Guardaley | X-Art
Copyright troll Lipscomb makes up facts, forges signature and gets away with it
You undergo too strict a paradox,
Striving to make an ugly deed look fair.
This event took place more than a year ago, but I was not aware of it until Raul’s yesterday’s tweet. Yet this story is relevant today because tomorrow the slimiest copyright troll in history M. Keith Lipscomb most likely will be asking Judge Baylson (in what remained from once so promising Bellwether trial in Philadelphia) to refer Doe 16 to the DOJ for committing perjury. At the same time, this troll was caught in deeds that I think are no less grave than perjury — namely forgery. The following is just a single story, a tip of the iceberg.
Lipscomb filed Patrick Collins v. Does 1-4 (FLSD 11-cv-60571) back in 2011, adding 21 Does later (Doc. 17). Long story short, the lawsuit boiled down to a single named defendant, Elizabeth Congote, who apparently had been trying to avoid service: after numerous attempts her purported boyfriend accepted the summons on 12/5/2011.
On 12/6/2011 Judge K. Michael Moore denied Lipscomb’s motion to extend time (Doc. 49) and ordered (Paperless Doc. 58) to file a joint scheduling report by 12/13/2011 and threatened to dismiss the case otherwise.
Still unable to contact the defendant, Lipscomb got crafty and… made up the report as if it was indeed written together with the defendant: the language unambiguously suggests a joint effort (“The parties suggest,” “The parties propose” etc.). Moreover, you can see the defendant’s electronic signature at the bottom.
Firstly, there is no such thing as a pro se electronic signature. FLSD rules are quite strict:
Pro se litigants will not be permitted to register as Users at this time. Pro se litigants must file their documents in the conventional manner.
There is a provision for joint signing, but obviously, Lipscomb ran afoul of it:
In the case of a stipulation or other document to be signed by two or more persons, the filer should: submit a scanned document containing all necessary signatures; or, indicate the consent of the other parties on the document; or, file the document identifying the parties whose signatures are required and submit a notice of endorsement by the other parties no later than three business days after the filing. A model form (Form C) is attached hereto. The filing party or attorney shall retain the paper copy of the document containing the original signatures for a period of one year after final resolution of the action, including final disposition of all appeals.
Second, signing in someone’s name without consent is a forgery, plain and simple.
The fact of filing a joint report while Lipscomb kept saying that he couldn’t contact the defendant did not escape the judge’s attention, and on the next day the following order was issued:
PAPERLESS ORDER. THIS CAUSE came before the Court upon Plaintiff’s Notice of Filing Joint Scheduling Report . The Notice states that “Plaintiff hereby advises this Court that despite its numerous attempts to contact Doe 5 a/k/a Elizabeth Congote, to discuss the Scheduling Report, it has been unable to make contact with the Defendant.” The Notice continues to state that “the documents served upon Elizabeth Congote requested that she contact Plaintiff’s counsel by the close of business on December 12, 20011. At this point, Defendant has not contacted Plaintiff.” Accompanying Plaintiff’s Notice of Filing Joint Scheduling Report is an actual Joint Scheduling Report. Despite Plaintiff’s noted inability to contact Defendant, however, the Joint Scheduling Report filed by Plaintiff bears Defendant Elizabeth Congote’s electronic signature, indicating that the Joint Scheduling Report was signed by Defendant Congote. Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE by December 22, 2011, why the Joint Scheduling Report filed by Plaintiff bears Defendant’s electronic signature despite Plaintiff’s notice to the Court that Plaintiff was unable to make contact with Defendant. Signed by Judge K. Michael Moore on 12/14/2011.
Lipscomb did file the explanation of his apparent scumbaggery. Read this document, written rather by a weasel than a human:
Plaintiff filed the Joint Scheduling Report with Ms. Congote’s signature because Ms. Congote failed to contact Plaintiff and did not object to Plaintiff filing the report. This failure indicates that Ms. Congote acquiesced in having her name signed on the report.
Words fail me. Yes, I read Kafka’s “Process” in my college days, and now I have experienced an acute déjà vu.
Note that the cited case law does not support Lipscomb’s excuses. Not a bit.
Judge Moore did not buy Lipscomb’s excuses (neither was he impressed by misleading citations):
In support of this theory, Plaintiff s counsel cites to several cases for the proposition that “[w]hile failure to reply to a letter is not in all cases an act of acquiescence, when it would be reasonable for the recipient to respond and correct erroneous assumptions, and the recipient does not respond, it is considered an adoption.” […] Tellingly, none of the case law Plaintiff’s counsel cites in support of this theory of constructive signing actually evinces the idea that a party may contravene the Rule 11(a) signing requirement because the opposing party failed to respond to a letter or inquiry.
This Court interprets Rule 11(a) to require that which it explicitly states, that “[e]very pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed … by a party personally if the party is unrepresented.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a) (emphasis added).
However, how the judge acted based on his findings put me in a deep depression.
So what was Judge Moore’s conclusion? Did he impose sanctions? Nope. Did he report Lipscomb to the Florida Bar? Nope. To the DOJ? Nope. Lipscomb was “punished” by a dismissal of this case without prejudice and striking of the fraudulent document.
The selectiveness of prosecution is astonishing. If you are a lawyer and lie to the court, forge signatures, produce phony explanations that do not withstand a slightest scrutiny — you will get away with it. If you are a layman and panicked, foolishly altered the evidence, not anticipating (and probably not realizing) that the wheels of the US criminal justice will grind you… If you are not a professional in weaseling out, expect your (and your family members’) life to be ruined.
40 responses to ‘Copyright troll Lipscomb makes up facts, forges signature and gets away with it’
Thank you so much for posting this as a counter measure to Lipscomb’s victory lap in the aftermath of the beating the 2 defendants took as a result of giving perjured testimony sitting beside their ill equipped attorneys.
People at the DOJ are not so easily fooled. Many times the person yelling fire is the actual one who started it.. So it would be wonderful for the DOJ to look into Malibu Media, Brigham Field, Colete Pelessier, Lipscomb and their mysterious German partner claiming to be investigative expert and part-time student.
That Bellwether showed exactly how the system is a bunch of baloney. A whole lot of arguing over little, a bunch of money being spent by the defendants and plaintiff for questionable attorneys. And then the real issue such as whether obscene work(s) can be copyright protected never is answered.
We end up further from real justice than when the case began.
FYI – the Bellwether court unequivocally held that pornography is copyrightable.
Child porn too? Obscene works like lesbian sex with butt plugs? Fortunately many other Federal Judges do not agree with Judge Baylson. It appears the Judge lost it once Colette took the stand and started talking about enjoying erotica. Why did Baylson ask her if she performs or performed in adult movies? What does that have to do with anything? And why did he allow Colette and Lipscomb to dance around not answering a simple question of whether there was a copyright warning embedded in the video clips?
Baylson had listened to Pres Obama and he said the patent/copyright trolls do not give the public and user notice that what they are using is copyright protected. Basically, unfairly setting them up for a infringement.
As I have said in the past…
When a lawyer does something the courts always seem to give the benefit of the doubt to them. They are professionals and officers of the court, they would NEVER do this.
If a Doe tried this stunt, the Judge would rain down hellfire upon them for trying to lie to the court.
And this children is why Copyright trolling is alive an well in this country, if your part of the “special” club you get leeway, if your a regular person you get screwed.
Oh, and all of this is IMHO.
Forgery is written perjury. Words fail me as to how he could get away with a “Tut tut. Don’t do that again.”
Friendly advice: Defamation occurs when you say something that is not true. You rights under the First Amendment do not entitle to you to post statements like Keith Lipscomb Makes Up Facts, Forges Signature And Gets Away With It. It’s an actionably defamatory statement. So too are many of your other statements. If you read that paper, Mr. Lipscomb expressly stated he did not speak with the Defendant. The judge ordered him to file a paper that required both parties signatures and threatend sanctions against his client if he did not comply. Two or three days were given to get the signatures. He sent a letter to the Defendant saying if you object to the proposed scheduling order tell me by the time it is due, no objection was made. Lipscomb made repetitive attempts to call the Defendant. Everything was open and above board in both the paper filing the scheduling report and the in the reply. Your title is misleading and actionably defamatory. Lipscomb is obviously a good lawyer. Getting him so pissed off at you that he sues you might not be the best idea 😉
What a shame things aren’t going so well for you, John Steele.
1) A fact was made up (“The parties suggest”)
2) A signature was forged (signature marked on page that was not made by the signor)
3) Got away with it (“Please don’t do that again” from the courts)
His admission to the court that the signature is a fake or that one of the parties did not, in fact, “suggest..” seems a poor way to prove her statements were demonstrably false. Then there’s that whole issue of whether it appears to be hyperbole (you know those Internet blogsopherians), and whether SJD knew or should have known those statements were false when they were made. They seem an entirely reasonable lay interpretation of the facts available to the public at the time of her post.
While I wish no one the burden of being hit with a SLAPP suit (even in a state with good anti-SLAPP protection), it seems like it would be an unwise choice on his end as well. Mr. Lipscomb pointed out the day before the bench trial (audio, near the end of the recording) how stressed he was about he & Malibu constantly being compared to Prenda. A frivolous Prenda-style defamation lawsuit against a critical blogger to quench her speech seems contrary to his goals of maintaining the appearance (and internal identity) of legitimacy.
1) For a successful claim, there should be a measurable harm inflicted upon plaintiff. Mr. Lipscomb very well fits thee “libel proof plaintiff” category, i.e. Mr. Good Lawyer is already harmed, and not by SJD but by himself. In other words, to be defamed one has to have “fame” in the first place.
2) If Mr. Lipscomb is not like Mr. Steele (a megalomaniac who is prone to irrational vindictive urges), he would realize the perils of such action: time-consuming, uncertain outcome, SJD’s access to superior legal minds, impossibility to win attorney fees, Streisand effect etc. To initiate such action, this blog must be an existential threat to Lipscomb’s business model, which means that SJD’s ammo and weaponry is already superior. Lose-lose situation for Mr. Good Lawyer.
3) I do not believe that Mr. Anonymous == Mr. Lipscomb. Although Monday events could easily drug him so his false sense of superiority prompted somewhat irrational behavior.
Making statements like these are exactly why there are Anti-SLAPP statutes in so many states: To ward off meritless defamation suits. And the statement that “Lipscomb is obviously a good lawyer” is almost laughable.
I would not call that friendly advice. You forged someone’s signature. It really doesn’t matter the reason, the fact is that you did it. Go ahead and follow in the steps of your beloved Prenda that you so desperately try to distance yourself from, file that frivolous suit and lets see how far that gets you. Yeah, yeah haters gonna hate….. right?
I think the real problem is it was already to the point of the judge threatening sanctions in this case.. Obviously his prior actions in the case were already troubling to the judge.
What he should have done instead of filing that document without express approval of defendant (lack of saying no isn’t a yes), is document attempts to contact the defendant, and produce those as exhibits to the proposed schedule order, signed only by himself. Much more above board, would have shown he is actively attempting to do as the judge said without funny business.
I think it really shows the character of the lawyer when they’d pull this rather than being totally upfront with the judge and apologize for not being able to do as the judge requested, through no fault of their own.
Because things turn out so well for lawyers that we piss off enough to sue us.
Click to access gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.130.0.pdf
And there are only so many ways to spin this, asking why a document bears the signature of someone who could not have signed it. Quoting a judge here:
“Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE by December 22, 2011, why the Joint Scheduling Report filed by Plaintiff bears Defendant’s electronic signature despite Plaintiff’s notice to the Court that Plaintiff was unable to make contact with Defendant.”
Now, what do we call a signature that was produced by someone other than the purported signatory?
“He sent a letter to the Defendant saying if you object to the proposed scheduling order tell me by the time it is due, no objection was made.” Not this AGAIN. Isn’t this the same line of bull that Prenda used to justify the Cooper forgery? “Well, he didn’t say I couldn’t sign his name for him…so its perfectly fine!”. Come on man you cant really be serious. You would have more credibility if you admitted that you really just wanted to troll the thread.
I wonder if this “explanation” would fly in the Judge Conley’s courtroom.
“Vagueness in legal threats is the hallmark of thuggery” — Ken “Popehat” white.
To the person posting in defense of Keith Lipscomb: do you know about Lipscomb’s use of Kevin Beechum’s goons to threaten and harass people and their families? Highly unethical activities for a “good” lawyer. A lot of us here know quite a bit about what Lipscomb has been up to. He’s as bad as Prenda/Steele… just has been more careful.
JX, I’m aware of Beechum’s shenanigans (to put it VERY mildly) and his mysterious avoidance of jail (I suppose he snitched a lot for that), but I don’t know about any relations between Lipscomb and Beechum beside he was a client. If you have any intel, I would appreciate sharing it w/me. Needless to say, confidentiality is my business.
I refer to the aggressive callers (Lipscomb’s Mark Lutz(s)) pursuing settlement identifying themselves as being from “K-Beech”. And these were for non K-Beech suits (Patrick Collins and Malibu suits).
Oh, that… I know a couple of names and have a couple of testimonies. Hope those goons will be compelled to testify at a Lipscomb’s version of “Ingenuity 13 v Doe.”
I was named in a Malibu Media lawsuit. I was called an infringer, which is misleading and defamatory. I never broke a law in my life, even never got a parking ticket. Yes, I used bittorent to get an X-Art movie, but only after I tried in good faith to obtain it legally. Due to my bad credit history, I don’t have credit cards, so I couldn’t buy X-Art membership online. I wrote numerous emails to X-Art owners offering to send cash in an envelope, but they never replied. Only after I went overboard and in good faith to pay for the movie and failed, I resorted to bittorent. I specifically wrote to X-Art that if I wouldn’t hear from them, I’d go to the Pirate Bay. X-Art’s failure to reply meant that they acquiesced in allowing me to obtain the movie in question from bittorent. Calling me an infringer under these circumstances is misleading and libelous.
Since so far I have not noticed a slightest sense of humor in Keith Lipscomb (even Steele has gotten one), I regretfully have to write this disclaimer: the above paragraph is a fiction.
SJD, That is funny. 🙂
Naw, it’s just easier for everyone to e-mail Lipsy saying “Hey, I’m about to BT MM stuff. If you don’t object, I’m going to assume you OK with that.” Bai!
You know, I’m listening to the audio transcript, and I have to say it’s worth doing so just to hear the cringe-worthy ass-kissing of the judge by Lipscomb in the beginning. Listening to it, you’d think the bellwether trial was Lipscomb being raised to Master Mason or something. His tone is so sycophantic that even the judge, clearly embarrassed, admonishes him for his unsubtle brown-nosing. Were you not aware of how the trial was going to go, you’d almost feel embarrassed for Lipscomb. If nothing else, the transcript is worth listening to just to get a fix on Lipscomb’s voice and manner — it is plainly indicative of the kind of man he is.
As it goes on, Lipscomb’s voice is bugging me more and more — it reminds me of something.
Far different from John Steele’s vaguely simian mumble-grunts, Lipscomb sounds like the guy who got shoved into lockers and had his glasses smashed by minions of same kind of people who now run Malibu Media (or people like John Steele, now that I think about it). I don’t know anything about Lipscomb, but just listening to this transcript, you get the sense of a very small man on stilts: Now that he’s a lawyer he gets to hang out with the popular kids who once shunned him and pushed him around, and he has, in predictable fashion, taken pleasure in tormenting others as he was once tormented. No more smashing Keith’s glasses and pushing him into a locker! He runs with the cool people now and he’s finally going to experience the sublime pleasure of ruining people, and getting paid to do it.
And then it hit me: Shoeshine Boy. Underdog’s meek, milquetoast alter-ego. That is what Keith Lipscomb’s voice sounds like, to me.
Two other things, on another note:
(a) Any mention of Malibu Media on blogs should always mention X-Art. People searching on X-Art should see the way they treat people — hits to this blog and others should be near the top in search hit lists. There are thousands of ways to spend money on pornography on the Internet. People ought to really consider whether enriching these people serves any purpose, given the alternatives. The tendency of pornographers to regularly conflate the “right to be compensated for work” and “destroying people’s lives because that’s how the statutes read” needs to be brought to light: they are not the same thing.
Pornographers and their advocates insist regularly that because an argument can be made that downloading porn you didn’t pay for is wrong (and illegal), that an appropriate and proportional remedy is to relegate people to debt slavery. X-Art seems to have no moral compunction about doing this and people who are going to pay for porn ought to think about, concerns about sexual exploitation aside, whether or not they want to pay sanction to people who behave this way. I sure wouldn’t want the Malibu people as neighbors, and I sure as hell wouldn’t give them my money.
(b) A lot of bad blood could have been avoided by simply sending out settlement letters asking people whose IP addresses they subpoenaed to buy a year’s subscription to their site. Not only would this have grown their subscriber base (and compensated them for supposedly lost revenues from torrenting), but maybe people would have found a subscription worthwhile and renewed it (not only for the content but for having been treated equitably).
Maybe positive word of mouth (“Good Guy X-Art”) would have attracted other people to the site as well (“Look how good our stuff is — we think a subscription is worth buying and we think you’ll agree.”). X-Art has decided to be the sleazeballs people tend to assume all pornographers are. I understand feeling like you’re being ripped off and you’re angry about it, and I understand insisting on compensation and even reasonable damages — I cannot understand a human conscience that believes wrecking lives and relationships is a just response to such relatively minor transgressions — transgressions I would add that in balance probably drive more subscriptions to your site than actually deprive you of revenue. The greatest fallacy in anti-piracy arguments comes into play here: the idea that every download represents a lost sale.
It doesn’t. It never has.
Lastly, I admit to some fascination with Keith Lipscomb’s putative religious roots. He is now being compensated to humiliate people, possibly wreck families, and even destroy people’s lives on behalf of pornographers. Even if one takes the road of principle, that people ought to be compensated for the content they produce, I wonder if he has any pangs of conscience whatsoever about completely steamrolling people for blagging one molecule out of a giant landfill of pornography that covers the Internet. I get a pang of conscience when I kill a moth by mistake or go through the express checkout aisle with one too many items — I would love to get into Lipscomb’s head for just five minutes to know what it is like to be him. His grossly exaggerated description of BitTorrent bringing on the Tortpocalypse (or something – he made some sort of ludicrous exaggeration along these lines) is so absurd, I cannot accept that he believes what is coming out of his own mouth. Or maybe the problem that as a pornography lawyer, Keith Lipscomb has fallen so far, that he *actually does*. And that’s sad.
I’m not a religious person — and even when I was, I was a horrible sinner, but I might make an exception and say a prayer for Keith Lipscomb. I hope he truly questions what values it is he is serving and how he is living his life before it is too late.
I have no such hopes for the pornographers he represents. I am sure they believe themselves to be honorable business people who are the victims of Internet porn hounds. But I think when you get to a point that you’ve decided to slap your name on pornography, you’ve damn near reached the moral point of no return. Like a sort of ethical diabetes, human conscience is just ineffective at curbing your worst instincts anymore, and little you do triggers any sense of guilt or shame…or mercy.
Shame on you Keith Lipscomb and shame on you X-Art.
Well written and I have to agree that this scorched earth policy of Lipscomb/X-Art is short sighted on the pornographers’ part. As word spreads people might be afraid of visiting their website lest they be tagged as a pirate.
Pingbacks & Trackbacks