CEG-TEK

Ira Siegel is asked uncomfortable questions once again

Remember how judge Zimmerman asked troll Ira Siegel uncomfortable (for a troll) questions? Siegel refused to answer those questions: I was surprised and disappointed that Judge Zimmerman did not slap the troll with sanctions for such a blatant disobedience.

Today Maria-Elena James, a judge from San Francisco, ordered Ira Siegel to answer different but still uncomfortable (for a troll) questions. She asked him to provide the following information:

  1. Each Doe Defendant listed separately by number and IP address;
  2. The Doe Defendant’s ISP;
  3. The date on which Plaintiff served the order granting discovery on the ISP;
  4. The date on which the ISP served the subpoena on the Doe Defendant;
  5. Whether the ISP has provided the Doe Defendant’s identifying information and, if provided, the date on which it was provided to Plaintiff;
  6. If Plaintiff has obtained the Doe Defendant’s identifying information, an explanation as to why the defendant has not been named and why no proof of service has been filed, as well as why the
  7. Court should not dismiss the defendant pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m); and
  8. If Plaintiff has obtained the Doe Defendant’s identifying information and the location is outside of the Northern District of California, why the Court should not dismiss the Doe Defendant for lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue.
Magistrate Judge
Maria-Elena James

So far judge Maria-Elena James has been denying each and every motion to quash or dismiss the subpoena.

She is in the camp of judges that agree with trolls that joinder is proper, but she seemingly did not make up her mind about the jurisdiction issue, although she has hinted that once named, a defendant will be able to contest the personal jurisdiction successfully.

I have mixed feelings about Maria-Elena James, and it’s the case not only with me, but also with many attorneys who worked with her previously. I believe that Maria-Elena James is a polite, yet indecisive judge, she is afraid of doing something unconventional even if there is no established case law for mass copyright infringement cases, so even though it is clear that copyright trolls will inevitably fall miserably earlier or later, don’t expect judge James to be at the forefront of the war against this kind of lawsuit abuse. Nonetheless, her last order is encouraging. She indicated that she understands what’s going on with all these mass p2p lawsuits, but again, she is reluctant to voice her disapproval of trolls and to call trolls’ methods as they are supposed to be called: extortion.

Ira Siegel is given 7 days to reply. Will he show his disrespect to the Court once again?

Updates

11/28/11

Maria-Elena James issued a similar order in another, nearly identical, Ira Siegel’s case, New Sensations, Inc v. Does 1 – 1474.

What’s interesting about this case, is that one of the motions to quash the subpoena (Document 60, 11/28/11) is filed by Jason Sweet, an attorney from Booth Sweet, LLP — the guys who currently litigate a class action lawsuit against DGW, the father of all US copyright trolls. I admire these guys — intelligent, humble and artsy. Jason worked as a writer for a decade, and it shows: the motion is extremely easy to read, yet it is highly professional from the legal standpoint. I’m 90% sure that this rather surprising Maria-Elena James’s order is triggered by Jason Sweet’s motion, although the motion itself was denied using the same unconvincing, clueless template.

I see judge’s order as a face-saving move: granting a motion just because it was filed by an attorney, while denying pro se motions, would be wrong. And this way, while all the motions were denied, the order language suggests that all out-of-district defendants (and maybe each and every one — if Ira Siegel disregards the order) will be dismissed soon.

12/02/11

It seems that Maria-Elena James has ordered not just Ira Siegel to answer these tough (for a troll) questions, but each and every troll, whose case was assigned to her. This is very-very good. Steele bragged in the comments section today (this is not an unusual behavior for an insecure person), but I don’t know if he was aware that his cases are affected as well, for example this one.

12/07/11

So… We have an order today. No comments necessary. Enjoy:

12/08/11

Ira Siegel attempted to amend the order’s language, but his application was denied. Mr. Siegel suggested adding a draft of the notice he would send to putative defendants, and he couldn’t avoid including some indirect threats.

‘A letter offering you an opportunity to settle your alleged liability in connection with the above-identified case was previously sent to you.

‘Since then, the Court in this case has issued an Order regarding its concern regarding jurisdiction and venue issues. A copy of that Order is included with this letter. A number of Doe defendants, perhaps including you, may be dismissed without prejudice from this case. Until the Court decides those jurisdiction and venue issues or until the Doe number associated with you is dismissed without prejudice from this case, whichever occurs first, you are not required to do anything.

‘However, you may still determine that it is in your best interests to resolve this matter by settlement now. You, of course, may consult with your own attorney.

‘In any event, if you decide that you do not want to settle at this time, we repeat that you are not required to do anything until the Court decides those jurisdiction and venue issues or until the Doe number associated with you is dismissed without prejudice from this case, whichever occurs first.

Asking a judge to add the spirit of an extortion letter (“However, you may still determine that it is in your best interests to resolve this matter by settlement now”) to a court order, so it would look like the judge herself said those words, is an insult to judges’ intelligence and to the Court. That’s my opinion.

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Discussion

100 responses to ‘Ira Siegel is asked uncomfortable questions once again

  1. Very happy to see this as I am involved in this case. She is still denying motions to quash/dismiss/and even for lack of jurisdiction from what I can tell but this will hopefully push the troll into a corner and he’ll back down. The only issue again is that the troll still has many of the defendants information and he can choose to go after them and threaten individual cases in the future. If this case is active or not, he can still call up people a year from now and say “i’m going to bring you to court unless you give me $4,000” and thus the string of extortion continues and he gets what he wants.

    The judge needs to be decisive here. If not it won’t stop people like Ira from just using the court to issue subpoenas and then just ignore doing anything further with it aside from demanding settlements. If there aren’t repercussions for continually running cases like this then trolls will become more brazen and do more to pull even more people into their money making schemes for extortion. You shouldn’t just get a slap on the wrist and then let him do it all over again case after case.

    I’ll be watching how this develops.

    • Would that not be extortion/blackmail if they contact a person and said pay or we take you to court? Is that not the point of these cases? They need to case active in order to protect themselves.

  2. I have been watching this case as well, because my wife and I are involved in it as well. I giggled a little bit when I read this order. We haven’t ever had to deal with this kind of stuff before. But over the past few weeks we have been doing research, reading article after artilce, and finaly finding this site.

    I am curious of something though, I understand from our research that there hasn’t been any or has been a very little number of people taken to court in cases like these, but if a person was to go to court, how would the judge react when she/he found out that the particular Does that were being sued for downloading a pron video are actually blind? Has this happened?

    I am watching this case and others with great interest.

  3. After reading the order, Maria-Elena James is basically asking Ira to call her a liar and that what she wrote is not true.

    She is setting him up for something here … can just see it.

    • You’re up early Johnny… Coming off of a bender?

      Do you really think for one minute, that the state courts will not get wise to your bullshit? Also, at some point the ISPs are going to realize what you are doing as well.

    • There is a paragraph in this post:

      So far judge Maria-Elena James has been denying each and every motion to quash or dismiss the subpoena.

      Seems that you’ve read only this paragraph ignoring the rest of the article.

      If no motions were filed on these two cases, I doubt we would see this order. A single movant is like an ant – just a tiny vulnerable insect, but when you piss off the entire colony, it’s wise to keep your body parts away from the swarm.

    • Ladies and Gentlemen, keep filing Motions to Quash! The trolls very much dislike them! The trolls have to answer each motion! The fact that “pirate hunter” felt the need to throw a “casual” comment to discourage people from filing MTQ speaks volumes!

  4. Wow, just read through the document submitted by Sweet and I was floored by how well written it was. The fact that it was denied just sounds like the judge didn’t care about the argument as much as she didn’t care to dismiss someone if they didn’t identify themselves. I’m happy that she went ahead with this order above but it feels more like she is saying “guilty until proven innocent” rather than “innocent until proven guilty”.

    Isn’t the court given notice that multiple subpoenas are issued to ISP’s across the country? Wouldn’t that alone signal that a majority of the does are outside the jurisdiction of the court?

    • I wrote this post before I read Sweet’s motion, hence the update. First I was puzzled to see such an order issued by a lady who historically has been siding with trolls. But after I read it, I realized the actual meaning of what is happening now.

      The document was indeed denied, and it was denied using undoubtedly inferior arguments. But imagine what would happen if she would grant it — it would open the can of worms. Granting a motion just because it was written by an attorney? Looks utterly unfair to me. So she did not dismiss the motion just because she “didn’t care about the argument”.

      Put yourself in her robe for a moment. As a judge, she is entrusted with making fate-altering decisions, and changing her mind on issues is not an easy matter. She found herself in a tough situation: deny such a beautiful and convincing motion and show your stubbornness (and unfairness); grant it – show your unfairness another way and be (rightfully) accused of hypocrisy.

      In my opinion she found an elegant exit from such situation: she has come up with an order that effectively grants all the motions she had technically rejected. The elegance of this decision is that she solved a dilemma and put Ira in the very tough spot at the same time.

  5. Good analysis SJD. By issuing this order, she has essentially give Ira Siegel enough rope to hang himself. As I said, it is “Put up or shut up time” for Siegel’s case. He will most likely dismiss the case and then continue to threaten the Does he has subscriber information on. He could actually name a Doe or two (that live within the Northern District of CA) and have a summons issued. But unless he has good information to suggest a default judgement or some real evidence, he could lose big time. Plus he still has to answer the Judges’ question if he wants to proceed without annoying her.

    DieTrollDie 🙂

  6. So what are the potential outcomes of this order? I’ll lean in the direction that this may lead to the case being dismissed but I’ll hold back on that expectation for the time being.

    Could he still file smaller cases in individual states but would that still be doe 1-50 or would it have to be named individuals? Essentially leaving him to either pick and choose a handful of cases he feels he may actually win or not name anyone and continue on with the extortion calls to squeeze the last bit of juice out of people who could be roped into settling?

  7. As mentioned before, to you so called “Pirate Hunter” or soon to be called, as you earlier asked for a new name, “Disbarred Super Troll”. FTC and IRS are coming! You can move but you cannot hide!

    • It is a dangerous game the Trolls play. The mass Doe suit and subpoena technique allows the Does to know who the Trolls are before the Trolls know who they are; an hour or two after getting a subpoena notice a Doe can know everything about the Troll and his scheme and the Troll won’t know who the Doe is for at least a few weeks. It is never smart to give one’s enemies advanced notice, to say nothing of going into battle without knowing who the enemy is.

      Of course most people are nobodies and pushovers. They settle or ignore the threats and hope they go away, maybe lawyer up and fight in court. Most present no risk of serious trouble. But the problem with picking fights with unknown enemies is they might pick a fight they cannot win.

      Trolls have admitted to stumbling upon police, public and political figures and declined not to sue them. Who else have they stumbled upon? What happens when they stumble upon someone who does not wait for or is not impressed by the Troll’s generosity? When will it be an organized crime boss? A gang leader? An IP lawyer? A politician or public figure who decides to publicize the incident rather than let the Troll slink off? An IRS agent? A hacker? A bar association member? A DA? A rich person who writes a lawyer a blank check? Someone who is just plain crazy?

      Imagine the possibilities… The foolishness of suing, harassing and attempting to extort money from unknowns is breathtaking, even if it does work some of the time.

      Already the Trolls have thousands and thousands of enemies.

      Every day the Troll’s enemies grow in number.

      Every subpoena could turn out to be the fatal mistake that goes to the wrong person. How can they know?

      Sleep tight Trolls.

  8. I would think its looking real bad for Ira Siegel in the New Sensations vs Does 1 – 1474.
    The last two motions ( Doc 87 & 87 ) are from elderly couples, one is personally typed saying we dont know how, we have a laptop just to keep in touch with family and has never heard of bittorent and askes the judge to please respond back with her that this has been fixed with his name and addr at bottom of page. The second couple was in another state on the date it happened at thier Granddaughters college graduation and don’t have a clue what is going on.

    Of course this is happening to thousands of people (Hundreds who are Actually innocent). I can handle the pressure, because I did’nt do it and would rather spend my money proving it in court.
    But to the elderly who are on fixed incomes and no one to turn to without them thinking that
    ( you perv you really did this, did’nt you ), but they did’nt and no real knowledge of computers to even try to keep others from doing it from there computer route,r if it did happen. Hell I’m in my 40s and cant do that either. Lol
    The courts should be doing something about this by now and I can’t believe that they take the word of the plaintiff’s forensic technology software (Copyright Enforcement Group and others), without real proof that it works.
    Hell, in most cases they’ve already shown to sometimes be false and takedown false IP addresses
    ( computer lab technician shop, printers, etc).
    One day at a time I guess. It will come sooner or later.

    • It is sadly hilarious that the trolls haven’t had to reveal their “flawless” investigative techniques and technology so far. Hmmm, you’d think Mr. Steele would have been able to “retire” a lot earlier if he had been in on the ground floor for such amazing and groundbreaking technology that groups like the RIAA would give their collective left arms for.

  9. From what I’m seeing, Ira Siegel will be forced to divide up these cases by jurisdiction, individual swarms and hopefully will end up spending more money then he can get back. In the end the best strategy would be to sift through all the information he obtains and do one smaller case in which the joining of the does is proper. Even then that’ll knock 2600 down to most likely 20 at best. But obviously he’s going to try to settle out of court with as many people as possible. If I was one of these people and got called by the plaintiff’s lawyers I’d tell them I didn’t do it and offer them a check for $0.01 for their trouble hoping they’d actually try to sue me in my district and lose. The whole thing’s a joke. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some group like anonymous or other freedom hackers didn’t start shutting these lawyers down.

  10. Is it worth noting that the copyrighted material in this matter pa 1644413 listed in docket:http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.cand.241533/gov.uscourts.cand.241533.4.0.pdf
    is filed under a name ending in “1O” as in “One Oh” instead of 10, “Ten”.

    does this make a difference? The copyrighted material that they claim to have searched for and identified is of a different title than that which exists in the copyright listing. In otherwords, the material they are claiming to have identified does not have a valid copyright based on their title identification methods?

    Copyright.
    http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=5&ti=1,5&Search%5FArg=real%20female%20orgasms&Search%5FCode=TALL&CNT=25&PID=q_HblE2y48sSPYhQ0ezck–dk7wA&SEQ=20111205234106&SID=1

    • somethingDoe I know this isn’t directly related, but I think you might find this link at the bottom of my post to be interesting. Let me quote from the article.

      “First, Judge Ryu of the Northern District of California ruled that defendants cannot be joined when they are from different swarms. Where two defendants downloaded the same copyrighted work, but did it via different torrents or on different trackers, they cannot be joined.

      Second, Judge Zimmerman, also of the Northern District of California, ruled that BitTorrent users in the same swarm can only be joined if they are present in the swarm at the same time. If a defendant comes along a week later when another defendant is no longer part of the swarm, those defendants cannot be joined.”

      I’m sure that even the way a file was titled would call the joining into question. But probably only if the source file (AVI,MP4,WMV) had variations in it’s spelling as this would mean they were from separate swarms.

      Judge James is really messing up Ira’s game by doing what she did because I have a sneaking suspicion that the “state of the art” software is merely files threaded by some data collection company with some sort of tracing program. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the only thing these plaintiffs really have are a list of IP numbers and some associated dates. I doubt they have detailed time stamps OR a direct confirmation of who shared what bit of a file with who.

      I believe that the firms that collect this data can only prove that they seeded single bits of the file in question to whichever IP addresses leeched from them. And unless the data collector leeched every individual bit for a complete file from a seeder… how can they prove copyright infringement? If a single bit of a file incriminates an individual then what about screen shots of copyrighted material? If you share screen shots then is it infringement? I would think only a complete file (Even if it’s disc one of three) would constitute infringement. And it would be nearly impossible to prove that someone downloaded every individual bit if you were part of a swarm because unless there’s just one seeder and one leecher… the odds of collecting enough data to prove they downloaded a complete file are dismal. And if it was one seeder and one leecher then that would be one individual case.

      There I go rambling again.

      http://torrentfreak.com/the-economics-of-killing-mass-bittorrent-lawsuits-110918/

  11. Order today in this case from the judge, instead of posting it all I’ll just paste the conclusion:
    —————
    DISCUSSION
    Since granting Plaintiff’s request, it has become clear that jurisdiction is likely lacking over
    many of the Doe Defendants, and that venue is also improper. Several Doe Defendants have filed
    motions to dismiss and/or quash the subpoena, arguing that they have no connection with California.
    Although the Court has denied these motions as premature because the defendants have not
    identified themselves, the Court has subsequently utilized one of many free and publicly available
    services to look up the locations affiliated with the IP addresses for which Plaintiff seeks discovery.
    See Berlin Media Art e.k. v. Does 1-654, 2011 WL 36383080, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 18, 2011) (citing
    DigiProtect USA Corp. v. Does, 2011 WL 4444666, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 26, 2011) (“[p]ublicly
    available software provides basic, or at least presumptive, geographic information about IP
    addresses”)). Selecting random IP addresses provided in Exhibit A of the Amended Complaint, the
    Court gathered the following presumptive geographic data:
    Doe 10, IP Address 108.12.181.37, is in New York, New York;
    Doe 100, IP Address 173.31.97.123, is in Davenport, Iowa;
    Doe 200, IP Address 173.71.138.44, is in Newport News, Virginia;
    Doe 400, IP Address 24.186.195.217, is in Seldan, New York;
    Doe 600, IP Address 68.103.234.4, is in Hutchinson, Kansas;
    Doe 800, IP Address 71.124.215.10, is in Boston, Massachusetts;
    Doe 1000, IP Address 72.90.76.157, is in Syracuse, New York;
    Doe 1300, IP Address 75.118.226.217, is in Louisville, Kentucky; and
    Doe 1400, IP Address 98.16.181.1, is in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    These results suggest that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the Doe Defendants;
    indeed, even without investigating the IP addresses, a cursory look at the carriers identified in the complaint suggests personal jurisdiction problems. For example, Exhibit A includes regional ISPs
    whose very names suggest they are located outside this District, such as Guadalupe Valley Telphone
    Cooperative, Alaska Communications Systems Group, and Iowa Telcom. Dkt. No. 1, Ex. A. For
    this reason alone, the Court in its discretion could have denied the motion for expedited discovery.
    Berlin Media Art, 2011 WL 36383080, at *3; DigiProtect USA Corp., 2011 WL 4444666 at *2 (a
    court may deny a request for early discovery if the plaintiff cannot make a prima facie showing of
    personal jurisdiction).
    Further, even if one or more of the unidentified defendants allegedly downloaded the file at
    some point during the time period in question from a computer located in this District, the Court is
    not aware of any caselaw that suggests that it has personal jurisdiction over all 1,474 Defendants
    based on this connection. As one court in this District noted, the logical extension of such an
    unprecedented holding “would be that everybody who used . . . BitTorrent would subject themselves
    to jurisdiction in every state.” On The Cheap. LLC v. Does 1–5011, 2011 WL 4018258 at *4 (N.D.
    Cal. Sep. 6, 2011). “[T]his is a far cry from the requirement that ‘there be some act by which the
    defendant purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities with the forum State,’
    which is the hallmark of specific jurisdiction.” Id. (quoting Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471
    U.S. 462, 475 (1985))

    (goes on further but removed to save space)

    CONCLUSION
    Based on this analysis, the Court hereby ORDERS as follows:
    1) Plaintiff shall conduct a search to obtain geographic information about the IP
    Addresses listed in its Complaint; and
    2) Plaintiff shall thereafter provide, as part of the declaration the Court previously
    ordered Plaintiff to produce (Dkt. No. 80), the location for each IP Address in its
    Complaint; and
    3) For all IP Addresses outside this District, Plaintiff shall either: (a) file a voluntary
    dismissal without prejudice as to those Doe Defendants; or (b) show good cause as to
    why it has a good faith belief that jurisdiction exists and venue is proper as to each
    individual Doe Defendant. General arguments such as those discussed above will not
    suffice. Plaintiff must make a specific showing as to each Doe Defendant as to why it
    has a good faith belief that jurisdiction and venue are proper.

    The deadline for filing the declaration is hereby extended to December 14, 2011. Upon receipt of
    Plaintiff’s declaration, the Court shall issue an order detailing how this case shall proceed. Until the
    Court issues its further order, Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED not to send any further settlement
    demand letters. As to any Doe Defendants to whom Plaintiff has already sent a settlement demand
    letter, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to provide a copy of this Order to said Doe Defendants by
    December 14, 2011, and inform them in a cover letter that they need not comply with the demand
    letter, pending resolution of the jurisdiction and venue issues addressed herein. Any settlement
    reached on or after the date of this Order will not be effective.

    ________

    Looks like another blow and one step closer to knocking the bottom out of this case. Very happy to see that the court went and did its own study to find that a majority of the ips were not from California by using a simple geo ip lookup program and chastised the plaintiff for not doing so earlier (I’m sure they did but they still wanted to use the court to get the info for ALL the does). I did want to see though a report from Ira about what info he already has so I could see if he managed to get a hold of my info. The judge did order that info shared in the last order so I wonder what he’ll do. Can he not show that evidence to the court but then turn around and use it?

      • “General arguments such as those discussed above will not
        suffice.”

        Also read as: Please don’t quit your day job, the one you get after you get disbarred that is.

  12. Was that last order in the comments for case 3:11-cv-02766 or a different case? Because I can’t find that order in ReCap

  13. This judge has taken true notice of the settlement scam as it is so prominently outlined in this order.

    “Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED not to send any further settlement
    demand letters. As to any Doe Defendants to whom Plaintiff has already sent a settlement demand
    letter, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to provide a copy of this Order to said Doe Defendants by
    December 14, 2011”

  14. So let’s assume that these cases is going down the drains quick, whats next? Do you think he’ll drop everyone but the people that are under the jurisdiction of the court (Californian’s/people that have a stake in California) or do we think he’ll go and bring up smaller cases in other states.

    My ISP apparently released my info to him over a month ago and I haven’t heard a word from him. I know that’s a good thing but it makes me question why…

    • I was surprised to see the date when this case started. My ISP didn’t send me a letter until 11/30 notifying me of 20 days. I guess because of the expedited discovery that got pushed through…

    • I just read that order and boy does Ira have a set of balls on him. Essentially he was ordered by the court to send out letters to people that have already received settlement letters explaining that they don’t need to comply or respond to the demand letters until the court figures out proper venue/jurisdiction. Ira asked if he is able to send that letter out but added a part at the end essentially saying that “you don’t have to settle but you still should settle because even if this case is thrown out I’ll still come after you in your jurisdiction and demand money from you again”

      Thankfully the judge quickly denied that move.

      • Maybe he has a set of balls, but definitely lacks ball bearings in his brain. Insulting a judge is never a good strategy: potential damage of this deed overwhelmingly exceeds potential gains. He is just not clever (remember he was quoting my article in his filing once: he brought me a record traffic and number of subscribers that day). Lawyers who encountered his “work” told my source that he is a very poor professional.

  15. I have a “settle-or-else” deadline on the 1st of January and, from what I understand, as of this order it is suspended pending resolution of the jurisdiction and venue issues? I should be getting another email from CEG to tell me this? Hopefully he just drops all the ISP’s not in his jurisdiction… Would that mean he can go after me at another time in my home state?

      • So far it’s just one of those automated emails forwarded by my ISP. I haven’t yet recieved any notices of subpoena. I was only contacted the one time. I guess i’m just wondering about the possiblity of all this ending or if I still need to be expecting some legal action months down the road…

        • Just to be clear, was it a DMCA notice? Or it was something along the line “Your IP address was included in the list of other IPs that plaintiff is suing in court XYZ…” From what you say, it looks more like DMCA notice, one typically sent by CEG/Siegel/Meier gang… (for movies made by Elegant Angel, 3rd Degree, Wicked and some others)

  16. Looks like Ira Siegel asked the judge in a Ex Parte Application, DOC. 94, to change her order a little bit regarding the last two sentences of her order.
    DOC 95, is a copy of his Ex Parte Application with big stamp on it that says DENIED.

    • WOW. I figured he was playing it smart only trying it on one case at a time to put in a feel for the court. But putting in two motions only to have them both denied in separate cases..

  17. Those of you that are still worried about these cases. Keep in mind that even IF (a big if) Ira comes after you in your local district that all of the activity in this northern california case is now on file showing any future judge who deals with him just what a total idiot Ira Siegel is. He’s such an idiot that he filed doc 94 that broke through the fourth wall it was so obvious in it’s concern to continue extortion.

    Anyone named in a case by Ira Siegel is going to have a very easy time defending themselves because he’s made it very obvious that he prefers extortion over actual litigation.

  18. Did he go to law school just so he could pull these school boy extortion tricks? Maybe I just have the belief that people are inherently good in this world but I feel like he’s probably gone throw a lot of trouble in his life just to try to swindle and bully people. I understand that some people did something wrong but there are plenty that did nothing wrong, he just continues to show that this is all about money and not about justice. I just hope that more judges see this for what it is and that they figure it out sooner in the process rather then later when so many peoples personal info has already been given out.

  19. “I understand that some people did something wrong but there are plenty that did nothing wrong, he just continues to show that this is all about money and not about justice.”

    Even for the people who downloaded 1-2 movies this is crazy and heavy handed. I I can understand needing to find a way to stop piracy and protect these companies IP but this has nothing to do with that. This is simply a revenue generating scam for these guys. The last thing they want is for these movies to disappear off torrent sites. Luckily the tide has turned in states like California and soon some of these decisions will help curb this BS.

  20. I wonder if innocent does could sue the plaintiff for taking them to court wrongfully if it ever went that far. I’d love to see that.

    • Sure they can, but most innocent people would still like to stay away from having their name associated with a porn lawsuit. Myself included.

  21. Maria-Elena James … you have my vote if I could vote for you.

    I know exactly what she is doing here. She is making a name for herself. And for all you that lost nights of sleep because of this crap, well sleep tight knowing that Ira probably is not sleeping a wink.

    Honestly if Ira comes in to dismiss on Monday, she is not going to let him until her order is complete. With the other lawyers in this case and what happened to RightHaven, Ira is going to get toasted.

    Right now, Maria is at the right time at the right place and she knows it. All eyes are on this case all over America and the trolls are not going to exhale until they know the outcome of this.

    She is picking right up where Zimmerman (correct?) left off.

    • It does look like she has something planned, and Ira doesn’t seem to get it.

      Look at the language the entitled prick uses:

      “Plaintiff does understand the Court’s desire that its Order and a cover letter be sent to those Doe Defendants that have been sent proposals for settlement who have not yet settled their cases”

      Not yet? Because that’s what everyone is obligated to do? He’s also generous enough to grant the recipients permission to consult their own attorney! At least Steele and Sperlein recommend consulting an attorney!

      And nice attempt to slip in an escape hatch allowing himself to dismiss Does and still collect settlements, I guess the Court noticed he’s already used that trick. The cool thing about his weaseling is that it exposes the fact that he is worried about getting caught collecting settlements after the Order date and held accountable for disobeying the Order. Ira better have the IT guys at his online settlement payment processing site working overtime this weekend to make sure none of these Does are allowed to log on and settle! If he has to refund some settlements that’s going to set a bad precedent! And God forbid some Doe settles and then finds out Ira was ordered not to collect settlements, that’ll be a nice contingency case for someone to take on contingency!

      As if Maria didn’t understand what she meant when she wrote “Any settlement reached on or after the date of this Order will not be effective.” It sounds like maybe she has a plan to make sure there won’t be any settlements by the time she’s done with him.

      Sleep tight Trolls; SJD’s readers are sleeping better all the time. Hope you’re reading and worrying about all the fun possibilities your future may have in store.

  22. I’m not the best at reading into all the implications of the order that the judge recently handed down so can someone explain why this order seems to be more damning than the last one he received that he just ignored when pressed to disclose the amount of money he has made from settlements?

    Maybe its just because some of us are involved in these cases or just because we hope to see it bring him down but I’m not so sure this is a slam dunk that will shut the door on Ira’s trolling career that some seem to be suggesting. He was asked some tough questions before and skipped past those to “fight” another day in court, whats to say he doesn’t just drop these cases and move on to find a new judge to hopefully be more open to his scheme?

    Sorry, I know its looking positive and the judge is giving off a good vibe here but I would like to see trolls take a major hit with the outcome of this case and I’m not just slither off to do this all again a few months down the line.

    • I felt that this was very important because of who issued this order. Maria-Elena James was not exactly anti-troll, rather otherwise. The fact that even she is fed up with trolls is pretty exciting.

      These victories may look small, but don’t forget that the case law regarding these abusive suits is still in making, therefore every victory is very important.

      • I don’t think the trolls are going to be in California much longer. Most of these big rulings are coming out of California. As you mentioned James was one of the few judges left that was allowing their actions.

    • Hmm, looks like they want to hand Ira to the judge on a platter.

      Yes, we’ll have to wait and see how much trouble he actually gets into, if any. But the reason people are already getting excited is because the Northern District of California has already made it pretty clear they don’t want to see defendants from other jurisdictions, even other districts of California. The judge is pretty much in the process of forcing Ira to admit that he is suing Does outside of her district. Now the Digital Rights Foundation has jumped in and provided evidence that Ira knew he was doing this before even filing (matching a typo in MaxMind’s database to Ira’s filing is pretty damning). Now Ira will have to explain not just why he continues to pursue suits against Does once he finds out they are outside the court’s jurisdiction, but why he purposefully and knowingly filed suits against Does that he already knew were outside the court’s jurisdiction in the first place.

      The DRF guys are awesome, I’ll bet someone over there is feeling really satisfied right about now.

      • In document 5: http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.cand.241533/gov.uscourts.cand.241533.5.1.pdf

        CEG (that software used to track the hash) states on page 7. that “it uses available databases to record the name of the ISP having control of the IP address and the state (and often the city or county) associated with that IP address.”

        This was in the document supporting expedited discovery by CEG’s VP. And that expedited discovery was approved.

        I made sure to make notes of this in my motion to quash (yet to show up in the dockets).

        I also made several notes referencing CEG’s software according to their website. Once of which is the fact that CEG provides daily notification/tracking of alleged copyright infringement. I questioned why the plaintiff would have allowed the alleged infringement to continue for 9 months given this data.

        I also pointed out the fact that CEG’s website has a section devoted to monetization including text such as “new revenue source” and “automated settlement notification.”

  23. For once in this case I’m actually getting excited to see what happens next. To think of the sleep I lost and the aggrevation I felt when I first received a letter, now I hope that Ira is in the same boat. Hopefully the evidence against him is so strong this time that he won’t be able to just run away and hide from this.

  24. wow! im reading all this. I recently recieved a letter from verizon and Third Degree films is going after me. Getting a lawyer seems expensive and settling seems like the route to go. I’m a servicemember and my ISP account is under my resident wife ( who is not a legal resident yet). What should i do?

  25. First off take your time and read the Blogs here and at other sites (mine is https://dietrolldie.wordpress.com/ 😉 ). A good one to start with is – https://dietrolldie.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/taken-from-the-files-of-%e2%80%9cdon%e2%80%99t-panic%e2%80%9d-or-%e2%80%9cwhat-can-i-expect%e2%80%9d/

    Ask some questions here and make an informed decision. You have the option to file varous motions (quash/dismiss, etc.) or let the subscriber information on you wife get released. When/If the subsriber information is released, don’t talk to the Trolls – they will only use it against you. If for some reason you decide to settle with the Troll (Not my choice), don’t tell them any details or make any type of admission. If you decide to fight, welcome to the team.

    DieTrollDie 🙂

  26. im going to file the format i fould somewhere already on the internet ( from third degree films). How would i do it without the lawyer or should i contact the lawyer on the pdf file and join him and have him represent me.

      • I don’t know how the legal system works but it may be that he had to dismiss them before the judge did anything to ensure the settlements/etc weren’t messed with.

        So whats the thoughts here, expect a ruling tomorrow if he doesn’t do anything today? Hopefully the judge puts a statement out there that can be used in any follow up cases if he decides to go after does in other jurisdictions.

    • Maybe someone should alert IRS? Ira Siegel declared personal bankruptcy last year and is paying his creditors a small amount monthly. Seems that he is hiding his actual income from authorities.

  27. I hate how he’s going to play this, just like he did to Judge Zimmermen.
    He’ll ignore the order until the Judge throws out the case, but now all the Doe’s names that he got before the order, he gets to harass the hell out of. Judge Maria-Elena James should, if she could, still make him tell how much he made off of the Does like Judge Zimmermen tried to make him do.

    I like the telling the I.R.S. statement.

  28. Hi, Im in the same ordeal, just received a settlement letter for court case: CV-11-2766-MEJ, settlement date is in 8 days..does anyone know whats going on… I want to igore the letters because i didnt download the file, i dont even have a bittorrent, but they have my IP address..

  29. Looks like Ira left two responses on the Judges order, the second came late last night saying he doesn’t have enough time to respond because of the Isp taking so long But he did attach a list of geolocations of the Doe’s but my number should of had my name on it, because the motion to quash didn’t work, and my ISP should have turned over my name by now.
    My geolocations has N/A under nameand date, strange.

    • Just checked for myself on the 1-1474 case and I see that my info was not released either so “yay” for that. According to Ira there was only 270 names revealed to him thus far and he has requested until February 20th of 2012 to sort this all out and get all the information that he has requested. Hopefully he has annoyed the judge enough that she doesn’t allow him to do that and my information remains out of his hands.

      He did make a resposne to the amicus brief and according to what he said it didn’t sound as damning as I first thought it was. Ira says that he did not “game” the system and that he did reveal that he expects that a majority of the people were not from California. I will need to go back and research that docket but isn’t that worse? Instead of ignorantly wasting the courts time he was actively doing it? Oh and the kicker is that out of the 270 names that he has received thus far, NONE of them are from her district and out of the 1,474 he only expects that 58 of the names will be…

      Excerpt:

      Out of the 1,474 Doe defendants, about 270 names and other identifying information
      (hereinafter referred to collectively as “names” were identified to Plaintiff by ISPs.
      To the extent that names of potential Doe defendants were provided by ISPS, the were
      provided very shortly before they were ingested into Plaintiff’s counsel’s records. As expected,
      few names were ingested before November, 2011. Here is the time table of ingested names:
      Names Ingested Up to October 31, 2011: 16
      Names Ingested in November, 2011: 120
      Names Ingested in December up through December 7, 2011: 144
      A few names were duplicates. That is, a few Does likely had their IP addresses changed
      during the period of time that their infringements were detected, so that multiple IP addresses
      were recorded for them. Some names were provided by Does themselves or by their counsel in settling claims. They are among the Does dismissed with prejudice in Dkt. No. 98. All
      settlements that were reached were reached before December 7, 2011.
      Some ISPs reported that some or all of the Doe names were no longer in their records
      (i.e., the timestamp indicated a date that was beyond their normal record keeping retention
      period).
      Based on communications with some major ISPs, namely, Verizon, Comcast, Charter,
      Cable Vision and Cox, they are expected to make or complete production of the requested
      information shortly.
      No information about a potential Doe defendant that resides in the Northern District of
      California has yet been produced. However, as indicated above, Plaintiff’s counsel believes such
      information is forthcoming in connection with at least 58 potential Doe defendants that are
      believed to reside in the Northern District.
      In the Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Does 1-2,590 case that is also before this Court (Case No.
      CV 11-2766), an amicus brief was filed by Digital Rights Foundation (“DRF”). See Dkt. No. 84
      in that case. That brief illustrates the shameless gall of copyright pirates and their defenders.
      DRF maliciously and baseless states,
      “From the beginning, the Plaintiff has intended to omit certain disclosures
      to the Court in order to exploit and game the judicial system. . . .
      ***
      “Further analysis of the geographical location data of the IP addresses
      reveal stark revelations that only approximately 29.6% of the 2,590 Does
      originate from within the State of California, while approximately 70.4%
      originate outside of California with every other state (including the District of
      Columbia) represented.”
      No “gaming” of the system occurred, and DRF has provided no “stark revelation” to the
      Court. Plaintiff never contended that all potential Doe defendants reside in the Northern District.
      In fact, what was stated is this “On information and belief, more than 1 out of every 4 of the
      Defendants’ IP addresses is physically located in California, and of those, more than 1 out of
      every 4 is in this judicial district.” See page 5 of Plaintiff’s memorandum in Dkt. No. 5.

      In view of the foregoing, Plaintiff requests that the Court allow the ISPs to comply with
      the subpoenas, and postpone any requirements that Plaintiff name and/or dismiss any potential
      Doe defendants until February 20, 2012 pursuant to the Court’s Order of August 24, 2011 (Dkt.
      No. 10).

      • Ira lie again. I’m one on the doe on the list and on the list he provided on the Complied column it’s still “No” when on the first week of December I already got their settlement(Extortion)letter.

        • NEW SENSATIONS, INC.,
          Plaintiff,
          v.
          DOES 1-1,474,
          Defendants.
          _____________________________________/
          No. C 11-2770 MEJ
          ORDER DISMISSING CASE
          WITHOUT PREJUDICE
          On December 7, 2011, the Court ordered Plaintiff Patrick Collins, Inc. to conduct a search to
          obtain geographic information about the IP Addresses listed in its Complaint and thereafter provide
          the Court with the location for each IP Address. Dkt. No. 93. In addition, for all IP Addresses
          outside this District, the Court ordered Plaintiff to either: (a) file a voluntary dismissal without
          prejudice as to those Doe Defendants; or (b) show good cause as to why it has a good faith belief
          that jurisdiction exists and venue is proper as to each individual Doe Defendant. Id.
          In response, Plaintiff has now filed a request that the Court (i) allow the ISPs to comply
          with the subpoenas, (ii) allow Plaintiff and those potential Doe defendants who desire to settle
          their claims to reach settlements, and (iii) postpone any requirements that Plaintiff name and/or
          dismiss any potential Doe defendants until February 20, 2012. Dkt. No. 100. Plaintiff’s response
          alleviates none of the Court’s concerns. Although the Court initially granted leave for expedited
          discovery, in the ensuing months, multiple defendants filed motions to quash those subpoenas,
          raising issues such as innocence, lack of personal jurisdiction, improper joinder, and improper
          venue. At the same time, a check of the Court’s docket disclosed that no defendant had appeared
          and no proofs of service had been filed. At the same time, the Court became aware of an outbreak of
          similar litigation in this District and around the country, and the concerns raised by some of the
          judges presiding over these cases.
          Plaintiff’s most recent filing does nothing to show why his matter should not be dismissed
          for misjoinder and improper venue. Therefore, for the reasons stated in its December 7, 2011 Order,
          and having reviewed Plaintiff’s response to the Order, the Court finds that the Doe Defendants
          named in this case are improperly joined. Accordingly, this case is hereby DISMISSED WITHOUT
          PREJUDICE. If Plaintiff chooses to file an amended complaint, it must do so in compliance with
          the Court’s December 7, 2011 Order. Specifically, the Court finds that it is fundamentally unfair to
          require a defendant from outside this District to incur the substantial costs necessary to file a motion
          to quash in this District when Plaintiff has the ability to discern in advance which IP addresses are at
          least likely to be from this District. Accordingly, if it chooses to amend its complaint, Plaintiff must
          make at least a prima facie showing that the Court has personal jurisdiction over each defendant for
          whom Plaintiff seeks early discovery and that venue is proper. See OpenMind Solutions, Inc., 2011
          WL 4715200 at *2 (granting motion for expedited discovery where, among other things, the plaintiff
          had alleged sufficient information to show that each defendant was subject to the jurisdiction of the
          court). General arguments such as those discussed in the Court’s December 7 Order will not suffice.
          Plaintiff must make a specific showing, including geographic information about the IP Addresses in
          the amended complaint, as to each Doe Defendant. Any such request must include a declaration
          under penalty of perjury that Plaintiff has taken all reasonable steps to determine that jurisdiction
          and venue are proper. Said declaration shall include an explanation of all methods it utilized.
          Plaintiff shall serve this Order upon all subpoenaed ISPs by December 20, 2011. This Order
          has no effect on any settlements reached with any Doe Defendant prior to December 7, 2011.
          However, if Plaintiff receives or has received any settlement amount on or after December 7,
          Plaintiff shall immediately return the settlement funds.
          Any motions to quash and/or dismiss that are pending or will be filed based on the issued
          subpoenas are moot and shall be automatically terminated by the Clerk of Court pursuant to this
          Order.
          IT IS SO ORDERED.
          Dated: December 15, 2011
          _______________________________
          Maria-Elena James
          Chief United States Magistrate Judge

  30. That’s what I’m wondering now too. I wasn’t on the list of names that he had managed to get info for but as seen above, that list may not have been truthful. The first thing I’m going to do is mail out a copy of this order to my ISP so that they can see that the case has been dismissed so that they should not release my information based off of the subpoena. I’m assuming thats the right thing to do?

    Now that the case has been dismissed and assuming that he doesn’t already have my information, the only way that he could get it in the future would be if he were to open a new case and subpoena my ISP again? I’m ecstatic with this ruling but I’m holding back my happiness until I know that I can lock down my information and make sure it doesn’t dribble through the cracks to him. Looks like he will either need to move on or go after each set of does in each state and go through the entire subpoena process again for the info he doesn’t already have.

    I’m very happy that the judge stuck to her guns and didn’t miss the fact that he didn’t address her request to give reason why does outside of her district should not be dismissed. He simply said that he needed more time to find out information on more does, essentially saying he just wanted more time to get more information to extort individuals. Also it was nice to hear that the judge was moved by the amount of motions to quash/dismiss and letters she received. Just shows that one motion may not be enough to bring a troll down but as a group we can help bring down their scam.

    • Did you read this part?

      “Plaintiff shall serve this Order upon all subpoenaed ISPs by December 20, 2011. This Order
      has no effect on any settlements reached with any Doe Defendant prior to December 7, 2011.
      However, if Plaintiff receives or has received any settlement amount on or after December 7,
      Plaintiff shall immediately return the settlement funds.”

      Assuming he actually serves the ISP(s) with the order

      • I saw that but I don’t have too much faith that he would actually do it or do it in a way where he wasn’t still trying to push the ISP’s to release the information anyway. Every time the judge has ordered him to do something he turns around and requests the chance to do it with a few changes that benefit him. I’d like to know that my ISP’s legal department is served with the proper order without his spin put on it.

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