- Lightspeed Media v. John Doe: a quick follow up Q & A
- Attorney’s opinion: Lightspeed’s claim is a farce
- Lightspeed Media Corporation v. John Doe: a quick Q & A
Yes, even if you are a victim of this extortion plot, you still can enjoy this circus if you dedicate some time to learning why you should be intrigued, pissed off, amused, entertained… — you name it: anything but scared.
Thanks to a Prenda/Lightspeed’s extortion target who shared this letter with me. To be honest, I expected a better job from the “mega troll.” The main difference from copyright cases, where insane statutory damages apply, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act lacks such a provision, so given the absence of the $150,000 boogieman, the following attempts to scare recipients into paying are extremely weak, the threats are hollow, and the entire letter is simply unimpressive, good only for… (you’ll find out at the end):
This letter cites an old 2000 lawsuit for the preposition that widened the applicability of CFAA to cover non-protected computers (i.e. virtually any business) and equating Internet access with the interstate activity. Yet this demand letter is conveniently shy to mention that the cited precedent did not lower the $5,000 threshold of the actual damage that plaintiff is supposed to suffer in order for this law to become applicable. Therefore, the threat is hollow: even the Kafka disciples reunion would be unable to stretch their collective wild imagination to claim that a single Doe has damaged Lightspeed’s obscene business for more than $5,000 a year by simply accessing its member-only area, given the $40 unlimited access monthly fee.
The “spoliation of evidence” piece is especially laughable: Prenda always argues that Does are not parties to their lawsuits and have no standing to challenge the subpoenas yet the “formal notice” demanding to not delete or modify any files undeniably implies the opposite. You cannot have a cake and eat it too, scammers!
OK, I do not want to repeat all the points of insanity this father of all frivolous lawsuits managed to amass, please read the previous posts on the subject (linked above) if you have not read them yet.
The right way to use such a document was hinted by a community member (CTVic) long time ago:
You know what impresses me the most about their demand letters? The paper quality. 25% cotton bond with a beautiful watermark … it’s so soft to the touch, and doesn’t cause any abrasions or release any ink when I wipe my ass with it.
(Thanks to Raul who shared his thoughts about this document.)