Yesterday we took a look at the newest filing from AF Holding’s v David Harris (AZD 2:12-cv-02144) where Prenda’s lackey Steven Goodhue attempts to dismiss the fact that Cooper’s identity was stolen and downplay the events in Honorable Judge Wright’s courtroom. Hopefully, I was not alone in immediately identifying several “holes” in the story he presented related to Cooper’s now alleged involvement at the outset of this debacle. Here’s a more in depth look at the Response as well as the inconsistencies presented.
Goodhue starts with the same song and dance that we have seen since the start of Coopergate, namely it doesn’t matter who signed the assignment, AF Holdings still has standing to file suit against infringers. This argument didn’t work before, however I’m not surprised that it is still an integral part of their defensive strategy. It will be interesting to see how the Honorable Judge responds to this…
Next, Goodhue embarks on an extensive explanation into Cooper’s involvement in the copyright scheme. He leads through a heartwarming tale of Cooper and Steele being best of friends after they entered into their arrangement with Cooper as live-in caretaker of Steel’s property:
Steele visited his vacation property regularly between 2005 and mid-2011 and became close friends with Cooper. Steele and Cooper spent substantial time together, including, for example, boating on Lake Mille Lacs, riding all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiling, and attending estate auctions. Steele and Cooper would regularly collaborate on various handyman projects, including building a porch addition to and reroofing the guest cabin. Cooper and Steele regularly attended county fairs and other Northern Minnesota social events together, including the White Pine Logging and Thrashing show, Howie’s Mud Bog, the Aitkin County July 4th fair, and the Kanabec County fair. Cooper’s relationship extended to Steele’s family. Conservatively speaking, Cooper joined Steele’s family for dinner over 100 times. On several occasions he babysat Steele’s daughter. The two were such good friends that Cooper remarked on several occasions that Steele was the brother he never had.
But Cooper had a small problem, he was broke. So Mr. Steele, being the charitable man he is, introduced Cooper to Mark Lutz (CEO for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13) as the answer to his financial woes. Cooper was involved in two copyright assignments as a “corporate representative”, even though he knew nothing about the adult industry, but soon this created too many issues with his second wife, so he soon withdrew from this status. Finally, Goodhue ends this saga with Cooper’s downhill slide, that started with his divorce coupled with Steele putting his property up for sale (which would end Cooper’s “free” residence) and ultimately drove him to a mental state where he was attacking guests, vandalizing Steels property and pilfering everything that wasn’t nailed down:
[…]Cooper used a chainsaw to remove large portions of load-bearing walls in Steele’s guest cabin, tore down nearly every interior wall in the guest cabin, stole 4 rifles, 1 shotgun and 5 pistols Steele stored on his property, threatened prospective buyers of Steele’s property, cut down significant acreage of wood and unlawfully removed it from Steele’s property, and stole hundreds of items, including tools, equipment, lumber, and virtually every item that was not bolted down in Steele’s kitchen. Cooper even stole a large trailer of Steele’s that Cooper used to haul away entire rooms of furniture from Steele’s cabin.
Hungry for revenge, Cooper was conveniently “recruited” through text by Godfread to file a lawsuit against Steele. Of course the EFF was involved, essentially asserting that they along with Cooper and Godfread collaborated together to “launch collateral attacks on Plantiff’s copyright infringements lawsuits.”
I can’t help but think of one of my favorite lines from Ace Ventura, “well fiction IS fun, but I prefer the story where”… Goodhue must have selective memory. Let’s go back to the very beginning of Coopergate and follow the events leading up to the pivotal ruling in the CACD and the recent Goodhue Response. Way back in November, when Cooper initially retained Godfread, his goal was clearly stated, “My client would like certainty that his identity is not being used without his knowledge and against his will as the would be CEO of AF Holdings, LLC or as a manager of Ingenuity 13, LLC.” It wasn’t until several months later, after Prenda and Duffy dodged their question, including flat out stating that they refused to answer, that Cooper was forced to file suit (January 22nd to be precise).
During this same time, Attorney Morgan Pietz, defending Does in California, engaged in several emails requesting that Prenda’s Brett Gibbs answer two simple questions. First, identify if there was another Alan Cooper that was being held out as the Principal of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13. There was a mess of childish behavior including the now famous line, “I’m sure there are hundreds of other Alan Coopers in this world”. Secondly, when Gibbs purportedly had to ask his client for the original assignment, Pietz requested to know who “the client” was. As events unfolded, Gibbs threw “tantrum” after “tantrum” to avoid answering these two simple questions. Shortly thereafter, Nick Ranallo and Morgan Pietz asked Judge Wright to allow discovery on these two issues and a few more pointed questions to get to the heart of the Alan Cooper issue. And they got it. Gibbs response? “I think I’ll try to disqualify the Honorable Judge Wright for abhoring Plantiffs who try to protect their pornography copyrights.” When that didn’t work, Gibbs tried the cut and run, dismissing the case. Duffy substituted in for all the Gibbs cases and then stated dismissing them one by one.
All of this history begs the answer to a couple of questions relating back to Goodhue’s response. If Alan Cooper was truly involved in from the beginning as “a Corporate Representative” for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 and signed the original copyright assignment, why would Gibbs et al go through such great lengths to avoid answering that Alan Cooper from Minnesota signed it? When asked to provide the identity of his “client”, why would he not simply identify Mark Lutz as the client? Mr. Goodhue, the facts clearly show that Cooper’s intent was not to file suit as was stated, but to clear his name. When this failed, he had no option but to file a lawsuit. Further, Mark Lutz was not identified as the CEO of the off-shore companies until the February Deposition of Paul Hansmeier, which is why Gibbs was unable to identify him before that date. But Goodhue doesn’t bother to mention any of these discrepancies.
Goodhue also attempts to incorrectly reference the transcript of the March 11th hearing to prove that Godfread sent a text message to Cooper to recruit him to his cause. However, Cooper never stated under oath that it was Godfread that sent him the text, simply that someone alerted him to the situation and told him to contact Godfread. He also conveniently skips the part where Cooper, still under oath, states that it was not his signature on the documents in question, that he uses a middle initial in his signature. And let’s not forget that the fairy tale woven by Goodhue comes from the Affidavit of John Steele, who was not under oath. Should we trust the words of a man who “suffers from a form of moral turpitude unbecoming of an officer of the court?” Let’s hope that the Honorable Judge does his research and is able to quickly dismiss Goodhue’s Fable.
Yesterday, 5/27/2013, defendant David Harris filed his response.