Below is the comment to my recent post “Why you shouldn’t talk plaintiff’s lawyer” submitted by a blog’s reader and contributor (DieTrollDie). The cake analogy was so good that I decided to post the entire comment here.
Thank you for the video. Wow, that really takes me back. My previous career was in criminal investigations and so much of what was said on both sides is true. I did like what the cop at the end — that he doesn’t target innocent people. That is one thing that differs from the Trolls. For the police, they are charged to prove or disprove an allegation. The Trolls do not care. They don’t care if someone used your Internet connect (without your permission) or that your WiFi was “Open.” All they care about is getting you to pay the “settlement” agreement and keeping your mouth shut on their tactics. Proving or disproving that you actually did illegally download copyright protected material is not something they want to do. Don’t let someone tell you they are protecting the rights of the copyright owners. The settlement letters and telephone calls are only used to get your money. The Trolls do have the same opinion as the cop, in that “your client is stupid,” or that “the registered IP owner is stupid.” And both are correct. I don’t say that to be mean to all the people who have paid the Trolls, but let’s be honest. If this wasn’t the case, the Trolls wouldn’t be making so much money. The Trolls are not running a full and thorough investigation. Money and greed motivated their business model.
Let’s do some simple math — Case against 300 Does; Trolls have an estimated settlement return rate of 50% (Unk, just an est.); Say $2,500 per settlement; 150 X 2500 = $375,000; Split that with the original owners; Go party; Start more case and repeat the cycle. You get the picture.
The bottom line as the professor stated — Don’t talk to the Police (or Troll). It will do you NO good. The Troll doesn’t care and will only try to use it against you. If it goes to court (doubtful), there will be time enough to get your information out and prevent being abused or taken advantage of.
When I was a new investigator, I had an instructor liken running an investigation to making a cake. To make the cake, it took many different ingredients (part) and steps to reach the conclusion (finished cake). One of the last steps is often the interview of the suspect. If you got the suspect to admit to the crime(s), that was the icing on the cake. Point being that if you case (cake) was already good; the confession was the sweet topping that ONLY added to it. If a person refused to talk, the cake was still good and a prosecutor could still use it. I like my cake with icing, but I will still eat it without it. My point to the “Cake” story is the Trolls do not have even a basic simple cake built for any of their cases. What they do have is the information that an IP address allegedly illegally downloaded copyright protected material. As far as the cake building goes, the IP address they have obtained is akin to having a bag of flour. The Trolls know that having one ingredient (IP address) does not make a cake (solid case). So instead of gathering the remaining ingredients and taking the proper steps to make the cake (proving their case), they send out a settlement letter to the IP owner. This is where the message in the video is key – “Don’t talk to the Trolls; It will do you NO good.” Right now the Trolls have nothing; If you talk to them, they may obtain something to help their case.
As stated in this forum, if you are formally names in a legal matter, do not ignore the Trolls. If you ignore them at that point, the Trolls may obtain a default judgment against you. Make them “prove” their allegations and show you their “Cake.” I bet it tastes like “crap!”