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back to article Comcast court docs show Prenda copyright trolls seeded smut then sued

Top copyright troll Prenda Law has been caught red-handed seeding torrenting sites with pornographic films in an effort to drum up business for its copyright lawyers. The attorneys at Prenda Law specialize in firing out letters to internet users accusing them of pirating luridly-named pornography (Alexis Texas sucks and fucks at …

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Fascinating case, more on popehat

Popehat (.com) have some long, in depth posts about this case, it really does seem every inch as cynical as you'd ever dream up, but then doubles down and adds one for luck.

Hard to believe pornographers would be so sleazy.

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Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

It's more serious than that. If an agent of the copyright holder made the files available for download and advertised it on pirate sites, then the people who downloaded them obtained them legally.

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Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

Hard to believe pornographers would be so sleazy.

I didn't think it was the pornographers being sleazy here, I thought it was the lawyers. And lets face it, no one is surprised when it turns out that some lawyers are more sleazy than most pornographers.

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@Cliff - Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

"Hard to believe pornographers would be so sleazy."

It's not pornographers, it's lawyers, the people who will not only screw you, but then sue you for allowing yourself to be screwed!

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FAIL

Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

Its not the pornographers.

Its the lawyers.

The fail is for the fact that the courts haven't disbarred these slime bags. There are too many lawyers and its time that we bounce the ethically challenged ones from the gene pool.

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Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

I'd argue that porn professionals are more ethical than the lawyers. There are things even a pornstar won't do for money, the same can't really be said for lawyers.

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Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

"It's the lawyers... "

Yes, but the lawyers own the companies that own and distribute the Frankie Vaughan. The only bit they didn't likely do is run the camera or take it in the wrong'un.

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@jonathanb

" If an agent of the copyright holder made the files available for download and advertised it on pirate sites, then the people who downloaded them obtained them legally."

You've raised a very interesting legal issue here.

Yes they did download them legally, but it's not the downloading the copyright mafia nail you for - it's the seeding / uploading, which is integral to bittorrent, and which legally amounts to unauthorised distribution. That's what they charge you with on the court documents.

I'd be very interested to see the legal take on this - if I, as a copyright owner, distribute my own work via bittorrent, I'm implicitly authorising others to distribute my work as well by the very act of using the bittorrent mechanism as my distribution medium. So does this implicit consent stand as legal authorisation for anyone in the swarm to distribute? What if I stop seeding the torrent myself - does that withdraw the consent for others to distribute? What if someone else creates another torrent on another tracker and starts seeding it there as well?

Bittorrent seems to be a real Pandora's box as far as legitimate or authorised distribution of copyrighted material is concerned. Any commentards here in the legal profession got a take on this, or does anyone know of any court cases dealing with these issues?

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Joke

Re: @jonathanb

All the lawyers here are busy, watching movies... For evidence of course.

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Re: Fascinating case, more on popehat

We're lawyers. We're not in the honor business.

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Re: @jonathanb

There are plenty of people who distribute their material by Bittorrent. Bittorrent will only work if you upload as well as download. People understand that uploading to contribute to the swam is the quid-pro-pro for getting it free. It means the publisher can reach a lot more people with a much more modest internet connection than if they made it available via http or similar.

I would argue, and I'm sure the courts would agree, that by distributing your material via Bittorrent, you are giving permission for downloaders to also upload, and in fact, you are probably making it a condition of receiving the material that they contribute towards the uploading of it.

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Anonymous Coward

"You've raised a very interesting legal issue here"

Further more if you then turn around and tell everyone you're going to sue them if they don't cough up thousands of dollars are you then obtaining money by deception?

because you have no legal ground to sue them in the first place?

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Pop corn and Soda time

This gets better and better

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pop corn and Soda time

Sorry, I read that as Cop Porn and Sodomy time

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Scorch the Earth

Somebody should dig up all the buried bodies and make a dramatic example of these guys and everyone surrounding them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scorch the Earth

Wouldn't it be better to bury those guys there instead?

Sorry, just musing.

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Headmaster

I feel that this demonstrates beyond any doubt that....

"Top copyright troll Prenda Law has been caught red-handed seeding torrenting sites with pornographic films in an effort to drum up business for its copyright lawyers."

.......such people are extortionists and that patent law should be changed to make such companies (who do not produce anything) liable to prosecution for conspiracy and racketeering. I go further and say that any company that actually is a producer who signs over their patents* to such companies in order to distance themselves from the approbrium that is increasingly inspired by such behaviour should be charged as coconspirators.

*We have seen several examples of that kind of tactic in the last year or so.

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Happy

Re: I feel that this demonstrates beyond any doubt that....

Not to nitpick, but this is a copyright issue, not about patents. There's nothing patentable about what adult film stars do. Even the judges themselves would likely be infringing if that were the case.

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Headmaster

Re: I feel that this demonstrates beyond any doubt that....

> There's nothing patentable about what adult film stars do

Oh yeah? Don't give the lawyers any ideas. They might come up with something.

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Happy

@Don Jefe Re: I feel that this demonstrates beyond any doubt that....

Quite right. I was in a hurry and composed and posted too fast. I should of course said something along the lines of "both copyright and patent trolls etc...".

"There's nothing patentable about what adult film stars do."

Indeed, I don't think that even Cupertino would try and patent what adult film stars do, although it would give a whole new meaning to "you're holding it wrong"!

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Anonymous Coward

They can't hear the phones when El Reg calls.

The noise of the shredders is quite loud. Give them a day or two to get rid of the backlog.

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Windows

shredders?

"The noise of the shredders is quite loud. Give them a day or two to get rid of the backlog."

That was the mistake Captin Bob's sons made. A small bonfire is quicker. The audit trail is server logs and IP addresses so not so sure what they are shredding...

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Re: shredders?

Probably the DVD covers with the warning them that sharing may cause an itchy infection.

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"They can't hear the phones when El Reg calls.

The noise of the shredders is quite loud. Give them a day or two to get rid of the backlog."

Er, they've already had a week (the subpoena was filed as evidence last Wednesday)

Since then, there's been a lot more going on just in this case, including requests to seal, the transcript of the July 2nd hearing being released, AND in a bit, deposition is due to start of the Plaintiff's representative.

Oh, and a few days ago, Comcast sent a DMCA nastygram over reprinting the PACER evidence filing.

It's a real fun case.

Andrew

Pirate Party "freetard", and defense expert in this case

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Devil

Hmm... This could get interesting.

So we now have a second branch of the organization involved in the same sort of extortionist tactics.

...

One or two more like that and you just might have enough to file a RICO suite against the rest of the organization.

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A point of clarification: sharkmp4 was already identified as the account Prenda was using before TPB took action. The Pirate Bay only retrieved and released the logs for that specific user in response to my own declaration in the First Time Videos v. Paul Oppold case. They didn't, to my knowledge, examine the logs for any other TPB user. They were quite adamant when the story first broke that they don't normally examine user history like this (and the multiply-encrypted tape backups make it labor intensive to do so for anything other than a special request).

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