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(LA Times)   Judge smacks down copyright trolls in porn case. Hot   (latimes.com) divider line 22
    More: Spiffy, Prenda Law Inc., copyright troll, creative work, fantasy literature, Web User, federal judges  
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14179 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 04:11:37 PM  
2 votes:
Am I mistaken or does this case seem to have even bigger implications than what's been mentioned?  From the article, it seems like one of the big issues the judge has is that the lawyers aren't taking the time to identify the actual perpetrators but instead are just matching the IP to a physical address and suing the youngest adult male.  The lawyers are saying that having to find the actual perpetrator would ruin their business model while the judge is saying, "Yeah, but you can't file a lawsuit based on a guess about who you're supposed to be suing."  My understanding is that, in the past, it's always been up to the defendant to prove that somebody else was using their internet connection.  If that switches to the lawyers' burden, that could put an end to this simply by making the process unprofitable for the trolls.
2013-04-10 11:28:18 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:23:52 AM  
2 votes:
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**
2013-04-10 10:22:19 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:20:26 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:03:57 AM  
2 votes:

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 09:57:41 AM  
2 votes:
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 09:52:49 AM  
2 votes:
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 09:51:35 AM  
2 votes:
The lawyer plead the 5th? Is that even permissible?
2013-04-10 04:14:09 PM  
1 votes:

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


yeah, you can't ever be ordered by any government entity to admit to committing a crime.  However, unlike a defendant at trial, when a LAWYER pleads the fifth the judge MAY make inferences from that invocation.  They basically just waved a red flag that they are up to some illegal shiat, and the judge's comment reported in the article indicates he's going to sic the DA on them.
2013-04-10 01:48:05 PM  
1 votes:

The_Six_Fingered_Man: That is interesting. If the rights holder is a seeder, then how would it be piracy?


Keep in mind, this guy is a patent troll.  And you'd have to prove it, which means having to go through the whole court process.  Which is generally a moot point, as Steele and his group have no intention of actually going to court.

And, if you wanted to be smart/sneaky about it, you'd do the initial seeding from some place "safe" like an open connection / hotspot.
2013-04-10 01:35:34 PM  
1 votes:
Ah, John Steele, a nice lawyer there.

His model for porn suits;
Monitor a torrent, then sue all people downloading/"sharing" that file.
And NEVER contact the site hosting the tracking file to take down that torrent.

It should also be noted that the initial seeders in a lot of Steele's suits were the same person.  It's been suspect that Steele's own firm or someone on his behalf was doing it.
2013-04-10 12:02:48 PM  
1 votes:

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 11:02:56 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:18:04 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:07:10 AM  
1 votes:

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 10:06:54 AM  
1 votes:

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 09:58:16 AM  
1 votes:
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 09:57:38 AM  
1 votes:
Wright asked several Prenda lawyers to explain their legal strategy.

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


Wow.
2013-04-10 09:56:43 AM  
1 votes:
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 09:55:44 AM  
1 votes:
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 09:54:03 AM  
1 votes:
I have a copyright on Missionary. Hasn't gotten me very far.
 
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