Discussion

781 responses to ‘General issues

  1. I have a dilemma and don’t know what to do. I was one of the named Joe Does in a lawsuit that was closed in Feb/March. I thought the nightmare was all behind me, till I checked my mail as stepped in back from work and had a letter from of the lowest life forms lawyers in my mailbox.
    It is basically accusing me of downloading 3 more movies in December- Jan time frame. It nicely says that I have the option of giving in 4K or face trial. So looks like they have tagged my IP to other incidents. I used to share one of my empty rooms through airbnb service, a practice I have long discontinued.
    One of the movies is not even in the copyright database (Mandingo Massacre 3). Is this something new? Is it even legal- Looks like they took information from one case and are using it for other purposes. I am again panicked, last time I lived through 4 months of hell and don’t how will I take it again

  2. If someone downloaded the movies through your wireless that’s not your fault. You haven’t breached copyright. Mandingo Massacre 3 is a porn movie. There’s a guy doing a brilliant countersuit against porn trolls. Talk to the EFF.

  3. Can anyone help me? Maybe SJC, Raul, TAC, or DTD would know. I was named as a Doe (in what isn’t important) so I know what my IP was at the time. It looks like I had the same IP address for quite some time. Is there a way to contact the ISP to inquire if I am the target of any other lawsuits as well? My router wasn’t as secure due to connectivity issues with one of my game systems so now I wonder what that has cost me. Other than looking for my IP on the web, I’m not sure of another way. And even then if the docs haven’t been loaded into something like scribd I likely won’t see it until the ISP contacts me (if they even do). I’m extremely paranoid now and would like to try and stay ahead of the game. Thanks for any help.

  4. I’m hoping someone can help me. Maybe SJD, TAC, Raul, or DTD have dealt with this. I tired to post this once but it didn’t look like it went through so delete if this is a duplicate. I was recently named as a doe (in what isn’t important) so I know what my IP was at the time of the alleged infringement. My router wasn’t as secure as it could have been due to connectivity issues with one of my game systems. It also looks like I’ve had the same IP address for some time. Is there a way to contact my ISP and see if I am the target of any other lawsuits? This has made me extremely paranoid and I’d like to stay ahead of the game. I tried searching for my IP and it only pulls up the one case. However, if it isn’t loaded into scribd it doesn’t look like it would show. That’s why I want to contact the ISP. Any advice would be appreciated.

      • Well, that was a dead end. I called my ISP and they said they were bound by NDAs regarding requests for my information. Of course they said they would notify me if they needed to for other incidents, but that doesn’t put me at ease. I don’t like being blind-sided and it makes the situation much more stressful. Any other ways to keep an eye for my IP being targeted?

    • It’s the spam filter: it does not like TOR (though in other TOR cases postings go through). I can’t control it, there are no whitelists. Turning it off is not an option either: I get 40-80 spam postings a day (which would translate to the same amount of spam emails sent to those who are subscribed to discussion threads). I check for false positives 1-2 times a day, so eventually a wrongly flagged post appears. If it is rather urgent, shoot me an email.

  5. Hi All… Just wanted to include a bit of news from a particular case…

    Third Degree Films, Inv v Does 1-375 Docket No. 4:11-cv-00572

    This case, along with 26 other cases all filed by Terik (Teryk) Hashmi and later retaken by Mike Meiers were all dismissed without prejudice by the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on March 9th, 2012. Apparently Hashmi had filed the cases, and even accepted settlements from various Does without being a member of the Florida Bar, thus not licenced to practice law in the State of Florida! Judge Robert Hinkle indicated that he did not have any qualms to have the plaintiffs to start over and file all suits the right way…

    I would venture to say that this is a breather for all named as Does, but this is a nightmare that will eventually return. Hopefully, by the time Meiers does refile, the District Judges will have a much better handle on this kind of scam.

    • …and discussing these case in the Florida thread would be more… productive: people subscribe to the threads they are interested in reading. Do not assume everyone reads every comment (unless he uses RSS).

  6. It’s kind of off topic, but since copyright trolling isn’t just an American phenomenon I might as well share the news.

    As some of you might have read, the German law firm U+C threatend to publish the names of 150.000 alleged porn pirates on their website (targeting churches, police stations and muslims first) in order to publically humiliate and shame them into paying.

    Well, as expected it’s not going to happen anytime soon. The Bavarian State Bureau of Data Protection stepped in and forbade U+C to release any information online.

    Of course the trolls are outraged. On their website, where the list was supposed to be as of today, theres only a short statement containing a lot of whining and rambling. According to U+C the decision was unfair and wrong because the bureau wouldn’t even listen to their “legal arguments”. They say it was solely based upon media coverage.

    But fear not fellow trolls [and now it’s getting really funky] because U+C don’t like to be bullied by the ignorant authorities. They will never bow down to the pressure. This violation of fundamental rights leaves them no choice but to take this matter to court. So they decided to stick to due process (for now) and not publish any names until the trial is over. Then, when their noble battle is won and justice restored, you can all go back to extortion as usual and live happily ever after.

    • Of German heritage, back in the days when Germany was shipping orphans to Colonies circa 1750. I am profoundly ashamed of the German birth and encouragement of the business model.

    • Well, it is absolutely not off topic and thanks for taking time writing about this news. Of course I read about the U+C sick intentions (it was everywhere in the news), but as usual with media, “what happened next” is hard to come by, I was not aware of the latest developments.

    • *sigh* yet another reason to be ashamed of my heritage. Already ashamed of my Irish heritage (Paul Duffy) and my German heritage (Nazis), now this. It’s ironic because I’m also of Swedish heritage (piracy on a Biblical scale).

  7. I’m not sure where to post this or if this is the best place to ask. However, since everyone knows so much about these things I’m hoping someone can answer a question about the ISP handing over the MAC address. Is the MAC address from the modem, router, or any/all machines on the network?

    Let’s say the thing moved to the discovery phase. Would the Plaintiff have obtained a list of all the MAC addresses used on someone’s WiFi from the ISP? For example, if a family member uses his/her laptop on my WiFi would they know about it unless I told them? If I know for a fact that my Dad’s laptop didn’t download anything, I wouldn’t want them to look at it. Likewise for a wireless tablet, portable game system, etc.

    I’m scared to let anyone use my WiFi now for fear that if I’m wrongly accused down the road for something, someone will come knocking on their (family) door asking for the machine because they could tell it was my network at some point and I’d be forced to ‘fess up.

    • No. They’d only have the modem’s MAC address. If I login to my router’s configuration, I can see the MAC addresses of the devices logged into my router, but my ISP can’t see any of that. No one can unless they examine your router. Logs are wiped very frequently anyway.

    • I had the same thoughts. I have not been subpoenaed, but I received a notice for pre-settlement with a threat to sue from Ira Seigel. The IP address on the complaint is my router, not my computer. Could they legally subpoena any other device besides the router?

      • Well if anyone is familiar with MAC cloning on the routers, it basically sets your router’s MAC to the computer used to configure the router. On my old router I had this set so the MAC being broadcast (I”m assuming) was from my PC. I don’t have this enabled on my current router since most days it is not needed anymore. It looks like they can subpoena any computer “in your control” based on some letters I’ve seen floating around the web. So, for me that means my two PCs and any other device like game systems they may want to look at I guess (I mean they do have hard drives). Also, I’ve seen where they want to look at any external drives, flash cards, USB keys, etc. All of this would be insanely expensive and that’s why they try to avoid this if possible. They put all this in a letter to try and scare you with the possible scope of the investigation.

  8. Who is copyright-defenders.com?
    Does anyone know about this operation? Lawyers associated with them, clients?

    I believe I read about them somewhere. Their ad. The address is a virtual office in a Las Vegas mall. Manger – Ralph Pytlik (looks like the same as a German painter judging on the pictures).

    I obtained a copy of the email they send soliciting troll lawyers and want to publish it, but a little bit of background would not hurt.

  9. Yay bands filing lawsuits, great. Lacuna Coil is on the bandwagon now? I can’t say that I’m surprised since that band has been going for a good 5 years and going nowhere. I saw them back in February when they opened for Megadeth and Motorhead and they were one of the worst live acts I’ve ever seen. I’d be really offended if I ended up a Doe in one of their lawsuits heh.

    • Remember that Lacuna Coil might not even hold the copyrights on their work.
      Remember the recent case where some band no one cared about fought back against their label suing, and then it came out that the group suing didn’t actually have the rights to the songs…

      • Yea I realized that after I posted. Record labels own the bands. This same label sued a bunch of Does for pirating Iced Earth’s last album. Iced Earth is a great band and I doubt they’d be all about this type of crap so I’m guessing the label pulled the trigger on the lawsuit. Since Lacuna Coil is considered metal (don’t ask me why), they’ve got a die hard fan base….which will decline after their fans see this. Good strategy. Piss off the fan base of one of your money makers, lost ticket sales (goes to the band and promoters usually) and lost album sales (mostly to the label). These morons really don’t think things through, do they?

  10. Hey all. I’m considering registering for a PACER account. Is there anything to be concerned about regarding credit card info? I’m assuming there is no point in registering under a fake name since I would have to give my real info in the credit card fields. I’m really paranoid now of having my name out in Cyberspace and will think twice unless absolutely necessary. Anyone who already has a PACER account did you register under real identity?

    • I also registered under my real identity. I’m not concerned with privacy when it comes to the federal judiciary. They take privacy very seriously. You’ll be safe.

    • It should be nice and safe, and please consider installing the RECAP plugin, this helps populate the internet archive with copies of the documents locked behind the Pacer paywall so other Does and defenders can see them.

  11. so i just saw this case : http://www.torrentlitigation.com/cases/Century-Media-Ltd-v-Does-1-944-No-12-cv-3868-%28DNJ%29.pdf

    filed on 06/25/12 and their ip list actually shows what state and city. and their arguments seem to come from a real lawyer not some ambulance chaser. do you all think the major record labels are going to get back into the suing for copyright infringement?

    on a side note, way to put “lacuna coil” on the same page as “teen anal nightmare 2” and “jeff cums in colby’s mouth” i will never buy music from century media now……

    i am going to look into a list of “legit” (aka non porn) companies to boycott for trolling. but if we could get some form of a main post where people can add to the list, crowd sourcing is way better than me spending weeks looking ish up. so far there’s nu image, john wiley and sons, and century media. i KNOW there are more but can’t remember them right now. but a “boycott these trolls” header under “discussions” would be handy :-).

    • Record labels suing people now…or should I say, again. I don’t think that this is a pattern. The label is London-based. Oh, well that explains it heh. They also sued a bunch of people for downloading Iced Earth’s newest album. The lawyer is a copyright troll.

      I know a lot of people who download an album before they buy it just to see if it’s worth their $12 or $13. I wonder how many of those Does actually went and bought the album after downloading it and listening to it or who already owned it. They’re gonna alienate a lot of fans by doing this and it’s the label, not the band that’s pulling the trigger on the case. “My favorite band sued me!” Unfortunately, the label owns the rights, the label does what it wants. It’s damn near impossible to claim fair use when you’re sharing it as well as downloading like you would be doing on TPB. This is a legit claim that’ll probably get people. Lesson: If you wanna download music and you own a copy of the album in the first place, don’t use a P2P protocol.

      • @TAD, can you provide any more information on the labels suing (or shaking down) their fans? Is there a particular lawsuit or case in a particular court that you are referring to? This is news and I’d really like to research more about it. So far lawsuits have been b-rated films and pornography flicks such as x-art’s media. Record labels suing people again is big news because it suggests that the sleeping giant RIAA/MPAA has woken up from their three-year slumber. My e-mail is rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com.

        • Thank you for the links. I will look into this and will probably blog about it some time this afternoon. As I said, this is BIG news, as the record labels have been the sleeping giants of the copyright infringement lawsuits. If they have woken up and start suing defendants, this will turn into a new level of fighting, as the record labels are well funded (although the law firm that they chose to fight their case in NJ has been at best weak). Please let me know if you find anything else.

          Here’s the link:
          http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/tech_news/Thousands_in_NJ_are_targeted_by_file-sharing_lawsuits.html?page=all

        • I was actually mistaken…or I thought I was. When I read your comment I was on my way out the door. This label has sued people for pirating several of their bands’ music. By “again” I meant that it’s happening again, not that anything is similar to the Napster or RIAA lawsuits. Just…again.

          My motto is: if your music doesn’t suck, people will buy it. If this makes me a pirate to say this, so be it but I really don’t have a problem with people who download music just to check it out before buying it. If they don’t like it, then they should wipe it off their HDD. If they do like it, go buy the album and support the artist. Discourage record labels from pumping out one hit wonders, albums with a hit song and then the rest of the album is sheer garbage, or just outright awful albums for whatever reason. Metallica’s “St. Anger” comes to mind as one of the worst albums put out by a great band. I also don’t have a problem with people who download a digital copy of an album that they’ve already purchased because they don’t feel like ripping the actual CD that’s sitting in front of them. This presents a problem with P2P since people are uploading as well as downloading (unless they configure their client properly) so technically they are sharing, no more fair use.

          World Digital Rights, Inc. v. John Does 1-80 (2:12-cv-00225-UA-SPC) and World Digital Rights, Inc. v. John Does 1-100 (1:12-cv-21465-PAS) are both closed. Apparently “World Digital Rights, Inc.” didn’t even own the rights to the music even though they claimed Nuclear Blast assigned the rights to them…ironic heh. Even Nuclear Blast the record label was pissed off.

          These suits have a very high potential for negative returns. They may make a couple thousand bucks off a handful of Does but lose a couple hundred thousand dollars as a result of pissed off fans not buying albums and the band playing shows in empty venues while not selling concert t-shirts. Record sales are the bread and butter for musicians. They don’t make much from live shows (unless they’re Van Halen who grossed $2M per show this year) and tours are to promote the record. Way to think it out, Century Media.

        • Since your comment, I have also been doing research on the topic and I have found some interesting activity on behalf of the music labels. I’m compiling the data now as we speak, and I hope to write up the article some time this weekend (or first thing next week).

    • I received this letter from COMCAST a couple days ago stating that my IP address was on the list. October 1st is when COMCAST is supposed to hand over the account information.

      I have to admit I’m freaking out right now, but thanks to this site I know I must stand my ground and not give in to these trolls.

  12. Selections from a blog summary of a research article.

    SJD re-tweeted a link to a different press summary, at the New Scientist site,
    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2012/09/honeytrap-catches-copyright-co.html

    Look especially at the last paragraph:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/09/05/bittorrent_downloads_monitored_by_copyright_enforcerers_government_labs_say_researchers_.html

    “If you’ve ever downloaded a popular movie, TV show or music album from a site like Pirate Bay, there’s a strong chance your IP address is sitting on a database somewhere….

    “That’s according to a report published today by a team of computer scientists based out of the University of Birmingham, England. The project, the first of its kind, took three years to complete, and offers a tremendous amount of new information about the extent to which various organizations are monitoring file sharing via BitTorrent.

    Click to access P2PMonitor.pdf

    “So what exactly did their research reveal? They were able to identify 1,139 IP addresses linked up to the BitTorrent network that they believe were monitoring users around the world. Those IP addresses belong to copyright enforcement organizations, security companies, and government research labs, according to the report.

    “Many of the suspicious IPs used third-party hosting companies, which the scientists speculated were intended to serve ‘as a front to disguise their identities.’…

    “….it sheds fresh light the sheer scale of the monitoring. Furthermore, it seems that copyright enforcers are targeting “only the most popular content,” … anyone sharing a popular film or music file is likely to have their activity logged on the network within three hours….

    “The scientists say that while the monitoring technology can detect that you are connected to a torrent client, they can’t necessarily prove you downloaded anything. This means that the data gathered through monitoring “falls short of providing conclusive evidence of copyright infringement”—and might not stand up in a court.”

  13. I have been wrongfully attacked with an obvious attempt at extortion. I was actually quite disturbed and nervous until I started to do some research, and this site has been a great resource. Thank you to the people who put the time in here. I have a question. If a so called infringer is sent a letter containing a certain movie title that was “stolen”, and you go to the us goverment site and the movie title is not registered, how does prenda consider this stealing copyrighted material?

    • In a nutshell there are two approaches as to whether you can sue under the Copyright Act. The “application” approach permits you to sue if you have merely applied for a certificate of copyright, CA follows this approach. On the other hand, there is the “registration” approach which permits you to sue only if you have a certificate of copyright registration, NY follows this approach. You need to research and find out which approach is followed in your state.

    • If it’s a newer movie it’s possible that they’ve submitted application forms but the registration process hasn’t been completed yet. According to the website the average processing time is currently about 3 month for e-filings and 7 month for paper forms. If that’s the case there should be a sentence about it somewhere in the complaint, assuming its a torrent case and not one of those ultra vague password hacking cases.

      Either way, without a valid copyright registration or at least having applied for one they can’t sue you for copyright infringement (as far as I know), no matter how many silly anologies they come up with about why downloading something is to be considered stealing.

  14. Here’s a question that is just from me thinking out loud. When the RIAA or MPAA sued people, they granted them amnesty from any further lawsuits if they settled and agreed not to infringe anymore. With places like CEG TEK who handle many different clients, do they do anything like this (i.e., CEG TEK won’t bring any further suits against you . . . )? For example, one of the EFF lawyers mentions in his online blog that he negotiates settlements for all known, unknown, etc. claims. I know the porn companies don’t really care about stopping piracy so they likely won’t do this. But maybe there should be a organization similar to the MPAA or RIAA that adult companies could join. That way some of these repeat Does would have a way out of financial ruin when they settle one case only to have another pop up two, six, eight months (or more) later.

  15. It is a torrent case, It has just passed the discovery phase and I have just been sent the “extortion” letter to collect the quick $$$. Unfortunately for these trolls, I will fight them based on principle alone, because first of all I am not guilty of what they allege. But it is more than that really, It are people like this who are a part of breaking down the integrity of the law. They also are breaking down the basic fabric of decency, in my opinion. To send a threatening letter based on flawed discovery is just vile.

  16. New Troll Tactic Alert:

    In the CAED both newly minted “Of Counsel” to Prenda Law, Troll Gibbs, and CEG’s Troll Kushner have ripped yet another page out of Randazza’s playbook and have stated filing their odious lawsuits “under seal” to hide them from the public. I have a hard time believing that they are doing this out of respect for the privacy of their victims. Who are they afraid of? SJD, DTD or the FBI?

  17. How the hell are they convincing judges to allow these cases to be filed under seal anyway? There has to be some circumstance for the judge to permit this shit like disclosure of confidential information in the complaint. Judges are really leery of permitting this because of judicial accountability. Ugh, this is really strange.

    • I’m guessing they have concocted some bullshit about protecting the privacy of their victims given the salacious nature of the complaints. It is so ironic it hurts.

      • I can see that working last year but these judges are a helluva lot more knowledgeable than they were when these cases first began. I still can’t see a judge allowing something like that seeing how they haven’t given a shit about the victims’ privacy since all this began…why care now.

  18. OK I got this “sealed case” this figured out. It’s a procedural thing. These case numbers denote case shells. Notice the “at” in the case numbers. 2:12-at-01042, 2:12-at-01043, 2:12-at-01044…. “at” (as well as “av” and “ar”) denotes a shell case to facilitate electronic filing. My guess, Gibbs and Kushner and that new troll possibly just hadn’t paid the filing fees so the case number was not “cv” (civil). Once filing fee is paid, the case gets a new number, old case number is sealed to prevent people from filing under that case, and everything is moved over to the new case.changed over to “cv.”

    These are likely the cases Gibbs filed…
    2:12-cv-01967-MCE-JFM Ingenuity13, LLC v. Unknown filed 07/26/12
    2:12-cv-01968-LKK-EFB AF Holdings LLC v. Unknown filed 07/26/12
    2:12-cv-01969-MCE-CKD Ingenuity13 LLC v. Unknown filed 07/26/12

    Found my info here: http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/sealcafc.pdf/$file/sealcafc.pdf

    In the first Ingenuity13 case, expedited discovery was effectively denied…
    “MINUTE ORDER (TEXT ONLY): The parties are hereby notified that 6 Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application for Leave to take Expedited Discovery is defectively noticed pursuant to Local Rule 230. The filer is instructed to contact Magistrate Judge Moulds’ courtroom clerk, Jonathan Anderson at (916) 930-4072, for an available hearing date. (Anderson, J) (Entered: 08/15/2012)”

    • What the hell? I’m looking at this AF Holdings case Gibbs filed back on April 23rd (2:12-cv-01064-JAM-GGH)

      “SUMMONS ISSUED as to *John Doe IP Address 24.10.30.29* with answer to complaint due within *21* days. Attorney *Brett L. Gibbs, Esq.* *Prenda Law Inc.* *38 Miller Avenue Suite 263* *Mill Valley, CA 94941*. (Meuleman, A) (Entered: 04/24/2012)”

      then

      “ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows on 5/9/12: Plaintiff’s ex parte application for leave to take expedited discovery 7 is granted along the terms outlined in this order. (Kaminski, H) (Entered: 05/09/2012)”

      Gibbs has no idea who this guy is so how is it that he’s allowed to issue a summons to an IP address?

        • The first is just a judge busting Gibbs’ balls for not following Local Rules. The second…where he issues the summons, then the judge orders expedited discovery, that’s what I can’t make heads or tails of. He didn’t even know who this guy is at the time he issued the summons. I don’t have a law degree but to the best of my knowledge, you can’t order an IP address to do, well, anything at all.

  19. So I got a letter from Comcast saying the Century Media Ltd has me on their list and October 1st is the day which a response (or lack thereof) is needed. Its actually in my dads name and he (as are we,) are freaking out and unsure what to do first. I think I found the case on rfcexpress but not sure if I am allowed to post it here? But any help is appreciated.

    • You are one of roughly 7,500 defendants in the Century Media Ltd. NJ cases. Jay McDaniel is the plaintiff attorney. He is a small-time law firm copyright troll. I just wrote an article on the lawsuits, although there is not that much yet known about their strategies.

  20. Does anyone know how I can view or download a PDF anonymously? I see a bunch of links to suits at a troll’s site but ToR disables the PDF plugin. Anyway I can download or view anonymously without using a VPN?

    • Off wefightpiracy.com? Use a proxy. Plenty of sites have anonymous proxy lists. All you gotta do if you use Firefox is go to Tools->Options->Advanced and click on the “Network” tab and you’ll see a “Settings” button at the top of the window. Manually configure the proxy and the port, back out of the menus by hitting OK, and (assuming the proxy works right) Prenda will think that Chinese people are accessing their website 🙂 It’s a lot less menus if you use IE though.

  21. Interesting article about the music industry’s copyright trolling at torrentfreak.

    http://torrentfreak.com/bmg-demands-20-for-pirated-bruno-mars-eminem-downloads-120914/

    Looks like BMG is trying to avoid courts entirely, using ISP notices to subsribers to send settlement offers to alleged infringers. Since it’s “only” $20 for a song, I guess a lot of people might be willing to pay that amount to stay out of trouble. If they can get a couple thousands to pay, that’s a still a nice amount of money for them.

  22. Can they come after movies that are not registered in the Copyright.gov site or registered after the alleged download took place?

    • They can’t sue you for copyright infringement without having a valid copyright registration. In some states submitting the application to the copyright office is enough to satisfy the registration requirement. You won’t find those titles in the online catalog because the application hasn’t been processed yet. The current processing time is about 3 month for e-filings and 7 month for paper forms. I think they could come after you even if the title was registered after the alleged download took place, but would not be entitled to statutory damages (the $150k per title often used to scare people into settling). For that they would have to register the work before it has been infringed and within three month after it’s first publication.

      • They’re coming after a ton of people in the HDP case in DCD who downloaded after publication but before registration (literally like 6-7 days if I remember correctly).

  23. I received a letter from my ISP saying that a company was subpoenaing them for release of my information concerning a copyright infringement. The letter states that if I contest the release (i.e. motion to quash, etc) and send them a proof of filing such a motion that they will not release my information. I personally did not file a MTQ, but have been following my case on PACER and recently one of the does (so far only one) has filed a MTQ, but they did it anonymously instead of identifying themselves by their doe number or IP address such that they are essentially filing it on behalf of myself and dozens of other does whose IPs are on the list… My question is, would be okay to send my ISP a copy of this “proof” that a motion has been filed on my behalf? This way if there is a chance that the judge would rule on the MTQ in favor of the Does then my information would have never been released to the plaintiff attorney. I thought about filing one myself, but given that there are some people saying that it may single you out to be named as an individual I have not done so..

  24. Is there any way to find out the IP address of an initial seeder of a torrent based on the Hash mark that these companies are using to identify the IP addresses of all the does? And does anyone really believe in this Declaration of Tobias Fieser that is attached to all these BitTorrent cases?

    We know based on the history of this extortion scam that the porn industry in the past has made their films available as torrents in order to get IP addresses of possible infringers… I’m going to go out on a limb and bet a lot of $ that these porn companies are still seeding their own films. The difference is that now they are just compiling IP addresses that connect to their server then turn around find attorneys in local jurisdictions who then use this Declaration of tobias fieser as a generic “Exhibit” in their initial complaint to serve 3rd party ISPs with subpoenas for subscriber information. This way they can get around the fact no one is infringing if they are making the files available to themselves. If there were a way to find the initial seeders IP address and file class action suit to determine the subscriber information to THAT IP address, I bet we’d find out that its not some European techy guy who wrote some program who is behind it but its some porn studio in California.

    • Based on the hash? No. The hash is just the signature of the file. What algorithm they use to calculate the hash, I’ve never bothered to look into. They just go based on when it was first “detected” (seeded). It’s really ironic how some of these cases, they began monitoring the minute that the work was published. Something to look into. To answer your second question, no, I don’t buy any of Feiser’s shit. His declaration in the Lipscomb case in FL (single named Doe, only one) says that the defendant is “most likely” the infringer. Since when were you able to sue someone because they’re “most likely” to have done something? Then he goes on to declare that defendant’s IP was used to infringe blah blah, but defendant’s actual IP does not match the one in Feiser’s declaration. Ooops…someone’s guilty of either fraudulent misrepresentation or negligent misrepresentation.

      I’d bet my 401(k) that CEG is Doe #1 in all of its cases. There’s a snapshot of their website plainly stating (paraphrased) “we upload the file then record all downloaders.” But Marvin Cable stated in open court that CEG does not do this. So…? If they’re seeding their own content, or if the law firm is given permission to do so, then the unclean hands doctrine goes into effect. They have no standing to sue due to their hands not being clean, disseminating their own content in order to sue people. The work becomes public domain as soon as the company disseminates its own material without precondition.

      One BIG ASS problem with these cases, and I suspect this is why so many innocents are tied up in this, is that these trackers throw out false IPs (I wonder why) in the sense that the IP being shown as part of the swarm is not in the swarm. The IPs are obviously very real. Any actual expert would have a serious problem implicating people knowing this fact. For example, in the HDP v. Does 1-1495 case in DCD (MESS!), the first recorded seeder (had to be a seeder if it’s the first IP) is located in the Bronx. Now, just because geolocation places the IP in the Bronx doesn’t mean that HDP or Prenda didn’t do this.

      Another problem I have is that it catches EVERYONE. You’re apparently just as liable for infringing on a single bit (binary) of a movie than the guy who downloads the whole fuckin thing and then seeds it for 5 days. I didn’t know that “on” (1) or “off” (0) was copyrightable. Even downloading 25% of the movie, the movie is not viewable for obvious reasons. But these declarations make no distinction between someone who downloaded the movie and seeded it, those who didn’t even download the movie, or those who downloaded the movie and did not seed it. Not to mention downloading without uploading, which would render everything but the actual infringement claim moot since no dissemination occurs. The declaration simply says “This IP was monitored at this time with this file” but not the nature of the activity. If their software is so fucking awesome, they should be able to distinguish between the nature of the activity. That doesn’t even take the whole fake IPs in the swarm thing.

      I’d bet that they’ve covered their tracks so well that we’d basically need to have a judge order them to open up their entire operation to get the full picture. They’d rather go to jail for contempt than open their books because once Pandora’s Box is opened, I foresee a big ass criminal RICO case filed by a very angry U.S. Attorney (shame that Fitzgerald retired). I’m not sure how to stop this other than to have a high court ruling or legislation (good luck with either of those). There’s a promising case in front of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia…AF Holdings case, Beryl Howell. This has the potential to either really help or royally fuck over tens of thousands of people. I can pretty much promise that if Duffy loses this case in CADC, he’ll file a writ with the Supreme Court…THAT will be funny as hell. I can picture, well, any Justice saying…”What the fuck is this shit? We’ve got gay marriage, race-based admissions, and all kinds of other shit on the docket. This guy is asking us to hear a case regarding porn? Writ DENIED” haha

      • @TAD most likely matters. Copyright is a civil matter not criminal with a lower standard of proof required. More likely than not.

        • If they claim “the hash is the UNIQUE signature of the file” then claim “well, defendant more likely than not downloaded the file”…ehm, we have a problem. Either it IS the file or it is NOT the file because they have stated that the hash is the unique identifier for the file. You cannot get an identical hash from a “similar” file. It MUST be the exact file.

  25. so i don’t know how these laws necessarily apply to the cfaa claims, but because these sites often have customer’s cc info and such here are all of the state data breach laws:

    http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/telecom/security-breach-notification-laws.aspx

    dunno if you can come at the companies from this angle, but i have not read every states version, i could not find an existing federal data breach law but apparently there is one b4 congress.

  26. In the first ten days of October, there were 80 new Federal court copyright troll filings. That’s 8 per day, or 10 per working day. And 61% of all new copyright filings over that period.

    It’s blight on the justice system. And troll attorneys say they care about “judicial economy”.

  27. Have an idea of a short not-so-serious post calling out trolls’ hypocrisy. I know 3 instances when trolls pointed fingers to other trolls and claiming that they are not scum like them, but rather white and fluffy kittens. Steele in Forbes’ interview, Marvin Cable and Mike Meier in many filings.

    Any other instances?

  28. First off, I really appreciate all the helpful advice, posts, and documents on this site. You guys are awesome.

    Perhaps this is a stupid newbie question, but…

    Can an ISP give out information on a FORMER CUSTOMER?

    Thanks.

  29. I have a question, dont know if anyone would know the answer to it. If you are a doe and admit to downloading something to a lawyer that you have retained can they turn around and use it against you with the plaintiff later?

    • Attorney-client privilege should apply but you’d want to express your concern to your lawyer before admitting anything. You’d want to expressly tell your lawyer not to admit any wrong doing on your part without first consulting you. A good attorney would not admit client guilt without consent and unless there was a really good reason (i.e., deal). This probably only applies after retaining them however via a signed agreement.

      I was a doe and settled out of fear and I specifically told my lawyer not to give up my IP address until we had an iron clad release from any known, unknown, and suspected claims from the plaintiff. All he said was he had a client that wanted to settle under some conditions in a particular case. If they give up the IP right away, the plaintiff could back out if they thought they had more cases against you. I also told him I wouldn’t admit to any wrong doing. Both those criteria were met (of course the plaintiff didn’t admit to any wrong doing either) but I didn’t take for granted that my attorney would automatically try to get that deal.

  30. So with Thanksgiving coming up and travel and whatnot, I figure I’ll do this now and hopefully its not too inappropriate for the blog.

    I wanted to thank you all for all the help you guys give. SJD, TAC, That Anonymous Dude, Raul, Sharp As A Marble, Erin Russell (I don’t know if you still read around here), Jeffrey Antonelli, Jordan Rushie and I know I’m forgetting names here.

    You guys offer all of this for free and a lot of you guys even spend your own money getting the court documents so we all can see what’s going on.

    So thank you all for all you do to help out and educate all who unfortunately get wrapped up in these schemes.

    • See, I knew there would be names I forgot Just remembered one already. DTD, thank you as well. And Copyrightclerk, but I don’t think you read this.

  31. Not sure where else to ask this. I know a lot of readers/posters use VPN to hide identity. Does anyone use privateinternetaccess? Believe it or not, I’m not a pirate. I just know someone who was a Doe and listening to him and reading this site scared to $#!+ out of me. I want to minimize the chances of being falsely accused of things like this. Plus, ToR is really slow and limits functionality (like opening PDFs from places like wefightpiracy.com).

    • Since the day my friend got a letter for something I know he didn’t do regarding one of these cases I signed up for PrivateInternetAccess. Since then I’ve tried a couple of different services but PIA is the best that I have used so far.

      I recommend it. According to torrentfreak they do not keep logs or share any information either, and even allow you to pay in bitcoins to stay anonymous. They do operate in the US which makes me leery but the US does not have data retention laws…yet

  32. I updated my privacy policy regarding spam:

    tl;dr: I can’t check spam folder for false positives anymore: it is your responsibility now to notify me if your comment has been eaten by the spam filter.

    If your comment does not appear immediately, it means that spam filter was triggered: it happens once in a while — a legitimate comment is confused with a spam by the software. I usually check the spam folder daily and will eventually restore your comment, but feel free to send me an e-mail, and I restore your comment at my earliest convenience. Update 11/28/2012: Since the amount of spam has increased exponentially (about 2000 a day), I cannot physically check spam folder for false positives anymore, so it is totally on you now: if you don’t see your comment, send me an email with approximate date/time (or, even better, with a phrase to search for), and I will restore your comment. I will be cleaning spam folder periodically, in the mornings, so if your comment is gone forever, don’t be angry at me.

    • Who told you that Crystal Cox is an XXX star? She is an “investigated blogger,” kinda flamboyant and IMO crazy one: she quarrels with Marc for almost a year already: a lot of popcorn was eaten.

      And no, while watching this saga with a corner of my eye, I have no slight intention to take sides. The only time I expressed my opinion was when Crystal Cox registered a domain name nataliarandazza.com, referring to Marc’s young daughter’s name, with an apparent intent of posting some nastinesses there. I disagree with Mark on lot of things and I call him names (he does the same, so we are even), but there is apparently a line so low that put us both above it.

      Don’t know what this case is about, but suspect it is about some domain names Ms. Cox had registered.

        • With all my respect, I wouldn’t. This (understandable and honest) mistake resulted in me saying things that I wanted everyone to know and I think since we watch MJR, the information is relevant.

          I would understand if you said something inflammatory or reveal too much information for trolls to take advantage of… This is a live forum and we all explore, which implies some bloopers sometimes: nothing to be ashamed of.

  33. So I just got my pacer account info and since its near the end of the quarter I was going to help out by recapping some of the newer cases in IL and IN. But a lot of them aren’t showing up. Is it normal that stuff filed on Friday not show up on Pacer until Sunday?

  34. Lalchandani Simon is preparing to respond to another round of subpoena notices received by John Doe Defendants in Celestial, Inc. v. Does 1-252, Case No. 2:12-cv-00082 and Celestial, Inc. v. Does 1-378, Case No. 2:12-cv-00083 filed in the Middle District of Florida.

    http://lslawpl.com/celestial-v-1-252-case-no-212-cv-00082-celestial-v-1-378-case-no-212-cv-00083-lalchandani-simon-responding-set-subpoenas-copyright-troll-cases-filed-middle-district-florida/

  35. Glad i found this site, i think. I got an email via my isp from the digital rights corp accusing me of downloading music illegally. I DID NOT do this, i buy all my music from itunes. They want me to pay $20 per incident which would near $700… I panicked and, per the instruction of my isp, emailed them to deal with this false accusation and make it right because i wasnt going to pay for something i didnt do. They emailed me back and had me call him, which i did, and reiterated that i didnt so this….. Sooo now im doing more research and finding out what is actually going on here… And im getting even more worried that this jerk has my email, name and phone number!! What can i do?

    • That is the worse possible advice your isp could give you. You will probably start getting phone calls. Do not talk to trolls. Send them to voice mail. They have your info, its has happened to people before. Its not the end of the world, but try not to answer calls from unknown numbedrs and stuff. Just make sure you don’t talk to them at all. Others may have advice on how to proceed from there.

  36. You probably saw a new page “private” under “discussions” It is password-protected for the time being to shield trolls from learning what I we are up to. I feel slightly uncomfortable given the open nature of this forum, and I don’t plan to permanently have it up: I loathe the idea of user hierarchy, but I don’t see a better way to prevent trolls from lurking, learning, and potentially destroying evidence. A bit of patience, I promise some interesting story pretty soon.

  37. This is a really general question but I’m hoping someone has some insight. Not including the obvious exceptions like Steele’s merry band of trolls and “Lipscum”, why aren’t we seeing more porn lawsuits? I settled back in the summer of last year over a suit (I had my reasons and I think some of them were valid) and I’ve been sitting on pins and needles ever since; afraid of being accused of downloading other films from different companies.

    It’s been six months since I settled and almost a year since the suit was introduced. I haven’t even so much as saved a copyrighted bitmap to my machine since then. However, I’m sure there are thousands of people downloading adult films at any given time. It seems that lawsuits from even the CobinFishers or SeanCodys of the world have slowed down and almost nothing new from high profile studios like New Sensations, Vivid (well, Axel Braun), SBO (Wicked) Pictures, etc. I’m sure there are other high profile studios that sued in the past, but you get the idea.

    Should I be worried this will come back to haunt me at some point down the road? Frankly, I’m still stressed out even 6 months later.

    • I know you wrote this a while ago, but I think it’s a pretty good question. My personal guess is that the profits are probably 1) not what the companies hoped they would be and 2) not enough to make up for the horrendous word-of-mouth these companies get by participating in these extortion schemes. Also, being put into the spotlight for things like suing grandmothers is probably a little more than most of these companies planned for–their business runs best a lot like the trolls businesses do…with no spotlight on them.

      Hell, if Steele is really asshole enough (and I think we all know the answer to that) to produce porn himself so that he can start his own honeypot scheme then that is probably pretty good evidence that the actual porn companies themselves don’t see the point anymore. We all know how they like to make money, so if they got out there are likely pretty good reasons why.

  38. Got a email from charter forwarded email from CEG TEK Ira M. siegel. They want 30 something thousand dollars for porn downloads. Do they subpeana isp for info on every letter they send out? my last day to settle is on the 8th. I dont have the money. Should I just not pay and wait for them to come after me? What are the chances the forwarded letter from my ISP is the only thing ill ever hear from them?

    • On the contrary, most of CEG-TEK “DMCA scare letters” do not subpoena the ISP for your information. Rather, they PAY the ISP (usually, something like $50 per IP address look-up) for them to forward their “scare” letter demanding your cash. While I received word that their clients are not liking their settlement system and would rather sue, so far I have seen no lawsuits come from their DMCA scare letter tactics.

      (Shameless plug — I wrote about their scare letters here: https://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/ceg-tek-dmca-scare-letters/)

      • It’s not shameless at all, Rob. I actually plan to post this link and recommendation on the CEG page: you spent quite a deal of an effort and time understanding CEG’s specifics. This is the area I cannot physically cover (except “traditional” trolling stemmed from these people, i.e. mass and individual lawsuits), yet people arrive at that page seeking answers…

        • Once again, thank you for your kind words. Part of my law practice has been to get under the “skin” of the copyright trolls to learn their strengths and their weaknesses. A lot of what I learn can often feel like gossip, but I believe that by looking NOT ONLY at the law, but also at the CAPABILITIES of the plaintiff and their attorney (e.g., learning about personal details about the CEG-TEK attorneys helped me fight my cases against them), I could properly gauge how to move forward on a client’s behalf (or not).

          CEG-TEK has been one of those strange companies that I have been successful in unearthing their methods, their intentions, and their inclinations.

  39. I know it is unlikely that anything will come of my CEK TEK DMCA scare/extortion letter. However, I am fearful that something will. If I ignore it like most everyone suggests and they do subpoena my ISP for my information what would be my best action next? I cant help but think of the worst possible situation. Just because they subpoena my info doesn’t mean they are taking me to court. Right? I feel like I am going to have to live in fear for the next three years until the statute of limitations has passed. Their scare tactics are working well on me. I know negotiating with them at this point is not recommended. Does ignoring it reduce my chances of a future settlement if it was needed? Does the fact that they want so mush money from me mean im a bigger target? I am a college student what do they think they are going to get from me?

    • So you ignore them. They then subpoena your PII from your internet company so they can get your address/phone number to harass you. They call you and send you letters and say, “Pay us! Or we’ll sue!” But they rarely ever even go farther.

      Their evidence is weak. Malibu Media and their trolls have resorted to sending packets out to alleged infringers asking them to implicate themselves. Seriously. They sent out little info packets that make it seem all official like they have to reply asking people to implicate themselves because they have no real evidence.

      You can read about it here. It’s a different outfit, but it gives you some ideas about how weak these cases are and what they actually might have. http://dietrolldie.com/2013/01/28/lipscomb-fishing-co-or-exculpatory-evidence-request/ and there is another one here explaining evidence: http://dietrolldie.com/2012/09/11/show-me-the-evidence-inculpatory-exculpatory/

      This is what I believe may be the worst absolute outcome. I am not a lawyer but this is my understanding.

      The worst thing they can do once they get your information is sue you. The worst thing that can happen once you’re actually sued is that you ignore it and they get a default. The worst case scenario of that is 150k per infringement. However, in AZ judges seem to be giving defaults of the statutory minimum of $750. In ILND, they’ve been going for the max.

      How likely is this to happen? General consensus is around <1% for most trolls. I believe it might be even less for CEK/TEK cases. Others can probably correct me if I'm wrong.

    • Obviously not legal advice, but your two options are 1) ignore, or 2) pay. If you pay, you might be well off using an attorney (myself or anyone else), especially considering the stories surrounding failed transactions leading to scare letters for lawsuit-based amounts. If you ignore, remember that you are one of THOUSANDS of people who have received a similar letter. You must ask yourself why they would go after you over anyone else, because there is probably no reason and you are just getting yourself concerned over something that would end up amounting to nothing. Quite frankly, eventually they would probably just file a misguided “John Doe” lawsuit against hundreds of defendants and seek settlement fees without the intent of going to trial against anyone. This is simply their game. But, (and sorry for the ramble,) you see what has been happening to these cases across the U.S. If they wait and later file a lawsuit, I think they’ll be too late to the game and a judge may dismiss their case before they even figure out who you are. Plus, the ISPs do not keep records as long as the statute of limitations period, so they may forget to sue you and your ISP might purge your information in the meantime. So, lots to think about.

  40. Can someone point me to any whitepapers or affidavits that deal with the flaws in the bittorent monitoring. I have some listed int he Resources, but I want to create an exhaustive collection. Specifically, if my memory does not play tricks, it was an expert affidavit exhibited with one of the EFF’s amicus curiae briefs, but I cannot locate it. or it may be an exhibit to an ISP’s pleading. Thank you.

    • Back when @bittorentbull,who was presumed to be John Steele,was on Twitter I asked him that question. The reply was “Always Fucking” as in pirates. I had previously assumed AF stood for “Absolutely Fraudulent”.

  41. I gotta say. I am sick and tired of seeing Malibu Media suits show up every day in rfcexpress. Why can’t these guys implode like Prenda? I remember reading how they didn’t even have the right copyright assignments for their films before the alleged infringements occurred. How can these d-bags sleep at night harassing people in this manner? Must be real proud to go through all those years in law school and end up being an ambulance chaser for low life porn companies. Yessir . . . quite an achievement “Lipscum”.

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