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(LA Times)   Judge smacks down copyright trolls in porn case. Hot   (latimes.com) divider line 97
    More: Spiffy, Prenda Law Inc., copyright troll, creative work, fantasy literature, Web User, federal judges  
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14170 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2013 at 9:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 09:50:06 AM
Ars Technica and Popehat hava been covering this story in great detail since it started, if anyone is curious to read more.  It's pretty entertaining.
 
2013-04-10 09:51:17 AM
media.skateboard.com.au
 
2013-04-10 09:51:35 AM
The lawyer plead the 5th? Is that even permissible?
 
2013-04-10 09:52:49 AM
After invoking the 5th when asked to explain their conduct in front of a federal judge, it's clear these "lawyers" won't be practicing in any courtroom for much longer.
 
2013-04-10 09:53:24 AM
Whelp. Nothing dirty in this headline at all. No Siree. Just complete innocence.

s3.amazonaws.com
 
2013-04-10 09:54:03 AM
I have a copyright on Missionary. Hasn't gotten me very far.
 
2013-04-10 09:55:44 AM
If someone pays for the airline ticket, I would be proud to fly to California and suck this judges c*ck.

THAT'S how happy I am to hear of this ruling.
 
2013-04-10 09:56:43 AM
Google  Righthaven Lawsuits and  Stevens Media to get a better idea of how this is going to turn out.

Also I think that they should change East Texas' name from "The Piney Woods" to the "Patent Troll Forrest".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_District_Court_for_the_Ea st ern_District_of_Texas

people.virginia.edu
 
2013-04-10 09:57:03 AM
Pics or it didn't happen?
 
2013-04-10 09:57:38 AM
Wright asked several Prenda lawyers to explain their legal strategy.

Instead of answering, the lawyers pleaded the 5th Amendment.


Wow.
 
2013-04-10 09:57:41 AM
Way to jump on the story late, LA Times.  Popehat has been covering this for weeks, in much more detail and with better insight, analysis and entertainment value.

http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/
 
2013-04-10 09:58:16 AM
Then he delivered an ominous warning to a lawyer for Steele: "If you say answering these kinds of questions would incriminate him, I'm inclined to take you at your word."

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that if I was one of the Prenda lawyers that line would send a chill down my spine.
 
2013-04-10 09:58:49 AM

Digital Communist: Ars Technica and Popehat hava been covering this story in great detail since it started, if anyone is curious to read more.  It's pretty entertaining.


Absolutely.  I've been following the whole case and it's hilarious.  I'll add the link to all the Popehat Prenda-tagged posts.  It starts at the bottom

http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-10 09:59:52 AM
Wright ordered Prenda's Gibbs to explain the firm's business model. Among other things, he was unhappy with Prenda's method of selecting defendants for the lawsuits. The method boiled down to collecting Internet account numbers and "blindly picking" a "pubescent male in the house" of an Internet subscriber to sue as the purported pirate. That kind of "hunch" isn't sufficient to form the basis of a lawsuit, he said, although he acknowledged that the expense of performing a genuine piracy investigation "would destroy Plaintiff's business model."

In another case not much more investigation than this was found to be reasonable grounds to file a copyright lawsuit. You need more to win, but not to file.

What distinguishes these guys and Righthaven from the RIAA is they are non-practicing entities, to borrow a term from patent law. The judge didn't like champerty* so he smacked the plaintiffs harder than he would have if they had been personally harmed.

* Champtery is the common law term for buying a cause of action you had no other interest in. It is no longer a crime.
 
2013-04-10 10:03:57 AM

cefm: Way to jump on the story late, LA Times.  Popehat has been covering this for weeks, in much more detail and with better insight, analysis and entertainment value.

http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/


That guy's a dick.
 
2013-04-10 10:06:54 AM

Ken at Popehat: cefm: Way to jump on the story late, LA Times.  Popehat has been covering this for weeks, in much more detail and with better insight, analysis and entertainment value.

http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/

That guy's a dick.


I lol'd.

/Also, thanks for the amazing coverage.
 
2013-04-10 10:07:10 AM

mongbiohazard: Then he delivered an ominous warning to a lawyer for Steele: "If you say answering these kinds of questions would incriminate him, I'm inclined to take you at your word."

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that if I was one of the Prenda lawyers that line would send a chill down my spine.


As I understand it, one of the arguments that the prenda side is trying to make is that these proceedings effectively constitute a criminal trial for prenda, therefore pleading the 5th cannot be used as prejudicial evidence against them.

Good luck with that. After the deposition incident, I'm pretty sure the judge is out for blood. It's pretty apparent to everyone at this point that these guys are exactly what they appear to be - scumbag trolls who make money extorting people - and they've pissed the judge off enormously.

Pretty sure this is going to end in tears for prenda.
 
2013-04-10 10:09:52 AM
Got nailed on some music a production company we hired used last year for an online video. The didn't have the proper rights.  Cost me $7K for a job that maybe paid $2500...production company didn't have the money to pay it...if it had gone to court it could have ended up being 35K and my company, my client and the production company could have been sued individually.

The actually have webbots that scour youtube for certain pieces of music now.  Crazy.
 
2013-04-10 10:11:00 AM
Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?
 
2013-04-10 10:12:11 AM
So does a lawyer pleading the fifth set up some sort of legal singularity? Where they have to bring in representation who, in turn, have to plead the fifth and bring their own representation? Every barrister on the planet reads the writing on the wall and knows that the last to be picked for the dodgeball team will be stuck holding the bag which accelerates the assimilation of lawyers at an exponential rate. By the third week, the federal courthouse is literally bursting at the seams with writhing, undulating  mass of Brooks Brother's suits, briefcases and paperwork from all previous lawyers/clients.

Then the earth mercifully collapses in on itself like a Jupiter in the movie 2010.
 
2013-04-10 10:17:50 AM
Yeah, you might not like what the RIAA did a decade ago, but that's not the same thing as copyright trolling.
 
2013-04-10 10:18:04 AM

mongbiohazard: Then he delivered an ominous warning to a lawyer for Steele: "If you say answering these kinds of questions would incriminate him, I'm inclined to take you at your word."

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that if I was one of the Prenda lawyers that line would send a chill down my spine.


I am a lawyer, and, absolutely.
 
2013-04-10 10:20:26 AM

cwheelie: Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?


That's a narrow way to look at it.  It's a ruling in favor of returning a small measure of sanity to copyright law, a section of law that is deeply, deeply insane.  Plus, we all like watching weasels get smacked down so authoritatively.
 
2013-04-10 10:20:46 AM
One of the questions that they refused to answer was "Where does the money go?" from the lawsuits.  In addition to the Justice Department the judge may also request the IRS to start looking into this.

This last court appearance lasted only twelve minutes.  I think the judge ended it so quickly so that he wouldn't be censured for having the defendants (Prenda Law) taken out in the parking lot and executed.  Judge Wright is an ex-Marine and he is really pissed...

Read the whole saga on Popehat.
 
2013-04-10 10:22:19 AM

cwheelie: Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?


Being that nobody has even mentioned porn yet until you did, I'm going to have to go with, "No, and you seem to have missed the point entirely."

Hint: A lot of nerds care about patent and copyright trolling.
 
2013-04-10 10:23:48 AM

mongbiohazard: cwheelie: Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?

Being that nobody has even mentioned porn yet until you did, I'm going to have to go with, "No, and you seem to have missed the point entirely."

Hint: A lot of nerds care about patent and copyright trolling.


Dang, there are like 25 posts and we're not even talking about porn yet?  That's an above-average lag for a Fark thread.
 
2013-04-10 10:23:52 AM
Elegy:  As I understand it, one of the arguments that the prenda side is trying to make is that these proceedings effectively constitute a criminal trial for prenda,

More like the judge had already decided they were naughty boys and was holding a hearing (actually this was a second one after they decided to blow off his previous hearing) to give them a chance to explain why he shouldn't discipline them.  And they decided to plead the Fifth when asked about doing their jobs.  Let's play this out in another setting

"John, I called you into my office today because there have been some troubling irregularities in your job performance lately.  I am sorry, but this sort of thing is not considered acceptable in this company, and we are going to have to write you up.  However, I am not soulless monster, so if you want to provide an explanation as to why you think I should go easy on you, I am more than willing to hear you out."

**crickets, because John decided not to come into the office**

[A month later, when John finally deigns to show up to his supervisor's office]
"John, I called you into my office today because there have been some troubling irregularities in your job performance lately.  I am sorry, but this sort of thing is not considered acceptable in this company, and we are going to have to write you up.  However, I am not soulless monster, so if you want to provide an explanation as to why you think I should go easy on you, I am more than willing to hear you out.  Why don't we start with you telling me how you go about doing your job -"

"I refuse to explain my basic job description because it will implicate me in a crime!"

**boss keels over from aneurysm**
 
rpm
2013-04-10 10:32:07 AM

Ken at Popehat: cefm: Way to jump on the story late, LA Times.  Popehat has been covering this for weeks, in much more detail and with better insight, analysis and entertainment value.

http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/

That guy's a dick.


And probably a bronie. I mean, you can pay for ads with ponies? WTF?
 
2013-04-10 10:36:25 AM
No HERO tag?
 
2013-04-10 10:42:09 AM
Porn. Penis. 26 minutes.

Sorry, pet peave.
 
2013-04-10 10:48:30 AM

Super Chronic: mongbiohazard: cwheelie: Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?

Being that nobody has even mentioned porn yet until you did, I'm going to have to go with, "No, and you seem to have missed the point entirely."

Hint: A lot of nerds care about patent and copyright trolling.

Dang, there are like 25 posts and we're not even talking about porn yet?  That's an above-average lag for a Fark thread.


To paraphrase Archer:
"See how we just let that go by? Look at us. We are perfect gentlemen."
 
2013-04-10 10:50:10 AM

cwheelie: Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?


This is not a judge.
This is War Machine.
 
2013-04-10 10:51:40 AM
Ken at Popehat:
That guy's a dick.

Your coverage and analysis of this whole thing has been awesome.
 
2013-04-10 11:02:03 AM
Legit copyright holders deserve what is owed to them.  Unfortunately the way the law is written now, it makes little distinction between private piracy and outright commercial piracy, which is where these MASSIVE fines come into play.  That being said...

...There is a possible public shame factor that comes with "theft" of porography.  Yes, theft is theft, that being said... unfortunately, as prevalent as the "culture of porn" is in modern society, it still carries a level of shame and embarrassment with it.  Yeah, it is a double standard by comparison to being sued for downloading the newest Nickelback album, and this law firm knows that.

I am not sure what the solution here is...I mean, piracy is going to exist no matter what.  I am not saying "let's sit on our hands and do nothing..."
 
2013-04-10 11:02:04 AM
s3.postimg.org
 
2013-04-10 11:02:56 AM

ZAZ: Wright ordered Prenda's Gibbs to explain the firm's business model. Among other things, he was unhappy with Prenda's method of selecting defendants for the lawsuits. The method boiled down to collecting Internet account numbers and "blindly picking" a "pubescent male in the house" of an Internet subscriber to sue as the purported pirate. That kind of "hunch" isn't sufficient to form the basis of a lawsuit, he said, although he acknowledged that the expense of performing a genuine piracy investigation "would destroy Plaintiff's business model."

In another case not much more investigation than this was found to be reasonable grounds to file a copyright lawsuit. You need more to win, but not to file.

What distinguishes these guys and Righthaven from the RIAA is they are non-practicing entities, to borrow a term from patent law. The judge didn't like champerty* so he smacked the plaintiffs harder than he would have if they had been personally harmed.

* Champtery is the common law term for buying a cause of action you had no other interest in. It is no longer a crime.


Thank you for the lesson - in all my long years, I had never before heard of "champtery"!

/Not a lawyer, but do work for a bunch.
 
2013-04-10 11:03:19 AM

Civil Discourse: Ken at Popehat: cefm: Way to jump on the story late, LA Times.  Popehat has been covering this for weeks, in much more detail and with better insight, analysis and entertainment value.

http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/

That guy's a dick.

I lol'd.

/Also, thanks for the amazing coverage.


That. Thanks, Ken!
 
2013-04-10 11:07:43 AM

Endive Wombat: ...There is a possible public shame factor that comes with "theft" of porography.  Yes, theft is theft, that being said... unfortunately, as prevalent as the "culture of porn" is in modern society, it still carries a level of shame and embarrassment with it.  Yeah, it is a double standard by comparison to being sued for downloading the newest Nickelback album, and this law firm knows that.


There was a great scam in Australia a few years back... Guy advertised porn videos for sale in the back of a magazine - just mainstream stuff, though, couples, oral, etc. He got a lot of buyers sending checks, cash, or money orders. He would then diligently reply to each one with an apology, saying the video had sold out, and enclosed was a check for a full refund from the company. Valid checks, too... but the company name was something incredibly disturbing like "Chained up dog-farkers bondage bestiality orgy porn company, LTD," and as a result, almost none of them were deposited.
 
2013-04-10 11:20:12 AM

mama2tnt: Thank you for the lesson - in all my long years, I had never before heard of "champtery"!


Neither has Wikipedia, oddly enough...
 
2013-04-10 11:26:40 AM

Theaetetus: There was a great scam in Australia a few years back... Guy advertised porn videos for sale in the back of a magazine - just mainstream stuff, though, couples, oral, etc. He got a lot of buyers sending checks, cash, or money orders. He would then diligently reply to each one with an apology, saying the video had sold out, and enclosed was a check for a full refund from the company. Valid checks, too... but the company name was something incredibly disturbing like "Chained up dog-farkers bondage bestiality orgy porn company, LTD," and as a result, almost none of them were deposited.


As referenced in that great documentary: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
 
2013-04-10 11:28:18 AM

finnished: mama2tnt: Thank you for the lesson - in all my long years, I had never before heard of "champtery"!

Neither has Wikipedia, oddly enough...


Its because it is spelled Champerty
 
2013-04-10 11:32:06 AM

Endive Wombat: Legit copyright holders deserve what is owed to them. Unfortunately the way the law is written now, it makes little distinction between private piracy and outright commercial piracy, which is where these MASSIVE fines come into play. That being said...


Humorously enough, statutory damages were intended to be low.  Pitifully, insultingly low in fact.  Its just that the drafters didn't expect normal everyday people to be willfully infringing and getting sued by major corporations for it.
 
2013-04-10 11:34:55 AM
Just making a comment so it is on myfark before I go to bed.

This shiat really shiats me.

The fact that the USoA change copyright laws, etc. to protect Mickey Mouse shiats me almost as much.

And yes I too place the blame squarely on the RIAA - they really should be taken to court on their own basis (for being insane mother farkers who take up waaay to much of the community's court dollars.)
 
2013-04-10 11:35:03 AM

Theaetetus: Endive Wombat: ...There is a possible public shame factor that comes with "theft" of porography.  Yes, theft is theft, that being said... unfortunately, as prevalent as the "culture of porn" is in modern society, it still carries a level of shame and embarrassment with it.  Yeah, it is a double standard by comparison to being sued for downloading the newest Nickelback album, and this law firm knows that.

There was a great scam in Australia a few years back... Guy advertised porn videos for sale in the back of a magazine - just mainstream stuff, though, couples, oral, etc. He got a lot of buyers sending checks, cash, or money orders. He would then diligently reply to each one with an apology, saying the video had sold out, and enclosed was a check for a full refund from the company. Valid checks, too... but the company name was something incredibly disturbing like "Chained up dog-farkers bondage bestiality orgy porn company, LTD," and as a result, almost none of them were deposited.


That is excellent. Was the scammer punished?
 
2013-04-10 11:35:43 AM
I like the cut of this judge's jib.
 
2013-04-10 11:44:42 AM

Langdon_777: The fact that the USoA change copyright laws, etc. to protect Mickey Mouse shiats me almost as much.


Or, you know, to bring us in line with European laws.
 
2013-04-10 11:58:18 AM

angryjd: mongbiohazard: Then he delivered an ominous warning to a lawyer for Steele: "If you say answering these kinds of questions would incriminate him, I'm inclined to take you at your word."

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that if I was one of the Prenda lawyers that line would send a chill down my spine.

I am a lawyer, and, absolutely.


Also a lawyer (just not YOUR lawyer).  Prenda's lawyer's spine isn't chilled, he hasn't done anything wrong.  Prenda, however, knows he's hosed.

Tom_Slick: The lawyer plead the 5th? Is that even permissible?


First I've heard of it, but don't see why not.  Every lawyer has a duty of candor to the court (read: you can't lie to the court) which the lawyer is probably rightly interpreting as anything he says will be treated as sworn testimony (or something very close to it. I'm not a litigator, so anyone who is please step in and correct me).  the 5th says you can't be compelled to incriminate yourself, so given the choice of answering the question (which might cause him to explain how he'd been defrauding the court and extorting his defendants, which would expose him to criminal liability) I think it's reasonable to invoke the 5th.  At any rate, given any concern, it's the smart thing to do.  Better to invoke the 5th and look squirrely than admit you've been bad and have it used against you at a later proceeding.
 
2013-04-10 12:02:10 PM

mongbiohazard: cwheelie: Just to make sure I'm following - because it's a ruling in favor of porn, we now like judges on Fark?

Being that nobody has even mentioned porn yet until you did, I'm going to have to go with, "No, and you seem to have missed the point entirely."

Hint: A lot of nerds care about patent and copyright trolling.


I'm not disagreeing - these guys needed to be taken biatch slapped. It's just that in so many threads we see anti judge ranting until there's a ruling that favors something we like. Then it's all judicial lovey dovey.

and I was being snarky
 
2013-04-10 12:02:48 PM

WillyChase: Theaetetus: Endive Wombat: ...There is a possible public shame factor that comes with "theft" of porography.  Yes, theft is theft, that being said... unfortunately, as prevalent as the "culture of porn" is in modern society, it still carries a level of shame and embarrassment with it.  Yeah, it is a double standard by comparison to being sued for downloading the newest Nickelback album, and this law firm knows that.

There was a great scam in Australia a few years back... Guy advertised porn videos for sale in the back of a magazine - just mainstream stuff, though, couples, oral, etc. He got a lot of buyers sending checks, cash, or money orders. He would then diligently reply to each one with an apology, saying the video had sold out, and enclosed was a check for a full refund from the company. Valid checks, too... but the company name was something incredibly disturbing like "Chained up dog-farkers bondage bestiality orgy porn company, LTD," and as a result, almost none of them were deposited.

That is excellent. Was the scammer punished?


Eventually, yes. There was some fraud law that applied, but I don't know the details.
 
2013-04-10 12:03:10 PM

WillyChase: Theaetetus: Endive Wombat: ...There is a possible public shame factor that comes with "theft" of porography.  Yes, theft is theft, that being said... unfortunately, as prevalent as the "culture of porn" is in modern society, it still carries a level of shame and embarrassment with it.  Yeah, it is a double standard by comparison to being sued for downloading the newest Nickelback album, and this law firm knows that.

There was a great scam in Australia a few years back... Guy advertised porn videos for sale in the back of a magazine - just mainstream stuff, though, couples, oral, etc. He got a lot of buyers sending checks, cash, or money orders. He would then diligently reply to each one with an apology, saying the video had sold out, and enclosed was a check for a full refund from the company. Valid checks, too... but the company name was something incredibly disturbing like "Chained up dog-farkers bondage bestiality orgy porn company, LTD," and as a result, almost none of them were deposited.

That is excellent. Was the scammer punished?




www.wearysloth.com
 
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