Guardaley | X-Art

Copyright trolls re-infest California: meet new porn troll Brenna Erlbaum

That was rather unexpected. After the devastating blow that California courts delivered to Ira Siegel, Prenda and Malibu in 2012-2013, this state was porn copyright vermin-free for two years. Surprisingly, on 9/8/2015 a couple of new Malibu Media lawsuits appeared in the Northern District. At the time of writing they are:

  • 9/8/2015: Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 24.130.215.234 (CAND 15-cv-04088)
  • 9/9/2015: Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 174.62.108.13 (CAND 15-cv-04109)
  • 9/9/2015: Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 24.130.145.185 (CAND 15-cv-04111)
  • 9/9/2015: Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 174.62.78.179 (CAND 15-cv-04110)
  • 9/9/2015: Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 107.3.177.69 (CAND 15-cv-04108)

 

Brenna ErlbaumPorn troll Brenna Erlbaum

All of these cases were filed by a 26-year-old, apparently starving attorney Brenna Erlbaum, who got her first Bar license in May 2014. Although she signs her filings as a “partner at Heit Erlbaum LLP,” this lawfirm doesn’t even have a website, lists a UPS mailbox as its address and consists only of her and Brian Heit — an even greener attorney who was admitted to the CA Bar only seven months ago.

While the attorney is located near Los Angeles (in Ventura county — not far from the illegal porn production studio), the Miami Troll Center decided to run their money press in the Northern District, seemingly fearing the wrath of Judge Wright, who works in the Central District.

I don’t know… maybe this is good news: the US copyright trolling plague became chronic, and maybe tech-savvy judges and superb defense attorneys (not to mention the EFF) will be able to nudge the disease into an acute state — a painful yet necessary phase on the way to healing. We will be closely watching the developments, and I really hope that Lipscomb & Co will end up in a situation its predecessors currently enjoy.

Pity that Ms. Erlbaum, who was duped into participation in this stinky scheme, doesn’t realize that gambling her reputation so early in her legal career is very dangerous, especially in this day and age: the Internet never forgets.

 

(The list of obscenities)

Other current California shakedowns

This information wouldn’t warrant a separate post, but since we are talking about California, it makes sense to mention the only other present trolling operation in this state: an obscure immigration lawyer from Portland OR, James S. Davis, filed four shakedown cases> in the Southern District (San Diego) on behalf of Guardaley/Voltage Pictures in 2015.

Updates

9/12/2015

Two days later Ms. Erlbaum massively bombarded CAND with 30 new cases. Isn’t it symbolic that this attack took place on 9/11?

9/29/2015

It is clear that Northern California District regarded the Malibu Media infestation as a problem. And the judges did something rather unusual and proactive: today Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton ordered to reassign all the current 73 cases (as well as the future ones) to a single judge — William Haskell Alsup:

The Executive Committee has determined that these cases, although not technically related within the meaning of Civil Local Rule 3-12, should be assigned to one judge in the interest if avoiding duplication of effort and conserving judicial resources and to enable efficient case management.

Accordingly, the above-captioned cases are hereby REASSIGNED to the Honorable William Alsup in the San Francisco Division. Any similar cases filed by the same plaintiff against a subscriber within one year of the date if this order shall also be assigned to Judge Alsup.

While having a single judge handling all the bittorent cases in a jurisdiction is a double-edge sword, my intuition tells me that in this case it’s a good news, I may be overoptimistic though… In any case, something — good or bad — is going to happen rather soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

 

10/16/2015

Judge Alsup moved the case management conference for all the Malibu cases assigned to him from December to November 12, 11:00 AM. How often judges move scheduled events to an earlier date? Mark your calendars. (Update: the conference was pushed one week back — to 11/19/2015, 11:00 AM.)

10/18/2015

Judge Alsup granted all the trolls’ ex-parte discovery motions (on Sunday night — from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am O_o ), with some limitations, including protecting defendants from being named publicly. The judge invited Does to file motions to quash. Comcast is invited to oppose too, but I don’t hold my breath: of all the US ISPs, Comcast has been troll-obedient the most.

There is one new requirement, never seen before in such orders:

The subpoena shall only seek the name and address of the subscriber for the time frame from FOURTEEN DAYS BEFORE the date of the first alleged infringing act to FOURTEEN DAYS AFTER the date of the last alleged infringing act.

Followups

wordpress counter

Discussion

13 responses to ‘Copyright trolls re-infest California: meet new porn troll Brenna Erlbaum

  1. Damn. There goes my hope that this would land in Judge Otis T. Wright’s docket.. Who knows maybe they will file one in Judge Wright’s district out of stupidity or greed ( I will assume both ) We all know the temptation to get easy cash is hard for the trolls to pass up.

    Looks like we will have to wait and see.

  2. From Erlbaum’s Twitter profile: “Incurable optimist, attorney at law, & sports enthusiast. —our own well-being is deeply tied to the well-being of others.

    “I am because you are.” Profound.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s