LiveWire Holdings: Evolution of Prenda’s Fraud. Part II

Emboldened by the selective permissiveness of the US legal system, John Steele’s staggering fraudulent activities continue unabated. The latest middle finger to the justice is being shown by Prenda as we speak. Steele Hansmeier / Prenda Law / Anti-Piracy Law group are currently working on a complete vertical integration of all the components necessary to continue and widen its racketeering campaign (from porn production to made-up plaintiffs to nationwide network of lawyers and debt collectors).

Continued from Part I: A missing link.

Part II: A new bogus company

All the made-up companies have one big disadvantage: earlier or later people would start questioning their existence, and (god forbid!) judges would become suspicious. From time to time new plaintiff names must be injected, ones that are a little bit more credible, at least on the surface.

So a new imaginary company was born: LiveWire Holdings:


At the first glance, LiveWire’s website looks genuine. Nevertheless, in one minute or so surfer’s eyebrows start moving up slowly. This site is an amateur and a lame attempt to minimally change a popular template (while the first lawsuit is already in full speed in a corrupt St. Clair county, IL court: keep reading).

So, don’t be deceived:

  • The textual nonsense is a common corporate lorem ipsum (from the template, although some text was replaced).
  • It is not Mark Lutz ‘s photo, it is a stock photo (from the template): it would be funny if it turned out that the picture was not properly licensed.
  • What is purported Mark Lutz managing? Limewire? I thought these guys are an anti-piracy outfit (sorry, couldn’t resist).
  • Of course, “Partners” do not exist (from the template).

This “company” even has its “own” lawyer (as she has indicated in her LinkedIn profile), Sirh-Ryun Stella Wi Dugas, Michael Dugas’s wife, a fresh Minnesota Bar member with already damaged reputation and career.

A few people called the number listed on this site and either they heard a relatively new Prenda’s shakedown officer paralegal Kevin O’Kelly, or they received a callback from Prenda’s number 800-380-0840, the arrangement of digits hated by so many.

Company’s address is Livewire Holdings, LLC | 2100 M St. NW | Suite 170-417 | Washington DC 200037, and a UPS store can be easily located there, so the address is fabricated. The same address is printed on ransom letters on a new… Guava letterhead (which is, by the way, was sent after it became apparent that the lawsuit mentioned in this letter is a sham). Only on Friday, John Steele poured hogwash on a Minnesota judge that Guava’s principle business is “primarily based and in Nevada, but originated on St. Kitts, with computers in Illinois and Nevada.” It is in Washington now. Right. The truth is that all these artificial companies are most likely located only in the criminal heads of Prenda’s principals, and this fact is becoming so obvious that it is almost boring.


This lawsuit (LW Systems v. Christopher Hubbard) was filed in the St. Clair county court on January 9 and alleges hacking in very vague terms (as usual). No copyright is mentioned whatsoever. There are many reasons for this blatant lie: one of them is the ability of these lawsuits to stay in less transparent and more fraud-permitting county courts. Another is suggested by a reader (make sure to read the replies).

Note that the plaintiff’s name does not match the company name: LW Systems, not LW Holdings. If we were not talking about one of the worst crooks with legal diplomas, questioning this discrepancy would make sense. Otherwise, is it a surprise? Yet another splash of dirt to muddy already murky water. AF Holdings–AF Films, and so on…

Have a look at an unusual Duffy’s signature in the complaint: he is not a stranger to having multiple signatures. Is it surprising for a career crook?

Given our long time suspicions and the recent events in Minnesota, it is safe to assume that the defendant is a patsy, a poor soul who decided to go against both the law and his Karma — by colluding with the crooks — simply to save his ass. In addition, it is safe to assume that the IP addresses involved in this suit make a complex cocktail: leftovers from previous lawsuits, newly acquired addresses, Lighspeed’s shameful random list… you name it.

Already mentioned Prenda’s nominal chief Paul Duffy and his scumbag friend, Kevin Hoerner (an arrogant liar who believes in his immunity) represent “Plaintiff.”


Due to the opaqueness of the St. Clair county court, it is extremely difficult to get the pulse of the lawsuit. St. Clair county clerk’s website shows that nothing happened since the filing, yet there are voices telling that people have already started receiving letters from their ISPs. One of the readers (ignorantly) called the predators (big “thanks” to Neustar) to be told that the ransom amount is $4,000.

I’ll post new documents on the page dedicated to Guava et al. as they are shared with me, and definitely we will keep an eye on this frivolous lawsuit: Prenda’s frauds are numerous, but we have hundred times more eyes.

Oh, I almost forgot to ask an alleged “co-conspirator” from this case: do you really think about settling with these thieves? Think again.

Update (important)

I was just tipped that the defense lawyer on the Hubbard case is… Adam Urbanczyk! Un-F-believable! He already receives calls and advises people to settle. Moreover, people who call plaintiff (a court clerk gives them the number) are directed to call Adam Urbanczyk!

Do not call this shameless man under any circumstances!


Relevant pages

  • All the documents from the state “hacking,” allegedly collusive cases are located on this page. A discussion is going on there as well.
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91 responses to ‘LiveWire Holdings: Evolution of Prenda’s Fraud. Part II

  1. First it was copyright …. then password sharing ….. now malware …. wonder what the next big scheme is going to be?

  2. This was an amazing article (this and its predecessor). The site references are priceless. I will be sure to forward all inquiries regarding these cases to your website as a reference.

  3. Hahaha oh god, oh god… SJD you will love this -it’s delicious. As you probably already know Juan’s picture is a stock photo as well. Juan’s stock photo is licensed out by (just do a google image search and search by photo, you’ll get a link to the page on canstockphoto.) Now, both istockphoto (who owns the ‘Mark Lutz’ photo) and canstockphoto (owner of the Juan photo) have strict copyright agreements in their pages. Are you ready for the part that’ll make you laugh? Here’s a line from the legal page of ( ):

    “11. Use Content featuring a model in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the model personally uses or endorses a product or service, without accompanying such use with a written statement that indicates that the person is a model and the Content is being used for illustrative purposes only”

    Not to mention the fact that the company they took the template from violated THIS part of the copyright agreement:

    “6. Use the Content in any electronic template or application, including those that are internet-based, where the purpose is to create multiple impressions of an electronic or printed product, including but not limited to: website designs, …” (essentially this part is saying these stock photos are to NOT be used for website design templates that a company gives out.)

    These original stock photos are on the Veritas site, how much do you want to bet that Lutz and co. didn’t pay for a license to use those stock photos either! (Here’s a hint: I GUARANTEE THEY DIDN’T. THEY JUST COPIED THE TEMPLATE AND DIDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING WITH THE PICTURES!)

    So, in creating this website they have committed MULTIPLE acts of copyright infringement! Quick! Someone send them a request for $4000!

    • Ha-ha, I initially had this line int he draft:

      it would be funny if it turned out that the picture was not properly licensed

      but I thought that maybe the company that provides templates has a redistribution license. The #11 is priceless.

      • there are multiple parts they are violating if you read the legal link and see the acceptable and unacceptable uses. clearly they are definitely in violation of #11. I am going to have to do more research on this website of theirs because I have a feeling there are more gems i am missing.

  4. How far down the rabbit hole do we have to fall before the court system stops this? What a complete mockery of justice.

    • Sadly, the reputation of a court system that allows it to go on is one of the casualties of this whole mockery. (The reputations of the lawyers who pursue these cases and the politicians whose votes have been bought to pass insane copyright laws have nowhere left to fall.)

  5. I happen to be one of the Doe’s that has been issued this sophena by my ISP. I ‘ingorantly’ contacted the troll attorney not knowing what to do before I started researching online (not giving them any information besides my IP address). I mentioned to them that I have no clue what torrent files were downloaded, as I do not use any download software, and that I have an open, unprotected network that could have been used by anyone. The troll then told me that I should get a lawyer or settle the $4000 settlement that I will be offered. SJD, or anyone else, what do you advise I do? Should I hire a lawyer and file a motion to quash the sopehna and withold my info from these guys, or just hire a lawyer in general? Or ignore until I receive a settlement or order to go to court? Please advise.

    • If you called an 800, 888, 877, 866 or 855 number they’ve captured your number and name even if you have Caller ID restricted.

  6. To be fair for Antonelli, Nicole Nguyen is the lawyer they list on their page that specializes in internet and bittorrent cases. So the woman might be the person to talk to for those issues.

    However, I still can’t believe that they’d go so far as to just recommend settling outright without discussion. That’s disgusting.

    • I’m currently one of the alleged “co-conspirators” in the Guava complaints. I’ve been pretty well informed by your site and DTD and talking to a few lawyers (not the ones from the Guava/Prenda). One lawyer at a firm suggested that I settle when I told him that I got the subpoena letter from my ISP. that’s even before I receive anything else other than a subpoena. I’ve decided to wait and see what happens after the MTQ hearings. Neither I nor anyone I know did any alleged hacking. Although I’m not completely dismissing settlement if hiring counsel to shield and represent me is more expensive. I want to fight but I just worry about the mounting legal fees that I would incurred if I fight. does anyone know approximate amount it would cost to fight vs paying off the 4k?

      • It is cheaper to settle. That’s a fact. And that’s why this continues to go on for so long. It is also easier to settle. Otherwise trolls would have disappeared long ago.

        Is it right to settle? That’s up to you. You have to decide for yourself.

        That being said its almost impossible to give you an exact cost because none of these have ever gone to trial. And some lawyers have even suggested that they would defend these on contingency.

        The few Guava complaints that have made it to federal court have been bitch slapped to the side pretty quickly and ferociously by Booth and Sweet and Erin Russell and I think a few other ones that I can’t remember off the top of my head.

        • This is what Rob Cashman had to say about the Guava/Oaxaca/etc cases on his site in the comments (I assume its ok since its in the comments):

          The Guava cases (and the others) are a tough one for me because they are filed in state courts, and I do not have “eyes” on their dockets. If they were filed in federal courts, I would be all over them as far as representing clients.

          From what I know, the plaintiff attorneys employ a cookie-cutter approach to their lawsuits, so all the problems that you will read about with the AF Holdings, LLC cases likely apply to what they have done to “procure” the copyrights for these so-called copyright holders as well. The same issues of proper assignment, etc., should be applied in any legal analysis.

          As far as the lawsuits themselves go, at the state level, all that is happening is akin to the “Bill of Discovery” issues SJD covered months ago with Lipscomb’s Florida cases (same concept with Steele’s Illinois Lightspeed cases). They are gathering names for the purpose of sending out their “we will sue you if you do not settle” letters. Other than this, there is not much they can do on the state level since these are federal statutes they are asserting.

          The subject matter, whether they call it the CFAA, the Hacker statutes, or whatever they call it — at the end of the day, whether it is a CFAA violation they are asserting or a copyright infringement hidden in some other form, chances are this will have to pass through a federal court in order to move forward, and myself and the other attorneys are “standing at the gates,” so to speak.

          In the meantime, my opinion is that settling will only fuel other people getting implicated in other lawsuits, and from what I’ve been reading in Minnesota, even if you settle, that doesn’t mean they won’t come after you again and again. In other words, beware of their boilerplate settlement agreement.

        • It’s not necessarily cheaper to settle, shop around. You could even hire an attorney to negotiate settlement and that could still be cheaper. It’s always better, if possible to have someone represent you in this matter.

  7. SJD why not send those two sites the stock photos were taken from an email and link them to these two articles, along with asking if they gave permission for their stock to be used in it. If they did. Well, I’m sure there’s some fraud going around there somehow in lying about the representation. Plus I’m sure someone could make an argument that Prenda is putting the models in the pictures ‘at risk’ by using their images instead of the true images of the two people mentioned, simply by using previous court documents from PRenda stating they want to keep everyone ‘hidden’ from risk of ‘backlash’.

  8. I am shocked, surprised, and very disappointed after all the time I have given in extensive and thorough free consultations, often up to a half hour each analyzing ALL of folk’s options, that anyone would say that all I or my attorney associate nicole nguyen say is to settle.

    Obviously it is easier, if you have disposable money, to simply settle. Would it take me a half hour to say that? Of course not. What I have done, many many times now, is to thoroughly discuss some of the reasons why it would be reasonable to file a motion to quash – like I am filing tomorrow in the Arte de Oaxaca case (retained today and the clerk’s office is already closed)- and what circumstances make it unlikely that a motion to quash is likely to get you the ultimate relief you are seeking. As has been publicly discussed before, regardless of whether we think it is fair, plaintiffs have responded to motions to quash with individual lawsuits in retaliation. When someone asks me if this is going to cost them more money, yes of course it does. If THEY decide, balancing the costs, their feelings on “feeding the trolls’ and similar sentiments, and other factors like the impact a litigation fight may have on their families, it may be sad in the overall scheme but a number of clients have decided to settle. What is the cost of defense? Attorney Nick Ranallo thinks its $85,000 or so, just to get an innocent doe defendant to the summary judgment stage.

    Then again, other clients decide they want to fight. Like yesterday, when I filed my defense Appearance in federal court in the Malibu Media case 12-cv-03211 in the Central District of Illinois representing an innocent client.

    I take seriously my fiduciary duties to my clients and I let THEM make up their minds according to their values, tolerance for risk, ability to pay, etc. I don’t tell them to settle. I give them information, help them evaluate the likelihood of success of numerous choices of action (or inaction), and discuss, often repeatedly.

    And if anyone thinks my firm doesn’t like to fight tough opponents, even aside from the above, take a look at my record. I’ve successfully taken on fraudulent for-profit colleges, sued the Illinois State Police and an Assistant State’s Attorney in federal court for what my client alleged was interfering with a court order (and I am a law and order conservative) because it was the right thing to do, and joined other counsel suing the Holy See (Vatican) and the Chicago Archdiocese for the way they seem to strong arm victims of priest sexual abuse. And I grew up Catholic. I hardly think these are easy cases.

    Finally, for those who do not know her, my associate attorney Nicole Nguyen has worked for the Attorney General and the FTC and is a fine person as well as fine attorney. Neither of us nor any member of my firm “just wants people to settle.” I even sent out a press release saying the Copyright Act needs to be changed so that consumers have less to fear, even if they did file-share a copyrighted work. If a consumer faced a maximum $200 penalty for a case of simple file sharing and not making a profit off doing so, few people would even need to pay an attorney. Pay it and move on. That takes away the need for lawyers but that’s okay. But in the meantime, I give honest advice and a panoply of options for people who contact me, and vigorous legal representation when they choose to fight. I don’t tell people to just fight it either, because if they get hit with a judgment, it should only be because they felt it was right for them to accept that fight and take it on. It would be easy for us as attorneys to simply say “fight it and pay me” but when the case is over, its over for the lawyer – but not for the client.

    I wonder if these rumors, suddenly about me, are maliciously intended. Who knows? On substance, though, I am not worried. I know both I am Nicole do the right thing for what my clients decide is best for them.

    Jeffrey Antonelli

    • Jeffrey: I sent you an email.

      Others: If you are puzzled what it is about, Jeffrey replied to my probably too emotional statement that I temporarily zapped (before I have a chance to come up with more reasonable wording). There were numerous reports that his firm (specifically Nicole) advises people to settle a bit too aggressively. As you see, Jeffrey disagrees, so there is a controversy. I’m not going to be the judge, so I’ll present both positions and let people decide. Peace.

      • I spoke with four attorneys regarding my situation, and they all made the same point that settlement really isn’t too bad of an option if you can afford hiring an attorney. Yes, it is probably the worst thing to do on principle, but it is the easiest for both parties. Hiring an attorney to file a motion or to fight the case was generally the same cost or greater than settlement. Filing a motion risks having your identity leaked or an individual lawsuit, and I do not have the monetary resources to fight the case- leading my plausible alternatives to either paying up the hush money or ignoring it and hoping it goes away. The sad state of affairs is that the only way this will ever end is if someone with enough time and resources exposes these frauds and I hope that day comes soon.

        • I’m still puzzled how Attorney fee + Settlement amount is better than out-of-pocket $0 if you do nothing… For simplicity, let’s assume that we talk exclusively about Prenda state mass cases (which is the topic of this post).

          Attorneys are obliged (or at least it’s a professional code) to present you with all the outcomes/options. What 99% of them fail to do is to adequately estimate the probabilities attached to those outcomes, and ideally compare them with probabilities of common events (like being hurt in a car accident or being laid off).

        • I don’t get it either. I ignored the threats and it cost me zero dollars and there were no consequences.

          This was a very cost-effective solution.

        • To be fair, the attorneys I spoke with did say that doing nothing is also a viable option- none of these cases have gone to trial because they’re b/s and the chances of you being named and served are very slim. I’m not advocating settlement in general, but it’s pretty much like buying insurance if you feel like there might something at stake such as your job in the very unlikely case your name becomes public.

  9. WOW is all I can say. SJD thank you so much for all your time and effort you’ve put in researching this scheme.

    It’s amazing that less then a week has gone by since I received notice from my ISP, and now I have found comfort in you and others in this community who are outraged by this fraud that persists by these lawyers who are on the same level as televangelists to me.

    Before last Friday I had never heard of such cases, and to be quite honest I can’t believe how deaf to this stuff I was.

    As I am a Doe implicated in the LW Systems I will be waiting to hear what comes of it. I’m fairly certain a motion to quash won’t do much for me. If these fucks want to go to trial then let’s rumble. They will be exposed, no matter what the cost comes out to be.

    • PDquash –

      I agree. I was writing up a motion to quash on Monday, and then realized it probably won’t do anything. I very seriously doubt that these trolls are going to sue me and take me to court over a hacking case that is utter nonsense. I’m waiting until they name me in this suit and serve me with papers to appear in court. I just hope they will be able to keep a straight face in front of the judge when they try to explain all this crap!

  10. Fantastic article, SJD. As you noted here, people can get emotional about these cases. It is understandable. The best thing any subpoena target can do is to at least call a lawyer who defends these cases, whether it is me or Jeff or any of the other fine lawyers who do it, and get as much information as possible. I think being armed with good information is the best place to start.

  11. Personally l cannot say enough good things about Mr Antonelli and Ms.
    Nguyen. Several weeks ago when I called him l was terrified and he helped me. I am personally am innocent but for very personal reasons I was unable to fight this. Unfortunately not every has the ability to fight. It hurts to think that because we have to settle it hurts others. Mr Antonelli went above and beyond to help me and I am very grateful to him and his assistant and I would highly recommend them. Thank you! – Jane doe

    • @Jane doe – The sad truth, in my opinion, is the overwhelming majority of these copyright troll lawsuits involve the ISP bill recipient being accused of the actions of a loved one

  12. The reason I tend to be disappointed when people settle these BS Prenda state lawsuits is because no one ever gets sued individually at the state level other than the named stooge defendant and it is clear now that he is not actually “sued”. These suits are all about harvesting personal info which results in some harassing letters and phone calls (calls which can be easily blocked or diverted). After some time Prenda then takes this info and files a “John Doe” with or without “co-conspirators” federal lawsuit and the phone/letter harassment continues until either the judge or Prenda dismisses the lawsuit (usually due to judicial pressure). Less than 1% of Prenda’s pool of potential victims gets named individually in a lawsuit and most of these get dismissed, over time, for failure to prosecute by the judge or mysteriously dismissed by Prenda. Why people will pay $2,500-$4,000 to avoid some unpleasant letters or calls is beyond me especially when it rewards these scumbags for what is clearly unethical behavior if not much, much worse and continues a black stain on the legal profession.

    • I agree. I was lucky never to get phone calls for some reason, but I can’t imagine why anyone would spend a few grand just to avoid having to ignore empty threats. I got a couple follow up letters and the only trouble was that I had to take a few minutes to open them and file them away, it certainly didn’t waste a few thousand dollars worth of my time or cause any sort of inconvenience that would actually have been worth the cost of settling.

      We have seen Prenda’s strategy play out in full and the fact is there is always time to settle. They never say no and they don’t even increase the demand. If they do name and serve you then that’s a different matter and maybe then it is time to throw in the towel, but unless until that happens put the money in an interest-bearing account and go on with your life.

      There have been no consequences to my being targeted by Prenda law and at this point I’m enjoying watching their downfall and will enjoy it even more when Steele goes to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

  13. I understand what your saying Raul, but some of us don’t have the ability mentally to fight this.
    Yes some of us are weak. Sometimes it is the stronger among us that have to fight the good fight for the weak. Peace

  14. Just a quick question. I’ve been reading as much as I can about this subject over the last week, and are there any cases where people have been named personally in a suit and served with papers? I keep hearing that ‘no one has gone to trial’.

    I understand that just because no one has gone to trial, doesn’t mean it won’t/can’t happen in the future.

    Still curious though.

    • I believe there’s been a handful of people named, but cases have never actually gone through being tried on merits, meaning the court decided that their forensic wizard of oz actually proved that the person was guilty of the action. As someone above said, most cases end through dismissal by the judge or Prenda, or a default judgment because the defendant doesn’t respond to the summons (if you get served, don’t ignore it).

      With that said, based on reading this site and DieTrollDie (thanks SJD and DTD for all the peace of mind!), I’ve gotten the impression that the people who we’re served (less than 1%) either were unlucky, or talked to Prenda and gave them some reason to pursue…never talk to them.

      The reason it will never go to trial, at least not if Prenda can help it, is because a trial will knock down their house of cards, ending their cash flow and hopefully sending them to prison. However, I get the feeling that there is enough momentum lately that it may get knocked down soon either way.

  15. Does anyone know what kind of personal information is available to these plaintiffs once the subpoena goes through? I imagine with your name and address they can find all manner of public information on google, but what about more ‘official’ things like credit reports? Along these lines, has anyone had their family members contacted?

      • I communicated questions for an early in this trolling scam with a Private Instigator (PI) firm as well as a consulting group that uses private investigators regularly.

        Interestingly, the PI was already aware of this specific trolling scam and believed the different troll gangs shared information among themselves. (Neither the PI nor the consultant worked in intellectual property.) Both sources were familiar with rip-off operatives. The PI and the consultant both emphasized that the trolls are always going for the easy score. They are cherry-picking, to crude use a double entendre. Trolls just move on to find the next easy mark, instead of deeply probing into one.

        The trolls can get some information without much fuss. Info about things that are in the public record, such as property, can be obtained quickly. Persons who own registered businesses have something on record. But to go deeper, they would have to spend money and time themselves to hire investigators. If they quickly extort $3K apiece from the next dozens rubes with a letter and a phone call, why would they want to spend thousands of dollars to chase a single Doe? (A Doe who is wealthy enough to make a rich target is also rich enough to hire lawyers to fight or pull strings to make trolls go away.)

        Usually it would take some effort and illegal breaches to get a person’s detailed records of financial holdings, outside of property. Now, we’ve seen that trolls can act immorally and worse. But it would be very risky and costly work for a single case, which was never going to trial in the first place.

        I suppose the Smiths and Jones would be harder to track since different people share the same name.

        Based on other troll behavior, the bullsh** trolls give about how they’re going to thoroughly investigate Does would generally be false. Trolls don’t even have the resources to really take discovery from even a tenth of Does, let alone do a full scale work-up for an uncertain reward.

        We don’t even know if most trolls do so much as a quick inventory to target specific Does. It may be easier for their phone call worker just to quickly contact a long list of names. Many members of the troll gang are working on commission. The extortion callers have incentive to move on quickly to the next case with new Does. And as @Anon 12:05 AM mentions, the easy Doe targets are those who unknowingly or unwisely give the trolls extra information.

        • Interesting to have a more informed perspective on this.

          Based on just watching the trolling outfits work over the last two years, I believe the paranoia about Trolls doing any sort of background investigation is greatly exaggerated, and calls to take steps like deleting your social networking profiles or try to request info removals from some of these PII-aggregating databases are borderline hysterical.

          Yeah, if you are actually a pastor or have security clearance you may have a good reason to lay low. But based on the pattern of people chosen as named defendants (or more importantly, lack of a pattern) I would be surprised to learn that any of the trolling outfits even go so far as to Google their picks. It seems like they must have some criteria but whatever it is it is not obvious. Prenda in particular has made some stupid choices. When they started naming we naturally assumed they would be picking people who had somehow incriminated themselves, thus making it much easier to plow through a hypothetical trial, but even that has not been the case, in fact it seems like most of their picks were random and were people who had stonewalled or ignored them completely. It could be that so many people instinctively thought it was a scam or found this site that they ended up with only a tiny number of people that bothered to contact them at all much less say something incriminating.

          I think doecumb’s comments about lack of resources are spot on. These are scammers that have resorted to robocalls and letters requesting self-incrimination. The closest they have come to even the discovery phase of a case is when a judge has ordered it at a defendant’s request and then these jokers did everything they could to avoid it.

          The more I think about it the more I doubt this scam is even doing much better than breaking even for anyone still involved. At least the maneuvers of Prenda, Lipscomb and CEG do not look like they are from companies with either human or financial resources to spare.

  16. a lot of what was a commonly used term a while back, “FUD”, (fear, uncertainty, doubt) is evident here in the past few replies.

    Do yourselves a favor and look at a few of the dockets on posted on this site, most are cases that have been in the works for months or years. While these are legal documents, they are for the most part easy to read and follow and you can get a sense at how judges and defense lawyers are viewing the pornotrolls. The typical story is …

    1) lawsuit filed against X number of does, motion for early discovery is made
    2) judge rubberstamps cause they are busy people (this is actually happening less frequently as the trolls wear out their welcome, some are being shut down immediately now)
    3) ISP sends out letters to people ( **** this is the stage 99.99999999% of people are in now ********) , do not mistake a notice from the ISP that THEY (key word: THEY, the ISP) are being subpoenaed for YOUR information as meaning that YOU are being subpoenaed by the court to appear or answer a claim. At this stage, you are still anonymous until the date on the paper passes
    4) people typically file a ton of motions to quash, this used to not be the case but not is SOP as doe defenders are up and running and available. Carefully weigh your finances and other circumstances to see if you should file a motion to quash.
    5) If the Judge does not intervene AND/OR you did not file a motion to quash, your information may be released at this point
    6) you may be called and harassed. If you live outside the district the lawsuit is in (very likely) you are never going to be sued in that jurisdiction, they MUST sue you in your jurisdiction and they do not have lawyers everywhere, and some jurisdictions are extremely unfriendly, so research this site on which jurisdictions are more ‘dangerous’ to live in (currently I think only Illinois area are higher risk, but could be wrong). Your chance of being ‘named’ is extremely unlikely. While there have been grumblings from people that trolls contacted work or friends, this does not seem to be a standard thing for them to do, and it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. If you can’t ‘take’ harassing phone calls, block the numbers or change your number or hire a lawyer to act as a shield.
    7) you may receive harassing letters in the mail with deadlines, these are typically bluster as the deadlines get pushed out more and more
    8) litigation is expensive, it is counter intuitive for the trolls to follow through on a lawsuit unless they have a slam dunk case, such as you admitting you pirated their film to them. Ignore the calls, ignore the mails, and/or file a motion to quash but above all do not talk to the trolls, do not tell them anything, DO NOT TRY TO EXPLAIN YOUR INNOCENCE, THEY DO NOT CARE. Your name only becomes publicly associated with the lawsuit IF you are named, and this may only happen (properly) in YOUR jurisdiction.

    This is a very small sliver of a summation of how these things go that may be found on this or dietrolldie’s site. Read, stop making excuses on being scared or busy or poor and read. Read. Read. Get educated at the very minimum before making your decision.

    Keep in mind that the more these lawsuits get slapped down, the more frequently and quickly they will be slapped down in the future. Our legal system works on precedent, and the Trolls are very quickly creating precedent that an IP address cannot = a person, and these lawsuits are quickly becoming a dying breed.

  17. Not a lawyer, just wanting to introduce an idea for discussion.

    Perhaps I’m wrong on this, but I haven’t seen anything on the CFAA allowing for statutory damages. That is to say, with the copyright infringement claims Prenda hypothetically in trial could ask for $150,000 just by showing willful infringement but in these CFAA claims if, hypothetically, they ever actually went to trial they would need to show actual damages. They can’t simply say “Hey, this person hacked our systems. Give us a crapton of money.” Evidence must be introduced showing what damages were done, how their business was harmed, what extra costs were required to mitigate the supposed hacking. All of which must be documented, opened to discovery by defendant, and subject to cross examination.

    If it was a real company, none of that would be particularly onerous. It’s simply part of the deal when it comes to these suits. With the Prenda cases though, they’re having to greatly inflate the damages just to even file the complaint. (Seriously, they made us run the servers longer, costing more electricity? What, are there servers only open 9-5?) If that’s the case, I would be unsure if they ever went so far as serving summonses on these cases and open themselves up to counterclaims. After all, once counterclaims are filed Prenda can no longer simply dismiss the case on their own to avoid embarrassing or incriminating questions. Judging by the Alan Cooper mess, Steele can’t go to the bathroom without breaking a couple laws on the way. There’s no way they would open themselves up to question like how many subscribers they have, where their registered at, an actual study of how much business was lost, or an audit of company financials.

    If that’s the case, I don’t see them pushing these cases very far; certainly nowhere near as hard as the copyright infringement cases (which generally never were pushed much either). It comes across as a simple cash grab, a hit and run version of the settlement model.

  18. @SJD – Just noticed that Sirh Ryun Stella Dugas has been counsel to Livewire Holdings, LLC since December of 2011! Wouldn’t that put her hiring at the exact time Jurassic Pornographer (Steve Jones) began tracking “hackers”.. Interesting area of inquiry for a Doe Defender as would be her steps to incorporate this unincorporated sham.

    • It does not mean anything. They are liars. She just put a random date there. Her husband is with Prenda since August 2011 according his LinkedIn profile. The word “Prenda” was not born at that time in the criminal heads of Steele and Hansmeier.

  19. I am a Doe in the Guava LLC V Merkel case. I was part of the motion to quash and they do not have my information yet. Problem I have is I realized before finding this site that I reached out and talked to Adam Urbanczyk. I did not incriminate myself or do anything but he does have my phone number, name and e-mail address.

    Is any of that a problem?

    Great website, feels good to not be alone.

  20. Sausages came within inches of answering a question I had in his excellent post summarizing the process. Neustar sent me a copy of their subpeona for the case that was filed in the 20th district court of Illinois. I live in Cook County, which comprises it’s own circuit court (Not numbered that I know of). As I vaguely understand from what I have read here, my information will likely be handed over on Feb 21, and while the trolls can harass me on the phone and send me mail hoping that I will roll over and send them a check, since this is a state case (not Federal), they can’t actually sue me in this matter, as the case was filed in the 20th district where I have never lived.

    While I hope what I posted is a true statement, I’m not usually the person that gets lucky like that, so I suspect I’ve got it wrong somewhere.

    • Of course they can sue you. They can sue anybody, and they’ll win unless the lawsuit is contested. It’s nearly always a mistake to blow off a court summons or to allow a lawsuit to go to default judgment without contesting it. It’s much harder to go into court and claim the judgment is invalid because you don’t live in the “20th District” (or whatever defense you have to the lawsuit) after judgment is entered against you. It doesn’t cost that much money, if any, to call, make an appointment, and have a consultation with a licensed attorney. Many attorneys aren’t experienced or familiar with fighting copyright trolls, and many of those attorneys will still take your money, so do your research before you sit down with one. As to the issue of your residing far from the courthouse, search [distant forum abuse].

      • If you are sued in the wrong district you must file an answer stating that, and the case would be dismissed. You aren’t sued until you receive a summons or such, the notice from isp is not that, it would be a separate doc. Just keep your eye on the case and on Google to see if your real name pops up and if it does, act. If it doesn’t then sit tight. Make sense?any real confusion should be cleared by a lawyer if any confusion remains. I am not a lawyer merely informed and trying to help.

        • They’ll just argue that you aren’t a party to the lawsuit because they haven’t served you (and don’t intend to) therefore you have no standing, and cite Howell and Facciola’s opinions. And they’ll argue that you have no standing to appeal a subpoena issued from the State of Minnesota or State of California. Gee I wonder if that is deliberate?

    • Yes and no. It’s a rehash of the LMC crap (which is still a pending action in ILSD…Judge Murphy hasn’t done shit in 3 months) plus whoever pissed them off by not paying them and getting their lawsuits stomped by judges, plus a bunch of random IPs, who the fuck knows these people are capable of literally anything.

      • I’ve read all of the articles and subsquent comments relating to Lightspeed, Guava, Arte de Oaxaca – I keep going back and forth on whether I should file an MTQ (with attorney) or just riding out the storm. I can handle the shitstorm or phone calls and letters – I just want to minimize the possibility of being named (which I know is unlikely) and bringing unneccessary attention to myself.

        Also – do attorneys entertain the option of filing a MTQ on behalf of multiple does? Given that in an indivual MTQ ranges from $1000-$2000, I would be interested in ‘joining forces’ if it would defray the expense of going this alone.

        Any input is greatly appreciated.

  21. I posted this on another thread, but it may make more sense for it to be here based on the recent MTQ.

    It seems attorney Erin Russell was able to quash and even get the IP’s of some number of Does dismissed from the state subpoena, which by all accounts pissed off the trolls, who then re-filed against those same Does in Federal court. Is it known if Erin stayed with these Does for the Federal case on her original flat fee (or at all)? Or did they have to retain her anew? Do we know what happened with those Does in the Federal case? did they end up settling? I assume she won the state case based on jurisdiction, which is irrelevant in a Federal case. I also noticed that the trolls seem increasingly willing to go to court, which makes it seem like settling might be the way to go.

    Do we know of anyone who has settled on a state case, and then also got hit on a Federal case? It’s the double dipping aspect that worries me most.

    • I’ve read the entire lightspeed/guava blog/comments and am trying to make a decision as to file MTQ in the LW v. Hubbard case in St Clair. $1500-$2000 seems like a lot of money to file an MTQ through an attorney especially when they are essentially representing multiple does via 1 MTQ filing. Also – I don’t know if filing the an MTQ at this stage (not being named in the lawsuit) and bringing undue attention as a result (possibility of being singled out in new federal lawsuit) would be prudent. If anyone with experience could provide some input – I would be most appreciative.

      • In my opinion filing pro se motions to quash in a hellhole of St. Clair county (and in this case in particular) is futile. Filing it through an attorney does make some sense, but it is hard to estimate the benefit/expense ratio. Historically, this court was overly friendly to our fraudsters, to the extent of rising many eyebrows. Even the Supreme Court if Illinois had to slap one judge on the wrist.

        I don’t know anything about this particular judge, he is fresh: only sworn 3 months ago. It would be unfair to accuse him of anything without any evidence, but the overall alleged corruption in this court and the fact how Lightspeed case was handled, I would stay suspicious unless the good will is proven (quite an opposite to the principle “trust once” I try to live by).

        What do you want to achieve with a MTQ and what is your risks/benefits?

        – To educate a judge? It had been a valid goal for a long time, but nowadays it does not makes sense anymore: judges know what’s going on.
        – To prevent your information from disclosing? Probably, if a MTQ is granted, but I’m skeptical. And what happens if your information is disclosed? A barrage of frightening harassment calls, that’s it. It is annoying, but clearly not the end of the world.
        – To prevent you from being named in an individual lawsuit? This is silly: Prenda ship is sinking and although they filed a couple of lawsuits recently, it’s all desperation. Moreover, they still try to vindicate people who file motions, so you will be more likely targeted if you oppose than if you do nothing.

        There is one more benefit in filing a MTQ that you won’t probably like (only in case when crooks file a vindictive lawsuit against you): earlier or later the crooks’ practice of vindicate movants will be called out and they will be punished for clearly vexatious litigation practice, so your contribution to the inevitable downfall will be appreciated by many, no doubt.

        The decision is yours. My opinion is no better or worse that others’.

    • I’m a Doe for the LW Systems LLC Vs. Chistopher Hubbard. I contacted Erin Russell just a few hours ago. I have to say she was VERY nice and spoke to me a good 30mins about the case. She offered to do an mtq for me for $2,200. She said that it was a flat rate and that INCLUDED if it went to a federal court. She claimed that is how sure she was that it wouldnt. In my opinion if you want to go the lawyer route she seems like she knows how to handle these jerks, but for me I know my neighbors have hacked my net before and I have proof I was at work that day (my kids are under 5) so there is no way I’m going to cave and pay a lawyer 2k or pay to settle. I just contacted by business lawyer, gave him a copy of the mtq letter on here and he gonna file that for less then $100 if i decided to go forward, after reading everything on here I may just ignore the whole thing.

      • Back up a little. Under no circumstances should you file last year’s MTQ as it is now horribly outdated. IMO it would be almost malpractice if an attorney were to just copy and file it. Your attorney can quite easily find a more effective and up to date one on PACER. Some of us believe Prenda shell corporations such as LW Systems (non-existent under that name) will shortly be federally investigated along with its parent, Prenda Law n/k/a Anti-Piracy Law Group as a result of yesterday’s developments in CA. If you think you need to file a MTQ go with Erin not some hack who is going to copy a motion generated by a non-attorney. On the other hand, this law firm is on self-destruct mode. The question is when will it occur?

        • I gave him a copy of it, I never said he was filing that exact copy, I gave him the copy to show him some of what was used to argue against them. He’s an amazing lawyer and would never just copy/paste something. He offered to file it for less the $100 because is my business lawyer and already gets a flat rate regularly.

    search file # 4668157

    registered agent info:
    Address: 2711 CENTERVILLE RD STE 400
    State: DE Postal Code: 19808
    Phone: (302)636-5440

    that address is for this company:

    sorry i didn’t feel like paying the money for more info from delaware’s site. so i do not know if they are in good standing.

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