Mayhap the legal system is starting to catch a few clues :-)
In a judgement peppered with criticism for the various entities clustered around the troll-machine known as Prenda Law, a US judge says the court “went to battlestations” and has passed information to various US agencies for investigation. The judgement is peppered in equal parts with Star Trek references and unflattering …
All it proves is that Prenda Law wasn't smart enough and rich enough to bribe the right (AKA cheapest) politicians. I'm not saying that most businesspeople are bad. Most of them just want to play the game by the rules--but the rules are encoded into law by the most cheaply bribed politicians working for the greediest and least ethical businessmen... If there were only enough law firms of the ilk of Prenda, you can bet they would have lobbied to legalize their scam. Their only "sin" was that they weren't big enough. You know, to the point where you're basically compelled to become more evil over time just to survive.
"What do politicians have to do with the judgements made under Common Law?"
Surprising question. Is it what do politicians have to do with judges, or what do politicians have to do with any law? And if it is both as you have worded, wouldn't it be everything? Yeh, so I'm bullshitting you a bit, but I can't see how politicians wouldn't be able to pull the strings of judges.
With verdicts like this, it could be very quickly chalked up as a win for Mrs. Justice. However, if I stop and look around, I'll notice an alarming sum of patent lawsuits happening. Some of these lawsuits have billion dollar price tags on them, seems like they are Weapons of Massive Corporations (W.M.C.'s :-). So I have to wonder, is it really that the courts didn't know of such corrupt business practices, or is that the big boys want a bigger share of the pie, so time has come to knock out the little players?
As you can tell, I like to play antagonist. But can you state honestly, positively and undoubtedly that you don't at all think or feel, for even a second, that there is something a little "off" about the timing of all this?
"Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Wright received a B.A. from California State University at Los Angeles in 1976 and a J.D. from Southwestern Law School in 1980. He was in the United States Marine Corps from 1963 to 1966, remaining in the United States Marine Corps Reserve until 1969. He was a deputy sheriff in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department from 1969 to 1980. He was a deputy attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice from 1980 to 1983. He was in private practice in Los Angeles, California from 1983 to 2005." -- wikipedia
Given his place of birth, and subsequent career, Judge Wright probably has plenty of clues.
There is no end to what unscupulous paid liars will do for money. As for those viewing pirated porn or any other copyright protected works, they too will be held accountable. Just because a patent troll is repremanded doesn't mean those viewing or downloading pirated porn will escape punishment and public exposure. If you're dumb enough to pirate you're dumb enough to go to jail. Japan has the proper approach with mandatory jail time of 2 yrs. for piracy plus large fines.
As for those viewing pirated porn or any other copyright protected works, they too will be held accountable
First off, I don't think Prenda actually prosectuted anyone for copyright infringement, so none of its targets have been found guilty in a court of law. I believe that once a defendant started to put up a defence, they backed off. (Sorry, can't find the source for this right now)
Second, the Ars Technica has an interesting excerpt from the Judge's order:
"[Prenda] offer to settle—for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense."
Prenda's aim does not appear to have been to prosecute people for copyright violations: It was just a scheme to make money. Hence the Judge's suggestion that:
"[Prenda] boldly probe the outskirts of law, the only enterprise they resemble is RICO."
No mater what you think of the current copyright rules and the MPAA/RIAA, copyright violation is a crime. But so is blackmailing people.
"First off, I don't think Prenda actually prosectuted anyone for copyright infringement, so none of its targets have been found guilty in a court of law. I believe that once a defendant started to put up a defence, they backed off. (Sorry, can't find the source for this right now)"
I know of at least one case where they went for it, and got a default judgement. Of cours,e less than a week later, the defendant had got his stuff together, hired an attorney and filed a response and a request to re-open the case. That was 2 months ago. Then Prenda decided to drop the suit (after getting a default win, just after the March hearing, and before the judge ruled on re-opening) so there was a sanctions motion filed. that's still ongoing, with the prenda lawyer firing any and all personal attacks on the defendants lawyer possible. The latest document there should be filed today
*disclaimer* I've been working with said defense lawyer.
If you are working with a defense lawyer, I woud assume you know exactly what a default judgement is:
One party shows up, the other doesn't. The one that showed up automatically wins.
When the other party DID show up, they dropped the suit. That sounds EXACTLY like: "I believe that once a defendant started to put up a defence, they backed off."
yes, there where declared guilty, but decided to drop when there was even a whiff of a defense. In that case Prenda would have been in a BETTER position, because they already had a default judgement. I've never heard of a judge allowing a case to be re-opened after a default judgement exempting cases where notice was improperly (not)given or possibly some kind of act of god.
"Isn't one of the questions as yet unanswered by courts in the US is whether porn actually even is a copyrightable work?"
No. Porn is, in general, an "original work" (::snort::), and thus if I take a picture (or a series of pictures) of one or more people doing whatever local custom declares "porn", I own the copyright.
Even if the "porn" variation of the day is illegal in any given jurisdiction, I might ad.
I'm not a porn aficionado, but that's one hell of a slippery slope ...
> Japan has the proper approach with mandatory jail time of 2 yrs. for piracy plus large fines
Happy to see your tax dollars/pounds/euros/drachmas providing shelter for 2 years for what is essentially the equivalent of petty shoplifting? Followed by a criminal record that will ensure the guilty party will only get crappy jobs and be a burden to society?
Who benefits, except the incarceration industry and an entertainment industry too thick to provide digital content in a customer-friendly way?*
* Four effin' years and I still cant' get mp3s legally from Amazon, since I live in Canada and we need to protect our Celine Dions.
We could just refer to the honourable Judge in the discussion of whether or not they did much actual prosecution:
"5. For defendants that refused to settle, the Principals engaged in vexatious
litigation designed to coerce settlement. These lawsuits were filed using boilerplate
complaints based on a modicum of evidence, calculated to maximize settlement
profits by minimizing costs and effort.
6. The Principals have shown little desire to proceed in these lawsuits when
faced with a determined defendant. Instead of litigating, they dismiss the case. When
pressed for discovery, the Principals offer only disinformation—even to the Court.
10. The Principals ordered Gibbs to commit the following acts before this
Court: file copyright-infringement complaints based on a single snapshot of Internet
activity; name individuals as defendants based on a statistical guess; and assert a
copyright assignment with a fraudulent signature. The Principals also instructed
Gibbs to prosecute these lawsuits only if they remained profitable; and to dismiss
So yeah - they'd threaten with lawsuits until you paid up, or the balance tipped to the point of it becoming a waste of their time.
Also not that they did not conduct sufficient investigations before threatening a lawsuit and - for those of you seeking infaaarmation on copyright issues in general the good judge includes this nugget:
"Without better technology, prosecuting illegal BitTorrent activity requires
substantial effort in order to make a case. It is simply not economically viable to
properly prosecute the illegal download of a single copyrighted video."
Make of it what you will.
And on this scale I'd say these guys are a Racketeering Influenced or Controlled Organisation.
Remember Al Capone went down for tax evasion, not killing or having killed anyone.
Thumbs up to the judge. The IRS should be involved.
"There are people who don't torrent porn?"
I don't. In fact, I can't remember exactly the last time I actually viewed porn online. Probably 1985ish, and that was accidental. As a human, pixels have never titillated me.
However the razor burn does show up very nicely.
Porn has changed over the years and, as a lad who once was more than happy to stick the pages of Penthouse together, I find that Internet porn has become so boring as to be completely devalued. The Internet has done for porn what Justin Bieber has done for music.
@jake .. dude, still so po faced ..
Mind you, if 1985 was the last time you looked at porn online that might explain things. It was a tragic time. I had to keep a couple of magazines around to keep me busy while waiting for alt.sex to download ..
I'm po faced because I have had an active & happy RealLife sex life for over 40 years? Can you understand why I might suggest that you get out a trifle more? There are plenty of MOTAS out there that are jonesing for good, old fashioned, sweaty, git yer yah-yahs out sex. But you'd have to leave your mummys basement to find them ...
Porn, for me, isn't even close to a suitable substitute for the real thing. Never has been, not even when I was the proverbial 14 year old teenage boy.
I find it completely tragic that I'm probably going to get several dozen downvotes for this post.
This is the tip of a very big iceberg with Prenda Law. If you want to know how they got to the state that a US judge basically takes the piss out of them, the full story can be found at Popehat - http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/. You will need a lot of popcorn.
Reading that judgment with a warm coffee is the treat of the day !
This is one of those times where we can all raise hands and shout Alleluiah !
Really , facing the bar , the irs , criminal charges has a sweet sound to it.
That sends a strong signal to other entities watching the show that were inspired by those crooks. Now , i can watch the movie with peace of mind ..
I mean , not that i would torrent pr0n movies off the internet ..
This is getting awkward , better shut up ;)
Where's that beer ?
Judge Wright's sanctions 'calculated to be just below the cost of a decent defense' was a nice touch. He sent his judgement to every judge hearing a Prenda Law case in the USA, the bar associations, RICO (we can confiscate your car, house, bank account) and IRS CID. The Spanish Inquisition, etc. have nothing on IRS CID.
Prenda Law is dead, finito, an ex law firm. It's pinin' for the fjords (or any country without an extradition treaty).
From the deposition, AF Holdings paid $0 for the copyright they were suing over.
Now this was likely a bit of a lie. They transferred the copyright ownership to a trust in Nevis (an overseas tax and identity have), and transferring something of value would have raised tax issues.
But still, they actually stated in a deposition that it was a worthless copyright. The settlement letters wanted $3K right away, or more later, and stated that up to $150K plus legal fees would be cost in court. For a copyright that cost them nothing.
It's likely that the value of the movie was actually pretty low. Apparently it was a very low budget movie, and they have limited shelf life. Fans of the specific actors buy copies in the few weeks after release, and almost no copies are sold later. So after making a single pressing of a few thousand, the right to make additional copies has little commercial value.
Those who have not been following the story there, from the beginning, should prepare themselves by telling the office that they won't be in for a week, ordering a large case of popcorn, telling the family they must not be disturbed and settling down for a saga of epic proportions.
I read through a lot of that, and I am amused at the cheekiness of those swine!!!!
I really hope the IRS and the US Attorney's Office gets involved; and a few people do some serious hard time. In some commentary at a different site on that subject, was a suggestion that this saga might inspire a (pr0n) movie.
I suggest a potential title for it: Getting The Shaft, When What Goes Around Comes Back To Bite You In The Ass. I know, it's a bit tl;dr, but, what the hell!!!
Truly delicious karma would be judges in other parts of the country where Prenda Law cases are pending dismiss them with prejudice, and award attorneys fees to the defendants. Cumulatively, those awards could be staggering.
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