John Steele and Prenda Law

This is the place to discuss predatory porn lawsuits by John Steele and his gang (Formerly Steele Hansmeier, now Prenda Law, and soon “Anti-piracy law group”):

PRENDA LAW, INC. 1111 Lincoln Road, #400 (Regus Business Center)
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Telephone: 305-748-2102
Fax: 305-748-2103

See the Copyright trolls page for the list of scam artists.

Telephone numbers Prenda use to place harassment calls:


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2,789 responses to ‘John Steele and Prenda Law

  1. Oh simple minded drunken Steele, we’ve been at this for a while and you missed 1 very important rule. THE INTERNET NEVER FORGETS.

    Your tweets, page design, etc. all live on in the Google Cache.
    You can change the header and claim to not be part of Pretenda Law, but then there is the issue about how you were aware of 1500 does being sued. Seems unethical for Pretenda to be telling an uninvolved party about their lawsuits before they hatch.

    Then there is the issue of your avatar and wondering who you stole the design from as you don’t give credit for it. Is copyright not important to you?

    Still waiting for you to come at me bro.
    I know how the net works, you jelly?

    Has your payment processor called yet, or do they just freeze the account first?
    Be afraid Steele, be very afraid.
    How many calls does it take to get to the IRS rectal exam, I dunno Mr Owl… lets find out.
    They might not disbar you, but will that matter when your cut off from your nest egg and doing time in club fed?

    You can thump and bump your chest all you want, your still just a little man trying to compensate for a very small endowment.
    Just buy a sports car and stop shaking down grandmas already.

  2. First post here and I admit I wish it was under happier cicumstances…
    My father is one of the individual Ingenuity 13 v. John Doe suits flooding California right now. I’ve spent the last couple of days familiarizing myself with the current state of the copyright troll phenomenon and better informing us of our situation. Obviously as this is a public forum, I don’t want to give away any identifying information but I still have some questions that others here may be able to help me with. I don’t want to imply that I’m asking for legal advice, merely looking for ideas to get a firmer grasp on the situation.

    The complaint filed against us (and from what I’ve researched all the California Ingenuity 13 cases) is effectively the same as the AF Holdings v. Hatfield and AF Holdings v. Botson cases. That is to say, copyright infringement and negligence to secure wi-fi. The biggest difference that I can see is that both of those started out as mass Doe cases whereas ours is starting out as an individual.

    Much the same as the recent FLSD cases, the ISP subpoenas were issued from a distant venue, ILND in the California cases. How does that affect our case and is it something we could challenge or only something the presiding judge would be able to take up?

    How good of an option is a MTQ in this case? I’m thinking along the lines of the recent Nullman MTQ in Bubble Gum Productions v. Does 1-80 (FLSD) along with Ranallo’s refutation of the negligence claim. I understand that a MTQ is already an iffy proposition and depends on the judge.

    I’ve also noted that some (but not all) of the cases in CACD have been consolidated under one judge. How likely is it for all of them? And what about CAED, any thought on if they’ll consolidate?

    One final question, how will the recent aforementioned Hatfield and Botson cases in CAND affect those is the other districts? I realize that the districts are independent and judges can sometimes go on their own tangent but I would imagine that, especially being in the same state, both decisions would be highly influential in exceedingly similar cases.

    My apologies if I was overly verbose and overly inquisitive. Thank you in advance for any thoughts.

    • You’ve asked many good questions. If the person has been named and served a subpoena, please do this research quickly, including consulting attorneys if possible. The defendant’s response to the court will be due soon.

      My “casual” observation comes from following cases in states with more than one district. Much of the time, districts in the same state are slowly influenced by rulings in other districts, if at all. For instance, the setbacks porn purveyor copyright trolls suffered in the California Northern district did not appear to slow the plague of troll cases in other districts. this includes the eastern district of California, where the San Francisco court (Northern district) and the Sacramento court (Eastern district) are not very far away from each other. Forum shopping to find favorable courts or districts less familiar with the scam is a common troll tactic.

      Keep in mind that the individual named Doe cases are different than the small case with several or several dozens Does. The group cases are the trolls are trying to get legal discovery of the Doe name and contact information. In the individual cases, trolls have already obtained discovery, so different arguments may be needed.

      (Usual disclaimer: This is for discussion purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.)

      • Thank you for your reply. Just wanted to clarify, our case is still in the very early phase of Prenda subpoenaing our ISP for the subscriber information. From what I’ve seen on PACER with the other Ingenuity 13 cases filed, approximately 20 so far, this is the case as well. With AF Holdings, there appears to be a new group of filings in the past couple of months following this MO as well.

        It appears that either the courts are getting unfriendly to mass Doe cases, or the Hard Drive v. Abrahams affected Prenda severely. Either way, anything that hurts their bottom line is a good thing.

        • I would say that federal judges are getting very aggravated by these cases. I’ve seen several federal judges who’ve outright denied discovery for no reason or used procedural stuff to avoid dealing with their crap. I believe that 90% of all copyright infringement cases filed are filed by trolls. That bogs down the court system.

          HDP v. Abrahams, or should I say Abrahams v. HDP is also hurting them as HDP has apparently told Prenda not to name a single person, at least not in California. There’s another claim brewing against HDP too. HDP’s agent, Paul Pilcher, signed a covenant not to sue, which he agreed to not engage in “any action” or make any demands from defendant. So, what does Gibbs do? Subpoenas the defendant for a deposition, over 100 miles from his home. Violating the covenant (deposition = demand…or action) and a depo subpoena requiring someone to travel in excess of 100 miles is a Rule 45 violation, therefore the subpoena is defective.

          It is also expected that AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 are engaged in some rather shady off-shore business (see above, or in the older posts). It’s very puzzling as to why AF Holdings has not sued Prenda for malpractice…or HDP for that matter. Oh, right, because a lawsuit would air out all of the stinky shit they’ve been pulling.

  3. Troll Jonathan W. Tappan has filed four lawsuits in Michigan’s Eastern District Court– three AF Holdings cases with named defendants and one Guava case against a Doe.

  4. Eventually means I am guessing that one day we will all have a summon at our door and we will have to hire a lawyer and settle.

    • Don’t speak for all. Some people actually have guts to show a bully where he belongs to. And it is much easier than it seems. The most difficult part is to win over a scared hapless creature that lives inside each of us.

      • It is also important to note that once some of these cases go to trial and the trolls lose, they will flee like rats escaping a sinking ship. They are piling on because they see this as a way to make a quick buck. Once that is no longer the case, they will go back to chasing ambulances.

        • Even if a Doe defaults it will be interesting to see if judges will follow Judge Wake’s example and award the minimum of $750 (SJD wrote a post about this back in February of this year). Troll Perea now has a default against a defendant in FLSD which is before Judge Seitz. Previously Prenda has backed away from the risk of a low award.

  5. A couple interesting things worth noting about copyright troll Jonathan W. Tappan’s recent Michigan filings:

    Although he doesn’t identify himself as working for or with Prenda and uses a local Michigan address, the email address and phone number he used belong to Brett Gibbs. I just checked the Michigan bar registration and wasn’t surprised to discover that Tappan has been licensed for only four years. More importantly, Brett Gibbs is not licensed there. If he is going to be handling these Michigan cases, he is practicing law without a license in MI.

    I may have missed it, but I don’t think they are claiming negligence like Daniel Ruggiero– even though these seem to be AF Holdings cases from the same pool that Ruggiero is getting his names.

    • I noticed Tappan used Gibbs’ contact info. Didn’t post that fact because I’ve seen Tappan do it before when I ran a search for Prenda’s state cases. It’s a bit of a stretch to claim that Gibbs is practicing law by proxy in Michigan, but I wouldn’t doubt that he’s drafting (or someone else is) the filings and Tappan is just filing them. Oh, and they are claiming negligence in all of the cases.
      Duffy’s DCD case, Count IV – Negligence

      Click to access gov.uscourts.dcd.156389.1.0.pdf

      Tappan MIED, Count IV – Negligence

      Click to access gov.uscourts.mied.274201.1.0.pdf

      Gibbs CAED, Count IV – Negligence

      Click to access gov.uscourts.caed.245297.1.0.pdf

      Ruggiero CTD, Count IV – Negligence

      Click to access gov.uscourts.ctd.98643.1.0.pdf

      These are boilerplate complaints. Practically identical except for a few minor details altered.

      • Did you notice that Ruggiero’s CT suit has 3 IP addresses listed in exhibit A WITHOUT Dates and Times alleged?? Also, one IP address is with Charter and geolocated to the southwest corner of CT and the other two are with another completely different and smaller ISP located to the southeast corner (, yet all three link to the same individual?? How can they even claim that??? I wonder if he’ll even use those IP addresses in the actual subpoena. I mean, they don’t even have frickin’ dates and times! The only reason I didn’t want to recap Exhibit A was to keep those IP addresses from plain view, but I guess I should try to RECAP it so that there’s a plain record showing different IP’s from different ISP’s with NO DATE AND TIMES. The ISP’s can’t do the lookup without dates and times in the subpoena. I have at least saved a pdf of “Exhibit A” What happens to his ass if he subpoenas anything other than what’s listed in the exhibit?

        Also, see this post in the CT thread about the current judge shortage in CTD:

        You think the Chief Judge wants one of those 9 visiting judges to have to deal with shit like this if trolling starts to balloon out of control in CTD? I mean, it would be pretty embarassing to CTD if any one of these rotating visiting judges went to the trouble of coming to CT (especially the dudes coming all the way from Montana and S Dakota) to get one of (or a slew of) these frivolous porn cases when there’s plenty of criminal cases and legit civil cases that are severely backed up the docket. I mean, those are the sorts of cases these visiting judges intend to help with; not the Ruggiero/Prenda type of BS!

        Here’s the story about CT in dire need of visiting judges to help keep things moving:

        Seems like CTD has a lot of motivation to find a way quickly put an end to ANY and ALL frivolous cases that appear on their docket in the near future, even above and beyond trolling.

        • I didn’t even look at the exhibits. I’ll check the others. Ok wtf…”On information and belief, the IP addresses listed on Exhibit A were all assigned to Doe Defendant by his or her Internet Service Provider.” The top two IPs belong to Cablevision and (as you stated) the final belongs to Charter. So, defendant has multiple cable modems? Seriously? There’s no declaration from their “forensics firm” so how was this evidence even collected? It’s like submitting a murder weapon as evidence but then not even stating how it was found, who found it, when it was found, chain of custody, etc. This is preposterous. The ONLY way they would know this is if they already have defendant’s identity…and defendant moved sometime between…whenever they grabbed the IPs. Another problem is that those two Cablevision IPs are static. So, defendant moved three times? Come on. The IP “exhibit” submitted by Gibbs, Tappan, is the same. No timestamp(s). Duffy didn’t even submit an exhibit in his complaint filed in DCD but the complaint states “the IP address in Exhibit A.” Well, shit, that’s a problem. What exhibit? Duffy’s in ILND, between February and June. If “Guava” knew its computers had been compromised and it did nothing, big big problem.

          The complaint doesn’t state which paragraph of 1030(a) applies to the case, I guess whoever drafted this complaint figures the judge would figure out which one applies. “Those actions on the part of Defendant constitute violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030.” OK, so which offense was committed under subsection 1030(a)? It doesn’t state which of the four (then the rest involve intent with respect to the previous four) applies, just implicitly states that the entire statute was violated. Five words: failure to state a claim. Based on this complaint, defendant may have broken into: a financial institution, a US gov’t computer containing classified info about nuclear weapons etc, a US gov’t computer, a “protected computer” involved in interstate commerce…and that there was intent. Blah, BS.

          Not to mention all of the exceptions to 1030(g). “Defendant has caused loss to Plaintiff during a one-year period in excess of $5,000, including fees paid to its computer forensics agents, fees paid to legal counsel, fees paid to secure its systems, fees paid to investigators, bandwidth fees, and other costs.” Uh huh, and they have not broken up the damages into those that entitle you only to economic damages (basically everything) and compensatory damages and injunctive and equitable relief. Fees paid to legal counsel, fees paid to investigators, “other costs”, and bandwidth fees do not qualify for compensatory damages. Only what is required to secure their system, which they did not do because it is plainly stated that the “hacking” is still occurring. How can you say “we secured our computers” and then “our computers are still being compromised”?

      • Whether or not Gibbs is “practicing law,” I do think it is unusual to use another attorney’s contact information– especially since the attorney who filed the pleading doesn’t even identify himself with the other lawyer’s “firm.”

        I didn’t notice the negligence claim in Tappan’s AF Holdings cases, but I might have just missed it.

        • I’d have to check the ethics rules but I’d venture to say using another attorney’s contact information isn’t ethical and, if pointed out to the judge, may get him bitchslapped with sanctions. Meh, I can’t find anything clearly defined in the ABA’s Model Rules. If Tappan is not “associated” with Prenda, it’s a problem. According to FRCP Rule 11(a), “Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name—or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented. The paper must state the signer’s address, e-mail address, and telephone number.” Tappan’s email and phone is the same as Gibbs’? Hmm.

          Oh I thought you meant negligence in Tappan’s Guava complaint. I didn’t even look at his AF Holdings complaints.

  6. Seems as though many of the reply’s from newbies here are missing one important and beginning fact.

    Prenda DO NOT want these to go to court.. as then they will have to prove whatever-it-is program or how they got each of our IP addresses. Thus, they will have to say that they just opened up any normal Torrent program, joined the swarm (thus making themselves guilty of the very same action that they are trying to sue the Does for) and downloaded out IP addresses.

    They have no case, they have nothing. They are relying on judges that have no technical background and believe whatever it is that is in front of them without and defendant or attorney present, that is all.

    It is a Phishing scam to the absolute minimum using extortion and scare tactics in order to get innocent and ignorant people to pay up for no reason.

    • Technical background or not, these complaints are so incredibly defective it’s not even funny. Asking for remedies for infringement when they don’t even argue infringement under the Copyright Act. A CFAA claim that doesn’t even bother to cite specific parts of the law, just the whole thing. Are they too lazy to run a Google search? Asking for remedies under the CFAA that they are not even entitled to because they fail to state a claim that the CFAA was violated, but even if they did, they wouldn’t be entitled to what they’re asking for since “hiring investigators,” “other costs,” and everything else except securing the computers do not count when calculating aggregate loss over a one-year period. Hell, the exhibits don’t even have timestamps, one of them has multiple IPs from different ISPs in different areas of the state but there’s only one defendant, and Duffy didn’t even submit an exhibit with his complaint in DCD but cites it in his complaint (“IP in Exhibit A”). What exhibit? These complaints were drafted so haphazardly…exponentially worse than the original one in Cook County.

      • Regarding Prenda not wanting these cases to go to court, I’d say this is even more true for the recent CFAA cases. IF (big if) even one of those cases, especially one of the new Guava federal ones, ever made it to discovery, they’d have to disclose to the defendant the titles of the “work” or “works” that were allegedly downloaded when guava’s sites were supposedly accessed. Then that would OFFICIALLY let the cat out of the bag as to who produced the works and in turn who the parent company or companies happen to be. They’d also have to disclose the identity of their “security company” (wink wink nod nod) that is so effective at detecting and recording alleged intrusions but is incapable of securing things and preventing further intrusions or even simply disabling usernames and passwords. They’ve gone out of their way to keep this stuff a mystery thus far in these newer cases and just one case going to discovery (let alone trial) would kill all that anonymity and hence FUD. If and when that ever happens literally 1000s of alleged “co-conspirators” would know without doubt who they’re dealing with. I know I know, Guava (and maybe even Arte de Oaxaca) is likely Steve Jones in large part, but ANY ONE of these cases going forward would make the identity official and public. If that turned out to be the case, we’d be back to “Steve Jones retained Steve Jones….” since we know who the “security company” is.

        I wonder if Prenda’s bit torrent copyright cases (not CFAA) will be rounded up and bellwethered in other jurisdictions like Fiore’s were in PAED??? For instance, bellwether the six otherwise identical Ingenuity 13 v Doe cases in ILND that belong to Duffy that have been filed si nce the beginning of this month alone. Etc., Etc., Etc. Promote judicial economy while forcing the issue on merits.

        Baylson has changed the game in PAED, especially once word gets out. It brings the realization that the simple act of filing ANY BT case is potential substrate for a REAL TRIAL, whether you want one or not. And that’s something they’re gonna have to think about every time they put up $350 to file a new case.

  7. I could be mistaken but it appears that all of the recent named defendant filings are not cases filed by Prenda’s core team (i.e., Steele, Duffy, Gibbs) but rather recent additions to their “network.”

    Could it be that none of the old guard at Prenda are willing to put their careers and freedom on the line to take the lead on the named-defendant cases. Especially bringing a guy like Ruggiero on who appears to be completely crooked and probably desperate.

    I could be wrong as there are a lot of filings lately, but even if it’s not 100% true, there appears to be an overwhelming trend that Prenda’s core team is sticking with single-Doe cases and leaving the named defendants to their new cannon fodder. I would certainly welcome anyone who has been paying better attention to correct me if I’m wrong, or maybe do a little statistical analysis on the new filings to measure just how clear Duffy and Gibbs are staying of cases with named defendants.

    Pretty sure Brett Langdon Gibbs is too big of a pussy to take on named cases, with the notable exception of the murder suspect who was already in jail.

    • Very sad. That’s why they are starting to name individuals. They are hoping they will refuse to respond. A lot of judges are really lazy and won’t bother to investigate the scam and won’t factor in that we are talking about low-budget pornography and not a real piece of art that deserves copyright protection.

      • Won’t the judge conduct due diligence prior to deciding whether or not a $150k default judgement is correct? Seems like a pretty absurd amount to reward someone without justification just because the other party never showed up

      • Starting? We named 500 people in the last 2 months! And why are you guys complaining that Prenda is filing all over the country against individuals? I thought that is what you wanted! Be careful what you wish for. . .

        I know for a fact that there is more recovery now than there ever was with the large cases. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank this website for pushing Prenda into individual suits so hard! Oh, thats right, we are supposedly losing our cases. Looking at the settlement board, I keep forgetting.

        • We are not complaining. As a matter of fact we are glad. First serious discovery will bring the entire house of cards down, and you know it, yet you hope to be in Brazil by then. Typical criminal mentality: go on a robbing spree and then flee to a banana republic.

        • Hey John, We should take bets at what happens first… Yuen collects his lawyer fees from the HDP cases that Prenda got destroyed and outclassed in, our that you collect even $1 from this guy in Florida.. Methinks Prenda ends up on the wrong side of the ledger here.

      • You are full of shit, John. No one here ever advised ignoring court summons. It is an utter idiocy to do that. And to some extent that photographer brought it upon himself. Yet it does not excuse the judge for not doing her job… you know: to judge.

        • I just can’t get over how vindictive, nasty and– dare I say– evil these people are. At least some of these guys are professional– albeit greedy. But the guys who work for Prenda are truly horrible people.

        • Johnny Doe, I know. I actually can’t believe how much of a game this is to Steele. The utter lack of class by him actually proves the stereotype of lawyers and he couldn’t care less. I can’t even fathom how someone could have a total disregard to handling these cases professionally. I really do think he’s evil incarnate.

        • do we know if he actually served this guy? Or did he just send a First Class letter to last known address? Where did they get the address from? Obviously from a previously filed and dismissed case but has anybody cared to check that it was the correct address that the ISP provided? We know that scum Randazza has tried to pull this before but it did not fly! I say we got us here a lazy Judge! And rotten scoundrel!

        • All very good questions. I won’t say too too much but everyone can use Google to try to find info about the guy. It appears he was active on a couple forums up until a few years ago, then I found posts that indicate he had very serious health problems and nothing since then. So possibly this guy is like on disability and very, very deep in not giving a rip or perhaps even dead or dying. In any case it sounds like this is quite far from an honorable, triumphant victory over a worthy adversary and gives us some indication of the types of defendants John finds it best to pursue.

          I’m also wondering how going ahead with collecting a judgement will work out for a shady entity like AF Holdings. How much will they need to reveal about themselves in the process? I do not know, but would be curious if anyone with experience in this realm has any insight.

      • Do you really think any one of us is stupid enough to advocate ignoring a summons? Jesus. I’ve told so many people “DO NOT IGNORE A SUMMONS” that I’ve lost track. This is not a “win” for you. It’s someone being lazy or thinking “if I ignore it, this will go away.” We don’t give out moronic advice like that.

        You really have no respect for your opposition, do you? For someone with a BA in history, you seem to have forgotten what history has taught us about disregarding the opposition or brushing them off as insignificant. In your cause, taunting the opposition…good idea.

          • This guy was properly served, unless server is not lying, which is extremely unlikely. As a matter of fact, serving standards are extremely low in US. Even depositing summons to a US mailbox as a first-class mailing is considered enough (some douchebags as Sperlein did just that). It is common practice to use servers.

        • It kind of reads like the summons was presented to a roommate and not to the actual defendant. It could be that the roommate never gave it the doe and that’s why it went to default…

        • He turns up being in the same age range as the woman who took service.
          Could she be a bitter ‘ex’?

          Could he be deceased as many of the pages about his photography are gone.

          The address in the service did not come back to any address listed for him in several databases and white pages searches. Calling that his usual abode seems disingenuous at best.
          Are there any people here in that area of FL who are willing to hunt up death notices in local papers?

          We’ve seen phantom does before, what if they called Darryl and got an angry ex or someone upset about losing someone they loved. Makes him a perfect target doesn’t it.

        • @TAC, I did some digging last night and the best connection I can come up with is that Kosar MAY have lived in the same apartment building (or complex) as Lessere in Miami Beach, although who knows if they did at the same time. Other than that, I got nothing. None of their previous addresses match up though so…? I’m stumped.

          Kosar’s parents had that house transferred into a revocable trust back in 2000. The title transferred several times between her dad’s trust (I assume) and her mom and back until 2009 when it transferred to her. Florida has this thing…allows protection of one’s principal place of living, “homestead,” to be protected from creditors. That’s why all those scumbags from Enron bought houses down there. Just found this, it’s gonna make you wonder wtf…

          I just keep digging up even more shit on this woman, none of it makes her look good and she doesn’t attempt to hide it either. She…ugh, just do some data mining and you’ll find a whole lot of good stuff. I’m not gonna post an alias on here but it’s VERY simple to figure out.

          I just found something interesting. There’s a Darryl Lessere who’s listed as a manager of Tylersworld, LLC, founded in 2005 but dissolved in 2006 because it didn’t file an annual report. Amended Articles….

          Click to access 50942165.pdf

          Purpose of the company was “adult talent management” among other things. I’ll let people make their own conclusions since I don’t feel like being sued for defamation.

          That IS her house so how would the ISP even get his name unless it’s his name on the account? Fraud? Or she could be his scorned ex. It’s also very possible that he could be deceased. He wasn’t just very ill, he was diagnosed with a very serious disease and had major surgery. The recurrence rate for his particular condition, generally speaking, is relatively high and the mortality rate is up there but it depends on the “variety” of the condition. Might be a good idea, as you suggested, to scour public records for death notices. Hell, look for marriage licenses too.

  8. So I just got a call (after I have received a couple of letters) telling me that if I don’t settle they will publish my name. I am part of hard drive productions, inc vs john does 1-1,495. Have they ever published 1,500 names on any other cases, and what are the chances they will publish mine? I don’t have financial means to pay them or an attorney.

  9. Did they actually say they were going to publish the list of names? My guess is they would get in trouble with the judge if they simply published the list of names online. What they usually do is threaten to name you in a lawsuit– and therefore make your name public– if you refuse to settle. For a long time, they were bluffing, but they have started to sue individual named defendants.

    • Robo calls are so 6 months ago.
      We are suing the living ^%@$* out of people. Consider this: What you are seeing now was put in place 2 months ago. You would wet yourself if you saw our crew of attys and pirate hunters now! You will find out soon enough. Oh, settlement is higher after your served BTW.

      • John, the fact that you’re PROUD of suing the shit out of people is utterly disgusting. Really, who cares if they’re innocent? Fuck ’em, they’re all pirates in your mind right? Sue sue sue money money money. The mighty dollar runs your life, fuck everything and everyone else. Destroy everything in your path, scorched earth. What I’d like to know is whether you actually think before you type these asinine comments and hit the “Post Comment” button

      • No, I don’t think they want the wealthy ones, too likely to fight back. It appears the strategy is to find people who are dead or dying and can’t mount a defense. Then John can brag about the big default award he’s never going to collect.

        • Or hire a process serve so inept that their default judgment gets kicked to the curb because of defective service, which is what appears will happen with the most recent one seeing as how the process server served the summons on someone who was not the defendant, who seemingly has no association w/ defendant, someone who apparently does not live with defendant (contrary to the statement made by the process server), yada yada. Goodbye, default judgment, hello counter-action…Mr. Lessere is loaded 🙂

        • Aw man, this is too f-ing funny if true. They got the default judgement against the wrong – and what looks like a very rich – dude? Awwwwwwwwwww, maaaaaaaaaaaan!

        • It’s looking more like defective service as one could hardly even call that Lessere’s place of abode since NO ONE can seem to find any relation to the woman who the summons was served on and the defendant Lessere. Phantom Doe, wouldn’t be a big surprise.

  10. Yeah, they called me and told me I have until sometime this week to settle, or they will “name me.” It was a real person too, not just a robot. I can’t imagine they are actually calling 1,495 people. They want a huge amount of money, should I try a smaller amount or hope they are bluffing?

    • Oh, they will call all of those people…and they’ll do it multiple times and send multiple letters. How many people here have been threatened with that exact same line “we’ll name you”? Raise your hands pretty please. My guess, everyone who regularly posts here. Even if your case is dismissed they’ll still call you and tell you that you’re part of a lawsuit (that’s been dismissed, so there is no lawsuit) and they’ve begun the process of “filing a lawsuit with your name in it.” With the “Pirate Slayer” himself skulking around here, I’m not gonna tell you what to do but I’d strongly advise against trying to bargain with them since it’s not possible and they will see you as a weak link and target you for extra harassment or even name you.

  11. They just called me , real person on the phone, I never said my name just said they got the wrong number after asking who’s calling and hung up . Got 2 letters for Hard Drive productions inc, 1 was almost a year ago , the other last week ignored them , now got a phone call today. They know my name and address, and phone. My question is , I’m planning on waiting it out . If it’s a individual case and I’m actually summoned to court. How is that document served? I’ve always assumed someone comes to your door and say Hello are you “name name” and you’ve been served , but is that what really happens?

    • Hey Brett M., you really are stupid enough to give us enough information to figure out who you in this blog? REAL smart!. I just called your house. Now that we know who you are, we will be filing in TN and naming you on Thursday. You have until then.

      I will post the complaint on this site so you DTDtards can see I’m not bluffing.

        • SJD, do you have access to the IP addresses of people who post here? If so, you really need to log posts like that and put together a complaint against Prenda. Posts like that and the Twitter posts will get them in trouble.

          I have dealt with a lot of lawyers in my time. It is their job to zealously argue their clients’ cases, and that doesn’t always make them popular.

          However, they are not allowed to post things like these guys are posting– even if it is anonymous. I realize that these could just be pranksters trying to get people riled up, but they seem to know too much in some of the posts.

          Anyway, I urge you and others to file complaints with the Illinois Bar against these guys. The state bars are very concerned with how much people hate lawyers, and these guys are reinforcing every negative stereotype people have.

          I really believe that if Prenda goes away, so do the vast majority of these cases. In almost every one of them, the attorney of record is young and totally inexperienced with IP law. Without Prenda’s support, they will not be able to prosecute these cases.

          • Thank you. I do methodically collect everything. And I have more proof that he hopes I have, but unlike him I never had a mental diarrhea and what I know stays with me waiting for proper time.

      • I’m trying to recollect if I ever experienced more disgusting person than you, John…. in my life. And I can’t. Seriously. I started noticing that I’m not angry at you at all: there is a certain level, below which people are not capable of inflicting emotions that belong to the domain of humans: anger, laughter, empathy or fear. What I feel thinking of you is a mixture of pity and disgust.

        • The irony of one of your thieving pirates complaining of someone on the other side daring to post anonymously just made my day. Time to go raise a toast to the best day in 2 months!!!

        • John makes it sound like this award will appear in his bank account tomorrow. Fat chance of that, it may very well turn out that you would have been better off if the guy settled. This is only step one and actually getting the money is going to take hours, work, likely only so many of these guys can be pursued before it just becomes too cumbersome.

          That said, no denying this was the stupidest thing the guy could have done. I can only fault the judge so much, the defendant is obligated to show up and defend himself, it’s not the judge’s job to do that. That’s what a default judgment means, plaintiff wins by default and since his is the only argument that was made, it’s the only one that has merit.

          That is why, it should be noted, nobody on this site has ever recommended ignoring a summons.

        • John that’s not irony, it’s hypocrisy. The word irony is notoriously misused, you should look up the definition.

        • Oh he called me a “loser” today (that was funny) and basically called me a coward because I was tweeting anonymously…while he sits on his Euro VPN and talks all this shit. Blatant hypocrisy.

        • I agree with SJD with feeling pity and disgust towards Steele (douche). But I also feel anger and something I don’t ever feel….. Hate. I am trying very hard to not let that get the best of me.

          Douche man, I am happy to see that you are hanging around today. Do you get a boner when you try and destroy someone’s life? How can you possibly fathom that you are doing the ‘right’ thing and it’s 100% honest? You come here and leave your false claims and leave comments that are conduct on becoming. We all know it’s you. Wish you would show how big your sack is and actually prove us correct. Or, are you too scared. You will slip one day and leave a telling clue.

          Explain your best day in 2 months please.

          Your day is coming douche. Your world will crash down on you. What will you do then? How will you afford your alcohol? You have a serious problem. You need to go to counseling.

        • If he’s hitting the bottle, he’s been going at it for a good 7-8 hours because my Twitter feed blew up around 11:30 am with all kinds of schoolyard bully bullshit and getting exponentially more despicable as the day has progressed.

        • The whole thing just makes me sad. The worst that anyone did is download a low-budget soft core porn video. My guess is the $150,000 default judgment was more money than the video sold. He acts as if he was personally harmed and that people who pirated porn are these horrible criminals. If he was acting in good faith, he would have asked for something reasonable like $200– not $3400. And the fact that he is clogging up the courts for smut is pathetic. Meanwhile, he acts as if the whole thing is a game. These are people’s lives he is playing with, and he thinks it is all so funny. It is just pathetic.

        • Oops– make that HARDCORE porn movie. Regardless, ethical attorneys don’t post anonymously about cases they are litigating. And they definitely don’t taunt the other side. It is both unprofessional and a violation of legal ethics. This behavior is going to come back to bite them in the ass in the end.

        • Yeah I know. I was being sarcastic. Kinda hard to tell on a blog. He’s gone off the deep end. Really, I’ve never seen anyone so terribly afflicted with mental diarrhea.

        • The troll comment is more impotent Prenda bravado. They have no reason to be glad about individual suits. It’s much less efficient extortion to threaten one person than when they tried to threaten hundreds.

          The huge number of cases naming individuals itself shows the courts that trolling is a scam. Even worse, it’s a scam that is disrupt the court’s hearings of important disputes.

      • Hey Ali Baba (AKA: BT Douche),

        Just filing cases against single defendants does not mean you are serious in fighting it out in the courts. The only thing this shows is the vindictive nature that drives your small mind and weak psyche. File against this guy, maybe he will fight back and stick it to you like Wong, Abrahams, Hatfield, and Botson. The results of these cases are not done and will spawn more troubles for you. You know this and make it clear when you say it is the best day in two months. You really must have a sad life to really believe it is the best day you have had (or probably will ever have). Your evidence is weak, provided by an incestuous relationship you have, will not stand up on its merits, and YOU know it. You prey on the fears of the less informed and think you are some “defender.” Your fall will be the stuff of legends. Note: I try to make every day the best one me and everyone around me.

        DTD 🙂

      • It’s now a week from Thursday and after 5:00 in TN.

        I would love to hear an update on how FUD and Reality are getting along; why am I not surprised that I have to ask for it?

  12. You make it sound like this award will appear in your bank account tomorrow. Fat chance of that, it may very well turn out that you would have been better off if the guy settled.

    That said, no denying this was the stupidest thing the guy could have done. I can only fault the judge so much, the defendant is obligated to show up and defend himself, it’s not the judge’s job to do that. That’s what a default judgment means, plaintiff wins by default and since his is the only argument that was made, it’s the only one that has merit.

  13. One last post for tonight. Has anyone been on Prenda’s site? I’ve long since gotten over the fact that they post complaints to embarrass defendants (something no real law firm would do), but they are becoming more and more immature about it. First, they had their “24 hour special” when someone dared them to sue him. Now, they have this comment: “SPECIAL CASE IN OHIO (Please note, our client will not be settling with this defendant at this time).” I wonder what this guy did to piss them off so much? It is a Guava case. Is Guava another fake company like Ingenuity 13 and AF Holdings where there actually is no client because Prenda itself is running the entire show?

    I also thought it was interesting that once again the lawyer used a PO Box, a Gmail email address and a phone number that redirects to California. It is also worth noting that the guy is young, has no IP expertise and went to a TTT law school.

    I wish that our court system weren’t as inefficient, corrupt and slow as it is. This whole thing is obviously such a scam, but it will take a while for all the courts and judges to catch onto it. Meanwhile, these clowns will continue to hurt people and steal their money.

  14. With 500 lawsuits in two months added to its previously filed lawsuits Prenda is still not at 1% of the estimated targets it has on file. This was foreseen as was the inevitable crowing over a default judgement some time ago. What remains to be seen is if this increased visibility across the country increases media and political attention. Also at what point does Prenda reach overcapacity 1% or 2%?

    • Eventually court personnel and reporters are going to pick up on the fact that such a huge percentage of the federal copyright docket is dominated by one “firm” and that all that firm does is sue over low-budget porn. Imagine if there were more lawyers like these guys. The courts would have to shut down with the millions of BitTorrent lawsuits that could be filed.

  15. Jordan Rushie tweeted a fun Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding a certain default judgment that they reversed It has loads of great quotes but the ones I find most applicable to our situation are:

    “His conclusory claims to the contrary, in support of his extension request, were—not to put too fine a point on it—untrue.

    We cannot overlook such conduct. It is critical to both the bench and the bar that we be able to rely on the honesty of counsel. The term “officer of the court,” with all the assumptions of honor and integrity that append to it, must not be allowed to lose its significance. While some might find these to be only “little” lies, we feel the distinction between little lies and big ones is difficult to delineate and dangerous to draw. The corrosive effect of little lies differs from the corrosive effect of big lies only in the time it takes for the damage to become irreversible. Donahue’s violations of the requirements set forth in the California Rules of Court governing extension requests meet the standard of unreasonableness, and warrant the imposition of sanctions.”


    “Our profession is rife with cynicism, awash in incivility. Lawyers and judges of our generation spend a great deal of time lamenting the loss of a golden age when lawyers treated each other with respect and courtesy. It’s time to stop talking about the problem and act on it. For decades, our profession has given lip service to civility. All we have gotten from it is tired lips. We have reluctantly concluded lips cannot do the job; teeth are required. In this case, those teeth will take the form of sanctions.”

  16. I found what may present an opportunity to rain on John’s parade.

    A while back when I was trying to learn about copyright and statutory damages, I found a blog series written by an IP lawyer with a pretty impressive resume:

    This is the entry I remember, and relevant text quoted.

    Another misconception concerns the number of statutory damage awards the copyright owner may be awarded. A plaintiff in copyright litigation sometimes requests multiple awards of statutory damages for multiple infringements of a single work by multiple parties acting in concert or together. But section 504 (c)(1) of the Act limits a copyright owner to one grant of statutory damages in that circumstance. The section provides that a copyright owner “may elect … to recover … an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action with respect to any one work…. for which any one infringer is liable individually or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly or severally” (emphasis added).

    The section means you may recover only one award of statutory damages for each work that has been infringed regardless of the number of acts of infringement, whether they are separate, isolated or occurring over many years.

    The copyright owner is also restricted to one award of statutory damages against multiple infringers where they act in concert and are therefore jointly and separately liable. In determining that liability, it makes no difference if defendants engaged in the same infringing act or demonstrated the same level of willfulness or misconduct. The Act does not care about “gradations of blameworthiness.”

    Since Prenda has been arguing swarm joinder and conspiracy, is it possible that this award actually exhausts their ability to make further statutory damage claims for the same work? Or at least for a large number of defendants who were part of the same swarm? Could this argument be raised by attorneys representing other defendants targeted by AF Holdings for infringing the same work?

    I would be curious to get some analysis from those with legal backgrounds and Doe defenders?

    Perhaps scoring big default judgments against guys who will never pay them is not the best strategy after all…

    • An excellent point that was raised by a pro se Doe in Liberty Media Corp. v. Fraga (MAD 11-cv-1178) which I would link but RECAP is uncooperative tonight. Lawsuit settled before this issue was put to the test.

      • Possible worth noting, I poked around at the other articles on the site and the author seems to be very staunchly in favor of strong IP laws. For example, he has an article celebrating the appeals court decision upholding the $675K award in the Tanenbaum case, so this is not some guy hoping to find clever tricks to weasel out of liability for downloading stuff.

  17. Sad thing is these Trolls have absolutely ZERO proof that it was the actual Does that were part of the torrent Swarm. All they have is an IP address and timestamp, that is it.

    If these Trolls were so smart, as they claim, they would know that un-protected wireless networks, proxies, roommates, visitors, as well as any number of other valid, yes I said VALID, reasons as to why their IP address is part of their swarm.

    This is nothing more than Extortion. These lawyers have no morals At All.

    • It is sad that mainstream ISP’s are actually complicit in their scam just because something is filed in a court of Law.

    • The problem is that lawyers are considered officers of the court and are given the benefit of the doubt that they are acting in good faith.

      The employees of Prenda are amazingly unprofessional and unethical. However, this will only be bought to the judges’ attention when these cases are actually litigated. At that point, they and their inexperienced “local counsel” will be on their best behavior, of course.

      Speaking of the Prenda crooks, it looks like they took down their Twitter account @thepirateslayer. Perhaps it finally occurred to them that it looks horrible to post threats, taunts, name-calling, etc. on a public forum? Their behavior is definitely sanctionable, and if they keep it up, Steele, Duffy, et al. may eventually face disbarment.

      • @ThePirateSlayer, hahaha, how Childish and Un-Professional.

        Is there a way to contact Twitter to have that accounts entire history forwarded to us? Might come in handy if one of these were to get to the litigation stage.

        • I captured all his tweets in Storify. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to preserve the context (i.e. tweets he replied to or replies to his tweets).

          Part 1.
          Part 2.

          I also have all the Tweeter email notification when my handle was mentioned by him.

        • I’m sorry SJD, probably my fault for telling dear drunken johnny we could still prove he was lying with Google Cache.
          But with luck his tweets made it into the Internet Archive. They cut a deal to archive all tweets.

          Try the google cache link I posted above to grab any tweets or design changes you missed.

        • What an asshat…
          “Copyright Cat ‏@CopyrightCat
          @ThatAnonDude Maybe you should share where in IL your at, just for the hell of it. . . ;)”

          Seriously? He changes his screen name, then implicitly threatens me? If he was asking for my address so he could come and try to kick my ass, I’d GLADLY give it to him along with turn-by-turn directions just like I’ve done in the past when someone threatens me *cough*guy my ex was cheating on me with who never showed up*cough*, but not some lawyer hiding behind a Euro VPN.

      • I’m rather upset that my arch nemesis @ThePirateSlayer has chosen to retreat. I’ll screenshot all of the conversations I had with him since those are still up. Me asking an honest question, him insulting me, let the shit storm ensue.

        • John’s retreats are so funny to watch.

          I wonder who plays Mom and intervenes when things are getting dangerously out of hand. Is it a Meta Master Troll, someone who is orchestrating and backing the scam financially behind the scenes? His wife? Other Troll colleagues afraid he’s going to crash the train too soon (maybe Big Daddy Marc Randazza)?

          I seriously doubt John has enough sense to see when he’s gone too far, even after he sobers up.

        • Actually he’s got a new S/N (@CopyrightCat) and he went straight after me, no one else haha. I shouldn’t have said that if he threatens me with physical violence then I’ll give him my address because he’ll threaten me with physical violence and, assuming I don’t go into cardiac arrest from being so incredibly pissed, probably give him my address.

        • @TAC, That’s debatable but assuming the ARDC is actually investigating him, they won’t get around to doing anything for another 3-5 years anyway even if they’re investigating him. Hell, they just got around to RECOMMENDING disbarment for some lawyer serving federal prison time for kiddie porn. The fucking federal criminal justice system is more efficient than the IARDC. They’ve just recently recommended disbarment for crimes attorneys were convicted of doing like 6 years ago…by the broke ass, slow ass justice system in the State of Illinois. It’s ridiculous.

        • @TAD – that was the point I was trying to make. IL is a backwater and he hasn’t done nearly enough for them to even think about bothering.

    • Prenda’s typical MO– the guy has been licensed only since 2005, went to a mediocre law school– New York Law School (not to be confused with New York University), does not specialize in IP law (he lists his specialty as military law, whatever that means), and he uses a PO Box. I don’t have the complaint in front of me, but I would bet good money that he uses that same California number that all the other hacks are using.

    • I just looked at the complaint, and I was surprised by a couple of things. Troll Jacques Nazaire actually uses a real office address and not a PO Box. However, I did a Google search, and it turns out it is a virtual office run by Regus. He also lists himself as “of counsel” for Prenda. That is standard industry practice, but it is unusual for the trolls to openly associate themselves with Prenda. Not surprisingly, he uses Gibbs’s email address and phone number as contact information.

      By the way, I think it is time we compile a list of Prenda affiliates and display them prominently on these sites. If they are going to extort people into paying them money with the threat of publicly shaming them by naming them in court (not to mention the juvenile and unprofessional tactic of listing their names on the Prenda site), we should name them in as public a way as possible. Lawyers are a dime a dozen these days. We should make sure that when someone does a search for Jacques Nazaire, Daniel Ruggiero, Timothy V. Anderson, et al. that he or she discovers that they make money by representing smut-peddlers in the dirtiest way possible.

      • I agree. It’s time to update Prenda attorneys and affiliates. Maybe have a tab at the top of the page specifically for that. Have their names, address, state, phone number (even the ones that direct to Gibbs), email, and bar number if available. The more that is available will be a big help to new Does, especially when these attorneys get publicized more and more, and upon searching who they are, this site or DTD will be at the top of the search lists. Also, a brief description of who the firm is and how they conduct their business would be beneficial as well.

  18. Hmm I found something interesting. Mr. Lessere did/does reside in a very expensive piece of real estate on Bay Rd., but in Miami Beach in an apartment, not in a house in Sunny Isles Beach. Other than that, I can find no other history of him being associated with anything that would cause Perea to believe that Lessere resided at that house…ever, which begs the question, did an ISP fuck up? I can’t find any common link in property and he’s not married as far as I can tell. If that’s his ex’s house…well, he fucked up.

    • Weird. It looks like Jamie Kosar and Darryl Lessere may have lived in the same apartment complex (high high end), not sure of the time frame though.

  19. I see Steele has a new Twitter handle. Kind of ironic in my mind he refers to himself as a cat, because he really is a pussy. Maybe he thinks of himself that way too. But i do see that again, he makes a threat towards people. He even makes a tweet saying: “This isn’t John Steele”. He really is arrogant and has no care in the world of getting in trouble. I’m thankful for SJD saving his comments and making a complaint in the future.

    • I’ve still got his crap from when he was “@ThePirateSlayer” 🙂 Asking me where I live in IL, yeah, OK, just because I said I’d fight back doesn’t mean I want to expend the money to do so if I don’t have to.

      “Copyright Cat ‏@CopyrightCat
      One party is the cat, and one is the mouse. If your reading this, you can probably figure out which one you are.”
      to which I replied
      “That Anonymous Dude ‏@ThatAnonDude
      @CopyrightCat That you’re the big pussy?”

      I’ve been drinking I can’t help myself

  20. Guava v. John Doe (1:12-cv-11880-FDS) filed in MAD on 10/9 by Ruggiero. Assigned to Judge Saylor…this oughtta be good. Docket here…

    No timestamps on the IPs, three IPs from two different ISPs, Neustar and Charter. All three IPs geolocate to different cities: Brighton, Somerville, and Chicopee. Neustar uses static IPs, Charter uses dynamic…sooo…? What slays me is that Ruggiero is alleging all three of these IPs belong to the same subscriber. My math is kinda fuzzy, but it seems like Ruggiero is claiming 3=1.

    • “Plaintiff’s agents observed unlawful reproduction and distribution occurring over the three IP addresses listed in Exhibit A hereto. On information and belief, the IP addresses listed on Exhibit A were all assigned to Doe Defendant by his or her Internet Service Provider.”

      From the complaint, it’s singular but shouldn’t it be plural when taking the exhibit into account: “…his or her Internet Service ProviderS.”

      So let me get this straight. Neustar assigned a Charter IP to this person including two of their own addresses? Or was it Charter who issued two Neustar IPs to defendant Doe in addition to one of their own? Should Charter’s and Neustar’s tech teams be talking to each other to ensure their lines aren’t crossed in Massachusetts? Sheesh!

      First, they want everyone to believe that an IP=individual. Now they want you to believe that three different IP’s in three different locations issued by two different ISPs = Individual. (roll eyes)

      That’s essentially what the complaint is stating when coupled with the exhibit it references.

      If we (non-lawyers…speaking for myself) could dig up stupid shit like this from the troll’s complaint, then what could an attorney who actually specializes in IP law do for this Doe???

    • A small correction: RCN, not Neustar. Neustar is not an ISP but a meta-provider. Although Worcester and Oxford are close, the ISPs are different, while Sommerville is pretty far away.

      • Same pattern was observed in his CT suit, but it was a little better. 3 IPs, two ISPs and two cities (rather than 3 cities) Cities are New London (Metrocast x 2) and Southbury (Charter x 1) which are on opposite ends of the state. Check out the Exhibit for that case and you’ll see for yourself.

        Some thoughts about Ruggiero and multiple IPs/ISPs for single Does in different states:
        1) He’s a moron and doesn’t understand the internet (what you basically said in your tweet)
        2) His Guava Does are plants and he doesn’t need IP with dates and times as far as he’s concerned. The Exhibit is just for show.
        3, this is where I’m leaning) For the single Doe cases, he’s looking to get 3 names even though there’s one Doe. Call, write, harass them and then use “troll magic” to ascertain which is the “weakest” and replace John Doe with that one name in an amended complaint

        1-3 are just speculation on my part, but I can’t envision why else he’d do it the way he did. I’m just not that creative.

        • #3 is indeed a very interesting thought. These 2 state cases and other Ruggiero’s shenanigans are definitely on my list for a story. If only I had time…

        • 1) It is proven he is a moron
          2) He does not need anything as he is just looking for names and contact info (nothing new)
          3) New tactic – 3 names for the price of 1 – interesting approach that will risk his whole model but as we know not all does file a motion to dismiss.

        • He drew Judge Saylor though. Saylor has been making Marvin Cable’s life a living hell so it’s not a venture to say that he’s gonna apply the thumbscrews to Ruggiero as well.

  21. I remember 60 Minutes doing a segment on this harassment/scam a few years ago. It was centered around a 70-80 year old lady who was being harassed over downloading porn. She had a wireless network that someone had installed for her, not PW protected, and they tried to get comments etc from the Law Firm involved and they were nowhere to be found.

    I say someone, maybe the person who runs this site, e-mails 60 Minutes and other News Organizations in the Chicago-area specifically because that is where this Junk Firm is located and put some media heat on them. We have enough harassment/extortion evidence on here from various posters as well as recordings from their voicemails in order to put together a pretty good and ugly case against these fools.

    • Funny, I was just thinking 60 Minutes would be a great program to convince to cover the story, at least as a first step towards American Greed 🙂

      Didn’t realize they had already covered it, it’s hard to remember now but the granny Steele harassed actually netted him a lot of mainstream press coverage before copyright trolling had really gathered steam, maybe even before SJD’s time.

      It would be interesting to see them revisit it. Much more interesting investigative aspects too now, with offshore shell companies, hundreds of thousands of Americans affected, etc. And at this point, they may well be able to find the granny Steele SUED not just the one he threatened to sue.

        • they did that and it was super pro troll, so much so that some of the people they interviewed wrote articles denouncing the episode, i just cannot find that link to one of the guys bashing how the whole episode was handled (it was on copyright infringement, not specifically trolling)

        • I’m talking after his whole “empire” comes crashing down (or the entire facade of “enforcing copyrights” through lawsuits) and one, if not all of the troll attorneys are facing criminal charges and are asshole deep in civil lawsuits. I doubt anyone could be pro-troll in that case.

  22. Oh God. I just checked the docket for the DCD case Guava, LLC v. John Doe…the case number is 1:12-cv-01661-BAH. Recognize those initials? Duffy drew Judge Beryl Howell. I don’t think this is gonna go well for him if she sticks to her guns. She’s a consummate hardass about the rules and his complaint is, well, really really fucked up and it refers to an exhibit of IP(s) that he never submitted.

  23. Steele’s latest tweet: “Ahhh, the beautiful pacific northwest! Lots of hungry local counsels in this joint! ” Yeah, they’re probably hungry . . . literally. Bunch of hacks who probably couldn’t make it so they sold out to make some lunch money.

    • Another clown who’s a partner at his own law firm which probably employs two people, one of them is himself, and a GMail address. Do these people expect to be taken seriously when they use a free email service? On the bright side, at least he has his own phone number and isn’t using Gibbs’.

  24. Overheard Steele having a pretty bad day in Court last week in Florida… no surprise he is taken his upset and anger out over the Twittersphere.

    First Chicago doesn’t want anything to do with you, then Florida, where are you going now Steele? Doesn’t really matter, we have your cases, we have your information, your stinkified trail will follow you Everywhere.

    Go back to divorce court, at least there you have a Possibility of keeping your dignity and your License to practice.

      • asside from the default judgement and some severences of extra does i don’t think anything really big happened in FL

    • I agree, with one exception: I wouldn’t wish Steele to get back to Divorce: he brought enough damage and misery in that capacity already. I have enough damning information. You can’t expect a douche to stop being douche, regardless of his occupation. The best for the society would be a job where he does not interact with people at all.

      • An asshole is always an asshole, no matter what his occupation may be. Asshole divorce lawyer = asshole copyright troll = asshole person = ….

    • Oh he’ll lose his freedom before he loses his law license. The ARDC is so fucking slow with disciplinary actions it’s not even funny. Google “Illinois lawyer disbarment” or some shit and you’ll find all kinds of asinine shit about attorneys being recommended for disbarment for shit they did back in 2005 and what not. There’s people who still have law licenses in Illinois but have been convicted of multiple felonies and are sitting in prison (federal or state, take your pick).

  25. So say you got a letter from one of these people and your router was unsecured, should you leave your router unsecured for “evidence” reasons or should you go ahead and try to secure it?

    • secure it, if someone else is using your connect for copyright infringement the last thing you want to do is leave that avenue open. i would suggest paying someone (geek squad or some other “call a techie” company) that can give you a work order showing it got done, and that it was unseccure when they got there. i know no one wants to pay for stuff they can do solo, but for court doccumentation that $50 will be well worth it if you need to submit that your connect was not seccure and you took good faith measures to secure it after being notified of the breach. the trolls won’t care but judges do.

    • WHAT!? They want you to leave your router unsecured? That is one of the multiple theories in their negligence claim…”failure to secure router” and now they want you to be negligent, according to their own assertions. Save that shit. “sharp as a marble” (do you want an acronym like “SAAM” :P) has a VERY good point, get a professional to secure it but not before documenting that it was unsecure in the first place…someone who could testify if need be or file a sworn declaration that they are an expert in the field. It really doesn’t matter IMO, their negligence claims are such a joke. Basically stating “defendant did this…or this…or this…or this…even if defendant did this…guilty of negligence.” Well, did defendant do this, that, that, that, or that? Who knows and Prenda’s claims of negligence have been stomped twice, its co-conspirator argument has been stomped by Chief Judge Holderman in ILND, etc.

      • yea negligence is a bs claim, (also i prefer “marble” :-P) i think having the doccument and then say offering it to the troll as proof that it was not seccured, it would not be accepted, but you could use this lack of acceptance as proof that they don’t care who the actual infringer is. it looks bad when you refuse to accept exculpatory evidence. as fantalis has shown with all his exibits. or you could put a note in any motion you file saying they refused to even look at this evidence. doccumentation is ALWAYS better than none when you are dealing with lawsuits.

        • how much does your isp charge? also bestbuy is not the only retailer that can do this, call around officemax or office depot has this service now i think, i am sure there are others who are “independant” that have a 1 hour min for residencial setup usually $50-$100, check the yellow pages unter tech support or network solutions or computer repair. like i said might not be cheap but doccumentation is well worth the cost IMHO, it’s always nice to have. just make sure anyone you get gives you a signed work order on their letterhead that itemizes what they did, not just a receipt.

        • Pay $100 or shell out $4000. If you have that exculpatory evidence, jam it straight it up that troll’s ass if you end up getting named, showing the that the troll doesn’t give a damn about guilt or innocence since they sent you a letter telling you to leave your router unsecured. In other words, to do what they are suing you for.

        • My friend hired Geek Squad to replace a PSU in his computer and they fucked it up by just basically dropping it in the. His computer rattled like hell whenever it was powered up. Morons. I’d secure your router for free if you lived near me. The problem with wireless is even if you do not broadcast your SSID, use MAC filtering (whitelist not blacklist), WPS is turned off, QoS, packet filtering, and WPA2 encryption, etc…if someone is hell-bent on breaking in and good enough, they’ll get in.

        • Let’s have a “who’s the biggest geek contest” hehe. I’ve coded in C since I was 13 and had 56k dialup…old school, I still have all of my code. It’s sloppy as hell but it works heh. I do all my own shit with my computers…hardware troublesooting, replacement, networking, yada yada. I also read every on theoretical physics that pertains to the multiverse theory called membrane theory aka M-Theory (the most promising multiverse theory, also evidence of it), any theory that either attempts to unify Einstein’s General Theory and quantum mechanics because of the black hole information paradox or a new theory such as string theory and superstring theory, and loopholes in Einstein’s General Theory. Interesting new developments in physics with teleporting photons. Beat that 😛

        • @TAD – I wear a helmet when I get on the bus. 😀
          But that still puts me light years ahead of the trolls 😉

          So it was your interest in theoretical physics that got you interested in trolls as their claims come from another backwards dimension?

          oooh and I know how to use a website to get upside down words to happen.

  26. I was served a 21 day summons in an AF Holdings case in South FL District yesterday. Any suggestions for an attorney or should I try to settle. I did nothing wrong though. There are 3 counts claimed as Copyright Infringement, Contributory Infringement and Negligence. Perea is the attorney. WTF. need some advise. I listened to Raul today on Stupid America and it made feel a little better. Please advise

    • do not ignore is: go to and look at the florida attourneys. from the motions and such i have read i think that William R. Wohlsifer, Tamaroff & Tamarroff, or Lalchandani Simon all seem good and experienced. personally if i were you i would call all of them and go with who you are comfortable with and not what some guy on the interwebs says is best 😉 DO NOT IGNORE THIS!!! you must respond to this. seriously do not ignore it. the hatfield case was for negligent infringement because they said he knew his roomated did this. and that claim was dismissed. i would fight it if you can afford it. even if you cannot afford a lawyer go down to the court and atleast file some form of a response if to atleast say you didn’t do it. DO NOT IGNORE THIS. florida judges have proven to be retarded when it comes to default awards. if you can afford it i would reccomend you fight it in court. but please do not take life advise from some stranger on the internet (except the do not ignore it part, please take that advise) talk to family and friends, or heck your pastor. if you are truely innocent i have known churches to band together to help in legal battles. do not be embarrased about the content. if you are innocent they will back you up. also DO NOT IGNORE IT 🙂 hope that helped.

    • Perea? He’s made motions to withdraw and substitute in all of his cases…some other amateur is coming in for him. He’s in deep deep shit with the Florida Bar and I don’t think he wants the microscope on him. Follow all of the above suggestions, hire an excellent attorney such as David Tamaroff, William Wohlsifer, or Kubs Lalchandani/Danny Simon (only a few of the skilled attorneys in Florida, you’re actually lucky that this happened in FLSD for several reasons…lots of great lawyers and judges hate Perea) because they love to just let these cases sit on the docket, then move for default judgment if you don’t file an answer to the complaint. I do not recommend handling this pro se. I wouldn’t even handle one of these cases pro se. DO NOT tell them about ANY circumstances of your household. Do not allege anyone else did it, right now at least. They will just file deposition subpoenas and try to depose your neighbors, roommates, cat, dog, hamster, whatever. They do not care about guilt or innocence.

      The negligence claim is pure bullshit. It’s been rejected all three times that a judge has ruled on the issue. Prenda is 0-2 for negligence.

      It may be expensive to retain an attorney and fight this, but if you truly did not do anything and you have “clean hands,” then toss all of your cards on the table and I bet those asshats will try to cut bait if you don’t file a counter-action. Another thing, judges in that district are downright HOSTILE to Prenda lawyers. One of them denied discovery, no reason given. Another sent Perea to the Florida Bar and Peer Review Committee for the District. Another just kicked three of his cases for failure to perfect service, and finally another just filed an order to show cause as to why he hasn’t served a Doe (after like 6 months).

      The only lawyer who will tell you to settle is well known around here but isn’t licensed in Florida. The anti-troll attorneys in Florida will fight for you tooth and nail. Based on my interpretation of Rule 4, they cannot just mail it to you unless it’s a request for waiver of service. The catch is that they can use the state rules instead of the federal….and Florida state rules do permit service by certified mail. Here’s some links to read, I seriously suggest you educate yourself. Turn your brain into a sponge. It’s not difficult when you’re driven (i.e. had a summons served on you).
      FRCP Rule 4…
      Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 1.070…

      How were you served anyway? Ding dong ditch, mail, mailbox, or did they have the balls to actually hand it to you?

        • I wouldn’t give out so much detail on this forum. If I was the plaintiff’s attorney and was reading your posts, I would know who you are. You’re providing details that can get you into further trouble. I would encourage SJD to redact or remove your posts altogether and encourage you to be more discreet in your posts.

          • Agree. I redacted.

            overit, you are welcome to ask general questions and share your insights, but for you own protection, before you click “post comment,” imagine that those scumbags will read what you’ve just written. Steele is a vindictive asshole and will humiliate you just for fun.

            Good luck, and, again, call Syfert.

        • To say that he’s vindictive is kind. I’d say what I think but that’d get me slapped with a SLAPP lawsuit.

  27. Seems like I,m just become part of the 1% club…I’ve not been summon just yet…I guess. I found it out on,%20%27C%27,%20%27T%27, thx to “sharp as a marble”

    Now what? Get a lawyer and see? BTW, I’m just curious, several posts mention something about it’s very expensive to fight in da court with them…Just how much is it? Any idea?

    Also, someone mention they sometime drop the case few days before the trial. If I hire a lawyer, do I still have to pay the lawyer?

    • couple of things.

      1) i would definitely start talking to lawyers. you could start with the guy working on adam sekora’s LSM case (Paul Ticen) dunno if he is experienced with bt lawsuits though. the other option is the kelly law firm (i am pretty sure they charge for an initial consult though) and White Berberian PLC (from eff’s list have no idea about their experience actually litigating a case though. dunno if anyone else can recommend where to start, but if you call someone and they seem clueless, they probably are.
      2) it can definitely be expensive $5-$10k for a retainer plus hourly billables. however if you win then you can get those fees back so then it is just the headache and time “wasted” having to defend yourself.
      3) if you file any counter claims they can’t “dismiss and stick you with the bill” until your counters are cleared up so in general any lawyer would probably recommend you file counter claims along with any motions to dismiss.
      4) i would probably not hire a lawyer until you are actually served. in one other case in AZ against gary phoenix, they filed in July and have yet to serve (as far as i can tell from rfcexpress) they may contact you and try to settle and just let it sit on the docket till a judge kills it. i think these single cases are still predominantly posturing and they really don’t want to go all the way to a trial especially with AF holdings or ingenuity13.

      if you did it i hate to say this but settling might be the best option. if you did not and you can afford it then i would prefer you fight it if you can afford. hell there is a good chance that if you simply respond to a subpoena with “i didn’t do that” and then wait they may not progress with the case. like i said it seems like it is predominantly posturing.

      no one who does not know you can tell you what is best for you, i assure you that fighting is what is best for US, but you need to put you b4 us in this case. one thing i would recommend is that if you are active in a church that you sit down and talk this over with your pastor. i know it is a sticky subject, but if you are innocent then they should be understanding and quite honestly may help rally around you to fight. i know if someone in my church ran into this situation i would help financially. and i am sure many a folk would feel the same, again, if you are innocent, which if you are on these forums you more than likely are.

      • also my cost’s that i stated were from the lawyers when i was calling around for my case and those numbers were from lawyers who were not very familiar with this type of case. talk to lawyers no matter what else you do you REALLY should start there.

        • Thx, Sharp as a Marble, I’ll definitely fight…unless the lawyer recommend not to. And I’ll definitely contact a lawyer after been served. Now, I know this sound really stupid but I never have this kind of experience…so someone has to hand me the summons and say to me ” you’ve been served” like what’s in the movie…is that how it suppose to work? Can they just mail it to me? And how do I find out if they actually mail it to me but I really never receive it?

        • i am not all that familiar with service laws in Arizona (or any state) a lawyer can answer that.

          get a pacer account and put in your case and watch it close. if you are not served and something pops up along the lines of “proof of service” call a lawyer and/or the court and/or the clerk and contest that. they have lied about proper service before and they will probably do it again. for some reason the court accepts the excuse of “oops my bad” and lets the soldier on…… amirite?

      • Thank you. One correction: Ticen and Kelly work together, and that’s the only lawfirm in AZ I know well and endorse. Does not mean there aren’t others, I’m just not aware.

  28. Does anyone have any info and/or history on Presiding Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga or Referring Judge Andrea M. Simonton. They are the listed judges on this case.

    • Stop spilling specific details about your case. Seriously. I’m not trying to be a dick but you’re basically telling Steele (Perea’s boss and the “master troll” among other things) who you are, or providing him with enough info to make an educated guess by talking about what judge is presiding over your case. I haven’t said shit about my case, only that it was in IL…not even the plaintiff, the judge, how many Does, NOTHING. I suggest you do the same. Saying what district it’s in is one thing, the judge and magistrate? No. The plaintiff? Eh, maybe but I wouldn’t. Other personal info that SJD has already redacted…if she’s redacted it then it’s a big no no.

  29. So how many states is Mr. Brett Langdon Gibbs practicing law in without a license at this point?

    Maybe he needs a few complaints and some reigning in like the Florida Bar had to do to Steele.

    • Well, on a de facto basis, we have Michigan (Tappan), Texas (Austin Cunningham individual case) Florida (Perea using blgibbs@), and Alabama (Dewey Wilson individual case) and that’s just off the top of my head.

  30. Instead of getting a mention on @FBIChicago and several negative news articles, Steele gets an article in Forbes. Excuse me while I vomit over and over when he compares targeting innocent people to arresting the wrong person for murder…it’s still a crime, duh! Yeah I’m sure the innocent person who was arrested for murder would agree with that and not care about the actual arrest on their record…FOREVER (even if it’s expunged people can still find it).

    • Yes, the constant conflation of criminal and civil law is annoying when people like recording industry lobbyists do it, inexcusable when attorneys do it.

      If these guys like comparisons to criminal law so much, and constantly claim copyright infringement is exactly the same as stealing, why not use petty theft as an example, a crime that usually has a penalty of a few hundred dollars?

      The Troll math is fantastic. We know Prenda is over 20K Does, probably many more with the BoD and CFAA cases, and yet Steele gives about 5,000 settlements as a ballpark figure, then claims they have sued almost everyone who hasn’t settled… Yeah, right, they may have filed a wave of individual and names suits, but nowhere near 15,000.

      My favorite part is Steele casually mentioning he has been called by eight Attorneys General and he just explains everything and they’re cool with it. Yeah, like that’s just part of the daily routine for a law firm. They may have been perfectly polite and he may not have heard back yet, but there is no way in hell that’s a good thing. Very good piece of intel, I’m surprised Steele would let that slip because it lets us all know that reports of Steele’s conduct do not pass the smell test and AGs will take complaints seriously. He probably thinks he’s so smooth that’s the last he’ll hear of it, but IMO that’s a tell and maybe in the back of his mind he’s not so sure…

      Of interest to the IRS, did Steele really say “We don’t track the amount we’ve recovered.”? I wonder if that implies they don’t worry about paying taxes on that amount of money they don’t bother to track. OMFG.

      • Arresting someone for murder…even the sufficiency of evidence that law enforcement has to meet just to get an arrest warrant is so much higher than for a Rule 45 subpoena in a copyright infringement lawsuit. It’s like comparing a howitzer to a pocket pistol. “It’s still a crime even if we arrest the wrong person” like it’s no big deal. Yeah, then that wrong person can go and fuck your ass up in court for abuse of process, among many many other things. He’s just so cavalier it makes me wanna throw up.

        I caught that part about being called by Attorneys General…obviously one of them was not AG Horne out in AZ. My guess, either he’s lying and no one has called him or he was called, he “explained it” and they either are so inundated with crap that they don’t have time to deal with his shit or they just don’t care. Either way, if he explained what he’s really doing, Attorneys General WOULD NOT be cool with it. He had to sign an affidavit agreeing not to practice law without a license in Florida almost immediately after showing up there because of his “reputation.” Now, why would an AG call him to ask him “Hey, what’re you up to?” instead of just investigating his ass. There is one AG that I could see not giving a shit…AG Madigan here in the great state of Illinois. He could say “I’m robbing old ladies” and I doubt she’d care because he’s not a huge corporation who’s shafted black people.

        Tax treatment of these settlements is cut and dry…they (are supposed to) pay taxes on their share and it’s treated as ordinary income, the same way that your salary or wage is treated. Their client is required to pay taxes, ordinary income. Anyone else who benefits, taxes, ordinary income. If they do not account for settlements (and their accounting better be fucking meticulous if the IRS comes knocking), then they’ve got a HUGE problem seeing as how they’re supposed to file a 1099 for each settlement. Who wants to bet they do that? Discrepancies will be investigated. That’s just the the basic summary, I could write a small book on this. There’s also other tax issues, mainly involving the offshore plaintiffs. I’m trying to figure that out.

      • The Forbes article about Pretenda and bad John is very disappointing. The only person quoted for the article is bad John himself. The piece mentions error and abuse of legal process as the main objections to porn purveyor trolling. It doesn’t mention that the distorted legal process by copyright trolls is used to enable extortion.

        Bad John of course misrepresents. Most every statement in the piece is at least misleading. He makes himself sound charitable for not trying to extort deployed soldiers.
        Bad John says he’s itching to bringing cases to trial. Somehow, after hundreds of cases (in Federal court, 196 for AF Holdings/Heartbreaker, 59 for HardDrive Productions, 23 for Sunlust, 19 for New Sensations, etc.), he can’t find one to bring to trial.

        He says “We don’t track the amount we’ve recovered.” Seriously? It’s too much bother to track collections? How is he calculating taxes owed? Does that mean he avoids giving contractual percentage shares to the porn purveyor plaintiffs?

        • It would be nice to write a sober, methodical debunking of Steele’s words in the comments. I wanted to do that, but I’m exhausted 😦

          As for the Kashmir Hill, I also slightly disappointed, yet she has enough credit of respect, so I wouldn’t be hard at her, concentrating on the liar instead.

        • SJD, can you wait til Wednesday? I’ll barely have a pulse by the time I get home tomorrow. I’ll tear that shit up with pleasure. I wish Ms. Hill would’ve fact checked at least one thing first, oh well, it’s a blog basically.

          @SpanishDoe, It’s not IN Forbes Magazine as far as I can tell. I’m not even sure if it will be. They can’t afford to waste space on something like that. He whores himself out for the limited time that he has left as a “troll,” whatever. We know he’s an egomaniacial narcissist who craves the attention. Shit, part (most) of him probably did it just to rub it in our faces, not for publicity for his “firm.” Screw him, he can tell a journalist whatever the hell he wants, who gives a shit, we know the truth. He’ll get exposed.

    • So what exactly is Steele’s relationship with Prenda? If you go on their website, there is nary a mention of the guy (by the way, I love how their URL isn’t or but the very professional However, he is obviously very involved based upon the article and everything else I have read.

      • Duffy is just a talking head. Steele is the puppet master aka “Master Troll.” Duffy’s the registered agent for Prenda Law Inc. but I’d bet that Steele owns a huge chunk of the firm, if not all of it. He’s extremely involved with the process. He appears pro hac vice in cases where Duffy is having, ehm, problems since Duffy has a huge problem lying to judges’ faces. Not to mention Twitter…which I’m not even gonna talk about. He’s moved from Chicago, to Miami, now apparently resides in Vegas. The question is if he’s a legitimate lawyer practicing legitimate law, then why the hell is he pulling this nomad act.

        • It seems as if Prenda is morphing into a IP address harvesting/subpeona results receipient/dunning service like CEG rather than a real law firm. They are collecting the info and the checks but farming the work out to starving attorneys with no moral compass.

  31. Sometimes I allow a child inside me to reign. Couldn’t resist materializing my vision of John Steele in the near future if he does not seek medical help ASAP:

    • @SJD…. Love the pic!!

      I have returned from my little mini vacation. I read the comments on Steele last night and waited till today to write one myself. I also read the Forbes article. It was interesting and easily obvious the writer doesn’t know much about the scam, along with Steele’s inflated words. I did have some issues with some statements made. I will list them below. Hope some of you will agree or help me understand more better.

      Page 1: First paragraph states; “He has filed over 350 of these suits, and says he is currently suing approximately 20,000 people”. I have yet to see his name on any lawsuit filed in the last several months that have been reported on here or DTD’s site. And the 20,000 people is way inflated. He also states when he reads about himself on the net, he thinks, “who is this jerk”? Yea right. Complete bullshit. Way to make yourself look good douche.

      Later he says, “We assess the situation and try to get the facts. There’s certain fact patterns that suggest it’s not the right person.” That is complete fabrication. They assess nothing. They get the IP address and immediately move on it without care. They don’t care about facts, and whether you are guilty or not. That has been proven. And of course he won’t explain the fact patterns, there isn’t any. But the writer won’t know that. And to say that if you didn’t download anything, you still play a role in the crime. REALLY?! How so? That is a complete false statement that has no ground. That claim can be torn to shreds.

      He claims he came up with the idea in 2006 to go after people for infringement. I doubt that. You would think if he graduated in 2006 and came up with that thought, he would have started down that road then instead in 2010. To much of a gap there. If he took 4 years to hone in the skills for these lawsuits, I think he would be doing better than he is. He sates he files 20 lawsuits a month and would like to increase it to 300. Again, I don’t see his name on a lawsuit anywhere. And to file 300 suits a month, he would have to have all the trolls under the bridge working for him and some. As long as other trolls are in the game, he can’t make the 300 number.

      “I think we’ve made a difference. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have made so many people so mad.” You haven’t made shit douche. The difference is you have made so many mad due to your outlandish claims and harassment. You have accused innocent people and you push and push to prove their guilt until the judge sees right through you. Steele is also claiming they are willing to go to trial now. Bullshit. Claims they get info from the person’s computer, family, friends. No. Too much time and money for that. Also, he has the balls to point fingers at other trolls for abusing the process claiming they get Does to pay whether guilty or innocent. He does the same thing!

      Page 2: Steele claims to have sued almost everyone who has not settled and that there is a backlog. How many here have not been sued, yet he claims so much have. Right there in the 2nd paragraph it states Steele has never taken anyone to trial, though he relishes the opportunity. He makes the claim of settling nearly 5,000 cases. Inflated again? He also states they don’t go after anyone in the military or active service. I can see that because they are serving the country. But isn’t everyone guilty in your eyes douche? Are you allowing infringement in the military, but not the public? I’m confused how 1 person can have 27 different IP address. Someone please explain that to me. The article mentions Comcast fighting against AF Holdings and how they are abusing the system, and Steele states Comcast is pandering to subscribers and sheltering them so they don’t lose money. That could be partially true, and it could be that Comcast has seen what is really going on wants no part of it. After naming AF Holdings, the article names Prenda Law suing Comcast and other ISP’s. Steele makes the comment: “We caught someone stealing”. Wait a minute here…… Notice that after AF Holdings is mentioned, Steele says in his comment “our”. And after Prenda Law is mentioned, he states, “we”. We here believe that Prenda and AF Holdings are one in the same, and to me it says it right there. At the end of the page, it mentions the Liuxia Wong case and that Steele settled for an undisclosed amount. More like, he lost and doesn’t want to disclose what he paid out. Also states; “We’re very comfortable with who came out ahead in the case, the way it ended caused us no pain.” Yea, don’t believe that one bit.

      This article is so much inflated. I don’t like that the writer always says Steele has done this and that. Making it look like he is doing it all. And, that Steele uses “we” and “our” when Prenda and AF Holding are mentioned. Maybe I read way too much into this. Please don’t beat me up too much dissecting my comment. The article got me all worked up. Sorry for the length.

    • Alright, call me an idiot (it’s okay . . . everyone else does). Someone is going to have to explain this joke to me. His hair looks a little disheveled and the face is off, but what is this supposed to represent? Given some of his posts on twitter and this page last week, I would have expected bloodshot eyes and jaundiced skin as his liver is clearly being taxed to its limit.

  32. I found one thing interesting in the Forbes article that I haven’t seen mentioned yet. I think Steele outs his who to name strategy.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what is the common thread among those he has recently named, and the most obvious thing is they appear to be 100% male. He says in the article they’ve noticed good targets to “20 – 40 year old males.”. This age group would rule out teenage children for the most part.

    I hate to give credit to Steele, but if this is his strategy, he eliminates some of the recent headaches he and his peers have been facing. Women have been known to fight back hard, (KY class action, Wong, SJD) and the suing of blind grandmothers has been bad publicity. Could this been his new strategy? It’s not fool proof, plenty of males have fought back hard (Fatalis, Abrahams) but it’s reducing his risk a little.

    I am sure there are other factors, but this is one to keep an eye one.

  33. Comments I made to the Forbes article on John Steele.

    Hi Kashmir,
    Thanks for the article on John Steele. I personally think the interview portrayed him as a good guy. That is something John Steele is not. He will claim my site ( is “Pro-piracy” and that is a bold-face lie. I tell people that if you have or are doing this, to stop. Copyright infringement is wrong and the owners have a right to seek redress. It is just the way John Steele and the other Trolls are going about it is nothing more than legal extortion and a “sue them all and lets the courts sort them out” mentality. As the old saying goes, “Two wrongs do not make a right.” Note: the new Prenda settlement amount is up to $4000 – recent article with pictures on my site.

    Until Prenda was embarrassed in court back in Feb 2012, they named and served ZERO defendants. Since then they have started to name and serve a few (less than 1% overall), but they are still taking hits from this as you point out in the WONG case. The ABRAHAMS case against Prenda is still ongoing, with Prenda trying to back away (Same attorney as WONG). Prenda has twice had the “Negligence” claim defeated in CA (HATFIELD & BOTSON) and still has NEVER taken a case to full trial and had it judged on its merits. There methods of technical monitoring as well as the personnel who do it are a closely guarded secret they don’t want exposed in open court.

    Bottom line: Prenda and the other Troll only have the public IP address associated with the ISP subscriber (person who pays the bill) to go by when try to get people to settle. Based only on this information they make threats. Making claims and naming/serving people on such flimsy evidence is an abuse.

    Some will say that if the people did download/share the movie they should pay. I agree that some amount is right, but not $4000 for something that retails for no more than $40. The amount of money they seek is excessive for this activity. Also John, you dare equate copyright infringement with the crime of murder. That is about as intelligent as when you said that a person running an unsecured WiFi Internet connect was the same as leaving a loaded gun out in the open for someone to use.

    This is no effort to protect the rights of copyright owners, it is a business model purely designed to generate revenue on a repeatable basis (Greed).

    DieTrollDie 🙂

    • Well put 🙂 I believe he’s getting really pissed off that we’re pooing on his parade heh.
      “Copyright Cat ‏@CopyrightCat
      @ThatAnonDude @CopyrightCat Betting against them has been real successful so far (sarcasm). Ur a badass,Feel free to post your IP address. “

    • Well said DTD. Hopefully Kashmir has or will read your comment and have a different opinion on Steele. I hope it rained on Steele’s happy day. The douche deserves it.

      • To be honest I think Kashmir did fine with John Steele. I don’t think if she would have been a hard ass with him, he would have ever spent the time talking to her. How many other news stories have gotten a “no comment” from Prenda. This way we get to see Steele lie outright or sugar coat the truth. This will come back to haunt him as usual.

        DTD 🙂

        • DTD I gotta agree. She was willing to stroke his ego and, well, he likes being jerked off. No way would he take an interview with a journalist that’s gonna ask him about Prenda’s bullshit. Now he’s on the record with his outright lies, forever memorialized on the lovely interweb 🙂

          Plus, even if she wanted to hold his feet to the fire, there’s no way Kashmir knows Prenda’s operation the way we do unless she’s an anonymous Doe poster. She can’t know that he’s full of shit 99.99999% of the time (sometimes he tells the truth like when he said he was pulling IPs from Guava) but she probably knows that now. She sure as hell doesn’t know Steele the way we do because she hasn’t experienced his, uhhh…behavior the way we have either. I was pissed as hell before but now I’m just gonna give her the benefit of the doubt.

          I would REALLY love to know who these alleged eight Attorneys General are and, if he did manage to convince them that everything is OK, why the hell they just took his word for it. Hell, I wonder why they’d even call a lawyer and say “Hey are you doing something wrong? I’ve received a few dozen complaints, what’s going on here?” Really? He’s a lawyer, lawyers lie. Especially when it’s about “questionable” things like this shit. Using Steele’s convoluted logic, it’s like an AG or DA/SA/ADA/ASA/etc calling a murder suspect and saying “Hey did you kill this guy?” Well, of course not!

        • I concur. I think it was also good that the article title included (Sometimes Innocent) as the headline is all many will see of the article and that means John Steele is associated with pursuing innocent people and that is never a respectable enterprise.

          While there is plenty to dig into for an investigative reporter, I do not think Kashmir fits the bill and while I would like to have seen some exploration of his habit of filing fraudulent documents (i.e. cases requesting statutory damages without a copyright registration), the intensity of harassment, and the incestuous relationships between Steele and the many shell companies that are parties in his lawsuits, I’m not surprised it wasn’t very deep. I do object a bit to the extent that she takes many of his claims at face value, even if she does provide a general counterpoint, but I think it’s too much to expect mainstream media to publish scathing, foaming at the mouth anti-Troll articles until there have been some more interesting and decisive developments like their losing some cases or becoming the target of criminal prosecution. I do believe that there will eventually be an American Greed episode that features Copyright Trolls, it’s going to be a while.

          On the other hand, by using a soft touch she got a couple of real gems out of Steele:

          * Seeing an attorney conflate criminal and civil law is always a riot, definitely not good for their credibility. It really speaks for the standards set by law schools, bar exams, and state bar associations. This is really fundamental stuff, IMO the kind of statements John made should be grounds for immediate disbarment, appearing that clueless about your own profession brings it into disrepute.

          * Some great examples of Troll Math (i.e. they have sued almost everyone who hasn’t settled. But they have 20K Does and 5K settlements… and have maybe sued a couple hundred either as single Does or by name). Not that I take any Troll-provided numbers at face-value, but it’s still fun to see these massive inconsistencies even when they are trying to make FUD.

          * The statement that they don’t track the amount they have recovered… OMG. Bombshell. OK, so maybe that’s an off the cuff remark, but how does that sound to his clients (are they confident they are getting their cut of each settlement after reading that?) and the IRS (are they confident they are getting their cut of each settlement after reading that?).

          * Also an interesting bit about the calls from eight Attorneys General. Very interesting if true. I doubt when an AG calls someone to investigate it’s as simple as explaining everything and they go away. Oh, they may be perfectly polite and go away (for a while) but do you really think if an AG has decided someone is up to something worth investigating, they are just going to take the perpetrator at his word and that’s it? Please, these guys have heard it all, they deal with criminals! Of course it’s possible that is just complete BS, or FUD to try to discourage people from complaining to their AGs. Remember how John used to spread FUD about how MTQs were so pointless, they were just going to get dropkicked into the garbage, he was going to charge you more to settle after you filed an MTQ and it failed, etc., etc. Well MTQs pretty much killed mass-Doe BitTorrent cases and you haven’t heard John talking down on MTQs for a while. I’m only willing to give John credit for being so crafty but he may be saying that so people think it’s pointless to complain, in which case everyone should send in their complaints.

          John was also allowed to give himself a bit of credit he doesn’t deserve. The original Copyright Troll was Harry Wall, a 19th century English gentleman who made a habit of trying to collect statutory awards for unauthorized performances of often-dead composers’ works. John is way more BG than OG.

        • Agreed. And she called out your comment.

          Silly me: it’s beyond my control not to think of other “Kashmir.” So I urge you to spend 9 minutes not thinking about Steele and other trolls: after that he will look no taller than a cockroach:

        • Steele’s conflation of criminal and civil law is a joke. Anyone who’s ever taken ANY law class knows there’s huge differences in procedure, rules of evidence, yada yada. Seeing as how this is Forbes (and not People Magazine or some other garbage), my guess is most readers will be informed as to the criminal vs. civil law thing.

          “”‘If you lend your gun to someone who commits a crime, you’re responsible.” (Ed. Note: Probably not in a court of law though.)'” The editor’s somewhat mistaken but mostly correct (court of law definition is off). Lending someone a gun (state, possibly federal weapons violation) that is then used in a crime is a very gray area of the law but can be extremely black if you’re extremely stupid (and there’re a lot of dumbasses who can legally own firearms). Leaving your wireless network open is not like a possible state and/or federal firearms violation. In some states, the simple act of loaning a gun is a crime and you would be criminally and civilly liable for that and most likely any subsequent offenses committed. In other states it is legal, but in general it’s a fucking HORRIBLE idea to loan a gun to anyone because you still have to have “reason” to believe that the person is not federally prohibited from owning a firearm by the Gun Control Act. Now, what is “reasonable” besides them telling you they got arrested for a felony. Parsing words. I’d be afraid of being charged criminally anyway but it’s definitely a lawsuit waiting to happen. I’d NEVER loan out any of my firearms to anyone, period. One negligent discharge (“accidental discharge” is bullshit) that results in an injury or property damage and I’d find myself doling out tons of money to defend myself in a civil case. Comporting something so complicated like firearms law and liability to “leaving your wireless network open” is asinine. No one’s ever died from open wireless.

          He is currently suing 20,000 people? Uhhh, so that’s probably true if he’s counting Guava and Arte de Oaxaca in Cook. If he’s talking about actual named and/or Doe defendants, not co-conspirators who remain unknown but not immune to harassment, it’s more likely 5,000 at the moment. Doe here, Does 1-5 here, Does 1-1048 and 1-1495 out in DCD.

          These 8 AGs, yeah, they’re lawyers, they know lawyers lie, they’re not gonna call an attorney and ask them a question about possible criminal activities on their part and expect to get the truth.

          The “I’m not sure how much money” quote should raise some red flags at the IRS. If I were Prenda’s or Steele’s tax preparer or auditor, I’d be scared shitless of that quote because they’re really screwed (there’s exceptions) if the IRS comes in and tears that place apart and finds tax evasion or other fraudulent activities. Hell, the IRS gets pissed at legal tax avoidance and flags people who do that for audits more frequently than those who don’t have offshore bank accounts, etc. If an IRS audit uncovers criminal activities, say hi to the FBI and God knows how many other federal law enforcement agencies with three or four letter acronyms. Then there’s the State of Illinois Department of Revenue but Illinois is broke as hell so it doesn’t have the money to spend auditing Prenda and I don’t even know what state Steele is a resident of anymore. His clients won’t blow the whistle on him for obvious reasons.

      • I got a couple but they have stopped since last week… I’m not talking to them. They can come get if for all I care, I’ll fight them and whoever they try and get locally. They have no case, they have nothing.

  34. It’s funny. Anytime I read a piece about John Steele or hear anything about him, the more he reminds me of King Herod as represented in “Unholy Night” by Seth Grahame Smith.

    Herod is depicted as an oblivious, blithering neanderthal who is incapable of seeing past his own illusions of grandeur and perverted view of reality.

  35. Unfortunately, I don’t have Firefox so I couldn’t recap this. Duffy is seeking discovery of the SAME IP ADDRESSES SIMULTANEOUSLY in his DC and ILND Guava suits that the new trolls are looking for in their respective state suits! Check this out:

    1. Go into PACER and look up Duffy’s DC Guava Case (12-cv-01661-BAH)
    2. Go to Document #6, Which is his motion for early discovery.
    3. Within that, there’s a 2 page pdf (I saved it, but couldn’t recap, sorry) that has an exhibit of IP addresses.
    4. Like other Fed Guava Cases, they only list IP addresses with no date and time. This exhibit shows the name of the ISP next to each address, but what’s different is that there are 34 IP addresses from all over the country.
    5. Now here’s the kicker. Compare some of those IP addresses with the IP addresses in the other federal Guava suits in the Exhibits associated with the initial complaints!

    Yep you saw it, duffy is simultaneously seeking discovery for the same IP addresses as many of the other Guava suits! I did a quick check against the OH, CT and MA cases, and the 1 IP address from the OH exhibit, the 3 from the CT exhibit, the 3 from the MA case are all being sought for discovery in his motion for early discovery in DC

    Woah! Check out doc 5 of his ILND Guava case. There’s now a list of IPs in an exhibit there that also overlaps!

    Can Prenda LEGALLY seek discovery simultaneously for the same IPs in different jurisdictions for the same defendants/IPs?

    So, if MA fails with Ruggerio, for example, he has the same three MA IP addresses in both his DC and ILND suits. In other words:

    are all MA IP addresses that are simultaneously listed in the MAD (ruggiero) complaint exhibit, ILND (Duffy) discovery motion and DCD (Duffy) discovery motion for the Guava suits! Maybe I’m wrong, but this doesn’t pass the smell test and seems highly unethical. If this is OK, please disregard. If not, what can we do???

    • Highly unethical IMO but most federal courts have local rules that require the filing of a Statement of Related Cases, has Duffy filed these in each lawsuit? I know an attorney who will be VERY interested in this development.

      • Are these Erin’s clients that Prenda supposedly filed against separately to drop them from the main Guava case, so that Steele and Urbanczyk don’t have to face opposing counsel in court?

        Maybe not them, but when Steele was making his threats one of the first things I thought of was whether or not Prenda would be making this mistake, effectively having the same case filed in two jurisdictions simultaneously without filing the noticed of related cases.

  36. Guys, I removed a couple of today’s comments. You’ve done nothing wrong: on the contrary, you are great, and these comments will be restored… soon. I can’t give up more information at this moment, but I hope you guess what it is all about. If you do, I kindly ask you to refrain from discussing this particular sub-topic. Write me an email if you don’t.

  37. Today, I noticed that I have not received a message from Prenda in a few months. Not sure if they have called though, my caller ID is out. I’m just wondering if I should be worried???

  38. HAHAHAHAHA I knew this was gonna happen

    Judge Howell just issued this order today in 1:12-cv-01661-BAH (Guava case)

    “MINUTE ORDER (paperless) denying without prejudice 6 Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application for Leave to Take Expedited Discovery. In order to take expedited discovery to obtain the identifying information for users of the IP addresses contained in [6-1] Exhibit A, the plaintiff must first submit a sworn declaration setting forth the basis for the plaintiff’s allegation that those IP addresses were used “to hack into, Plaintiff’s protected computer systems.” ECF No. 6, at 1. Signed by Judge Beryl A. Howell on October 18, 2012. (lcbah1) (Entered: 10/18/2012)”

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  1. A motion that made my day « Fight Copyright Trolls