Booth Sweet LLP tells court a story of Prenda’s deception and abuse, asks for a bond to be posted by AF Holdings
Sounds familiar? Yes! Nick Ranallo in California successfully tried this strategy. Well, one may challenge my definition of “success”: at the end of the day, while the judge granted Nick’s motion, no bond was posted, and I doubt it will ever be. Nonetheless, the persistence of Prenda and its Californian
shakedown ambassador counsel Brett Gibbs, with which they have been trying to weasel out, indicates a success on its own, as it clearly shows that the king is naked, and the clowns cannot even put the money where their proverbial mouth is. Much less are they capable of inflicting any real harm (beyond harassment and unsubstantiated threats) to anyone who cares to lift his or her finger in opposition.
So, the Eastern Front has been opened by Booth Sweet LLP (AF Holdings, LLC v. Chowdhury — MAD 12-cv-12105):
Nobody has forced AFH to file this suit when it did, based on the objectively weak evidence that it has chosen to proceed with. There is no reason to allow AFH to escape all responsibility for its actions and decisions in this case. As such, Chowdhury respectfully requests the court to order Plaintiff, AF Holdings, to post an undertaking in the amount of $60,000.
I hope that the motion will be granted. Regardless, as usually, a memo accompanying this motion is an excellent, refined iteration of a guide to Prenda’s shameful history of deception and abuse.
Taken together: (i) the facts averred by Mr. Cooper; (ii) Prenda’s attempts to stonewall on the question of whether there was another Alan Cooper who was the true principal of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13, or answer any other questions on these matters; (iii) allegations of a previous straw plaintiff in the MCGIP cases and the affidavit of Mr. Merkel; and (v) the facts revealed in the Florida hearing transcript in Prenda’s Sunlust case wherein Prenda attempted to pass off its paralegal as the corporate representative of the plaintiff, suggest a pattern of deception with respect to who is really behind these lawsuits. To paraphrase a popular meme: “Plaintiff Prenda Law retained Prenda Law as its counsel, who in turn retained Prenda Law to use Prenda Law’s forensic software to identify infringers.”
The collection of exhibits is good and ready to use in any pleading that involves frivolous lawsuits filed by Prenda’s scam artists:
- Exhibit A: Demand letter and Comcast’s letter.
- Exhibit B: Defamatory list of cases on Prenda’s website.
- Exhibit C: Declaration of Jason Sweet.
- Exhibit D: Affidavit of Alan Cooper.
- Exhibit E: Paul Godfread’s letter to MN judges.
- Exhibit F: Alan Cooper v John Steele et al. complaint.
- Exhibit G: Spencer Merkel’s affidavit.
- Exhibit H: AIPLA Report.
Interestingly, yet another troll’s lie has been called out (footnote 17):
On Prenda’s website and in correspondence to subscribers and counsel, Paul Duffy holds himself out being licensed to practice in Massachusetts. A call to the BBO confirmed that Atty. Duffy, as he already knows, has not been licensed in the Commonwealth since 1995.
24 responses to ‘Booth Sweet LLP tells court a story of Prenda’s deception and abuse, asks for a bond to be posted by AF Holdings’
Wow! Booth & Sweet have always put out the most top notch work in the Doe Defender arena but this effort is beyond comparison. As I am away from home, on the iPad and cannot cut and paste I was jotting down favorite quotes to point to but quickly gave up as the entire memo is quotable. For someone with a legal background this memo is beyond humbling.
Wow, just looking at tbe Exhibits, I cannot wait to read the motion on something other than this moble device. 🙂 Prenda is out classed and is digging its grave little by little.
Ok. Loved it. Everyone please read the memo to the motion. WOW! You can run, John Steele. But you cannot hide from you actions. This beats the Superbowl!
if they get a bond in this case, and maybe a few more, it will set a sweet ass precedent against AFH, ing13, and any other foriegn troll company that sues using just ip address evidence in cali. also foriegn means any non cali based company, not just ones actually based outside of the US. this is super exciting times.
Is it steeles east coast hired gun Daniel Ruggeiro that has to deal with this? do you think steele himself will make an appearance on this?
This is why Steele is forming a company in the US to produce the porn. It’s no coincidence this happened right after the bond issue started in CA. He wants to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I can only hope his alcoholism takes its toll on his body sooner than later. The world would be no poorer without him.
It isn’t going to help him at all. The Alan Cooper scam and rest of his past will forever taint him and any legal mater he so much as looks at. Suck it Steele! 😉
by most state’s rules a foreign company is any company incorporated outside of that state’s jurisdiction, not outside of the US, so a nevada based porn company would still be called a foreign company and be potencially liable for a bond in cali.
“To paraphrase a popular meme: “Plaintiff Prenda Law retained Prenda Law as its counsel, who in turn retained Prenda Law to use Prenda Law’s forensic software to identify infringers.””
This is more true in many of the cases out there than people understand.
It would be nice to see more Judges asking questions about the “experts” and the magical software and its claims. Knowing the actual dealings between them and the trolls, that these are rarely flat fee arrangements and there are financial incentives to get more tangled in the web.
But then of the few “named” cases to move forward you have a split between they pulled a name out of a hat and got a default and a few people who fought back and won killing the case before any indepth explorations of these important issues.
My hat is off to Jason on this one! Wow!
@TAC….I am going to obtain Prenda Law to mow my grass.
Aside from the issue of posting a bond, Prenda has made a motion to dismiss the eloquent counterclaims posited by the defendant. Today Booth & Sweet took a sledgehammer to Prenda’s sham arguments. More legally technical than the motion requesting Prenda post a bond it has lots of nice quotes. Here are but two:
1. “The counterclaim includes repeated references to AFH’s true aims: “not to initiate the process
of litigation, but to forestall it, while enabling Plaintiff’s attempted extortion.”
2. Largely referring to Coopergate: “AFH’s motion to dismiss fails to engage, or even mention, most of the factual allegations supporting the copyright misuse claim, and fails to distinguish any of them.
Daughter needs the computer for homework otherwise I’d provide a better overview of http://ia601604.us.archive.org/2/items/gov.uscourts.mad.147719/gov.uscourts.mad.147719.13.0.pdf
You can email it later, it would make a nice update.
Will try to bang out a few paragraphs tomorrow.
Overview in one sentence:
Jason picks apart Troll piece by piece, then slaps Troll with the pieces!
I await the always insightful commentary by Raul and others.
The more I read Jason Sweet’s motions and responses, the more I admire them. And I admired them very much to begin with. His Opposition to Daniel G. Ruggiero/Prenda’s Motion to Strike portions of the Defendant’s counterclaims is clear, convincing, and well written.
Despite the long and twisted tail (pun intended) of Prenda’s wrongdoings, Jason Sweet’s response summarizes things in a brief but thorough way. Any reasoning person could read that document alone and understand the poor actions of the Prenda/AF Holdings plaintiff gang. Also, there are clear statements about the Ruggiero/Prenda/AF Holdings approach applicable to other troll cases>
Here are just a few excerpts from Mr. Sweet’s document. Brief annotations are added, but I can’t improve on Mr. Sweet’s wording.
AF Holdings lacks the legal standing to sue:
“The assignment [to A.F. Films, LLC] did not expressly convey any right to sue on past, accrued infringements, so such rights remain with non-party Heartbreaker Films.”
Ruggiero/Prenda/AF Holdings has not presented significant evidence:
“C________ denied infringing. In the face of that denial, AFH has submitted nothing to justify its decision to name him as a defendant. AFH’s assertion that it “established” infringement by C________ by merely pleading the claim does not make it so.”
Ruggiero/Prenda/AF Holdings wrongfully tries to dodge their liability by dismissing Does:
“C________ has sufficient reason to raise copyright misuse not only as a defense but as an independent claim. Otherwise, AFH may make it impossible for C_________ to remedy the misuse by voluntarily dismissing its copyright claim and rendering the defense moot, as is its wont. AFH is engaged in a flurry of slash-and-burn mass litigation.”
Ruggiero/Prenda/AF Holdings does not move forward with cases in good faith:
“AFH has never proceeded to trial against an active defendant on its dubious claims. (See ECF No. 7 ¶ 9 …) Instead, it seeks to prolong cases to extend its window of opportunity for settlements, while seeking to avoiding reaching the merits.”
Ruggiero/Prenda/AF Holdings arguments are misleading and insufficient. (And even after misleading, the Plaintiff arguments are faulty):
“Cherry-picking allegations to oppose, AFH structures its entire argument against a partial excerpt of a single paragraph from the counterclaim, which alleged that AFH knew that its copyright assignment had been fraudulently obtained. … AFH’s motion seeks to reduce the entire counterclaim to a dispute over the assignment agreement’s validity, and to further reduce that dispute to a question of whether the assignment purports to transfer copyright”
Giving Ruggiero part of his due, his 1/18/13 Motion to Strike is more coherent than many Prenda responses. It is also misleading and disingenuous.
The Motion by Ruggiero on behalf on the pornographer business AF Holdings, which repeats a brazen distortion of truth, uses the technique referred to historically as the Big Lie:
Ruggiero uses the terms “immaterial and impertinent” 9 times in roughly a 4 page document, usually in the phrase “immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous”.
Somehow, he asserts that Prenda/AF Holdings dozens of cases, involving thousands of Does, all for one small time pornography film, are not relevant to an unjust shakedown in Massachusetts. For comparison, the number of cases for this one porn work may easily outnumber all of the U.S. copyright disputes for the entire Harry Potter franchise, one of the most valuable copyright properties of all time.
Somehow, the dubious nature of unproven “forensic” allegations involving suspicious ties (Hansmeier/6881) to the Prenda/AF Holdings is also “impertinent”. There is no statement (let alone proof) that Hansmeier is uninvolved nor that the supposed technology is accurate or independently verified.
Ruggiero also claims that the “Defendant chose not to do any actual research” about the ploy of using Alan Cooper’s name in Prenda filings. Somehow, exhibits D, E, & F which provided documentation about ( at best) questionable activity do not count as research.
And the package (of manure) is wrapped up by saying that since
“immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous remarks” in general aren’t good, the real and unanswered counterclaims against Prenda/AF Holdings shouldn’t be considered.
To his credit, Jason Sweet’s Opposition to Ruggiero’s motion to strike goes back to the many legal points supporting the counterclaim against Prenda/AF Holdings. The distortions in the Ruggiero/Prenda/AF Holdings statement are left dangling in their naked falsehood.
Click to access gov.uscourts.mad.147719.8.0.pdf
Click to access 12-cv-12105-d-filed.pdf
Click to access 12-cv-12105-e-filed.pdf
Click to access 12-cv-12105-f-filed.pdf
Great breakdown. A question, though, what does “slash-and-burn” mean? I am unfamiliar with the term.
referring to clearing a path or land by cutting everything down and then setting it on fire – meaning it is a quick yet destructive action that doesn’t take into account collateral damage
That is most definetly the distillation minus the boring legal mumble jumbo!
Prenda files its opposition containing ad hominem attacks while dancing around standing and fraud on the court issues. http://ia601604.us.archive.org/2/items/gov.uscourts.mad.147719/gov.uscourts.mad.147719.14.0.pdf Have a strong hunch the Reply will be breathtaking. 🙂
Comical. So much effort by Steele (lets not even pretend the local counsel filed this) to obfuscate the fact that Booth/Sweet is stomping the floor with him in multiple jurisdictions in multiple states.
You can practically taste the stink of his fear as his castle comes crumbling down in the next few days/weeks as judges sit unamused awaiting testimony of his minions.
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