back to article Smut-spreading copyright trolls told to return cash extracted from victims

The team behind Prenda Law's copyright-trolling business took another hit when a judge ordered it to pay back money to the people it accused of downloading hardcore pornography – AND pay their legal costs. The ruling, from the district court of Minnesota, was made against AF Holdings, a shell company set up to manage the …

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Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

Yeah, that'll learn'em.

The defendants should sue Prenda into the ground. Six feet into the ground.

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Re: Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

Jail time would be more appropriate.

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Re: Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

"Jail time would be more appropriate."

I agree with your emotion Jonathan, but I think we both agree that if jail time was served, it wouldn't be just. Why?

Jail time wouldn't exceed more than 6 weeks, and these fuckers deserve 6 decades. Bullshit white collar crimes somehow go unpunished when you compare the start to the finish.

If the world was just, they would be hit by $81,000...81,000 times.

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Re: Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

I don't agree about 6 decades in prison. You put people in jail for one of two reasons, to deter others from doing the same thing, or for public safety, because if they are locked up, they can't harm the public with their crimes.

You can deal with the public safety aspect by banning them from practicing as lawyers ever again. 3 months with early release after 6 weeks if they behave themselves inside probably is enough of a deterrent for most lawyers who are thinking of doing the same thing, provided it is combined with criminal asset recovery and the lifetime ban on practicing as a lawyer I referred to earlier. You would leave them inside for longer if they don't reveal where all their assets are, that is pretty normal in these sorts of cases.

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Re: Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24876145 : A Texas state prosecutor got an innocent man jailed for life for murder. The prisoner was let out after 25 years. The prosecutor has now been sentenced to 10 days in jail plus community service.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24877081 : For the first time, a British soldier has actually been convicted of murdering one of our prisoners of war. It seems to me likely that he wouldn't have been if he had not been video recorded doing it and then saying "I just broke the Geneva Convention." Everyone's very sorry for him. It seems likely to be a life sentence for murder, which is the same as if I did it.

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Re: Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

The findings are being sent to a number of other departments … in other words, watch this space.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fraud, and the only punishment is paying court costs for the defendants?

The poor dear. I mean, he only dragged the guy away from surveillance, shot him in cold blood, laughed and joked and bragged about it afterwards, showed he was aware of the war crime he'd just committed, then covered it up for years, lied through his trial with ridiculous defense about the victim 'already being dead', and has consistently refused to show remorse. Definitely deserves compassion, and a five year (out in two and a half with good behaviour) sentence.

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Re: Jail time would be more appropriate.

NO, it would not!!!

An appropriate sentence would be summary execution for those filthy pricks.

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Re: Jail time would be more appropriate.

A sentence of death is appropriate for fraudulent activity?

Wow. Just wow.

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Go Prenda go!

And don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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For a complete - quite funny - telling of the full story see

http://www.popehat.com/2013/11/06/another-hammer-drops-on-prenda-law/ (and links referenced there).

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Anonymous Coward

why aren't the Prenda lawyers themselves held liable for being idiots?

Last i saw, stupidity is not a defence in law (ref Sally Bercow); these lawyers were stupid and wasted the court's time, for which they should be made to pay - they had the option to tell their client "silly case, go away" but chose to pursue fees.

advocatus emptor (or whatever the correct version may be, it's late).

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Because Prenda Law is being held liable and Prenda Law is a "Legal Person" under US law. The whole point of being an LLC is to avoid the company liabilities becoming personal liabilities. Of course, its impossible to lock up a company so a fine is levied instead.

Do yourself a favour and watch "The Corporation", which can be found, for free, on YouTube or many other sources.

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Surely any lawyers involved in this will be disbarred?

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More detail elsewhere

There are more details on the Prenda cases on other news websites. Ars Technica often has reporters at Prenda hearings. El Reg just reports the headlines (otften a day or two after everyone else).

For those wondering if Prenda will face more than just returning payments and paying costs, judges in different states are reporting Prenda to state bars and at least one has reported them to the FBI.

One of the problems the judges are having at the moment is trying to unpick who exactly is in charge of Prenda and all the shell companies. The Prenda staff/lawyers are claiming a guy called Alan Cooper is in charge. The only Alan Cooper to come forward so far is a mild mannered janitor for one of the lawyers at Prenda and is claiming no knowledge of any of this.

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" a mild mannered janitor" @A Non e-mouse

I like that term, they always turn out to be serial killers.

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Re: " a mild mannered janitor" @A Non e-mouse

^^ or kung-fu dogs.

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Not only should the pay back all the people they've scammed and extorted money from, they should also have to pay for all the court time that they've wasted, then should not only be barred from any legal work for life, but also barred from running/managing any business at all. I'm sure they'd do well in a burger bar.

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" I'm sure they'd do well in a burger bar."

But could you trust them?

They'd give you salmonella then charge you for the meds and sue your arse for falling over in their premises and bleeding in the floor.

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WTF?

So let's get t his straight.

"Client" approaches lawyers claiming copyright infringement on properties they do not even own

Lawyers say "No problem" and proceed to hunt down (possible) down loaders.

Lawyers deliberately upload copies of material to encourage down loading.

How is this not a)Fraud (on the part of the shell companies) and b)Entrapment on the part of the lawyers.

And did I not read that the "clients" are proving elusive to the point that they appear to have been set up by the lawyers themselves?

This looks like grounds for criminal prosecution and disbarment of all concerned.

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Re: So let's get t his straight.

popehat, ars technica and techdirt all have more detail, but yes, criminal prosecution is looking extremely likely, only delayed by the courts having to untangle the opaque and deceptive nest of company structures they created in case things went titsup.

Interestingly, 'client' is substantially the exact same people, long may they suffer

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Anonymous Coward

Prenda law would appear to not just be guilty of fraud.

1. Seeding copyright media they don't own would I assume open them up to copyright infringement lawsuits.

2. This looks damned like libel, slander, blackmail, extortion, perjury, etc. too!

This legal firm should be sued into the ground, and the involved "bar" owners and employees all dis-bared; it probably would also be helpful to make the involved legal mobsters bankrupt too, to pay extra compensation to the asserted defendants, as a warning to their kin; however the latter will probably never happen, because of vested interests.

The judge was probably only upset because they defame the reputation of more 'elegant' legal predators, who use more subtle frauds.

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Windows

Re: Prenda law would appear to not just be guilty of fraud.

The judge who came up with the Star Trek judgement also advised investigations by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and for possible racketeering under the RICO Act. I think they're waiting for the civil cases to finish before criminal investigations take over, but it's probably safe to say they're not done yet and it's not going to end well.

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Thumb Up

Now WAIT a MINUTE....

....So is that "Alexis Texas Sucks" ( one movie )

AND "Fucks at a porn show" ( one movie ) ToTal 2 movies?

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Stop

Alternate explanation

All this lawyer-bashing is premature. Isn't it possible that the actions of Prenda Law's lead attorney, the one spreading porn on BitTorrent, were an innocent attempt to drum up interest in his "other" job? His name *is* John Steele, after all, and his ability to grip a shaft has already been documented (SFW until someone "brings out the GIMP"):

http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/05/25/who-and-where-is-prenda-law-what-happened-to-john-steele/

Seriously, look at his face! What's going on there? I'm just sayin'...

Arc_Light

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Pirate

Huh!

So, who are the pirates here?

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Trollface

Re: Huh!

Wouldn't it be ironic, amusing, karmic and just if the ACTUAL legal owners of the copyright now sued Prenda Law in the same court for piracy and breach of IP law?

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Coat

Well...

It is a business model of sorts.

I particularly like the idea they were seeding the bit torrent.

okay I'll get me coat...

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