back to article Prenda Law boss John Steele to miss 2020 Olympics... unless they show it in prison

One of the former attorneys behind dodgy copyright-demand factory Prenda Law has been sentenced to 60 months in prison. Yes, the same Prenda Law that seeded file-sharing networks with smut flicks it owned the rights to in order to extract eye-watering copyright infringement settlements from downloaders. Judge Joan Ericksen, of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all performance rights organisations going after stables that play free-to-air music to horses and "filmmakers" trying to recoup their losses with crappy product... Here's something sobering. You can be beaten. It took a while, but now that your glorious enforcers tripped up in the most scandalous way possible, your magical random IP number generators aren't going to cut the mustard anymore for evidence.

    Welcome to the big leagues, as your hero Hansmeier was often wont to say!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One rule for them?

      I think the difference here is, one person vs an entire industry. It's harder to close an entire industry, as that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. One person? It's a bonus on someones CV. But very few like to take on the big boys.

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      The difference is that these guys put their own copyrighted works on the Pirate Bay with the intent that the should be downloaded. The download was _the intent_ of the copyright owner and therefore not illegal.

      The same would happen if Disney would put their movies there - but not if someone else does without Disney's permission.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good, but

    Only two lawyers sentenced and in jail?

    1. Saruman the White

      Re: Good, but

      There was a third (can't remember his name right now) but he died of natural causes two or three years ago.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Good, but

        Paul Duffy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good, but

      Only two lawyers sentenced and in jail?

      That's generally referred to as a good start :)

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Trollface

        Re: Good, but

        Dick the Butcher's solution is preferred!

        "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

        (N.B. Snoopy McSnoopface, this is not hatespeech, I am just quoting Shakespeare.)

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Stop

          Re: Good, but

          OK, who let the lawyer in here? And who taught him/her how to downvote?

  3. tp2

    Copyright trolls....

    When will authors of copyrighted works get compensation for the time they spend creating those works? It seems there exists huge underground group of people who spend time creating copyrighted works, but without any money flowing to their direction associated with the works. While this can be considered a side-effect of competition, it also has a copyright aspect in it. While it has been known for long time in copyright industry that money is outdated concept, the food industry disagrees, putting forwarrd-looking people into poverty.

    These copyright-trolls figured out how to turn their copyrighted works into good use and extract settlement money from the users. This kind of innovation is what copyright area needs, clear business models that have chance of getting enough money from the users that authors can make a living out of it. Sadly their reasons of why the trolls are entitled their money wasn't exactly good enough for the courts, and the extortion business model was slightly illegal, but still these kinds of nice money-making schemes are needed in the copyright area.

    This ruling has two significant problems clearly visible. First these prenda law folks clearly had trouble getting end users to actually use their copyrighted work. Their smut films was clearly positioned for certain kinds of end users, so their decision to distribute it in pirate sites themselves was clearly obvious solution to the problem of finding new end users. Their decision to sue the end users if settlement money is not received early enough, had obvious flaw that end users could invoke "implicit license" keywords to get past their copyright lawsuit and receive lawyers fees from the prenda plaintiffs.

    The full scheme these trolls invoked had all the elements of a classic criminal organisation. The money was being shuffled between differrent companies to hide the original source of the moeny was their illegal extortion business of copyrighted works that they had filmed themselves. The lawyers spend significant amount of time to make it appear as if they were just executing orders that their clients had commissioned, but it turned out the clients didn't exist and the whole operation was ran by the lawyers themselves.

    Guess the courts had tons of fun untangling this operation. Their patience in spending years for this is the real giveaway in this story.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Meh

      Lesson in posting?

      A long post, whose first sentence appears to be siding with the villains of the story, and whose continuation seems to mix the tongue-in-cheek with the direct.

      No wonder you got downvotes.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Copyright trolls....

      Looking forward to your next post defending drug dealers.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Copyright trolls....

        Hey now, where else are we supposed to get our drugs from?

        On a slightly more serious tack, what's the difference between a drug dealer and a bartender, besides the legality?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Copyright trolls....

          On a slightly more serious tack, what's the difference between a drug dealer and a bartender, besides the legality?

          Obtain a product from each but don't pay, then report back.

          p.s. for the fun police, don't actually do this, it might not end well.

        2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: Copyright trolls....

          "On a slightly more serious tack, what's the difference between a drug dealer and a bartender, besides the legality?"

          Regular health and safety inspections and mandated penalties for adulteration of the product?

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Copyright trolls....

        "

        Looking forward to your next post defending drug dealers.

        "

        I have no problems with pharmacies.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Copyright trolls....

          How about off licenses?

  4. Clive Galway
    Joke

    Someone call the OED

    They need to update the entry for Schadenfreude

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