Steele files an opposition to EFF’s brief: nothing but insults

Prenda Law’s opposition to amicus curiae brief filed by EFF in Hard Drive Production v. Does 1-1495 case deserves a separate post. It is so amusingly detached from reality, that I had to drink a couple of shots just to gain some kind of consciousness after reading this crap.

It seems that this “masterpiece” has been written by John Steele well in advance and is made of nothing but a series of insults to EFF, without the slightest attempt to address a single issue raised in the brief.

Enjoy the entire document, or scroll down to see the “best of best” quotes (some have my comments in cursive).

The EFF is opposed to any effective enforcement and litigation of intellectual property law, which seeks a platform by which to advance its agenda.

The EFF’s arguments have been considered and rejected by courts nationwide, including within this District [citation needed – except the only one you provided — quoting a former RIAA lobbyist Beryl Howell, who should have removed herself from all copyright cases due to the obvious conflict of interests, but failed to do so]

The EFF is an anti-intellectual property group, which appears in the present action merely in order to obstruct or delay Plaintiff’s copyright infringement litigation. [“we don’t want delays, we want a list of names to pass it to our goon Mark Lutz so he would start his extortion phone calls!”]

…the EFF’s proposed participation as amicus curiae is precisely the kind of “attempt[] to inject interest-group politics” into litigation…

The EFF’s crusade continues, despite their lack of success, not out of any concern for proper application of the law.

…the EFF is a group with a deep disdain for both intellectual property law and for the law generally… [wow, just wow]

The EFF Is a Radical Special-Interest Group Generally Opposed to Any Effective Or Efficient Enforcement of Intellectual Property Law

This mission is radical, quasi-anarchist, and intrinsically opposed to any effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.

…their history of advocating lawlessness on the Internet suggests that their purpose is not to help this Court administer justice, but to hinder and obstruct the process…

Further, the EFF alleges no direct interest in any litigation which [sic] might be affected by the outcome of the present case [what litigation, scumbags? You are not interested in litigation, only in extortion, it’s common knowledge already: stop pretending]

One question that has tortured me for a while, so I’m taking the occasion to ask you: you trolls like to use the phrase “intellectual property”… so I ask you: what exactly is “intellectual” in cheap porno flicks?

It is actually good news, guys. A reply that includes absolutely nothing but insults sounds like a beaten dog barking. I clearly see the shaking tail between its rear legs.


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65 responses to ‘Steele files an opposition to EFF’s brief: nothing but insults

  1. I can’t get over the second point (“Radical Special-Interest Group” and so on). The EFF is absolutely a special interest group, but to characterize them as radical IP hating zealots is laughably out of touch.

    Big thanks to the EFF for getting involved, because even if they fail to help the Does out, at least I got to read that memo, haha.

  2. Nice to see them losing their cool. I doubt judges are impressed by this kind of attitude, but it shows the rest of us that Steele Hansmeier/Prenda are very concerned about this sort of thing.

    BTW, what happened to John stopping by to brag about how joinder and jurisdiction were no problem for a “properly argued” BitTorrent case? I want him to explain why Facciola issued those orders to show cause and denied the discovery requests for several other cases.

    Steele/Prenda and plaintiffs haven’t exactly shown much respect for the law. Aside from their overall tactics, they have been major offenders of filing cases for works without a valid copyright registration, likely not even an application pending. However they always claim in their complaints that they have applied and ask for statutory damages, but after months and months the works are not showing up in the Copyright Office’s database.

    In this particular case the work is registered, and it seems like the more recent filings are getting better about this. They think if they start behaving they won’t be held accountable for all the past instances of making false statements in their filings, fraud upon the courts, fraud upon the copyright office and fraudulent claims of statutory liability in their settlement demand letters. I think their earlier willful negligence will turn out to be a major part of their undoing. Suing hundreds and thousands of people by making false declarations, good luck getting away with that for long.

    It would be a good side project for SDJ or someone else following these cases to start a database of cases filed and whether or not the work is registered. Would be interesting to see the results and maybe draw some regulatory or class-action attorney interest.

    • What is also strange from what I have gleamed from the internet is that porno distributor, K-Beech, has at least on one occasion used an older DVD (“Grand Slam” which was copyrighted in 2006) that was produced or distributed by another corporation, Combat Zone, and renamed it “Gang Bang Virgins” and then made an application to register it for a copyright in April of 2011 which it is now using to sue for copyright infringement. Does anyone have any insight into such a maneuver? K-Beech may have added one additional scene to the newer DVD but I am not sure. Is this behavior allowed by the Copyright Office or is it otherwise fraudulent/unlawful?

      • I am not a lawyer. This is only a general view for discussion.

        The copyright term seems like it’s the “Originality Requirement”. If it is a “mechanical reproduction” with only a little re-titling, it would be especially shaky. If the troll porn “studio” added some, they may have an argument. The copyright protection of the “revised” work would only be for the part that they added.

        Apart from other problems, the situation would be a somewhat harder case for the troll plaintiff to make. The troll would have to show originality, and transfer of rights. They would also have to show that the torrent was definitely the revised work
        Adding a tiny amount to an old porn film would really stretch the copyright idea of “useful work”.

        This does not change the early stage, where trolls threaten, hoping for the fear and ignorance from their targets. Some plaintiffs, including K-Beech, appear to have gotten settlements for works that were never registered. (In these cases, they could not have gotten statutory awards.)

        If things got to a late stage (in a court case with a named defendant), a slightly redone porn movie with previously unregistered copyright would have more problems for the trolls than their other scams.

        • I’ll go a step further and say that this type of misleading representation could nullify the application itself, especially if the application is intended to fraudulently create statutory damages where they wouldn’t exist.

          Basically, Section 4 of a Copyright Application requires an applicant to identify any pre-existing material, or material that doesn’t belong to the applicant. Failure to include this information, especially if done intentionally and fraudulently, can undermine the registration itself. Moreover, to the extent that another company owns the copyright, K-Beech should not have standing to sue for any infringements.

          A link to a standard copyright application is below.

          Click to access formco2d.pdf

    • I am not so sure that Prenda is losing their cool, as SJD, points out this Memorandum was filed almost immediately after the EFF filing and does not address a single legal argument filed by the EFF. Prenda was anticipating this last minute move by the EFF (they did not know the particular case but knew it would be coming in one of them inevitably) and created a “one size fits all” Memorandum in Opposition to swiftly oppose it. Regrettably for Prenda their Memorandum in Opposition is so weak that IMHO it invites a claim of malpractice.

  3. Try cross-posting to Techdirt, Reddit, etc. I’m sure insulting the EFF will be well received by the broader tech community.

  4. The “intellectual” part is what I think they think passes for “plot.” Just a guess though 😀

    Keep on truckin’!
    Or, in The New Kids’ Lingo, props out for longterm ossm!

  5. My god, what a simplistic load of crap that was. It appears Duffy is just going through the motions of attempting to prevent the EFF from presenting it and not being an ineffective counsel. LOL! Too late. 😉 The funniest thing is Duffy even shows the court why the AC is totally appropriate for this case and others. Here is what Duffy cites –
    “The three limited circumstances in which it is appropriate to grant leave to file an amicus curiae brief are:
    1. [W]hen a party is not represented competently or is not represented at all,
    2. [W]hen the amicus has an interest in some other case that may be affected by the decision in the present case (though not enough affected to entitle the amicus to intervene and become a party in the present case), or
    3. [W]hen the amicus has unique information or perspective that can help the court beyond the help that the lawyers for the parties are able to provide. ”
    1. Not all the Does are represented – partially or at all. Guess this applies.
    2. The AC has an interest in other DC cases, especially the ones that are (& will be handled by this judge). Guess this applies.
    3. The details in this AC are unique and go beyond anything so far entered into this case. As majority of the Does do not have representation, the AC provides a legal voice most cannot afford. Guess it applies.

    DieTrollDie 🙂

    • Even better when you read the complaint for Wong v. HDP for context. These guys are going to be way out of their league fighting a real attorney with IP litigation experience.

      Although, that suit is directly against HDP not Prenda, so it is fair to assume that it will not be Steele, Duffy and friends who end up defending it.

      • But wouldn’t you love if Gibbs defended it? The attorney who’s bungled more cases than the rest of them and is the lead attorney on the case in question, that would be great.

  6. I was one of the Does in this case. I decided to settle back in November… if only the EFF had stepped in sooner. I hope they smash this case.

        • Actually… They were willing to take $3000 and still haggle after filing an individual case against Ms.Wong(Lawsuit vs. HDprod) AND getting an order to depose her. I’m guessing a Doe could get out of this for around $1.5-2k in the early stages. Of course… That is $1.5-2k too much and even more so after everything that has happened this week. Don’t feed the trolls! Follow Ms.Wong and destroy them instead.

        • I ended up settling to because of straight up fear, even after being on this website religiously. However, they got much less than $3400

  7. I tried “just for fun” to read this reply (suspending reality) imagining and pretending for a moment what it would look like if Prenda Law Inc. here actually were writing out of concern for the copyright interests of its clients. I couldn’t do it. There was just something that felt “wrong” about their motion — I couldn’t help but to think that it was written with disingenuous and manipulative intent.

    • Maybe Prenda hired George Lucas to write their motions for them?
      It’s actually really entertaining, so long as you can maintain the proper level of suspension of disbelief. It put me in an “Attack of the Clones” mindframe – with the entire setting being pure CGI, with one or two real actors here or there wildly flailing about.

      Maybe they should splurge on James Cameron next time. He has a better knack for keeping fiction grounded in reality so people can relate to it better.

  8. Why is someone suing Hard Drive Productions, Inc. in the Northern District of California?

    Complaint for forfeiture?

    Plaintiff’s counsel appears to be a real IP litigator:

    What’s going on here? Documents are not scanned into PACER yet. Is someone beginning an offensive against Prenda operations in CA?

    • Indeed. It’s a declaratory judgment action, and Steven Yuen (attorney) is certified bad-ass. Basically, this takes it out of Plaintiff’s hands, and they can’t just dismiss the Doe when the going gets tough, and can’t make any of their standing arguments. Moreover, this subjects Prenda to the possibility of being on the hook for fees and costs if the Doe wins.

      This is a good move for Does that are feeling agressive!

      • Cause: 16:3374 Conservation: Complaint for Forfeiture

        I thought it was a declaratory judgement action too.. But then I don’t understand the cause listed as 16.3374. Doesn’t this mean they are trying to make HD productions forfeit the copyright for whatever movie(s) are disputed. Is this how a declaratory judgement would be filed? Why wouldn’t that be filed as a motion in the case the Doe is involved in? I’m not a lawyer though. Just did some quick googling lol

        • So much for my google skills. This is a brilliant declaratory judgment action. I think there a lot of Does in Cali thinking about hitting up Steve Yuen tonight. Btw, there are other lawyers here in Cali that have been contemplating this move. Yuen seized the opportunity when his client got target and then used a deposition order to turn the screws on the extortion attempt.

      • This is one nasty piece of work for the trolls to deal with. The Wong complaint essentially lays bare all the sleazy tactics employed by Prenda (allegedly) and asks the Northern District of California to, among other things, declare that porno is not copyright-able, that plaintiff has not mitigated its damages by its failure to issue DMCA take down notices, that it is not entitled to statutory damages/attorneys fees as a matter of law, that the plaintiff is engaged in a honeypot scheme with unlicensed private investigators and that plaintiff has unlawfully demanded settlements not supported by fact or law which constitutes copyright misuse.

        Holy Shit! This suit will prove to be VERY interesting.

        • Don’t forget that it alleges that HDP is a pimp/panderer that engages in prostitution. I wanna know if Mark Lutz is gonna be addressed, since he’s the one doing all of the harassing.

    • I just went through the amended complaint against HDP. The plaintiff seems to be going for the jugular.

      Here’s a link to all of the documents that were available on PACER as of 5 minutes ago or so:

      The complaint actually makes a valid argument that porn is not copyrightable because it’s…well, porn. It also states that HDP is a glorified pimp/panderer that engages in prostitution (I’m seriously laughing my ass off reading this because it’s all true). The complaint alleges that whoever the “collector” of IP addresses is is unlicensed and my favorite, that Steele files these lawsuits with no intention of ever going to court. Oh man, this is good.

  9. Looks like someone is claiming they own a copyright or that HD productions doesn’t if I understand this kind of case correctly. This could destroy all cases for Prenda’s favorite client if this claim is about all movie claims to have IP rights on.

    • Interesting.

      Steven W Yuen is one of the attorneys that offers assistance on the EFF subpoena defense page. I remember this because I talked with him when I first got my letter from Mr. Steele.

      Lets see what they can do.

    • Mad? With a narcissist like Steele, he’s FUMING. This is the best time to go after a narcissist like Steele too, when they’re already pissed since angry people don’t think clearly. I should know, a few of my ex-girlfriends are vapid narcissists 🙂

    • This has gotta be my favorite:

      “The blog ‘Fight Copyright Trolls,’ which covers this sort of litigation, called the new filing ‘so amusingly detached from reality that I had to drink a couple of shots just to gain some kind of consciousness after reading this crap.'”

        • I think you may have missed the implication. The “My Blog” blog lifted Ars Technica’s article, reworded it just enough to make it look original, and did not give credit for the source material.

          (Inexplicably however, they left one of the links to another Ars article in there, though)

        • That’s nothing new. I’m surprised that there are not as many Ars’ piggibackers as TorrentFreak has. Every time I’m mentioned in TF, I get at least a dozen of pingbacks, and half of those “news outlets” don’t attribute the source.

          My position on this – I don’t care. I’m concerned more about spreading the news and raising awareness than proper attribution. Yes, I won’t lie: it’s really flattering to be mentioned by Nate Anderson, Ernesto or Mike Masnick (as happened today), but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all if they just use my resource as a news tip and don’t mention me at all.

          In the end of the day interwebs are good at sorting things out and it’s nearly impossible to overshadow the original no matter how you try. So called SEO is mostly bullshit: every time Google changes it’s algorithm all the piggybackers cry foul, but those who provide original (and demanded) content hardly notice these changes.

        • Yo SJD, I hear that there’s this legal group out of Nevada that can help you with the whole internet content copying problem. I hear they’ve done some great things about blogs that copy material without properly citing the source. They’ve run into some tough times, and could definitely use a little bit of business thrown their way.

          Their name is Righthaven …

  10. There is a famous Russian fable by a classical 19 century poet Krylov. Though the translation is rather poor, I’m sure you’ll get the point:

    Along the streets Big Elephant was led,
    To show him off, most likely.
    Since Elephants are not a common thing to see
    A crowd of gapers followed on his heels.
    All of a sudden Pug springs up in front of them.
    And seeing Elephant, it raises a great rumpus,
    It lunges, barks and howls
    And does its best to pick a quarrel.
    “Hey neighbor, stop the fuss,”
    A mutt intones, “You? Deal with Elephant?
    Look at you barking yourself hoarse, and he just strolls
    And doesn’t care one bit about your noise.”
    “Ho ho!” Pug says,
    “That’s just what I enjoy,
    Since I can be a real tough guy
    Without a single blow or bruise.
    That way, the other dogs will say:
    “To bark at Elephant this Pug
    Must be a real strong mug!”

    • Yes. Only a handful of Does, like in the tens, have seen their case go further than threats. It appears that when things go beyond threats it’s because a Doe admitted guilt or ratted out a roommate or family member. So, not communicating with the Trolls at all for any reason unless it’s through a lawyer is rule #1.

      Even if a case is dismissed they may still send threat letters and even make fraudulent misrepresentations, for example, telling a Doe that a case is pending even after they have voluntarily dismissed the Doe’s IP due to an impatient judge.

      Having your case dismissed doesn’t guarantee safety if your info has already been released to the Trolls, as the statute of limitations gives them three years from the date of alleged infringement to refile in another case. However, this has happened to very, very few people.

  11. Jesus Pleezus, people! This is the story of my life… get up to go to the john, and I *ALWAYS* miss the best scene of the movie! Never fails!

    I go offline for a few days, and totally miss Duffy/Steele going spastic on EFF! Argh! Yes, I’m watching the instant replay over and over again in slow-mo, and deriving some pleasure out of that … but that little voice in my head keeps saying “You could’ve been there … and it would have been FANTASTIC!”

    And now the inevitable result. The judge has to do something about it … and can respond whenever the hell he pleases. And it’s almost guaranteed to happen again when I’m not looking. Nervous bladder getting worse with the anxiety about the thrilling climax. Big smackdown on the little spastic bully … but man … I gotta go … gotta go … gotta go … but I know that when I do, that’s just when it’ll happen! Aaaarrrrgh!

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