A book has been traditionally
one of the best gifts of all times.
You know the Prenda’s address.
The sound of Friday’s double-barrel shot in the general direction of the Prenda gang was seemingly too deafening: while the first story (“A hearing transcript or a comedy screenplay? A must-read for those who think about settling”) resonated on the Internet, the second, much, much more damning news (“Copyright troll Prenda Law is accused of using a stolen identity for their offshore plaintiffs”) was not eagerly picked up by the news outlets yet. Indeed, the accusation of such rank is not easy to digest; extraordinary claims require extraordinary fact-checking, and I believe that this news is far from being ignored: it is rather the lull before the storm, and soon we will hear a lot about what we think is the beginning of Prenda’s end.
In the meantime, attorney Morgan Pietz, who essentially orchestrated the funeral of Malibu Media’s extortion business in Central California, turned his attention to Prenda and filed a Notice of Related Cases, noting that both Prenda’s offshore “righthavens” — “AF Holdings, LLC” and “Ingenuity 13” — failed to file notices, which are required when a plaintiff files similar cases in the Central California Federal District (Local Rule 83-7 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)). Malibu Media’s local Shakedown Envoy Leemore Kushner failed to do just that, and, as a result, all her 30+ cases are history now. Morgan’s website has the entire story.
If I had a frivolity of comparing my two Friday news stories to a double-barrel shot, it will be fair to compare Morgan Pietz to a sniper: his words are unexpected, effective, and rarely miss the target:
Plaintiffs AF Holdings, LLC and Ingenuity 13, LLC are both shell entities organized under the laws of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Both entities have filed a tsunami of John Doe pornographic copyright infringement actions in United States District Courts, including 49 total cases currently pending in this judicial district. Both entities are represented by the same plaintiffs law firm: Prenda Law, Inc. (f/k/a Steele Hansemeier PLLC). Both entities have filed substantially identical cookie cutter complaints and ex parte applications seeking leave of Court to issue subpoenas to ISPs prior to a Rule 26(f) conference. In support of their applications for early discovery, both entities have offered a declaration from “Peter Hansemeier” who purports to be a computer expert. Generally speaking, the pleadings in all the AF Holdings cases and Ingenuity 13 cases in this district track paragraph by paragraph, word for word. The only real difference between the two groups of cases appears to be the particular pornographic works at issue and, of course, the varying IP addresses identified in the complaints.
Like in the Malibu Media’s case, Prenda’s failure to file the required notices indicates impudent forum shopping. Mr. Pietz explains this clearly, but in addition, he does not hesitate to go further, much further, and, based on the last week Minnesota events, continues hammering the Prenda gang, asking very uncomfortable questions:
Common Issues of Law and Fact Between the Related Cases:
- Is There a Widespread Fraud With Respect to the Use of the Identity of One Mr. Alan Cooper by AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13;
- Do These Entities Have Proper Standing;
- Are John Steele and/or Prenda Law the Undisclosed, Real Parties in Interest in These Cases;
- Do These Cases Involve Improper Fee Splitting?
Here is the entire Notice embedded for your convenience. Visit Morgan Pietz’s page dedicated to Prenda’s offshore businesses for more information, including exhibits.
By the way, yours truly is mentioned in footnote 6, which talks about inappropriate fee splitting between troll lawyers and rights holders. Thank you, Morgan: it is always flattering to see my humble efforts contribute to the inevitable end of one of the most shameful chapters in the US judicial history.
Raul adds an important nuance that I missed:
Love the post, one thing that the Notice of Relate Cases makes clear (p. 7) is that Duffy wants nothing to do with this AF Holdings/Ingenuity 13 BS and Steele is holding the bag for this possible gigantic fraud (emphasis is mine):
Immediately after Mr. Cooper’s lawyer filed a notice of appearance on his behalf in one of the Minnesota cases, John Steele attempted to call the Minnesota Mr. Cooper directly, multiple times, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Cooper was represented by counsel. Appendix 1, p. 2. Since then, Prenda Law’s principal Paul Duffy has apparently disavowed Mr. Steele, and directed Mr. Cooper’s attorney that this should be considered solely a matter between Mr. Cooper and John Steele. Appendix 1, p. 2. […]
Do you wonder where Gibbs will land?
- 12/11/2012: Facing uncomfortable questions, Brett Gibbs throws a tantrum.
- 12/17/2012: Another day, another tantrum, but this time Brett Gibbs directs judges to this site.
- 12/28/2012: Big news: Judge Wright has granted a discovery aimed at solving the Alan Cooper mystery (and, potentially, uncovering a fraud of epic proportions).
- 12/31/2012: The unbearable shrill of desperation. Brett Gibbs moves to disqualify Judge Otis Wright.
- 1/9/2013: Attorney for a fake plaintiff questions the existence of a defendant he is suing.