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210 responses to ‘California

  1. Looks like sanctions are a no go for now in the Malibu case. However the Judge doesn’t buy the response from Troll Kushner and tells her try try again.

    MINUTE ORDER IN CHAMBERS by Judge R. Gary Klausner: There are two categories of Defendants in these related cases: Defendants who are currently unrepresented and Defendants who are represented by The Pietz Law Firm. The Court will discuss the pending issues as to each group of Defendants separately. First, as to the unrepresented Defendants, the Court requests further briefing from thePlaintiff as to the issue of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff responded to the Courts Order toShow Cause by submitting information about the accuracy of its IP address tracking in other federal cases. However, this data is unreliable as Plaintiff has not presented the Court with information about how it selected the defendants in those cases or the methods it used to track their location. Further, the success of Plaintiffs methods in other cases is not necessarilyindicative of the likelihood that this Court has personal jurisdiction over of the present unrepresented Defendants. Plaintiff is to submit further briefing, of no more than ten pages by Friday, July 27, 2012 addressing the geo locating tools or other relevant technology it has used in the present cases to identify the location of the IP addresses belonging to the unrepresented Defendants and the accuracy and reliability of such technology. The Court will not take further steps as to these unrepresented Defendants until it has resolved the issue of personal jurisdiction. Second, as to the represented Defendants, these Defendants have waived any objections to personal jurisdiction. (See Brief re: Jurisdiction and Sanctions for Related Case Rule Violations, 1: 6-10.) Further, John Doe Number 5 in 2:12-cv-03614 requests that the Court consider its previously filed Motion for Sanctions. Plaintiff has opposed that Motion andDefendant makes reply arguments in its response to the Order to Show Cause. Therefore, that Motion is deemed submitted. Upon full consideration of the arguments and evidence submitted in that case, the Court finds insufficient good cause to impose sanctions and hereby denies the Motion for Sanctions at Docket Entry 10 in 2:12-cv-03614. Because this Courts July 10, 2012 Case Management Order vacated any subpoenas that had previously been issued,Plaintiff may only proceed with discovery as to the represented Defendants upon further motion to the Court. (shb) (Entered: 07/24/2012)

    Troll is still stopped in her tracks as the Judge previously vacated all subpoenas.

  2. Received a letter from Comcast regarding AF Holdings LLC v. John Doe. (Docket: 3:12-cv-03251)

    I was shocked and confused at first, then angry when I searched the internet for additional information. I am still lost at this point, does anyone have any idea what the information in the above docket means?

    The Comcast letter states I have to “file something with the Northern District of California such as a motion to quash or vacate the legal process with the Subpoena no later than August 30, 2012.”

    As of now, I am trying to submit a MTQ letter from the template here, and perhaps contacting an attorney if needed or recommended.

    Thanks for all the posted information, words cannot express how much relief I felt after finding this site.

    • Sperlein is our house troll, the very reason of this site’s existence. Since he probably knows my identity, I’m not poking him with sharp things 😉

      • Also: Sperlein is Randazza’s friend. Two lovebirds assaulted Antonio A., I’m not 100% sure, but I have reasons to believe that he was innocent. Initially he hired an attorney, albeit not the best one, and fought. In the end, after a year of harassment they wrestled him into settlement. The guy was not a poor student and had some assets, so the pit bulls did not release their jaws until he yielded to the scumbags. Of course I don’t know the details, settlement is confidential, but based on circumstantial evidence I made a couple of conclusions.

  3. Thanks for the response, I actually meant that it said “primary distributor doe number 1”,

    which I haven’t seen before.

    • Yes. When someone recap the complaint we’ll see what it means. It may be the same horseshit as Steele/Lightspeed’s “primary hacker,” who accidentally happened to live in St. Clair county. Or it may be some seeder with IP address not changed for a long time. We’ll see.

        • Thanks for the link! This is a variation on a John Doe and his “co-conspirators lawsuit but check out footnote 1. It looks as if the troll neglected to add an indispenpensable party, Vivid.

        • What a steaming pile of BS.

          The torrent in question matching the hash number(B420335EDBF1786C6A0FDC567C4EE9920911847B) listed in the complaint is for a torrent titled “Star Wars XXX – A Porn Parody” that was uploaded around February 23 of this year, while the dates of infringement is a 36 hour period from 9:55 am April 1 to 10:13 pm on April 2 of this year. Anyone who knows anything about torrents, knows that the numbers of active participants (seeders and downloader’s) in a torrent decrease the older the torrent gets as people get the file and move on to newer torrents. As of right now the torrent associated with hash number listed in the compliant has over 200 seeders currently seeding the file, now remember this torrent is about 6 months old by now, so back in the beginning of April it would have had at the very least an equal number of people seeding the file, though most likely many more.

          There is no way that only one person was seeding the file on the alleged dates of infringement listed in the complaint based on the current health of the torrent. I think it is fairly obvious that they just singled out one IP address to be the “Primary Distributer”. Unless some agent on their behalf is Doe #1 who seeded the file to harvest IP’s, there is simply no way of knowing whom shared what with whom.

          There is zero direct evidence presented in the complaint that any of the Doe’s ever connected to each other or shared any of the bits of the file between each other, even torrenting the same file during the same time period in no ways proves that any of the IP’s listed in the complaint ever shared any of the file between themselves. In essence the arguments and supposed evidence presented in the complaint to support the claims giving therein is nothing but assertions built upon the plaintiffs/lawyers belief that because all the IP’s were collected being a part of a torrent swarm during the same relative time period that Doe #1 was seeding the file, that all of them must have downloaded the file from Doe #1 and shared it with each.

          I guess telling lies is just second nature to these trolls by now.

          • He does not even allege that Doe 1 is a seeder: “began distributing illegally reproduced portions of Plaintiff’s movie”

        • New Troll Tactic Alert!

          Paragraph 14 of the complaint sets forth an agency/vicarious liability theory. Total boilerplate and total bullshit so expect other trolls to copy it.

        • Plaintiff believes (translation: we figured we’d try out this one) that an agency-type relationship exists between 69 people…are you fucking kidding? I just looked at Michael Eichner’s (Media Protector GmbH ring a bell?) declaration and IP list…they’re ALL OVER California. How can any rational person have reason to believe that an agency-type relationship exists between people located all up and down the west coast of a state. “They have the same ISP so they must know each other.” Even better, “They work from home but use their employer’s VPN to download porn.” These trolls get more and more creative.

  4. Just curious, if this bozo is claiming that doe #1 made pieces of the so called “piece of art” available to other does, each piece without the whole is mumble jumble, right?

    just think out loud, sorry if I am grasping.

  5. Hi,

    I just received a letter for settlement with Scott M Hervey for case No. 2:12-cv-302 JAM CKD. I thought the case was already dismissed.

    • I believe the lower amount of Joes were dismissed. (2-295 or something like that) I don’t think the case has been dismissed with the larger amount of does. (2-595 or something close) At least I can’t find where it’s been dismissed on pacer.

      Even if both cases were dismissed, they would have likely been dismissed for improper joiner. They can still bring a case against you individually, which as you know is possibly, but unlikely. They have a couple years to do so.

      The settlement letters are an effort to extort money out of you.

      As always DO NOT contact them AT ALL.

      I got one, and I’m choosing to ignore it, for now.

      • On pacer, it says (2-265) the same amount of does for case 2:12-CV-00301 JAM CKD and it was dismissed without prejudice. What does that mean?

        • Delaney’s recommendation, which was adopted in full by Mendez in both 301 and 302, was to sever Does 2-265 in 301 and Does 2-590 in 302, but the order for 302 just specifies Does 2-265 by mistake (looks like the judge submitted the same order for both cases). Here’s the docket:

          Delaney also vacated her previous orders for expedited discovery in both cases, but maybe Hervey had got some names before that and is sending out letters to them anyway…?

        • He did get some names and addressed before the cases were dismissed unfortunately.

          PissedJOE, I really wouldn’t worry about it. Someone with more experience can correct me if I’m wrong, but 99.9% of the time they won’t file individually. It’s just not worth it.

          As for the judges mistake, I don’t really know what that means for the case?

  6. Looks like discovery has been granted in California Northern District for all does 1-69 in a Star Wars XXX case filed by Axel Braun and Gill Sperlein:

    A while back, Braun had a mass-bittorent case for 7,098 alleged downloader of Batman XXX, which got tossed. The new case is much more narrowly tailored to a short time frame (April 1-2, 2012) and California IP addresses, with one supposed “primary infringer” who was presumably seeding during that time. Braun also has a few other similar suits filed later in CAND on 8/3/2012.

  7. Brett Gibbs has been busy — about 15 new single-doe suits today on rfcexpress in California Central District for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13.

    I wish someone (maybe even AT&T and Comcast) could get to discovery on these shell corporations, especially AF Holdings. From what I’ve seen, it owns just two copyrights (“Popular Demand” and “Sexual Obsession”) both of which it bought off the porn company that actually made them (Heartbreaker Films), clearly for the sole purpose of using them to extort money in copyright law suits. It would surely be helpful to show that when Prenda talks about “our client, AF Holdings” they actually mean “our client, us”.

    • I am quite certain that, one of these days, a Doe Defender is going to look at the issue of “standing to sue” if “transacting business” in the forum state which would require a state issued “certificate of authorization” and “piercing the corporate veil”. Complicated potential troll trap for these offshore corporations or I could be way off base, someone smarter than I needs to look into it.

  8. I received an email from my ISP saying they had been notified of copyright infringement activity on my account. It’s not a settlement letter or even a “your information will be released” letter, just an email notifying me of the activity. Should I expect one of the previous letters soon?

    • Is your ISP Verizon by any chance? They will send out a “courtesy” e-mail if they get a notification from someone else (usually a notice from a hollywood company) but that’s normally it. For me it was my first indication that my computer had been hacked so it was very helpful, but I never received another notification at all after that (regarding that movie anyway) so I’d say probably not. Did it mention the file involved? If it was something major from a studio that’s probably all you’ll see about it. If you have no idea what the e-mail is referring to then it’s a good idea to do a full system scan and make sure your router is protected with the highest available security.

        • You can always call Comcast. I did when I received one of these. They told me there was no further action required as it was just a warning from the copyright holder. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t name you as a John Doe six months down the road. Right now you don’t need to do anything but in six months (maybe more, maybe less, maybe never) you might get an an actual letter from Comcast saying they’ve been subpoenaed for your info. That’s when you have to do something. Nothing you can do now (except get educated) but wait and see if anything eventually comes of it.

  9. Does it help my chances that this is the first notice I’ve received and this is not something that I have a history of doing?

    • honestly this is the first case of a porn company sending a notice to the isp instead of just going straight to suing that i have heard of, so your position is unique, what film/company was it because that will tell you if they have been suing people. if you do a full system sweep and re-secure your router and save any logs you may have (if you even had logging enabled on your router) then document that you did that then you should be fine if they do come a knocking. also perhaps put a dns filter on your router (for example and block known torrent sites, that may help as it will show that you made an effort to prevent it from happening again once you became aware of the infringing activity.

        • Yep. When I noticed a spike in my Internet usage one month I logged into my ISP email which I have never used once (not in the 12 years I’ve been with them). There were several copyright notices and the films were all associated with companies litigated by CEG TEK. This is nothing new. They have been sending out DMCA notices for a long time. At least then I won’t be surprised if I get an extortion letter at some point. Who knows what else was downloaded since most of the companies opt not to send DMCA notices. Can’t even be honest about it.

  10. Thanks for the insight guys, I received the one notice and freaked out a bit. I’m hoping it doesn’t go any farther, but I have confidence that if it does, sites like this are educating the masses on how to fight back and deal with the pressure.

  11. Involved in my own case right now. Got the first letter – notified of a dozen or so infringements. After further analysis, noticed that 3 of the said infringements were downloaded 2 weeks BEFORE the copyright registration (effective) date per

    Does this provide any legal leverage?

    • Someone can chime in here but I think it works like this. The film must be registered within three months of publication or statutory damages don’t apply, only actual damages until the copyright is actually granted. So, if the film was published/released July 1st, it must be copyrighted by October 1st for the rights holder to sue for statutory damages. Anything after that three month grace period but before the actual copyright then they can sue for only actual damages (i.e., cost of a DVD). Anything downloaded after the copyright is granted, then statutory damages apply of course. In your case, you have to find out when the movies were published vs. registered and see what applies. Just curious, what is the going settlement rate for a dozen films? Don’t have to give exact amount if that would be revealing too much. Just curious if it is $5K, $10K, etc.

    • Someone can chime in here but I think it works like this. The film must be registered within three months of publication or statutory damages don’t apply, only actual damages until the copyright is actually granted. So, if the film was published/released July 1st, it must be copyrighted by October 1st for the rights holder to sue for statutory damages. Anything after that three month grace period but before the actual copyright then they can sue for only actual damages (i.e., cost of a DVD). Anything downloaded after the copyright is granted, then statutory damages apply of course. In your case, you have to find out when the movies were published vs. registered and see what applies. Just curious, what is the going settlement rate for a dozen films? Don’t have to give exact amount if that would be revealing too much. Just curious if it is over $3K, $5K, $10K, etc.

      • Thanks for your reply. Looks like the publication date is about 2 weeks before copyright for these films in question. Accused download date is within a day or two of publication. Therefore, looks like I can use that as argument here.

        Lets just say the letter is asking for an absurd amount of money. They have a dollar value per infringement, and they multiply that by the amount of infringements.

        • I’m not sure you can use that for an argument. If you’re saying the alleged downloads occurred a day or two after publication, they have a three month grace period to file for copyright and be able to sue for statutory damages. So I think your alleged downloading occurs within the three month grace period which allows them to sue for statutory damages. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong.

    • Okay, maybe no one wants to answer this question. But, in this instance would you fight the suit? I’m going to be conservative and say that at 12 alleged infringements they’re asking for $30K+. This is an amount through the roof. What does one do at this point? With this much $$ at stake, would the plaintiff have any reservations about going after them individually? Do you wait it out like all the rest? Gte a good lawyer to negotiate settlement amount? Lordy, I’m not sure what this person should do.

      • I’m inclined to say fight it no matter what–typically these cases are nothing more than shakedowns with little to no real evidence that you’ve done anything, save an I.P. address. With that much money at stake, I would definitely fight it as that’s the cheapest option for sure. Only you know if you actually did it or not and, more importantly, if there is any evidence of this on your computer. Remember, wi-fis are easy to crack, and if you live in a heavily populated area any number of people could have gotten on your If, after reading through all the information on this and other sites and you think there’s a pretty good chance you’d get found guilty and on the hook for that amount or more then you might want to get a lawyer and work out a settlement. Either way with that amount of money involved I’d definitely talk to one of the lawyers on this site. There are several listed in the California threads that should be happy to help, or at least give you some advice even if they aren’t in a position to represent you. Good luck.

  12. In Media Products v. Does 1-162 (CAND 12-cv-3801) Judge Grewal sua sponte on 9-16 severs Does 2-162 from Troll Matlock’s lawsuit citing CAND precedent regarding improper joinder. Of interest is an empirical study cited in footnote 14 that I have not seen before finding only 3.1% of BitTorrent users stay connected more than 10 hours after their download is complete.

  13. Sensing a trend in CAND. On 10-1 in New Sensations v. Does 1-426 (12-cv-3800) Judge Corley sua sponte severs from Troll Matlock’s lawsuit Does 2-426 finding, in part, that:

    “The Court is unaware of any caselaw holding that an Internet subscriber has a legal duty to every copyright holder whose material is available on the Internet to ensure that the subscriber.s Internet access is not used for copyright infringement. Indeed, common sense dictates most people in the United States would be astounded to learn that they had such a legal duty. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Plaintiff.s negligence claim is insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Similarly, Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts for the Court to evaluate its claims for contributory or vicarious infringement.”

    The judge further finds joinder improper, in part because:

    “That separate lawsuits increase Plaintiff.s prosecution costs is not a good reason to join over 400 defendants, especially given the costs of defendants of defending these actions, and the fact that many of the originally targeted defendants may in fact not be liable. If Plaintiff wishes to use the federal courts to pursue these actions, it must do so in cases with fewer defendants even if it costs Plaintiff more money.”

    Click to access gov.uscourts.cand.257409.7.0.pdf

  14. In Malibu Media v. Does 1-15 (CASD 12-cv-369) an idividual defendant interposes and answer with 17 affirmative defenses and 7 Fantalisesque counterclaims Subsequently Troll Kushner and the defendant enter into a confidential settlement

    Docket is here

    Thanks Jason!!!!

  15. Sperlein just filed two or three new suits in California on behalf of Axel Braun. Who with a quick google search was apparently the director of Avengers XXX.

    It also appears that he works for Vivid which seems to be a new company to the trolling game based on what I can find.

    Two lawsuits for a total of 191 does.

    • A few questions for anyone/everyone. Anyone know how long it takes for this stuff to hit PACER? Also, is Sperlein CEG TEK or is he an independent? Does Braun and Co. usually send out DMCA notices?

      • Sperlein is “kind of” independent scumbag. He pals with Randazza and thinks of himself as a someone of a higher quality than Steele, although in reality they are all the same feces of the humankind.

      • I could only find one of the newish cases on there. It wasn’t one of the ones on RFCExpress though. But it was submitted on 11/9 and filed 11/14. I don’t know if my recap worked for the complaint, but it did for the docket.

        I had to search by party name, being Braun, Axel. The complaint did not have an IP list of exhibit, and it was for the xxx parody of Star Wars.

    • Have’nt had a chance to track these down yet but Axel has instigated troll suits in the recent past. Axel is a director who is occasionally hired by Vivid who produces his porn. My understanding is that Vivid is the largest porn producer in the USA and has never seen the need to get mired down in porn suits. Nevertheless, starving Axel is hungry for some extortion money so he has dipped his toe into the game but without the necessary party which is Vivid I doubt he has actual legal standing to bring these lawsuits. In other words, it is doubtful Axel is the 100% owner of the movies he is suing for (C) infringement, Vivid is at the very least a 50% owner and a necessary party.

      • So in other words he’s hoping that the judge doesn’t notice that he doesn’t actually hold the copyright until after he gets access to ~300 doe’s information to fleece settlements out of?

    • Well, the copyright database lists Vivid and only Vivid as the copyright claimant for Star Wars XXX. How can he sue? He did it with Batman XXX but Axel Braun Productions was the claimant on that case. How can the judge not be aware of this? Isn’t this deliberate fraud or misrepresentation or something?

    • yeah,. I don’t understand the Braun ones either. My PACER budget is almost up for the quarter so I can’t look at them. I did notice that the one I did look at didn’t have any IP addresses as an Exhibit. Is that a mistake? How can they state they believe all the infringers reside in California (according to one of the motions I read) but not provide any evidence to back it up?

    • Well, the primary doe one is misleading. It is in fact against 129 does spanning March 4th – March 12th. It’s for Star Wars XXX like the other one (I’m assuming all three are for SWXXX). I’m guessing he thinks it’s just as popular as Batman XXX. I still don’t understand how he has claims to the movie when it lists Vivid as the copyright claimant.

      • Because he is a loser douchebag and, so far, clueless law clerks have not bothered to look beyond the four corners of the complaint. Never fear, this crap is in Ranallo/Pietz territory.

      • I took a look at the other recently filed Axel Braun cases, but couldn’t recap them unfortunately.
        Both are for SWXXX. 05812 is for 1 + does 2-40 for Aprll 11- April 17, and 05813 is for 1 + does 2-151 from Feb 26-Mar 3, or as the complaint says:

        “Primary doe..made pieces of plaintiff’s movie available to at least 386 other individuals…Plaintiff currently identifies those individuals as does 2-151.”

        No IP addresses, just a claim the does are located in CA.

        I was surprised that discovery was granted in CAND for the first of these Axel Braun lawsuits. Hopefully, the rest of them will face a much stiffer judicial headwind.

  16. Can someone explain to me why Axel doesn’t even have to provide a list of IPs or a screesnhot from the US copyright DB? The court just takes him at his word that the IPs are all in CA? He doesn’t even have to keep up the pretense of due diligence? Also, how can he sue when according to the US copyright database (as other have pointed out) he’s not even the claimant on this movie. W . . . T . . . F?!

    • Braun is claiming he has submitted a supplementary request to the copyright office. I guess it will be approved, but I don’t know the law (do both copyright holders Braun and Vivid have to be on the suit or does either one have the right to sue on their own?). However, the beauty of this from the Troll’s point of view (apart from the fact that there’s no one to dispute their claims) is that (as I understand from other cases) the validity of the Plaintiff’s copyright is normally an issue that’s decided later on in the process, and by that time they already have the names.

      Granting discovery with no IP addresses in the complaint seems indefensible to me (and there weren’t any given in the previous cases where discovery was already granted). It pretty much gives them carte blanche to ask for as many IPs as they want — say, 100 from Comcast, 100 from Cox, 100 from Verizon, 100 from AT&T etc. — and I’m sure they’ll do that if they think they can get away with it.

    • In 05813 Braun/Sperlein provide a list of IPs in the discovery request instead of the complaint, along with a declaration from Rainer Strassmeir. The IPs are from all over CA (Redding to San Diego) — I assume the Judge will have an issue with that.

      • I also love that Rainer Strassmeir determines where to find files via a Google search. They then download and compare the file to the original movie. This means that they committed copyright infringement themselves. Also, if a judge was smart they would inquire as to how many DMCA notices they sent out to have these files/links removed or to the infringers themselves. When the response is zero, it would be obvious they have no interest in stopping piracy. How, after two years, are judges not catching on to this?! They simply don’t care about stopping piracy as they claim. As far as I am concerned, they are perjuring themselves every time they state this in their suits.

  17. Hi guys got a quick question…..has anyone receive any postcards from charter recently? it says to go into a website and put reference number and my account number……..i just went to the site but didnt put anything on it… wondering what msg they have for me…has anyone got an idea?

  18. It seems that discovery is being granted in all of the Axel Braun/Sperlein cases, most recently for their second batch of 4:

    There are already a bunch of setllements in the original batch of 4 suits (which don’t seem to be mentioned as related cases in the second batch) . It’s strange that CAND appears to be opening itself up again to these law suits.

  19. A letter was recently sent to me from Gil Sperlien accusing me of copyright infringement. The letter was addressed to my name. I contacted my ISP and asked them if they released my information to anyone and they denied it stating they didn’t. I asked for a letter from them stating my name and address were not given to anybody. So how did Mr. Sperlien acquire my name and address??

  20. All but Doe 1 have been severed from the more recent Axel Braun cases:

    Click to access gov.uscourts.cand.260680.14.0.pdf

    It still seems like Braun has no standing in these cases anyway — my guess is that his agreement with Vivid didn’t grant him any copyright for Star Wars, and not through an “oversight” on Vivid’s part, but who knows. (Batman seems to be the one movie Braun does have the copyright for).

  21. This is my favorite comment: “We aren’t talking about criminal law here, get over yourself and get your facts straight. If a defendant makes the argument that they didn’t download/share the file, then they need to prove it. That’s how law works… so, who is the law noob?”

    He is right that civil law is different than criminal in that burden of proof is lower. However, the plaintiff still has to prove through a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant more likely than not downloaded the file. A defendant doesn’t have to prove he is innocent.

    It really amazes me how all these inexperienced lawyers with no training in IP law think they can just jump in and handle these cases. I guess that is why they don’t want any of these cases to go to trial. The whole plan is to just scare people into settling.

    By the way, this clown basically stole $1,021,300 from the judicial system by fraudulently joining all these defendants. I’m not going to say anything nice about Malibu Media, but at least they are being honest by filing individual Doe cases and not using Prenda-like tactics by using fraudulent joinder theories to steal from the already overburdened federal courts!

    • Lipscomb’s Malibu extortion racket is every bit as dishonest and disingenuous as Prenda’s. The individual cases that Malibu files in federal court seem proper at face value because they are the second step in the process.

      The first step is choosing victims and that is being done through the usual mass Doe suits, primarily in Florida state court using the PBOD loophole.

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