Mike Meier has an audacity to continue fishing in the Southern District of New York. Judge McMahon is not impressed
After getting admonished by Judge McMahon as explained in a recent post, copyright troll Mike Meier has an audacity to file another passel of lawsuits in the Southern District of New York. One of these lawsuits, Combat Zone, v. Does 1-34 (12-cv-4133) gets assigned to the troll’s nemesis, Judge McMahon (you know this will not end well for the troll). Meier moves for expedited discovery which Judge McMahon denies and she orders Meier to show cause, in light of her earlier Order in Digital Sins, why she should not sever Does 2-34 in this new lawsuit. Meier puts in his response and on 6/18 Judge McMahon hands down her Order severing Does 2-34. Excerpts:
First, Counsel argues that I should permit these defendants to be joined because I have been inconsistent on this issue…To which I say, with Justice Holmes, that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…
Second, plaintiff calls my attention to the fact that my colleagues Judges Forrest and Nathan have reached a different conclusion in “swarm” cases… I respectfully disagreed with my learned colleagues then and I continue to do so now, having concluded that other precedents were more persuasive in light of the Second Circuit’s holding-never overturned, despite advances in technology-that permissive joinder is not authorized when a large number of people use the same method to violate the law.
finally, and to get the full flavor you need to recall that Meier always seems to find a convenient excuse not to pursue Doe 1 after severance (in discussing the reliability of Meier’s geolocation technology),
In Digital Sin, I allowed plaintiff to proceed against Doe 1 (after severing the other 246 John Does), only to have plaintiff’s counsel file a discontinuance in short order; the cited ground was that plaintiff had learned that Doe1-his geolocation technology notwithstanding-was not a New York resident and was not amenable to suit in the Southern District of New york! I commend counsel for his candor in admitting the want of jurisdiction once it was uncovered, but he makes my point: the amenability of these defendants to suit in this district is suspect.
Enjoy the full order:
By the way, if you have any doubt that this is indeed a “Domino Effect,” judge McMahon is not the only SDNY judge who tells trolls to get out of the district.
10 responses to ‘Mike Meier has an audacity to continue fishing in the Southern District of New York. Judge McMahon is not impressed’
You just gotta love the use of “hobgoblin” in the context of a troll lawsuit:
1. (Myth & Legend / European Myth & Legend) an evil or mischievous goblin
2. (Myth & Legend / European Myth & Legend) a bogey; bugbear
No surprise here. The circus that is CEG & partner firms and their antics will never surprise me.
Worth noting that according to Doe comments at DTD’s site, Mike Meier has been making a habit of contacting represented Does directly, and several Does represtended by the same attorney who have been subject to this are planning to file a state bar complaint.
Sounds like Mike Meier is a Grade-A scumbag, not that we needed any additional incentive to figure that out but this guy is not even going to pretend to play by the rules.
There has been some discussion lately as to when a copyright “registration” occurs and how that relates to entitlement to statutory damages.
Both the SDNY and the EDNY follow the “registration approach” which means that before a troll can file his lawsuit and be entitled to properly make a claim for statutory damages/attorneys fees his porn client has be in possession of a certificate of copyright. The 10th and 11th federal judicial circuits follow this approach as do lots of district courts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_courts_of_appeals
On the other hand, the 5th, 7th and 9th judicial circuits follow the “application approach” which means that the mere act of having applied for a copyright certificate entitles a troll to file a lawsuit and demand statutory damages/attorneys fees. Prenda (IL) is located in the 5th judicial circuit and most porn producers (AZ and CA) are located in the 9th judicial circuit so you can see why the majority of early troll lawsuits did not have copyright certificates as it was not necessary.
The other judicial circuits are split on this issue and some district courts such as the EDPA go both ways depending on the judge.
However, in the SDNY this is what can happen to a troll lawsuit that does not have a copyright certificate attached to it. http://ia600704.us.archive.org/30/items/gov.uscourts.nysd.396492/gov.uscourts.nysd.396492.9.0.pdf
Like sands through the hourglass so sinks the troll even deeper to the bottom.
What happens to his other cases if the bar suspends him for violating the law in contacting Does who are represented?
And I wonder if the admission in this case that the geolocation can be wrong, and often is, is enough to halt the other cases while the locations are confirmed.
What are the chances of recovering a settlement that was paid to one of these troll law firms in NY to avoid being named in a lawsuit? I think the judges are now convinced that these plaintiffs are nothing but pure scum.
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