I refer the readers to DieTrollDie’s reporting on this case for the full history. Below is a very short recap: this case was so eventful that I would keep writing this post for days if I covered every detail.
Mr. Lamberson was sued by a one-copyright shell Elf-Man LLC, initially as one of 29 anonymous Doe defendants. Every defendant was named in the amended complaint after Charter communications coughed up their customers’ information to plaintiff’s lawyer Maureen VanderMay.
Mr. Lamberson was lucky to hire attorney Christopher Lynch, who started methodically dismantling the bluff — plaintiff’s “evidence.” There were many eyebrow-raising discoveries made over the last months worthy of a detective story. A very questionable copyright assignment invoked the memories of Righthaven. Ostensive German experts Daniel Macek and Michael Patzer (many remember him from the Bellwether farce) happened to “work” for a bogus (and delinquent) South Dakota corporation registered by a con artist — a disbarred California attorney. And so on.
The most damning recent finding was a leaked presentation of the real force behind this lawsuit — a foreign “Anti-Piracy Management Company” (infamous and disgraced Guadraley in disguise). This presentation described the troll’s kitchen in all its cynical and inhumane efficiency. The revelation made it possible to connect many dots and explained many things we knew, but couldn’t put our finger on it.
After the revelations, this lawsuit was on the collision course with the ground. On June 3, 2014 plaintiff’s attorney, Maureen VanderMay, asked the judge for a permission to be removed from the case:
Issues have arisen between Plaintiff’s representatives and counsel, the nature of which make it impossible for counsel to both continue with representation and comply with the governing rules of professional conduct.
We can only wish to learn the details of these “issues.”
Yesterday Mr. Lynch filed a motion to compel discovery, namely, to provide the relevant correspondence between the plaintiff and APMC/Guardaley. The defense claims that this correspondence is not privileged. And even if it was privileged, VanderMay waived this privilege by failing to timely object to the discovery request — she sent her objections too late. Read the motion about her attempts at weaseling out after being caught lying about the date of the service.
Declaration of Christopher Lynch and exhibits are must-read too: especially emails in the Ex. B:
These events did not reflect well on the troll, and Elf-Man, via attorney David A. Lowe, specially hired for the occasion, filed a motion to dismiss this case with prejudice; in other words, a disgraceful attempt to cut and run:
The dismissal of Plaintiff’s claim and its express statement that it will not enforce the asserted copyrights against Defendant divorces the Court of jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s counterclaims. No objection by Defendant can enable the Court to retain jurisdiction because there is no case or actual controversy and no present basis for subject matter jurisdiction. Consequently, the action in its entirety must be dismissed.
Yeah, right: I used that gun to rob you, now I tossed this gun and promise not to use it again. Therefore, no objection can enable the prosecutor to retain the charges. No more controversy here: am I free to go, officer?
The ball is now in the defense’s court: will or won’t Lamberson stipulate to the dismissal? The plaintiff cannot unilaterally walk away because the defendant both answered and counterclaimed. I’m pretty sure that the court won’t dismiss the case if the defense disagrees (the argument about the court suddenly losing the subject matter jurisdiction is hogwash). I won’t blame Mr. Lamberson if he decides to accept a large reward in exchange for closing the case: he and his attorney already did a titanic job of dismantling the international extortion machine.
So, what about our favorite troll: Keith Lipscomb/XArt/Malibu Media? After Morgan Pietz connected the dots in his mighty work in Maryland, it is clear that all the US trolls that have the German connection are essentially the tentacles of the same beast — Guardaley. Lipscomb continues (as recently as on 6/10/2014) referring to Michel Patzer as a witness in imaginary future trials, as if it was not shown that one of the two Elf-Man’s “experts,” a German national Mr. Patzer, was involved in a fraud:
At trial, Malibu will call Mr. Patzer to testify that the PCAPs and MySQL log files contain evidence that proves that an infringement was committed by a person using Defendant’s IP Address. Malibu will not use Mr. Fieser for this purpose because he will not be able to establish the chain of custody to the PCAP. To explain, Mr. Patzer, not Mr. Fieser, restores the PCAPs saved onto the WORM tape drives and makes forensically sound copies of them for use at trial. Thus, only Mr. Patzer can testify to the chain of custody.
So, while witnessing the grimace of fear on one of the Guardaley’s heads is heartwarming, I’m pretty sure that another one — Mr. Lipscomb — is not at ease these days either: the comeuppance is around the corner.
It is not a question whether we will witness a Prenda-like downfall of the German-connected trolls, the only questions are 1) when, and 2) how much harm upon the people the scammers will be able to inflict before they are shut down for good.
- Techdirt: Once Again, As Details Of Questionable Copyright Trolling Practices Come To Light, Troll Desperately Tries To Run Away by Mike Masnick.
- The Spokesman-Review: Media company drops Internet piracy lawsuit against Spokane Valley man by Tom Sowa.