of the complaint. What do you think is meant by “obtained compensation from” at the end of paragraph 20?

        • In the context of par 20, it would appear named defendant was paid by “co-conspirators” for breaking into…well, someone’s computer. Problem with that (see above) as Duffy fails to cite which of the subparagraphs under (a)(2), “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains— ” for which the CFAA qualifies in this case. Did defendant break into a bank, a computer owned by the U.S. government, or gain access to info on any protected computer? I can guess but who really knows, Duffy doesn’t say. He alleges this massive conspiracy to break into plaintiff’s computers yet grossly oversimplifies the offenses committed by defendant Case. Wire fraud could attach to this, copyright infringement, conversion, or even civil RICO.

          Compensation for breaking into a computer isn’t addressed by 1030(a)(4), only “objects of value”
          “knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consists only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any 1-year period”
          So, basically, breaking into a computer and downloading copyrighted material qualifies but not as he/she paid? Who cares, that isn’t addressed by the CFAA. I assume “compensation” refers to obtaining “objects of value,” but he used the term “compensation.”

  27. I am a pregnant single mother of 2 and a part time student. My children are 4 and 7. I work 40 plus hours a week. I am being targeted by these criminals. Can anyone please help me?

    • To the pregnant mother of 2. If you explain your situation some lawyers might take on your case for free. You could also try contacting a local media outlet. They are usually eager to profile cases of obvious wrongly accused persons, especially if you are a sympathetic person. An 80 year old grandmother got one of these I saw on a local news piece. Her daughter helped her write a motion to quash to the judge and got her subpoena quashed.

      To answer someone else’s question, copyright cases have 3 years statute of limitations from the time of infringement. This is a hacking case, which has 2 years. That doesn’t mean you are scott free after 2 years, a court case could be brought up in 1 1/2 years that could then drag on for years til it is settled.

      My personal opinion on this case:
      1. If you want to fight this case and have the money to do so, contact Erin Russell at
      2. If you want to settle contact Scott O’Donell at
      3. If you want to do nothing and ride it out, do nothing and ride it out.

      All options are a big bite out of a shit sandwich, and it is obviously no secret. I was told by Erin that Cook County, and this is more of a state court issue than a cook county issue, is incredibly slow when it comes to legal proceedings. So this is a big win for prenda because the case will not be resolved anytime soon allowing them ample time to get lots of Does contact information, which is really all that they are after. She is filing a motion on behalf of a client on Monday, but motions then lead to counter motions which then lead to replies, which she said would take about 45 days, her guess mostly.

      So don’t hold your breath.

  28. i am still curious what company guava is a parent of and what sites they are claiming were hacked in the firstplace.

    • Actually it’s more like what company is the parent of Guava, since Adam E. Urbanczyk, counsel for the named defendant, has allegedly (see above) stated that Guava was created to avoid backlash on the parent company in the way Lightspeed was attacked (DDoS attacks). This creates a huge problem IMO. Since the entity didn’t exist at the time of the crime (an assumption I’ve made) then how can you hack its computers? If the entity didn’t exist, then the computers didn’t exist. Duffy has bigger problems than this, namely the fact that his claim is garbage. Half of it is preempted by the Copyright Act. The CFAA claim is shit and the trespass to chattels claim is equally shitty. Even if the CFAA claim wasn’t so shitty and vague, it’s a federal claim so the case should be removed to federal court.

  29. I am confused as to what they claim is being downloaded in the first place. All I ever see or hear from others is that it’s a movie…no title, nothing…I even tried calling them and they wouldn’t specify what movie or file this even was…which tells me they are just reaching for something that isn’t there.

    • You’re confused and rightfully so. Everyone is confused by this but based on what I’ve gathered from the complaint and from third party sources, this case is patently frivolous. It also smells of something very very bad in that plaintiff and defendant reached a mutual agreement to allow for ISP subpoenas. Finally, the Crook County Court system works so incredibly slow that they’ll have extorted tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from innocent people before this case is ruled on. I hope you didn’t call Prenda when inquiring as to the subject matter of the lawsuit.

      Here’s what I’ve gathered from public info (not much) and third parties, although I can’t vouch for the accuracy of all of the third party information. The basis of the complaint is that someone hacked Guava’s parent’s site (apparently Guava was created ex post facto to avoid backlash on its parent, the true “victim” of what this claim alleges) and either stole a bunch of copyrighted content or shared passwords to the website. It’s very similar to the Lightspeed claim in that respect, but the merits are just crap. Read my analysis of the complaint which I posted a few days ago, namely the CFAA claim in which I concluded that the claim is garbage and should be tossed along with the claims of breach of contract (preempted by the Copyright Act or no contract ever existed, take your pick) and civil conspiracy (preempted by the Copyright Act).

      Even if this case wasn’t such a farce and fraud upon the court, it has no place in state court and should immediately be removed to federal court where I’m confident that a judge will summarily stomp the guts out of this complaint and toss it. Some types of damages entitle plaintiff to compensatory damages while other damages are limited to economic damages. The complaint doesn’t even state how much plaintiff lost. Duffy claims “Oh, Plaintiff lost in excess of $5,000 so give us compensatory damages…Plaintiff’s suffered incalculable and irreparable HARM…” Harm, not damages, harm. Plaintiff isn’t entitled to a dime for “harm” only damages, and even if “harm” equals “damages” he’s still failed to state how much since “incalculable” isn’t a number.

  30. News:

    1. Raul wrote a nice overview.
    2. Pretty damning “Agreement” is uploaded, includes the list of ISPs .

  31. Thanks to everyone for this information. A relative just received a letter from Neustar about a subpoena and it helped me get from freak-out mode to a bit more calm.

  32. I contacted my ISP and talked to people from various departments, managers, etc. and they don’t know anything about Neustar and told me that they have no relationship with that company. Is Neustar itself legitimate?

  33. Unless I misread this, isn’t it rather convenient that the compromised computers were located in Cook County, IL? With all the hosting providers specializing in porn in FL, NV, AZ, and CA, they just happen to file a (potentially) huge Doe case on behalf of a company in the same county as the Mothership. This just stinks of a honeypot scam.

    Also, a twelve year old can write code to protect against SQL injection. If somebody was able to successfully gain access via SQL injection, they deserve to be hacked for failing to take basic steps to protect their data.

    • Yes, you misread, my friend: Duffy does not allege that servers were located in Illinois, he alleged that “Plaintiff’s computer systems were at all times relevant to this actions accessible to individuals in Cook County, Illinos.”

      I understand that anyone not used to be defrauded every minute, when quickly scanning this phrase will understand it just like you did. But re-read it slowly: “accessible” is the key word. With this reasoning Bangkok, Thailand would be also a proper venue as you could access Guava’s webservers from there “at relevant times”.

  34. Thanks to Raul and everyone else who have been contributing.

    Just FYI, my ISP isn’t included in that list. Nor are any ISP’s in my country from what I can tell. So I’m still not entirely sure why I received a demand letter (without IP info).

  35. Ohhh holy shit. Is that every cable and DSL provider in the United States and across half of the world? Unfortunately, 47 USC § 551(a)(2)(C) defines providers of cable, DSL, dialup, satellite, or any other wire or radio communication as “cable providers.” What the hell? How does DSL provide cable?

    This still doesn’t explain why subscribers haven’t received any notification from their ISPs unless there’s something I’m missing. 47 USC § 551(c)(2)(B) authorized court-ordered subpoenas, but the ISP still has to notify the subscriber, the statute explicitly states disclosure required.

    The judge didn’t say “Under 47 USC § 551(c)(2)(B)” he just wrote “Under Section 551 of the Cable Communications Policy Act….” That leaves quite a bit of leeway. Are they getting around this by pulling some government bullshit under the SCA and the disclosure is to the government under (c)(2)(D), which states disclosure may be made “to a government entity as authorized under chapters 119, 121, or 206 of title 18, except that such disclosure shall not include records revealing cable subscriber selection of video programming from a cable operator” where chapter 121 contains 18 § 2701 et seq, a.k.a. the Stored Communications Act. Section 2705 allows for delayed notification (in civil cases) but I’m not sure if a state judge can even issue a delay order and even after reading A TON of shit on 551(c)(2)(D), I’m not sure if a court even be authorized to hand over the information to a third party.

    Then there’s USC § 551(h), disclosure of informaton to a governmental entity pursuant to a court order still requires ISP disclosure to its subscribers and this one wouldn’t even pass muster because it requires the governmental entity to provide clear and convincing evidence that criminal activity is suspected. Not only is notification required, the subject of the subpoena is afforded the right to appear and contest the claim. Again, it’s not a criminal case so getting a judge to issue an order like this would require either collusion or a fraud on an epic scale being perpetrated upon the court.

    Ah hell, I’m burned out. Hopefully some of this was useful.

  36. Seems likely that Urbanczyk is actually on Prenda’s payroll. Probably like Randazza “defending” a Doe in a way that helps his trolling operations. I wonder if Skyler Case is a plant too, and this was arranged to get a clueless state court judge to rubber stamp the order. John has been forced to get more creative to push forward.

    Keep in mind the ISPs are not party to this agreement, and given the huge number of companies, he’s not afraid to draw attention to himself between this and suing AT&T and Comcast.

    • I speculated the same about Case since I can’t find this person at all. I can find 2 people in the U.S. with that name and neither of them reside in Illinois. At the LEAST it’s a pseudonym, which is bullshit. At the very very least, this clown is an actual person who managed to leave no online fingerprints, yet is a complete and utter MORON who thinks Prenda will let him off the hook if he commits what can only be described as a wholesale sellout of innocent people, thus facilitating both attempted and actual wire and mail fraud across the continent. Is that plausible? Didn’t think so. I’m more inclined to believe that this person is either completely fictitious (what judge would wanna see a defendant in person? not one in Crook County) or a Prenda employee plant.

      This shit needs to be investigated and it is way beyond me how any of this crap has passed muster with state bar associations and disciplinary councils across the country, sans Florida and Joe Perea. All told, they must be sitting on tens of thousands of complaints by now. “Duhhh no problem here.” If it’s a manpower issue I’m sure there’s more than a few people who’re willing to help nail these assholes to the wall.

      • In a case this huge I am still pondering joint and several liability and wondering if Case’s attorney thought about it.

    • Actually there is “SBC Internet Services” on the list: SBC bought AT&T, not the other way around, then SBC changed its name.

      • Yep…I missed SBC in the list. I am well aware of the history of SBC and AT&T.

  37. Googling “Guava LLC” I came across this US News article from February

    With a just-added comment (from Urbanczyk or not, who knows):

    “The adult film industry, and to a lesser extent the independent film, music, and now even video game industries, has over the past 24 months carried the torch for what the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) began roughly 10 years ago: pursuing who it perceives as copyright “pirates” and utterly disregarding the difference between those who actually use file-sharing technology for illegal purposes and those who simply neglected to secure their wireless routers.

    Prenda Law, Lipscomb Eisenberg, Dunlap Grubb & Weaver, and Maddox Hoppe are just a few of many law firms pursuing BitTorrent file sharers and website hackers across the country. Individuals who have refused to settle claims are being sued individually and are left to deal with the ramifications; financial, occupational, and otherwise. Exhibit A:,%20Illinois).pdf

    The subject matter, unfortunately, is being beaten to death in a blogosphere comprised largely of misled individuals and those more concerned with opining about plaintiffs’ counsels than extolling a John Doe’s pragmatic options.

    Adam E Urbanczyk of IL 3:04PM August 16, 2012″

    This whole Guava case is so mind-blowingly wierd that I guess I’ll reserve judgement till we know more about what’s really going on. But if it doesn’t prove to be a massive over-reach on the part of the Trolls, we may as well all write out our checks for $3,400 and send them off to Prenda right now (even if we don’t actually own a computer).

    • Oh but gimme a fucking break. This has been going on for over two years and Urbanczyk chooses to open his trap the same day his client’s dirty laundry goes viral? At least “the blogosphere” hasn’t been advocating bending over for the trolls and handing them blood money the way he’s been and I beg to differ that we’re “misled” (led by what? money? no, we don’t get paid like he does). Being listed on the EFF’s subpoena defense page doesn’t equate to being anti-troll much less being anti-troll settlement, as we all know by now after Meier, Randazza and Cable’s names all being listed on there and we all know on which side those three world class litigators stand.

      I’d like to know why the person named Skyler Case is a ghost and why the plaintiff is, for all intents and purposes, a ghost as well. This Guava case isn’t just mind-blowing. I could spit out expletive-laden sentences all night that wouldn’t begin to describe this travesty. If Duffy can do this and get away with it, then our entire legal system is in trouble and we might as well just have summary judgment for the plaintiff in every civil case, put the burden on the defendant to prove his or her innocence.

    • Don’t know if it was you or someone else, I see a comment reply, and I’m thankful: if we allow BS to atay unopposed, it will stay unopposed and be perceived as truth.

      Adam, since you are busy selling your client and perhaps tens of thousands of others out in the Guava case, would you be kind enough to tell us if the company exists, and if so what city, state, country it is domiciled in? This looks suspiciously like another Prenda offshore shell company, and the complaint conveniently fails to provide any information about this supposed company. There do not appear to be any extant Guava LLCs with a web presence that seem like likely candidates, which unusual for Prenda’s clients, is it is likely to be an adult website… But an adult website without a website? That is very interesting indeed.

      JOHN DOE of FL 5:48AM August 17, 2012

      • Nope wasn’t me, I’m too lazy to sign up for an account on there to comment (I think that’s required) but kudos to whoever said it. I’m not a Doe in this case…as far as I know though I wouldn’t put it past Master Troll Steele to add me just for kicks if he could find out who I am. Appears as though whoever made the comment frequents this site since we’re the only ones discussing it and they mentioned a lot of the issues we’ve raised about this case and the AF/Ingenuity13 stuff too.

  38. Hard to believe Urbanczyk isn’t part of the scam. His preference for settlement is suggestive, but not damning (for some, small number of people it makes sense, or at least is something they feel they need to do to move on, and somebody has to provide that service). But if he’s not on Prenda’s payroll he should have at least had the decency not to take this case since he appears to be out of his league and is not even defending his client.

    The complaint doesn’t even say where Guava is domiciled, doesn’t mention any websites or specific content taken. There are basically no specific allegations at all. And what’s the deal with the penciled-in request for $150,000 damages? Which just happens to be the statutory maximum for copyright infringement, even though this isn’t a copyright infringement case?

    It does say in paragraph 16 that “In response to questioning by Plaintiff’s agents, Defendant admitted the existence of and his participation in the conspiracy.”

    So, we conveniently have a plaintiff that admits guilt, represented by a BitTorrent “defense” attorney that encourages settlement but instead of settling this case he instead allows it to be used as a convenient vehicle for discovery on a massive scale? At the very least, if he has his client admitting to participation in the “conspiracy” he is by definition incriminating everyone else in their list of IPs, which is pretty low, especially if the “conspiracy” was reading something on a message board. Yeah, I’m placing my bets on Urbanczyk selling out.

    • Earlier or later I’ll confront AU in a big way. A mini-task is to remove him from the EFF’s subpoena defense list: will personally write EFF attorneys over the weekend. In the meantime I gather intelligence. Gut feeling is great, but throwing accusations without a solid backing is just bad. This site is emotional, yes, but at least I try to stick to facts.

      Any insight is appreciated.

    • Sooooo many issues, so little time. Who knows if he’s on Prenda’s payroll or not but that agreement between plaintiff and defendant reeks of something bad. The complaint is so poorly drafted that it should’ve been tossed on sight. See above for the analysis of the complaint.

      Since this complaint contains allegations of a violation of federal law, this case belongs in federal court, Urbanczyk must know that and is required to tell his client that he or she can have it removed to federal court easily all he/she has to do is file a notice of removal and the judge can’t do shit about it. That being said, the case is staying in Crook County. Why the hell would you wanna keep a case like this in state court with an ignorant judge instead of having it removed to federal jurisdiction with judges familiar with cases such as this/ Once others are added to the suit, having it removed to federal court will be next to impossible since every defendant must consent to the removal and defendant Case seemingly has no interest in doing that.

      How does this defendant know of ALL of these alleged co-conspirators? Does he run a password sharing website? Does he run a website where people go to download copyrighted shit? What the fuck does he do? Who the hell is this guy!? I cannot find a single shred of evidence that this person exists. Whoever this is, they either do not exist or they have managed to erase their fingerprints from the internet…if Google can’t find you, then you either don’t exist or you don’t use a computer.

      • It’s been mentioned already, this smells like AF Holdings or MCGIP all over again.

  39. The responses I got from Adam, suggesting I settle or pay him $500 for god knows what, also led me to believe he is in on this scam.

    Other lawyers I contacted who were familiar with these trolling lawsuits suggested no such things.

    Adam really believes that with an individual IP and a name the plantiff can build their case.

    “discovery process – interrogatories, requests for documents, depositions, and forensic computer specialists – the plaintiff builds its case.”

    So Prenda is going to spend all that money to LOSE their case, and have their gravy train dry up? Yeah right.

    • Holy shit can you imagine how much the discovery process would cost Prenda in a case of this size? It’d run into the millions. They have to provide for travel and lodging expenses for depositions, bam, thats a ton of money there. Forensic computer specialists aren’t cheap and they’d have to go through (likely) tens of thousands of computers and devices since they’d have to go through every computer and wireless capable device (cell phones, tablets, Xbox 360, PS3, etc) in the house. The time spent going through documents. Add all that up and it’s a seven-figure number. Plaintiff would be a dumbass for incurring all of that to take a case to trial against, what, 5000 people? How the fuck does that even work? 5000 people, potentially 5000 attorneys…imagine 5k lawyers standing shoulder to shoulder, the complete anarchy in the courtroom, not to mention fire code violations. Say this flies with a judge…that’s a stretch. Prenda would then have to actually show their cards, which is something they’ve avoided doing so far. Why start now? This case is going nowhere. It’s a shakedown, plain and simple. They may serve some people, but those people probably interacted with Prenda.

    • I don’t believe in coincidences, especially when it comes to scumbags. Like the fact that “Prenda” is Italian for “Take”. I don’t believe that’s a coincidence either.

  40. who the hell is guava llc, where are the corporate disclosure reports that generally go along with these cases.

  41. there is no timelimit on how long the cable companies have to provide this info. i wouldner if any of them will complain seeing as basiceall every cable company in existence is on that list

    • If there’s any case where the ISPs are gonna raise hell, it’s this one. They raised hell in the Lightspeed case in St. Clair County. This one is even worse. If they don’t object, it’s likely because of the lawsuit in SDIL.

  42. Everyone is entitled to his opinion and I will choose not to take offense to some of the statements (and clear misstatements) on this thread, but allow me to clarify a few things:

    Guava, LLC, as we know it, is a rights-holding company and the case pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County is somewhat of a spiritual successor to the infamous 11-L-0683 Lightspeed Media case filed late last year in St. Clair County, Illinois. It is our understanding that Prenda’s experience with Lightspeed Media’s representatives being personally identified and threatened as a result of the lawsuits (the 11-L-0683 case, and others) has led to its clients forming these even more ambiguously-titled entities to (relatively) save face.

    The Circuit Court of Cook County does not have any robust electronic filing system, so the lack of information about the case is understandable. Fundamentally, we are representing the one named defendant who has substantively denied the allegations in the complaint and, after a status hearing next week, will proceed into discovery. It cannot be overstated that our obligation is to the defendant whose interests are being protected, and our strategy certainly is not to engage in superfluous motion practice which does not substantively affect the allegations.

    Regardless of how much you hate Paul Duffy, Mark Lutz, John Steele, or the kid next door who is responsible, you, as a recipient of a subpoena notification letter, invariably have a set of “pragmatic” options before you:

    1) Ignore the letter and any subsequent correspondence from plaintiff’s counsel;
    2) Attempt to quash the subpoena your ISP receives;
    3) Settle; and
    4) Litigate, as the defendant in the Guava case is doing.

    There is no objectively “good” option to choose; however, which path you take depends on a variety of factors such as your tolerance for risk and how much money, time, and energy you are willing to spend on the matter. Everyone is differently situated and independently chooses which path to take.

    Our website is designed to be as objective and informative as possible and we make thousands of dollars of pleadings freely available so that John Does and mere subpoena notification letter recipients can educate themselves on the claims indirectly brought against them. Our advice, whether via email or 45-minute phone conversation, is and has always been free, and we encourage anyone with a question about Guava or any of these unfortunate cases to reach out to us.

    • Thanks for post Adam, even in the face of frustration and hostility (which I admit I share a bit) it is appreciated. I even appreciate it when Steele comments, at least it makes things interesting.

      Interesting information about the shell companies. It wasn’t hard to guess that this might be part of the motivation for the offshore entities, although I think it is ultimately more about vertically-integrating to cut out the plaintiffs’ share of the profits as well as hide profits from taxation and investigation.

      While I obviously do not approve of identity theft, bank fraud and death threats, it is also interesting to hear that the publicity we bring to the Trolls and their clients is forcing them to jump through additional hoops to hide. I certainly feel that talking about Who they are and Where they are is fair game, as the information is public and the plaintiffs certainly have no problem threatening to publicly embarrass their targets (in fact they joked about it on GFY).

      No wonder John drops by with the angry drunk rants these days, it must be getting harder to convince webmasters to sign on when he has to explain that they need to found a couple shell companies to protect their families from harassment. I imagine it’s getting pretty desperate over there, as this can only work so well, once they have to disclose the website that was hacked or the work infringed it points right back to the original owner or creator even if the copyright has been reassigned, so it’s going to be tough even to convince someone to sell their copyright even if they don’t participate in the trolling.

      You probably can’t answer since you are a lawyer in this case but I wonder how you feel about how vague and nebulous the complaint is. No information about the business, but also no website names, I mean as far as the complaint reads it’s like all this stuff allegedly happened to a company, servers and content that don’t exist. The way Prenda operates, they obviously don’t want or expect a case to be taken far enough for a judge to demand answers to these questions, but once they slide one or two of these by an uninformed judge the jig is going to be up just like it was with mass-Doe BitTorrent cases. It just seems amazing to me that these cases are taken at face value when a Plaintiff doesn’t appear to exist and doesn’t specify anything that actually exists as the property that was allegedly damaged.

      Have you considered questioning the very existence of Guava and and least forcing Prenda to prove that the company and their equipment exist? They have filed utterly fraudulent complaints in many jurisdictions, so I would not put it past them to have filed a completely fictitious complaint, as in not a case of reassignment or licensing, but that Guava, LLC and their servers and systems are literally fictions. Based on their past behavior there is no reason to take anything they say or write at face value?

      Good luck in fighting this, if you are indeed going to stand up to Guava. The thing that made/makes me a little suspicious/concerned about this case is Prenda’s claim in the complaint that the defendant admitted the existence of and his participation in the conspiracy, it read like something too conveniently engineered to play into Prenda’s hand. Are you sure your client wasn’t college roommates with Steele or Duffy?

      • What I’m curious about, and this issue hasn’t even been addressed, is that according to Mr. Urbanczyk, Guava appears to be a shell corporation of its parent a.k.a. the true plaintiff. That being said, how can someone commit a criminal or tortious act against an entity that didn’t even exist at the time that the alleged act was committed? It’s like accusing someone of stealing from a yet to be conceived child.

    • You forgot “pragmatic” option #5, remove the case to federal court and have it dismissed on its merits, or lack thereof.

      If your client has denied the allegations contained in the complaint, then why does the complaint state in paragraph 6 that “under questioning by Plaintiff’s agents” your client admitted to not only the existence of “the conspiracy” but that he (or she) participated in said “conspiracy.” If that is a false statement, then Duffy committed perjury, plain and simple. That doesn’t even address why someone who maintains their innocence would agree to a court order to subpoena so many ISPs for subscriber information in what appears to be a 5,000+ defendant case?

      For the record, I am not involved in this case. I’m just enraged by Duffy’s abuse of the court system and this farce of a lawsuit. You are correct, it depends on risk tolerance and I chose a different option than your client, as did most posters on this site and here we are.

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