Judge Otis Wright is fed up with Brett Gibbs’s and Prenda’s frauds, hints at incarceration

The Court hereby orders Brett L. Gibbs, attorney of record for AF Holdings LLC and Ingenuity 13 LLC, to appear on March 11, 2013, at 1:30 p.m., to justify his violations of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and Local Rule 83-3 discussed herein.

Federal Judge Otis D. Wright II

That’s how Judge Otis Wright starts his “Order to show cause re sanctions for rule 11 and local rule 83-3 violations.” Not that it was totally unexpected, but the language of this order is something that will definitely make Brett Gibbs (and other Prenda’s racketeers) take an urgent trip home to change their underwear.

Judge Wright starts his order with enumerating various Gibbs’s abuses, then proceeds with an angry tirade, condemning trolls’ “business model,” specifically the weakness of the “evidence” that is used to harass their victims with the purpose of extorting settlements from their targets (including many innocents):

To allege copyright infringement based on an IP snapshot is akin to alleging theft based on a single surveillance camera shot: a photo of a child reaching for candy from a display does not automatically mean he stole it. No Court would allow a lawsuit to be filed based on that amount of evidence.

What is more, downloading data via the Bittorrent protocol is not like stealing candy. Stealing a piece of a chocolate bar, however small, is still theft; but copying an encrypted, unusable piece of a video file via the Bittorrent protocol may not be copyright infringement. In the former case, some chocolate was taken; in the latter case, an encrypted, unusable chunk of zeroes and ones. And as part of its prima facie copyright claim, Plaintiff must show that Defendants copied the copyrighted work. Feist Publ’ns, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 361 (1991). If a download was not completed, Plaintiff’s lawsuit may be deemed frivolous.


The Court has previously expressed concern that in pornographic copyright infringement lawsuits like these, the economics of the situation makes it highly likely for the accused to immediately pay a settlement demand. Even for the innocent, a four-digit settlement makes economic sense over fighting the lawsuit in court—not to mention the benefits of preventing public disclosure (by being named in a lawsuit) of allegedly downloading pornographic videos.

The judge demands that Gibbs addresses two allegations during the appearance on March 11:

  • Failure to comply with the Court’s discovery order.
  • Fraud on the Court.

The latter allegation is related to the Alan Cooper saga that we have been diligently covering over the last 3 months. Definitely, Judge Wright has no slightest intention to let this issue go away, no matter how hard Gibbs tried him by multiple temper tantrums, attempts to remove the judge, and childish urge to simply run away from the tough questions:

If Mr. Gibbs or Mr. Pietz so desire, they each may file by February 19, 2013, a brief discussing this matter. The Court will also welcome the appearance of Alan Cooper—to either confirm or refute the fraud allegations.

Moreover, the decision not to sanction “plaintiffs” suggests that Wright believes that the alleged identity theft is not a mere conspiracy theory; he is seemingly convinced that Prenda made up AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13, and therefore Gibbs and his bosses have actual financial interest in the numerous lawsuits. Failure to disclose such interest is a fraud by itself:

The Court declines to sanction Plaintiffs AF Holdings LLC and Ingenuity 13 LLC at this time for two reasons: (1) Mr. Gibbs appears to be closely related to or have a fiduciary interest in Plaintiffs; and; (2) it is likely Plaintiffs are devoid of assets.

But the most damning language that I mentioned above is in the last paragraph: when a judge says “imprisonment” and “bench warrant for contempt” in an order to show cause, it is hard to underestimate the seriousness of the situation Gibbs dug himself in (emphasis is mine):

Based on the evidence presented at the March 11, 2013 hearing, the Court will consider whether sanctions are appropriate, and if so, determine the proper punishment. This may include a monetary fine, incarceration, or other sanctions sufficient to deter future misconduct. Failure by Mr. Gibbs to appear will result in the automatic imposition of sanctions along with the immediate issuance of a bench warrant for contempt.


Wow. Like the previous powerful ruling by the same judge, this order will definitely send tsunami waves across the US federal districts.




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171 responses to ‘Judge Otis Wright is fed up with Brett Gibbs’s and Prenda’s frauds, hints at incarceration

  1. THIS:

    If a download was not completed, Plaintiff’s lawsuit may be deemed frivolous.

    I’ve been wondering this forever. Because they need to prove that you downloaded the whole work. If you stopped your client at 99% you never downloaded it. And you never could reproduce it and share it with other people too.

    • Copyright infringement requires the plaintiff prove 1) access, and 2) SUBSTANTIAL SIMILARITY. In my understanding, a file fragment, or even a watchable few seconds of a video fragment can never rise to the level of SUBSTANTIAL SIMILARITY. This is why lawsuits which merely catch a downloader as being part of the bittorrent swarm are garbage.


      So suppose someone had an incomplete download that was missing important parts such as:
      1. the unskippable commercials
      2. skippable commercials
      3. previews of craptacular upcoming attractions
      4. the FBI warnings
      5. the “Macrovision Quality Protection” notice at the very end

      Does that download count as an incomplete copy?

      I am not a lawyer, so I wouldn’t know.

      • The judge is saying for it to be copyright infringement, Plaintiff/Troll has to show that the defendant downloaded the “entire” movie that was in the BT file. It doesn’t matter if the movie downloaded via BT had been edited (say removed any or all of the items you mentioned). If someone downloads “Big Butt Mamas 5,” regardless of editing and Plaintiff can show it is still their product, it is copyright infringement.

        The thing that makes it a pain for the Troll is for 99% of the people they monitor, they DO NOT download the entire movie from that person. They only obtain a small amount of data that matches up to the Hash file for the entire movie.

        DTD 🙂

      • Probably a substantial copy, like one that has the whole film minus commercials in DannyB’s comment, would still be infringement. Judge Wright’s point, even if he didn’t exactly say this, is probably that a plaintiff needs to show at least some substantial portion was downloaded, or the whole thing. It is not enough to show one snapshot, like just connecting to a swarm. I’m sure merely connecting could be logged, even if no data is downloaded or uploaded. That certainly wouldn’t be infringement. A little unviewable blip or unconnected torrent chunks are not enough either.

        So basically, they don’t know who the IP address identifies AND they don’t know if any infringement took place AND they didn’t bother to try to find out. Rule 11 BAM

        In addition they set up a fake company with a possibly stolen identity AND that probably means that even if the company was a real company, the copyright assignments are invalid.

        • the nature of bittorrent does not allow them to downloade from just 1 IP in order to verify. though it often does allow you to see the % of the file the peer has. and as no one has really pointed out. these cases are for DISTRIBUTION not downloading. so however much of the file they have is moot, it’s how much they delivered to other people.

  2. LOL <— Literally.

    Dear Prenda – Don't piss off a federal judge and expect to be let go to slink off back into the sewer you crawled in. Enjoy the jailtime, I hope Gibbs sells out his compatriots.

    Dear every single person in a lawsuit involving AF Holdings or any Prenda suit – make sure you file judicial notice of this order in your particular case.

      • Thank you.

        SJD, I think it might be worth pointing out Wrights statement here:

        The Court declines to sanction
        Plaintiffs AF Holdings LLC and Ingenuity 13 LLC at this time for two reasons:
        (1) Mr. Gibbs appears to be closely related to or have a fiduciary interest in Plaintiffs;
        and; (2) it is likely Plaintiffs are devoid of assets.

        Seems to indicate pretty heavily that Judge Wright assumes that ‘coopergate’ is fact and that these are shell companies that Prenda made up and have financial interest in (and failed to disclose such a financial interest), as has been argued by this site and doe defenders. I think having that in an order (any any subsequent hearing or order) is a huge step into dismantling anyone associated with Prenda in whatever name it decides to take once and for all.

        • Thanks, I’ll definitely polish the post. As any breaking new, this post is admittedly raw. What’s fascinating is that I do improve almost every post based on the comments.

          A bit busy at work at the moment (which is also a pattern: last time I had a really tough work day, both Merkel’s affidavit and Alan Cooper’s lawsuit managed to happen 🙂 ).

  3. Mr. Gibbs, if u read this, i hope u get a change of underwear bf4 court as u will need it lmao. and have fun in jail. Ull prolly sue me for this comment lol.

  4. I was thinking the same thing. As much as Brett Gibbs is complicit with the activities of Prenda Law Inc., if he takes the fall for everyone else, the lawsuits will just continue on.

    • I don’t know about that. Gibbs is in so deep at this point that if he squeals there will be so much for the FBI to work with that the rest of Prenda’s crew won’t be far behind him.

    • True, but it would give us some new, incredibly potent ammo. We have always had a problem with the prima facie evidence the trolls bring to court, and a lawyer getting heavily sanctioned for violating Rule 11(b)(3) would be a huge win for future does. To my knowledge this has not yet happened. The fact that these cases are basically cookie cutter and automated is becoming a problem for the trolls, for while it’s cost effective, findings or rulings in one case can be used to support all cases.

      Thus in the future if a troll was coming after me, I’d simply say “Brett Gibbs was fined/jailed for bringing substantially the same case with the same evidence in front of Judge Wright. There’s no reason this case should not have the same outcome.”

      That is of course unless Trolls substantially improve their evidence collection efforts to reduce false positives…. which is what we’ve wanted all along.

      Either way it’s a win for us.

      • Even if he avoids sanctions, which appears awfully unlikely given how Wright has set the trap and Gibbs has thus far only avoided a reckoning by running away, Wright has laid out an excellent set of arguments that can be used in future MTQs and MTDs. The fact that a federal judge made the arguments is that much more compelling and I can see this order being filed in future Prenda cases regardless of the outcome of the hearing.

        Expect to see every future filing from a Doe to criticize Prenda’s lack of complete download, lack of basic investigation, etc.

  5. Well, we know why “Lipscum” is including his list of other downloaded works in his complaints. Did anyone see the text in the order above:

    “Plaintiff can compile its tracking data to determine whether other copyrighted videos were downloaded under the same IPaddress. This may suggest that the infringer is likely a resident of the subscriber’s home and not a guest.”

    Well, that is what “Lipscum” is doing. Although he isn’t proving that the entire file(s) were downloaded. I wonder if these trolls have a monthly retreat to throw out lawsuits strategies.

  6. I’m sending the Honorable Judge Otis Wright a big Valentines gift. Some judge somewhere needed to put the screws to these illegitimate shakedown scams filling the court system. He stepped up


    Always the best, juiciest news on Fridays. Thanks SJD.

    Juge Wright (b.t.w. SJD, you might want to fix the misspelling in the headline because I’m sure this will be picked up by other blogs) makes some very apt and spot on observations. The snapshot of a kid reaching for a candy bar is such a good analogy. I also like his suggestions for evidence that complies with Rule 11(b)(3):

    “Further, the Court is not convinced that there is no solution to the problem of identifying the actual infringer. Here, since Plaintiff has the identity of the subscriber, Plaintiff can find the subscriber’s home address and determine (by driving up and scanning the airwaves) whether the subscriber, (1) has Wi-Fi, and (2) has password protected his Wi-Fi access, thereby reducing the likelihood that an unauthorized user outside the subscriber’s home is the infringer. In addition, since Plaintiff is tracking a number of related copyrighted videos, Plaintiff can compile its tracking data to
    determine whether other copyrighted videos were downloaded under the same IP address. This may suggest that the infringer is likely a resident of the subscriber’s home and not a guest. And an old-fashioned stakeout may be in order: the presence of persons within the subscriber’s home may be correlated with tracking data—the determination of who would have been in the subscriber’s home when the download was initiated may assist in discovering the actual infringer.”

    And to show he totally understands what’s going on here he concludes this with:

    “But this type of investigation requires time and effort, something that would destroy Plaintiff’s business model.”

    Not enough popcorn in the world.

    • ” Plaintiff can find the subscriber’s home address and determine (by driving up and scanning the airwaves) whether the subscriber, (1) has Wi-Fi, and (2) has password protected his Wi-Fi access, thereby reducing the likelihood that an unauthorized user outside the subscriber’s home is the infringer.”

      What’s funny about this part, however, is that getting one of the plaintiff’s “demand letters” can inform a Doe that their internet wasn’t secure and that they should secure it from that point on. So, even if the plaintiff were to roll up outside and check the wifi, they wouldn’t be able to show that the wifi was secure during the date of infringement.

      • Actually, I’d do the opposite: open up my wifi. That way, when troll scum sit in my driveway (hello, tresspassing), then I would have an affirmative defense. “Look judge, troll scum was able to hook to my wifi, who knows who else did the same and downloaded “Gibbs In The Prison Shower”.

        What’s amazing is the time lag. Suppose these clowns tried to collect data NOW on cases filed THEN. Do they honestly think they can find continuing evidence of infringing activity months afterwards? Don’t they know that ISPs shuffle the IPs around to handle the load? The IP I had months ago is almost certainly not the same one I have today.

        • exactly, this is what makes these frivolous suits DOA in a court with a competent judge. But it has taken this long to get to a competent judge willing to put the hammer down.

  8. Wright was polite but Gibbs was read the riot act. He picked Prenda’s sloppiness apart piece-by-piece. Looks like Wright did his homework and it will soon be over for Gibbs and Prenda. From half-assed BitTorrent monitoring to half-assed “investigations.” I particularly enjoyed how he drop-kicked Steele’s explanation of the “statistical analysis” they do to decide who to name; suggesting they drive by a defendants house to do some simple due-diligence was brilliant, so simple and yet so far beyond Prenda’s competence level and willingness to do any actual work, and Wright straight up calls Gibbs out on how doing the due-diligence would interfere with the bottom line. Wright also calls out Gibbs for potentially having a fiduciary interest in AF and Ingenuity!

    The court welcomes the appearance of Alan Cooper! Wow, how awesome would that be!? SJD, you should contact Cooper’s attorney, I believe his name and contact info were on the documents from his suit against Steele? This could be a huge opportunity for him that may help his case against Steele and also give him the opportunity to put Gibbs in jail. So much for Steele’s favorite claim that courts have ignored the Alan Cooper “conspiracy” theories. Time to put up or shut up.

    If Gibbs wasn’t already wishing he never got involved with Steele, he surely shit his pants yesterday. Can’t take enough pleasure from the thought of this guy losing sleep and spending every waking moment fearing for his future. Unlike Prenda’s threats, Gibbs has a deadline that can’t be ignored unless he’s ready to have a bench warrant issued!

    Isn’t Gibbs getting married soon? It will be sweet justice if he turns out being too in jail to attend.

    Buckle Up Brett! It’s DEFCON 1 at Prenda/Ingenuity/AF/LiveWire/Guava/Oaxaca HQ!

    • Yes, he is getting married in April, and I sincerely sad for his soul mate: she appears to be a heroic woman, who have been on Brett’s side during his struggle with cancer. She may be a bigger victim of Prenda’s inhuman “business” than any of the Does.

      • Gibbs/Steele will try to find a coin-operated “doctor” to blame his actions (or inability to appear at hearing) on his condition.

  9. This has me thinking of a great opportunity to pile it on Gibbs with state bar complaints. Not just this but going back to his early cases where he filed copyright infringement claims for works that had not been registered, etc. He has a long, long history of filing these cases without doing the least bit of due diligence or even having standing to file. Anyone motivated to file a bar complaint against him will have a binder full of stuff to show a pattern of misbehavior, and it would be great to put more heat on one of Prenda’s worst offenders.

  10. “The court welcomes the appearance of Alan Cooper! Wow, how awesome would that be!?”

    While I’m sure an appearance of Alan Cooper the caretaker would be welcome, I’m pretty sure Judge Wright was talking about Alan Cooper, the supposed CEO. Since Gibbs is accused of fraud by inventing Alan Cooper the CEO of AF Holdings, if a true Alan Cooper, different from the caretaker, were to show up and deny the allegations it would let Gibbs off the hook.

    The way I read it, Judge Wright knows full well there is no CEO, and was goading Gibbs to go ahead and produce “Alan Cooper” to settle the matter. If he exists, that should be easy enough, right? Something tells me there will be no Alan Cooper at this hearing to clear the matter up, though.

    • He should have also invited Salt Marsh, an earlier instance of AH Holding’s owner. As I tweeted yesterday, Alan Cooper is not saying he is Salt Marsh, he’s just saying no one has ever seen him and Salt Marsh in a room together.

    • “The Court will also welcome the appearance of Alan Cooper—to either confirm or refute the fraud allegations.”

      Wright is inviting everyone to bring their Alan Coopers to the party, but I agree he is really goading Gibbs about the probable non-existence of a real CEO for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13. Gibbs dug himself a deep hole by evading the issue early, it was just too suspicious to let slide given how simple it would have been to put the “conspiracy theories” to bed. I don’t know if he had a good alternative although at this point it may have been better to just fabricate a statement purportedly from the real CEO of AF/Ingenuity, and hope the bluff was good enough to avoid having a judge order the real Alan Cooper to appear in person. Given how deep Prenda is in outright fraud at this point I don’t know if that would have been that big of a risk, relatively speaking. Now it seems to be too late and any last-minute attempts to produce proof of the Real Alan Cooper will get heavy scrutiny if Prenda even bothers to try.

  11. here is my favorite side effect of this order: this will provide under oath in court testimony that can and will be used in cooper’s case against steel in MN. so not only does this @#$@ over gibbs but it also has to have steel crapping his pants. because either steel pays gibbs enough $$ to “take one for the team” or else gibbs will blab and provide the evidence needed by cooper to easily win his case against steel. if AF holdings dies it would be hard as hell to collect from them, but steel has real and un-hideable assets that can and will be collected from via allen cooper’s case.

    • Does this news have a huge effect on there bogus corporations such as guava and any future individual law suits they would wanna bring among people?

      • I don’t see it having much effect on their bogus corporations. As they’ve shown, they’re willing and able to just start other bogus companies once a name is too “burned” on the net. They change the shell company names and their law firm name (Steele Hansmeier begat Prenda begat Anti-Piracy Law Group begat INSERT FUTURE LAW FIRM NAME HERE.)

        What this COULD have a huge effect on is any suits Gibbs is a party to… IF, and only if, he doesn’t respond to the judge’s requests.

        • Don’t see how it would only have an effect if he didn’t respond, any ‘defenses’ he puts forth if he does respond (and really, why wouldn’t he, given the overt threat of contempt) would likely be inadequate and the judge will hold him in contempt or sanction him in some other way. Plus, he invited Peitz to the hearing and to submit a brief on all the interconnected fraud between gibbs, steel, prenda, etc.

        • Cause I recieved a letter from Guava LLC signed by Brett Gibbs requesting a 4k settlement and have 21 days to respond but from what I hear they don’t really go beyond threats came with a whole bunch of petition letter from Guava LLC v Comcast but what I don’t understand is they said I might be involved but in that battle they trying to get names and they already have mine so I guess it’s just a scare tactic lol not settling though even though I’m freaked can afford to settle

        • This is to Anonymous who got the 21 day threat letter. Fear not. No matter WHAT happens with Gibbs in this case… even if he got jailed… they will still send you another letter for a higher amount and give you ten days. Then after about 2-3 weeks from that letter they will call you saying that they’re ready to proceed to the next step of filing a case and that you should call them. Then they will do that call again a few weeks later… and a few weeks after that. They won’t give a crap what’s going on with Gibbs. Likely Gibbs will just avoid this particular line of questioning or petition to have the judge removed again or some wacky tactic. If anything, he’ll just try to find ways to delay delay delay. Comfortably ignore that letter, but save it for safe keeping. Three years from the date of alleged infringement expires, I’m turning my letters into a spiffy dartboard. In the meantime: avoid answering the phone for numbers you don’t know, if you do accidentally answer and it’s these trolls, promptly hang up. You don’t need to talk to them and they certainly will not get the pleasure of trying to bait you into “incriminating” statements.

          So, no matter the outcome of this, don’t worry. They are paper tigers.

        • My other question is i saw people saying that there is certain states where it may potentially increase the chances of anything happening if this true? And if so what are the states? people tell me a lot that the chance of anything happening is 1% but when i spoke to a lawyer for legal advice he said maybe not that low but low

        • Just read the posts for the state you live in. Fortunately, this site has a page for every state. Illinois, for example, is where most of the subpoenas originate from… So by this we infer that Illinois is troll friendly. But NY, Massachusetts and California where this news article originates from have had some judges and council making the courts very unfriendly to trolls.

    • I think it was Judge Gary Brown’s ORR that forced Malibu Media to switch tactics to their new single Doe filings that there’s been a flurry of as of late. It’s sort of like fighting a boss in a video game. You beat one iteration, then it transforms into a different monster and shouts: “THIS ISN’T EVEN MY FINAL FORM!” Hopefully their bag of tricks runs out soon so that the wrongly accused can go on with their lives.

    • You know, I didn’t think of that before, but that could be quite true. Identity Theft is serious business, and nowadays things like that are dealt with differently. I’m with you on this one, it would be spectacular. I can see how that would make nationwide news.

      • I think this is gonna be bad. I’m a little curious why Cooper hasn’t reported the ID theft to police or FBI already, but his involvement is so recent it’s not clear exactly what he wants at this point.

        Remember Prenda didn’t just do this in MN, every state where Prenda has put Alan Cooper forward as the CEO of their fake company could bring ID theft charges. Then there is the interstate issue, maybe that brings in the FBI. And not just Steele but everyone close enough to the scam to know Cooper is a fake, meaning Duffy, Gibbs, Lutz… Arguably even the really clueless local counsels too, I guess it depends on how far from the center you can be before ignorance is an excuse for breaking the law, if you are merely a 1099 working for a company committing ID theft.

        At this point I expect the ID theft problem to be the cause of their actual downfall and jailtime, although the other stuff may be brought to bear to bring additional charges, etc. But it looks like ID theft will be the opening for prosecution, as the courts have been extremely permissive of their antics, allowing Steele to run wild until it got to the point where he had completely fake companies with fake (or at least ID-hijacked) CEOs.

        It is going to be very interesting to see how Gibbs tries to weasel out of this. He has to show up, and I don’t think just refusing to answer is going to work out very well this time. This was a case where he tried to get Duffy to sub for him, right? Looks like that didn’t work either as the judge has demanded Brett L. Gibbs’ presence, so no help from Daddy either.

        If any interested Doe or Defender is local, this will be one of the most interesting hearings in the copyright trolling saga.

        • the reason he has yet to file criminal charges (as far as we know, he may have) would be to hold that threat in reserve for a settlement. if steel offers settlement it will inevitably include confidenciality and an agreement not to seek criminal charges. that sipulation is an expensive one. and though i would prefer cooper to stick it to him, he is human and enough moneys generally can buy someone off, and i cannot blame him for taking the money, though in some ways accepting john’s dirty mony is an agreement to be complicent imo.

        • Cooper can’t file criminal charges, he’s not a prosecutor. And we don’t have any way of knowing whether he’s contacted law enforcement on the subject, so speculation about why he hasn’t is pointless.

    • It’s gonna be bad. They didn’t just do it in MN either, every state where Prenda has put Alan Cooper forward as the CEO of their fake company could bring ID theft charges. Then there is the interstate issue, maybe that brings in the FBI. And not just Steele but everyone close enough to the scam to know Cooper is a fake, meaning Duffy, Gibbs, Lutz….

  12. Criminal charges could go well beyond Minnesota to every state where Prenda has held Alan Cooper out as CEO of one of their fake companies, and should include everyone else close to the scam who has knowingly participated in this fraud like Duffy, Gibbs, Lutz…

  13. Gibbs should not even be in this case anymore as he is likely to be called upon to give testimony as to his statement that he witnessed Alan Cooper sign a petition. Expect Duffy to file an appearance and Steele to move for admission pro hac vice.

    The only way this could get better is if Judge Wright, like Judge Baylson, has the hearing recorded and docketed.

    • Regarding Duffy… I have an interesting observation that I hope will find its way to the defense arguments. Duffy’s excuse for not appearing in person in the Scriven’s court was that his health condition did not allow him to travel by air. He even filed an affidavit from his doctor (under seal). Now, over the last 2 weeks he replaced Gibbs in all CA AFH/I13 cases but one. So, he files an appearance knowing that he wont be able to appear in person if called. Crook.

      Admittedly, this is a very minor fraud in Prenda’s bag of swindles.

    • Isn’t this one of the many cases where he attempted to substitute Duffy? That may be why the order specifically calls out Brett L. Gibbs to appear on March 11. I can’t remember offhand though, does someone have the list of cases where Duffy stepped in for Brett? Man it would be a great additional callout if Duffy was ordered to appear from Chicago.

    • The answer is int the post:

      Steele, as well as other defendants, have 20 days to answer to the complaint. They have 45 days to respond to the discovery requests.

      The elevator serving happened on 1/25. Thus, Thursday 2/14.

  14. I am making the trip to the central court in March for the show. Do bad there isn’t swag for me to wear. I hope Brett is haing an anxiety attack like the thousands of people he tried scamming in Cali.

      • Not a horrible idea. Proceeds could go to a legal defense fund for SJD and DTD for all you two have done for victims of these litigious scammers.

      • If the Nguyen motion for sanctions proceeds to another hearing, i will attempt to be there.. almost as good as this case, here.

      • i have been working on a few designs for a fundraiser (for my own legal defense as it appears i will be deposed soon and heading to court). one of my designs is simply “an IP address (does not equal symbol) a john doe” (and on the back of mine would say “i support john doe 8). I also have two artists creating designs (one is a superhero punching a troll in a business suit and the other is a play on turning trolls to stone). my plan has been to raise enough for my own legal defense (which i am assuming could be $50K) and then any not used or if i get my legal fees reimbursed, to use it for other people who need help, to pay for full page ads in districts being hit (hoping to educate john does, local council, and judges), and to help DTD and SJD cover costs for these amazing websites.
        If people will support this, I am happy to provide the links. (i would just not do this until i permission from both site owners), it also contains my real name and information but honestly at this point – i have been named, served, and don’t see the point in hiding it anymore. I already posted the whole saga on my fb page and walked around to all of my neighbors to let them know the trolls next move is to tell me they will call my neighbors to add pressure. (i live in a very small town and a wonderful neighborhood so thankfully they are all supportive of me).

          • Of course I will. It’s a rhetorical question, right? It’s not strictly “my” site: I don’t have any financial interest in it. Whatever people think is right, I’m glad to oblige.

        • i am just waiting for the designs to be finalized and talking with a local screen printer about prices, etc. I have emailed SJD directly and she knows which case is mine and who my lawyer is (a very familiar name). My attorney is writing up my “answer” (to the summons) due by the 15th. I believe our goal at this point is still to get my case dismissed (considering that i did not do this and i have never used bit torrent software). If they do not dismiss then i will be talking about counter suing and have to get VERY serious about my fundraising efforts (because i do not have money to launch a big defense or counter suit). it is such a broken system that average, middle class people would be forced into settlements when they are innocent because they cannot afford to fight in court to prove it (their innocence). To be clear, I won’t be settling – I would just prefer to raise the money vs. lose my home over this.

        • Keep us updated, then. I will hope you don’t need a fundraiser, but I’ll make sure I take care of donating something should you have to move forward.

          (Side note: Finally made an account! Woo! AnonyMouse was taken. 😦 )

        • i have NO idea why they chose to pursue me. i am female, have two young children, and live lower middle class. we have a mortgage, we owe more on our car than it’s worth, plenty of other debt (medical, credit card, school). We don’t own a business or anything like that. My name is a fairly common one and if you google it several other people with the same name (and much more impressive job titles) comes up (same state). Maybe they think I am one of those other people with a “VIP” in the title. My first name is also a name that can be male or female so maybe they think I am the male of the household. I honestly don’t know.

    • I’m relatively local as well and it would be worth taking the day off and the drive to watch Gibbs squirm.

      How about some BDP shirts – Basement Dwelling Pudwacker? That would mess with them, but might be a little bit disrespectful to the court. Or maybe Dropkicker Into The Garbage?

      Under the circumstances it would be fantastic to have Gibbs facing an audience of those he has threatened and harassed. I’m sure he’s plenty nervous even tonight so a little extra psyching out on his big day would be perfect.

      • I’m Alan Cooper would be a funny shirt too… Although that’s not an inside joke, the judge would know people were fucking with Gibbs and poking fun at the situation. Which could be bad or good considering how little regard Wright has for Gibbs at the moment.

        • In my dreams, everyone who attends should wear an “I am Alan Cooper” shirt. Of course, that may cause anger. I think it’s moving in the right direction without that kind of thing. Wright seems to be well educated and he’s the judge we’ve all been waiting for. By wearing the shirts, it could take away his thunder, and right now that would be the last thing anyone here would want.

          Gibbs has let greed get the best of him, and the hole is deep and very wide. For me, sometimes it’s better to just sit back and watch the movie. This one has so many plots and sub-plots that, I have to admit, it has been sometimes difficult to keep up with all the players. What an amazing organized effort to fleece the innocents.

          Every time I think of the hell the trolls put my elderly friend through, I want to throw up.

        • A “BUCKLE UP!” shirt would be fun too and a nice message to psych Gibbs out, it will be even better if Steele slithers out of his hole to try to dazzle Wright just like he did Judge Scriven in FL.

          So many good ideas, everyone attending will have to make their choice and we’ll all have some fun on the 11th.

      • Just to reiterate, I’d be happy to donate to a legal defense fund should dippy Colette make good on her threats. You and DTD are a godsend for victims of these litigious bastards. Thank you for all you’ve done and will do.

        • Thank you, although I personally don’t think it will go that far. Colette has an IQ of a chimpanzee, but Lipscomb is not stupid, far from stupid; and when it comes to choose from bad (now) and worse (if he really goes forward with unwinnable claims), he won’t follow his emotions.

          What’s really invaluable that all the friendships we’ve got here are not based on financial interest, and therefore myriad times stronger. Greedy crooks will never understand that.

      • I would like someone smarter than me pen a letter (one page) that can be sent to the House and Senate under the cover of each persons anonymous alias. I’m thinking reducing max statutory amounts to say 10 times retail value. Also eliminate mass discovery for a mere $350 fee. Included with a summary of the extortion scheme. etc.
        Wish there was a way to communicate with all the does still unaware of these sites, to tune in and become better prepared.
        I also would contribute to any defense fund for SJD and DTD if it become necessary.

    • Dugas isn’t far from Gibb’s situation I think. With the Merkel affidavit, someone named Michael alledgedly negotiated a sham lawsuit. Dugas should be called as witness to testify under oath if he was that Michael. If so, it inches a RICO case. Agree?

  15. The Court: Mr. Gibbs, the court has expressed some concern as to the existence of Alan Cooper, is he present here today?
    Mr. Gibbs: Yes he is your honor.
    The Court: Mr. Gibbs, why did you just put a cat on your table?
    Mr. Gibbs: This is Alan Cooper your honor, he has been . . .
    The Court: Are you seriously coming to court with a cat and telling us that it is Alan Cooper?
    Mr. Gibbs: Your honor, Mark Lutz is here as representative of Livewire Holdings, who knows Mr. Cooper and can vouch for his existence. He is the distribution arm of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13, and has all knowledge concerning Alan Cooper’s distribution business and is thus a corporate representative of AF Holdings.
    The Court: So, what you’re saying is that Mr. Lutz will testify to Mr. Cooper’s existence, and that Mr. Cooper is this cat that is currently on your table.
    Mr. Gibbs: Yes, your honor.
    The Court: Proceed.
    Mr. Gibbs: Your honor, this cat was behind the entire matter. It has made ad hominem attacks against you, and he felt like he wasn’t going to receive a fair trial from you. Mr. Pietz believes that this means that there is no Alan Cooper, but here he is, your honor. Habeas corpus — the literal translation, here’s his body.
    The Court: Mr. Gibbs, he is gnawing on your briefcase.
    Mr. Gibbs: He’s mad that he did not receive pre-trial discovery your honor, you’ve cheated him of millions.
    The Cat: Meow.
    The Court: Mr. Gibbs, I am not going to believe for a second that you are presenting the real Mr. Cooper by presenting me with this flea bitten feline.
    The Cat: Hiss. (swipes towards judge)
    The Court: Bailiff. Restrain Mr. Cooper.
    Mr. Gibbs: Your honor– now that you have judicially noticed him as Mr. Cooper, I would like to continue and call Mark Lutz to verify the identity and claim of Alan Cooper, who resides in Nevis.

    • I laughed so hard when I read this. On part because it was clever, but if you’ve ever been around these jerks — in person — in court – you’d know that is an entirely possible senerio. Steele specifically would have no problem bringing a cat, robot, goldfish, plant etc. into court and swearing it’s CEO, Alan Cooper.

      Remember, this Copyright Trolling gig is not his first scam. A quick google search and a search of court records across the US can offer a clear picture of what a dirtbag he is and how he’s been attempting to ruin lives of many many people his entire adult life.

      The side splitter is that SJD’s brilliant web site, the artful comments and the united efforts of Does across the land have assured that this is the end of the road for Steele. There are decades of pissed off people who have been ripped off by Steele and couldn’t find him and thus, had to just live in the wake of his crimes and try to rebuild. Now they know where he is and they are lining up to participate in putting his butt behind bars where it belongs. Likewise, the people involved with Steele are there by choice and need to be held accountable for their part in the various scams.

      Thanks for the comic relief. I needed that laugh and surely I am not the only one. Remember, Does are not the only victims. They are simply the most recent victims. There are the families ruined by “The Steele Law Firm” aka “Chicago Family Law Group”, there are the students from the student loan / “The Academy” scam and the property & investment scams just to name a few.

      I think that cats are probably the only ones that haven’t been brought into this YET. Knowing Steele, it’s entirely possible that he’d have Gibbs produce a cat and then try and sue the court / judge / wall paper / Alan Cooper’s Ghost for discrimination of the cat.

      Yes, he’s that nuts. Matter of fact, I would not be at all surprised if he read your comment and headed to the nearest animal shelter and started preparing latest “legal” arguement about how an IP DOES equal a person (a VERY guilty person) AND a flea bitten briefcase gnawing cat DOES equal a CEO!

      If anyone is headed to court on AC day, please program the numbers of PETA and the ASPCA into your phone.

  16. Now that I’ve had about a thousand beers after a shit work week and this amazing order. Big THANK YOU to Judge Wright for pointing out that pointing at the nearest male and crying wolf isn’t adequate research.

    Always felt that If I were summoned or named in the case I was accused (Lightspeed v smith, safe saying so since its 6300 “co conspirators” in a bogus CFAA claim). I’d be at an immediate disadvantage since I am a computer expert and a mid-late 20’s male. Exculpatory evidence – the day i was ‘alleged’ to have ‘hacked’ into their website my son was 72 hours old. The time i allegedly ‘hacked’ into the site was well after midnight in my time zone.

    Right.. cause I would so totally be into porn the same day I got home from the hospital whilst caring for my first child.

    Fuck you, Steele, Gibbs, Duffy, and every piece of shit troll out there – rot in a cell. And Gibbs, from one happily married man to one so intending to be so, here’s to hoping your fiancee leaves you in the very near future, rot in hell, you’ve earned it.

  17. *sits back on the couch with another giant bowl of popcorn*
    Its so sad making us wait till march for the next episode…
    One wonders if Judge Wright did come and visit…

    • I believe he has visited here, and I also think he’s more in-touch with this kind of thing than the troll has given him credit for. In reading Gibbs’ pleadings, motions, oppositions, and then the judge’s Orders, it’s pretty clear to me that Wright gets it. When a judge gets it, it changes the complexion of a case. When a judge sees a pattern of a problem, and also gets it, hellfire ensues.

      • Even if he doesn’t visit him, there are people like myself who make sure certain articles from here, DTD, Cashman, etc. get sent to his offices in the mail.

        • Heh… we need a wiki of all of these cases and the problems in them.
          We could call it Judicial Notice.
          We all know the problems in the filings, transfers, etc… just make a wiki to make it easier for Judges to look up specific trolls, firms, et al and see how they actually operate.
          While there is much information here and on DTD and a few other sites, wandering in here for the first time is daunting…
          I know there are people who see my wall of text posts and their eyes roll up into their heads because I am explaining everything on the topic… and its a little hard to keep up.

          • As a matter of fact I do have a wiki. In an obscure country, behind Cloudflare. Installed and ready to use. What I don’t have is time and energy to give in an initial kick. Need help from someone who can take it over, but with a serious dedication.

        • I think a wiki is a great idea. I’d be happy to contribute. I even write for a living, though my writings are of a technical nature!

  18. Great site. Does anyone know if Congress can eliminate or remove copyright protection from any class of materials, say pornography, or would there be too many definitional problems?

    • To the best of my knowledge, obscene materials are already not copyrightable, but obscenity is a very vaguely defined, and this definition is community based. It may be at the discretion of judges to declare material obscene / noncopyrightable. A couple of judges threatened to do that, but none actually did. Every time there is a threat, Marc Randazza crashes the gates on a white horse.

      We covered this topic a couple of times. from the top of my head:

      In my opinion, it is a slippery path to let a few decide what’s art and what’s not. On the other hand, I’m OK if such thing happens once or twice, not to create precedent, but to send a message to pornographers. Indeed, each threat from the bench was not made because judges are obsessed with the community morals, but because pornographers have been abusing the healthy tolerance — a necessary feature of a democratic society.

      • As usual, SJD summarized things well.

        By the way, the next time Randazza parades his grandiose pseudo-righteousness, he should be reminded that freedom of speech is not the same as freedom to profit from offensive expression or deeds. For instance, there’s legal debate about and legislation for restricting convicted murderers from getting book royalties or selling memorabilia, the “notoriety for profit” laws.

        I’m not a lawyer. Questioning validity of porn copyright was raised before this kind of trolling. I’d guess that even with the clearest restrictive legislation from Congress, things would still go before the courts. A court ruling would be needed on the progress of science and useful arts as prescribed by the Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

        Pornography business is estimated at over 10 billion dollars, maybe much more. That kind of cash buys serious legal help, not Prenda bull manure. Any dispute unfavorable to pornographers would make its way to the Supreme Court

        You can be sure thatthe prospect of that fight would stir even more porn industry animosity toward Steele/Lipscomb/Siegal, their gangs and other ringleaders. When pornographers look down on seedy trolls, then trolls are lower than low.

        There’s lots you can read about this. For example:
        “Of difficulty is the changing views of what is considered obscene, meaning works could slip into and out of copyright protection based upon the prevailing standards of decency. This was not an issue with the copyright law up until 1972 when copyright protection required registration. When congress changed the law to make copyright protection automatic and for the life of the author, some courts have held it effectively granted copyright protection to pornography because materials once considered obscene might no longer be considered as such. Congress’s decision also made ascertaining the copyright status of pornographic materials nearly impossible because of the secrecy conferred to the identity of the models and producers.”
        “No Copyright Protection for Pornography: A Daring Response to File-Sharing Litigation”

    • Disclaimer- not a lawyer and sources are omitted.

      The current state of copyright law does not impose a content restriction on eligibility or requirement that an individual work “promote… the sciences or useful arts” as the purpose section of the copyright clause does not impose substantive limits. All the copyright act requires is that a work have some slight amount of originality and be fixed in a medium for reproduction. The copyright office approves registration of pornographic works unless there is something per se illegal about them, such as evidence of child pornography. Whether Congress can add such a content requirement to copyright law is unclear. Saying porn isn’t copyrightable adds a content-based element to the copyright act. It restricts the reproduction and distribution through copyright of non-pornographic works but does not restrict the reproduction and distribution of pornographic works. This type of restriction rarely survives judicial review. However, if it is framed as a question of the scope of copyright it might survive because there is no right to copyright protection and an attempt to use copyright law to dismiss an obscenity prosecution was unsuccessful.

      Regarding judicial decisions, the former Fifth (now Fifth and Eleventh), Seventh, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals hold that obscenity is entirely irrelevant to the issue of Copyright protection. The reasons include the vague standard for obscenity and the potential of fragmenting copyright enforcement. The Supreme Court didn’t think the decisions were important or wrong enough to review. A New York District Court discussed that the Second Circuit might not take the same position, but a later opinion in the district criticized the attempt to start a split. Leading copyright scholars the view that the Former Fifth Circuit got it right and criticize the earlier NY opinion and others as “rogue judges.”

      Works like “Teen Anal Nightmare 2” may be obscene but no one associated with the production or distribution of the film has been indicted for or convicted of obscenity related charges. As a result, alleged downloaders in the 18 states can’t even raise an argument based on the potential obscenity of the work.

      SJD on the blog mentions the issue appearing in district courts in the First and Tenth Circuits, and an attempt to change it in the Ninth, settled before the argument was ultimately decided on the merits. It is too speculative to determine whether the attempt to use the defense would have succeeded on trial and on appeal.

      • In the small handful of cases where a judge has ruminated that porn may not be entitled,to copyriight protection I have sensed a certain exasperation with the porn infringement extortion business model. Accordingly, these judicial ruminations are best viewed as warnings to xbiz and the trolls who exploit the Copyright Act to cool it rather than actual 1st Amendment threats. Of course, greedy fucks never seem to get the message.

  19. I discovered that my pre-pubescent male CAT is REALLY CLEVER. I caught him doing Google searches for PUSSY. I am beginning to think that I got an extortion letter because of this. But the problem I’m having is that this does not fit the troll’s statistical discovery model.

  20. Gibbs to Judge: “Hey, Judge! I was just kidding with suing this guy and trying to remove you from the the case and stuff. I mean a $50,000 bond plus discovery of our fake company. I got better things to do, you got better things to do and defendants council has better thing to do. Lets not waste any body elses time and just stay discover. Because I am really wanting to dismiss this case anyway. I mean, you have basically figured out what we are doing and you are wanting to punish me for what John Steal is forcing me to do. Plus Plaintiff’s council is like practically wasting his clients money over here. And i intentionally did not mention Alan Coopers name. I dont understand why the both of you keep bring him up all the time. I guess i can file something that shows this is a real company, but basically John Steal is Alan Copper. And i am pretty sure John Steele will be here, but not with his fake Alan Cooper drivers license. Bring it on Judge….this is Pretenda we dont give a Dam!!!!! GIBBS OUT!!!!

  21. I’m new here, and found the site because I recently received a DMCA email from CEG TEK Ira Siegel via my ISP. I have until 2/22 to “settle” (pay extortion) or pray I never get named.

    I’d like to express my appreciation to SJD and everyone who has commented. I have no experience with the legal system, and am not a tech savy person (obviously). I really hope Judge Wright crushes these copyright trolls and it become a precedent that can be used by “the mass accused” to say enought is enough!

    • Apologies to CTVic but we have a Newbie. Those CEG TEK “threat” letters are real good TP, otherwise toothless and useless. Ignore.

      • No apologies necessary. That video of me wiping my ass with a high-quality, heavy bond scare letter isn’t copyrighted, and fully subject to fair use. The only ass harmed in the making of this video was the retained undersigned counsel.

    • To the Newbies:

      It’s important that you found this site and educated yourself. This community is full of people from all walks of life, some previously accused, some presently falsely accused, and some who just want the madness to stop.

      Don’t let the letter scare you, but at the same time always know that only a lawyer who will work FOR you (not against you) can give you legal advice. Also, if you read through the many pages of information here, not once will you see anyone who condones piracy. THAT is the reason why this site is so valuable.

      Trolls exist because they engage in shakedowns of the innocent. The more people roll over and pay the trolls, the more successful their shakedown campaigns are. It’s really as simple as that.

      • “Also, if you read through the many pages of information here, not once will you see anyone who condones piracy.”

        Exactly! The trolls that DO wind up here for some reason will automatically say “this site promotes piracy!” No, it promotes innocence and a willingness to fight for that innocence. The trolls seem to assume guilt rather than the USA’s innocent until proven guilty rules.

        That said: Piracy is wrong, but even pirates who are in the wrong should not be charged such gross settlement fees. We, as a country, need clear laws set into place for such piracy. New Zealand has such a law in place and recently one downloader was guilty and charged $617. SOURCE:

        I think this is a good template for the US and a strong deterrent to would be pirates. Asking for $10,000 isn’t reasonable. That amount puts people on the brink of bankruptcy and suicide.

        So, to the newbies reading this: Have faith, have patience, be strong. There are people fighting for reform and people like Booth Sweet fighting the trolls. If you are to get served with papers at your house (a less than 1% chance) then seek out people like Booth Sweet. Until then, don’t panic.

  22. Unusually many comments were caught by spam filter over last couple of days.

    Half a year ago I checked spam folder daily.

    Since the amount of spam skyrocketed, I don’t do it anymore.

    Sometimes (like today) I search spam folder for keywords “Prenda,” “Gibbs” etc.

    The best way is to email me when you don’t see your comment. Or post a comment: “my comment went to spam”: don’t worry for the pollution, I’ll remove such a note.

    There is a stubborn 🙂 Anonymous who does not want to notify me. His comments are always fun and greatly appreciated, and since he is posting through a proxy/TOR/VPN, they often end up victims of the spam filter’s overagressiveness.

  23. One of the more amazing aspects of this is that, despite snaring a quarter million Does, these clowns have somehow managed NOT to ding anyone in the underworld. Not just ‘made men’, I’m talkng bikers, gang members, and bad people in general. These guys are running a tremendous risk, with their indiscriminate dragnet, who believe ‘settlement’ is what happens when the dirt over the grave flattens out.

    Now, I have no wish for extrajudicial harm to come to these trolls. But you gotta know that their call center must have gotten some “you talking to me?” kinds of responses. One of these days, they may just run into someone who asks questions later. Judge Wright may be doing Gibbsie a favor by incarcerating him.

    Criminals are essentially stupid. The way to run a scam like this is to hit it until you make a few hundred settlements, then move on. No, they’re greedy and keep filing cases. I see one of two ends: Either the judicial system stops them, or the bad-assed Does do. It’s for sure that they cannot stop themselves.

    • I agree: it is strange, but at the same time it is encouraging that we live in an essentially civil country. In Russia, for example, the blood would be spilled a long time ago. Maybe not literally blood, but a Steele equivalent would be beaten to a pulp, and it would be nearly impossible to find the hired thugs (who are quite affordable there).

    • Your comment about hitting upon someone who chooses NOT to fight their battles in court has been explored before, and yes it remains amazing. Thinking back to all of the time I have invested into this blog, for my own reasons, I have often wondered if any such “hit” has happened in the past that none of us are aware of.

      As angry as all of us are, I’m confident we’d collectively be content with seeing a judge finally roll up his sleeves and dig into the structures of these purported companies and put an end to the madness. I know that would be something I’d sure like to see.

      People who screw the masses do indeed enventually cross paths with the wrong targets. When that happens, and it comes back to bite them badly, it’s called Karma.

      Be patient.

      A courtroom drama is about to play out in fascinating detail, and the players will then learn the gravity of their problems sooner than you think.

      • I take heart in the idea of the judges finally seeing something being amiss. However, the pessimist in me sees this as a game of whack-a-mole that continuously evolves. Prenda/Anti-Piracy Law Group seems to be the one under the microscope… even if a judge sanctions, imprisons or otherwise goes after them – there are more trolls and even more coming out of the woodwork each day. They see the model created by their predecessors and try to refine it to ensure settlements. I think the real fight here is for copyright law reform. Give strict guidelines to what can be asked for as a fine. That’s the huge issue: Does get these 3,500 to upwards of 30,000 settlement demand letters. Some Does settle because of the three things the trolls put in front of them: They could win in court and win up to “$150,000”, you would also have to pay lawyer fees, your name will be tied to an adult video whether or not you are the infringer. “Have the punishment fit the crime” is a motto to live by. I’m sure anyone offering reform would say an alleged downloader of a single file does not deserve to be hit with the possibility of 150k. The median income of a two family home in the US is $39,000. That is essentially demanding four years worth of what they take home before taxes. That is life ending.

        Copyright reform now!

      • Just to reiterate: I neither want, nor will celebrate, any violence perpetrated on the trolls.

        My comment merely expresses amazement that something like this has not happened yet, and to serve as a warning from a concerned citizen that their continued legal actions expose them to others who are not as civilized as we are. I say to the trolls: quit ehile you are ahead.

        • I completely agree. The courts will take care of them, as it should be. I personally would be far more elated at seeing disbarment, destitution and homelessness for the trolls.

          To tell them to quit while they are ahead is to talk to a wall. I’m putting my money on a well educated judge who has seen and heard enough of the games and lies. Just the mere thought of sanctions against a lying troll makes me giddy.

        • I think we all are in consensus here. Advocating violence (or even milder but still unethical methods) would immediately put us below the trolls on the moral scale and immediately rip us off the carefully crafted advantage, which we currently enjoy.

          At the same time, discussing what can happen statistically, and expressing surprise why bad things have not happened yet, is normal: these are natural question of a curious, thinking individual. Raising these questions is orthogonal to the moral scale, although if scumbags try to pervert our words, it won’t be surprising.

          • Want to remind this post:

            […] It appears that Gibbs (as well as other trolls) receives anonymous nasty emails from time to time. This is sad, counterproductive, and sometimes very disturbing, yet not surprising: when a troll threatens livelihoods of anonymous defendants in huge numbers (tens of thousands), he is destined to occasionally stumble upon putative defendants who are ethically challenged to an even greater extent than the troll himself is.

        • In the words of “The Bull,” “you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” Well, statistically speaking, he’s messed with several “bulls” and by “bulls” I really mean people who aren’t as rational as any of us. And by “horns” I mean…figure that out. Looking at it purely from an “odds” perspective, It’s impossible for Prenda to NOT have fucked with someone who’s mentally unstable or who doesn’t “see red” when they go into a blind rage (which I guess would fall under the “mentally unstable” category).

  24. Uh-Oh Gibbers!!! Looks like Judge Chen is also up to speed on the whole AF Holdings Scam. Who will show up for the ordered AF Holdings deposition on this other case? Where does Gibbs send all that settlement money?? Hehehehe

    • But according to the other cases, AF Holdings has no money to pay an undertaking, so if he shows up and gets asked the all important questions, the issue of “settlement money” will become a non-issue.

      Gibbs is unable and unwilling to tell the truth. He needs to be placed under oath before he even opens his mouth in court. I wouldn’t believe him if he had his tongue tatooed with a notary stamp.


          Oh happy day….its Christmas in February…..

          I’m absolutely giddy in my excitement, to follow this thing to a (hopeful) conclusion and see that overflowing cesspool that is John Steele broke, convicted, and rotting in jail.

          Hey John, you ASSWIPE……..your extortion plot is coming to an end. It might have been a good ride for you, living on others hardship and fear, pulling in money and seeing all the pain you inflicted on everyone, so I hope you get even just a fraction of the anxiety and hurt you’ve caused. It’ll probably break you and Gibbs …..a breakdown or more that is so well deserved.

          Enjoy it all John, you huge pile of diseased fecal matter.

          Sorry everyone else, for subjecting you to my rant.

          (Can other troll scumbags like Lipscomb, Kotzker, and the others be far behind now that the kiing of scumbags is falling…….??)

        • If this is as bad as it looks we should be seeing another attorney entering the scene to either (a) represent Gibbs individually (means he’s ratting), (b) represent Prenda or (c) represent AF Holdings as a continuation of the falsehood.

    • Maybe they’ll try to send Lutz as AF Holdings’ and Ingenuity 13’s “corporate representative.”

      If we thought Judge Scriven’s hearing in Florida was good, this is going to be an interesting couple of weeks for Brett Langdon Gibbs. The hearing with Chen could pave the way for Armageddon in front of Judge Wright if Brett screws up; don’t think for a second that Wright won’t be keeping tabs on Gibbs and the judges won’t be communicating. And if Pietz shows up to point out any inconsistencies in this hearing, and maybe if there is something useful in the discovery Steele must provide for Alan Cooper’s lawsuit…

      The timing of Chen’s hearing couldn’t be better. Chen is going to force Gibbs to reveal his empty hand, putting him in the very uncomfortable position of having absolutely no remaining excuses when he blows it in front of Wright.


      Buckle Up Brett! If the Master Troll had anything to save you from these hearings he would have sent it by now, but you can always try telling Judge’s Chen and Wright that “there must be hundreds of Alan Coopers in this world!”

    • They can always try sending Lutz as AF Holdings’ and Ingenuity 13’s “corporate representative.”

      If we thought Judge Scriven’s hearing in Florida was good, this is going to be an entertaining couple of weeks for fans of Brett Langdon Gibbs. The hearing with Chen could pave the way for Armageddon in front of Judge Wright if Brett screws up; don’t think for a second that Wright won’t be keeping tabs on our little weasel and the judges won’t be communicating. Then if Pietz shows up to point out any inconsistencies in this hearing, and maybe if there is something useful in the discovery Steele must provide for Alan Cooper’s lawsuit…

      The timing of Chen’s hearing couldn’t be better. Chen is going to force Gibbs to reveal his empty hand, putting him in the very uncomfortable position of having absolutely no remaining excuses when he blows it in front of Wright.


      Buckle Up Brett! If the Master Troll had anything to save you from these hearings he would have sent it by now, but you can always try telling Judge’s Chen and Wright that “there must be hundreds of Alan Coopers in this world!”

  25. The best outcome would be a plea bargain. Brett agrees to testify against the ring leaders and unravels the entire scam in court. Either that or he can just take one for the team as they go overseas to sit on sandy beaches sipping Pina Colada’s while he’s being man handled by Bubba the angry sex convict.

    • I hate to be the pessimist here, but I highly doubt Gibbs will serve any sort of time. I almost guarantee it. These guys are slippery, they weasel out of things and seem to keep on trucking. More than likely he’ll try to delay delay delay. If that doesn’t work, he’ll probably try to go after the judge (again.) If he actually thought he might go to jail he might flee or just appeal any sort of sentencing. If all the planets aligned and he somehow DID go to jail, I’d wager it would wind up only being for a few weeks. It would also only be at a minimum security facility, so no chance of being manhandled by Bubba.

      Now that the pessimist part of me has spoken, here’s the optimist in me: Judge Wright has done a considerable service in recognizing this scheme for what it is. Whatever the outcome, it will be good ammunition for cases around the country as a sort of “see! Look at what this court and judge think of their racket!” So, no matter what happens to Gibbs – this is a victory already.

      • No doubt, you are probably right. But focusing on your last paragraph, if the Court imposes a sanction of $1000 or more, it must be reported to the State Bar. If there’s a contempt citation to boot, then a suspension from the practice of law could be on the horizon. Disbarment, probably not. Suspension would be more than likely.

        On top of this, Wright has shown himself to be detailed and in my opinion, very much on top of this. If he takes it one step further and dictates a disciplinary recommendation report, this could spiral out of control for not only Gibbs but the entire empire, including the minions.

        As with all litigation, the winning rule of thumb is to know the answers to the questions before they are asked. Wright knows the answers, which is why the goose is already cooked. What he does with the information is the important thing. It’s already a fargone conclusion that Gibbs will suffer the pain of contempt long before the hearing even begins.

        • “if the Court imposes a sanction of $1000 or more, it must be reported to the State Bar.”

          Isn’t it a self-reporting thing? Meaning Gibbs would have to inform the state bar? I can imagine him being forgetful about reporting such a thing. I know it would catch up to him, though. lol.

          • Actually, yes – you are right. It is a self-reporting requirement. However, lawyers routinely do not report it, and sometimes it takes a secondary incident to come along and bring it all to their attention. Or, perhaps, the keen eye of observers, like us.

            I won’t be satisfied until all trolls are working part time doing seasonal work at a big box store. I want them to surrender their license to walk into a courtroom and lie. I loathe perjury and I get very upset watching lawyers get away with it. Years ago I was accused of it, on the witness stand, by a lawyer during cross-examination. Believe me, he was sorry he ever even intimated it. After proving him wrong, I exposed his theft from his clients and now he has lost his law partnership and cannot find new cases anywhere.

            Brett, if you’re out there and reading this, your biggest concern should be your law license. If you admit to your wrongs and ask for forgiveness, the courts MAY consider leniency. However disappointing to me that may be…

      • As with any semi-criminal assault on the society, we want two things to happen: 1) The abuse to be stopped. 2) The perpetrators to be punished.

        The majority of average folks are not blood thirsty, therefore #1 is by far more important. At the same time, it will be nice if the crooks are punished to some extent. Out of many rationales of the punishment theory the most important to me personally is a clear message to ethically challenged attorneys who are thinking about jumping onto the trolling wagon. Taking back what trolls managed to steal by extortion is also important. Other than that… I don’t get my everyday energy from schadenfreude, I don’t want anyone to experience the hell of purportedly “correctional” facility. Stop, express some remorse, give back what does not belong to you and work hard to regain your reputation: if this formula makes it to reality, I will be happy.

        • Agree and respectfully disagree. Gibbs has shown, more than once, that he truly believes he is doing nothing wrong. He has hop-scotched across the nation to avoid being caught at some of the worst perjury I have ever seen. Madoff at least found a way to make it all “look” legal. Here, Brett throws it all out there and when it doesn’t work he simply takes his ball and moves to another court – so to speak. This behavior speaks volumes.

          I have gone up against lying lawyers in the past. Those who decided to challenge me ended up on the wrong side of the State Bar.

          Narcissists never express remorse, never give back what didn’t belong to them and have no desire to regain a reputation that they themselves believe believe is superior to everyone else.

          To the trolls, stealing from an innocent senior or a war veteran is nothing more than collateral damage. To stop the collateral damage, you must remove the law license from the equation.

          • I stand corrected: by “work hard to regain your reputation” I did not mean working in the legal field. There are many other respectful professions that are less prone to abuse and may help develop humbleness. So no disagreement on the license removal (suspension for not-so-evil).

        • In two years of _religiously_ following fightcopyrighttrolls, I’ve never once disagreed with your opinions, SJD. But today is a first.

          I _am_ one of the bloodthirsty. I want Gibbs ans Steele gangraped every day for the next twenty years. The rest of the lot, too.

          I ALMOST caved and paid them their ransom, but ultimately decided not to, and the case was finally dismissed. Having seen what they’ve done to so many others, I truly want them to feel indescribable, inescapable agony. I would never be involved in the inflicting of that pain, but I want it for them nonetheless. Perhaps that makes me a bad person. I don’t think so…

        • As someone who was extorted and they DID get money out of I would like them to see the inside of a prison and do not feel bad in wishing so. They would have had no issue sending me to prison for what I did not do.

          What is worse is how they prey on their victims by using abusive legal language and threats. I had never had to even deal with a lawyer in my entire life before this issue and I hope to never have to deal with one again. I have an undergraduate degree, a masters degree, and am working on a doctoral degree and I have never felt so belittled and abused as I did when I had to go through this.

          I have no delusions in getting a dime of my money back. Money I worked hard for and, even though I paid this money over a year and a half ago, am still trying to pay off.

        • Yea unfortunately I think the only appropriate punishment for these societal parasites is time in one of our wonderful federal correctional facilities for “rehabilitation.” Does anyone see Steele ever admitting to anything much less apologizing? I’m actually under the impression that he believes that what he’s doing isn’t wrong and that everyone else is in the wrong. It shouldn’t be illegal to “accuse a few innocent people” or whatever the hell he said. He’s such a goddamn narcissist but, as I’ve come to find out, the level of narcissism that Steele displays is his proverbial Achilles’ heel and WILL do him in as we are coming to find out with the Cooper “issue” and the Merkel affidavit.

          Anyone who was stupid enough to sign onto his little scam, even if they didn’t know it at the time, at the very least should be driven into bankruptcy and permanently disbarred and that’s if they express genuine remorse for perpetuating this and creating so much chaos, something I believe Steele is incapable of displaying even if he knows what he’s doing is wrong. Alas, I believe they will all fight this until the bitter end and that end being asset forfeiture and subsequent auction, permanent disbarment, and a stretch in federal prison.

          Speaking of auctions, I’ll go buy something that Steele used to eat off of just so I can take a dump on it…and I’ll pay $4,000 for it hahahaha. “Hey John you FINALLY got that $4,000 outta me that you wanted so bad for two years…when I bought something you owned just so I could take a shit on it.”

  26. “And as part of its prima facie copyright claim, Plaintiff must show that Defendants copied the copyrighted work. Feist Publ’ns, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 361 (1991). If a download was not completed, Plaintiff’s lawsuit may be deemed frivolous.”

    This seems to really open up a whole can of worms, both for Prenda as well as for judges and precedence. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

    Is downloading a 5 second clip enough for infringement? 5 minutes? A scene? Two scenes?

    In the Malibu site rip cases, if someone just connected to the swarm, I assume MM is suing them for all movies in the siterip. Well, then MM would have to prove that they downloaded every single one of them. And have to analyze the hard drive for every single one of them. From my new knowledge of torrent, you can selectively download. So I assume that for all they know, someone connecting to the swarm could be downloading a text file that might be in the torrent. Or screenshots. Or the readme.

    It will be very interesting to see how this ruling changes things to come.

    • If this means that a plaintiff needs to show what/how they actually monitored to show a prima facie claim of copyright infringement, things will get very interesting. The plaintiffs will need to actually download the whole thing from the peer, which from what I understand is near impossible.

      Of course, it could mean they just need to do other investigative means, like stake outs, but that would kill the model, as Wright suggested. Either way, it seems like Wright is increasing the burden of the plaintiff to actually show their work and increasing the standards needed to pursue a their claims.

      • Actually, it would be quite simple to prove others have downloaded to 100%. You see, they could show a screenshot of peers (ip addresses) in a torrent program. The torrent program lists what percent of the file the seeders and leechers have. However, showing such a screenshot would also prove they were aiding in serving the file to others to begin with. This sort of “honeypot” scheme is not legal in a lot of states. This is why they don’t offer to include some proof. If, in the future, they did include such proof – which to a court would just look like a list of numbers – it would behoove a defendant to request which ip addresses have been subpoena’d on the list in the screenshot. If there was one omitted from that list, you have Prenda’s IP address. Just request a delay of the proceedings until you get discovery of the owner of that IP address. (If their screenshot also shows seed time, the ip with the longest seed time would likely be from Prenda.)

        • Just because they have 100% of the file doesn’t mean that they downloaded 100% of it from that tracker. Nor does it mean that they shared 100% of the file. It just means that the whole file is available from that IP. They could have downloaded it from another source and went about seeding it.

          If, according to Wright, a download has to be 100% or the claim might be moot, logically it would seem that you’d also have to upload the whole movie for contributory infringement. Unless there are going to be different standards for upload vs download.

          Not only that, but if you don’t go less than a 1:1 ratio of download vs upload, does that mean that your contributory infringement should be less of a fine? Or should that not come into play if you never share the complete work?

          This is why I never understood going after the downloaders as opposed to the original uploaders. Rulings like this one have the opportunity to set some interesting precedence.

        • I’m almost certain that Prenda is running honeypots; too many of the movies they’re suing for (look at the first wave of AF Holdings suits for instance) are supposedly downloaded within days of copyright registration. If it was ever proven that they were running a honeypot however. the troll would be in a world of trouble: wire and mail fraud and RICO would be just the beginning. A honeypot destroys ANY claim to copyright infringement; after all, they are giving it away themselves and that act is generally considered an abandonment of copyright.

          If one of these cases ever went to trial, I would imagine that it would be an avenue of discovery for the defendant, but I doubt that it would lead anywhere. For as sloppy as Prenda is, I doubt that even they would have the initial seed IP associated with them. Most likely, it resolves back to some proxy outside the US, and good luck with getting any response on a subpoena from them. The best you’ll get back is a “Thanks” for the toilet paper.

          • Of course they are. It’s a bait, sting, sue, extort. That’s the business model.

  27. Sorry to be a pest – thought I’d ask this here.

    Have posted on Twitter and asked if anyone is going to be at the hearing on March 11 in L.A. for 12-08333? At the moment, it appears I will be there, along with my attorney. I’m not asking anyone to identify themselves, but I’d like to know if anyone has decided whether or not they’re going to go.

    It is also remotely possible that my 89 Year Old Friend (the original defendant) may be there also, so you’d get to see a troll’s defendant – this is not a joke – in a wheelchair. She’s indicated a desire to go, but it all depends on how she feels on the day of the hearing. I’d kinda like Gibbs to see what kind of damage he causes, although we could all get a pleasant surprise and he could be led away in handcuffs. My attorney says THAT’S what he would love to see.

    • Would love to, but wrong coast. Good-luck from Florida and hope you and we all get some satisfaction with an incarcerated Gibbs.

    • I’ll be there. As I am an anonymous poster I guess you don’t have any way to hold me to my word but I am really looking forward to it.

      • Since your messages are constantly eaten by the spam filter, can you stick with the same email (fake, not fake — does not matter), so I can search spam for the string? Or add some word to the body for the same purpose. I cannot browse through 500-1000 spam messages daily.


    Gibbs filed his response to Wright’s order to show cause today and it’s just a bunch of BS, actually Gibbs’ attorneys responded, he has hired a malpractice defense lawyer, no doubt to provide a layer of obfuscation and plausible deniability so he’s never the guy who actually says anything. Smart move.

    He’s pretty much passing the buck to Prenda, says he had no communication with the clients, always went through S&H or Prenda as a go-between, took everything Prenda told him at their word, etc.

    I love how he elaborates on Prenda’s “investigative” techniques. Basically it boils down to, if someone else besides the subscriber lives in the house and the subscriber denies infringing, they name the other person. Or if someone in the house has a Facebook account, has played an online game or has used a computer, they are obviously the infringer and they get named because they have advanced computer skills.

    He elaborates on a couple that claims they live in their house alone but a public records search showed their son has lived their since 1999, but Gibbs never claims the son lives their now, he didn’t put a PI on the house to find actual evidence the son lives there or provide any evidence to suggest their son is there today, just a public record search that turned up 14 year-old intel.

    It will be interesting to see how Pietz responds to this especially if he shows up at the hearing. There is ample evidence that Gibbs is more than just a contractor, there are filings in other states and correspondence with attorneys and Does in other states showing that Gibbs was also coordinating work for Prenda with their other local counsels. Apparently he conveniently forgot to tell his attorneys or decided to forget himself, but if someone calls him out on that in front of Judge Wright there should be some ‘splainin to do. If he is just a contract guy following orders on his cases, why in the world would Prenda provide his email as contact for cases in other fucking states? Get real.


    Check out Pietz’ response to Gibbs’ response to Wright’s OSC. Gibbs’ response was linked on SJD’s Twitter earlier but it’s not very revealing, the usual Prenda denials and omissions, just more of the same garbage they are used to getting away with, and a truly pathetic attempt to explain what Gibbs considers an “investigation.”

    But Pietz’ response is EXPLOSIVE stuff, there is some new PI work from Pietz and Ranallo tying Prenda’s clients to a web of Steele’s associates and former associates. It really looks like this is the perfect storm of a judge who did his homework plus some on-the-ball Doe defenders feeding him everything he needs to unleash hell on everyone associated with Prenda. I’m SURE there will be an article from Raul or SJD featuring this exchange because it is by far the best thing we’ve seen in a while but really you just have to read it, it’s too good for a summary.

    The March 11 hearing in LA is definitely not to be missed if you have a desire to see these guys maybe, finally get a taste of justice. Although with the conspiracy Pietz has laid bare, if Judge Wright believes a quarter of it I’ll be surprised if Gibbs isn’t in jail before the hearing date. I think Wright is too suspicious and has already delved too deep into these cases to let these latest developments slip with anything but a thermonuclear response.

    Buckle up, Brett Langdon Gibbs.

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