Yet there are few who are not so effortlessly scared and who won’t go away easily. These folks are a real threat to the trolls “business.” So, statistically, yes: there is just a handful of real fighters, those that trolls would never target if they possessed a time machine, but given that the entire trolls’ business is essentially a house of cards, even a single serious counter-strike can severely damage extortionists. I’m not talking about motions to quash/dismiss/sever: I’m happy to see how many are being filed daily, and en masse these motions do make a difference, but, as I mentioned, trolls adapted and learned to live with the necessity to do a mountain of paperwork responding to those motions: a mass BitTorrent lawsuit is still a super-lucrative undertaking despite this unavoidable nuisance.
Getting back to the super-fighters, we witnessed some in the past, and I hope that there are much more on the horizon. Liuxia Wong, with the help of Steven Yuen, inflicted significant damage to Prenda and the entire trolling scheme: she has shown victims that one can fight back and win (yes, win: although the case has been settled, one does not have to be a genius to understand who paid whom).
A class action lawsuit filed recently against five pornographers is also a significant event, but given the nature of class action litigation, it will take years for its fruits to ripen: just look at Dmitriy Shirokov’s class action lawsuit v. Dunlap, Grubb and Blumpkin that Booth Sweet LLC has been litigating for 20 months, and which is not even close to a conclusion.
So I have finally arrived to new and encouraging developments in Colorado, which are the subject of this post. It is kind of unfortunate that the good news from this beautiful state is tainted by a terrible and senseless tragedy.
A month ago we noticed that in one of the Malibu cases run by a super-troll Keith Lipscomb’s puppet Aaron Kotzker, there was a defendant who not only answered to the complaint, declining the wrongdoing, but also included a one million dollar counterclaim. We cheered the defendant, Jeff Fantails, but it was not clear at that time if his claim was convincing enough to be potentially successful. Yesterday, after I read the First Amended Answer and Counterclaim, my doubts evaporated.
The First Amended Answer asserts nineteen(!) affirmative defenses and attacks Malibu Media with six claims including abuse of process, invasion of privacy, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The relief sought is one million dollars (in most of the claims). In addition (p. 40), there is an amusing yet reasonable request to run an advertisement in the Sunday edition of a major Denver newspapers stating that defendant was never guilty of the alleged torts. I hope that judge will consider this relief seriously, as reputational damage is much more serious than the loss of property.
The Answer was carefully rewritten, and now it is probably the best explanation of the extortion scheme that exists to date. Like a sponge, it absorbed all the best what was written about copyright trolling, both on sites like this and in the court filings. Reading this document (especially pages 12-33) is essential if you want to understand the gruesomely huge extent of the harm copyright trolls inflicted on the court system, society and legal profession.
Here is this gem:
Another new and important change from the original Answer: exhibits to this filing are very interesting and critical for shaping a convincing counter-claim. These exhibits themselves deserve a separate couple of posts, and maybe I or someone else will corroborate later. I recommend paying attention to the following documets:
- Exhibit E: Declaration of a John Doe defendant, David Kerr’s client, telling the story of the harassment he suffered from a call center — debt collectors to whom copyright troll Keith Lipscomb and his Mafioso organization outsource the actual blackmail and harassment. Note that the goons a) threatened to damage Doe’s reputation (“see your name in the Denver Post by the end of the week”), and b) threatened to report (nonexistent) criminal actions (“exposing minors to pornography”). The latter is a very definition of blackmail, and pretty much damning evidence as such.
- Exhibit B: a business proposal by a German IP “harvester” APMS to a lawfirm, a cynical confession of immorality of the extortion scheme.
- Exhibit F and Exhibit G: Emails that a piece of crap Lipscomb, who has an audacity to call himself a lawyer, sent to a defense attorney Brad Patrick a year ago. No comments necessary, one thing is clear — that Lipscomb is a much more serious enemy than a clown John Steele: the former is clever, inventive and merciless. Crushing his extortion outfit is critical, and I think we need to concentrate more on this previously neglected villain.
The style, attention to details and overall quality suggest that there are some serious forces behind this “pro se” defendant, probably more than a single talented defense attorney. This is a strategic strike.
Good luck, Mr. Fantalis! If you need any help, we will be happy to provide it to the extent that our humble abilities allow.
- 12/12/2012: Follow-up post: Copyright trolls: “We don’t care if you did it or not, we just want your money!”
- 11/9/2012: Follow-up post: Malibu Media v. Fantalis et al: update. Second Amended Answer; discovery sabotage; hearing on the Motion to Compel.