Some of you may have noticed a new “technical” monitoring company being employed by Prenda Law Inc., “6881 Forensics LLC.” I guess with all the Names changes for Steele|Hansmeier (Prenda Law), Peter Hansmeier decided to come along for the ride.
Peter Hansmier is the brother of Paul Hansmeier, Partner of John Steele in the firm of Steele|Hansmeier. Peter Hansmeier was part of the Steele|Hansmeier copyright troll outfit, specifically the “technician” who collected public IP addresses of people sharing copyright protected porn movies via peer-to-peer file sharing applications (BitTorrent).
Peter Hansmeier did this via the Limited Liability Company (LLC), “Media Copyright Group” (MCG), from which he was listed as the manager of MCG. Paul was the registered agent for the LLC. Here is a screen shot from the Minnesota State, Business and Lien, business search page.
I had to search under “inactive” listings, as MCG was dissolved on 22 Dec 11. MCG came into being as a Minnesota LLC on 21 Jun 10. So why the name change????? Well, I think it was in partially (at least) due to the wonderful 25 Sep 11, article written by Nicholas Ranallo – Who are the MCGIP (and Why are they Suing for Other People’s Movies?) Follow-up article – Exposed Copyright Troll Dumps Mass BitTorrent Lawsuits
OK, so they had a name change. Lets look up 6881 Forensics LLC, in the Minnesota business search page. Wait,…. there is no results for 6881 Forensics or any variation of the name in the database. That is odd, as the “technician,” Peter Hansmeier signed his name and lists “Minneapolis, MN,” as the location on some January 2012 declarations supporting Prenda Law in its request for early discovery – subpoena for ISP subscriber information (various cases).
I next decided to do the ever faithful Google search. The only thing I could find was a reference to 6881 Forensics LLC on a copyright defense lawyers Web page, specifically one of the support documents Prenda is using to get a judge to authorize a subpoena for ISP subscriber information. Here is one for FL State case 11-32617 CA 20, Openmind Solutions Inc., v. Does 1-313 – OpenMind_Ex_Parte_Motion_for_Discovery_from_ISPs
So what does “6881 Forensics” do? Well based on the name and the declaration Peter Hansmeier signed, it is the same old garbage BitTorrent monitoring as before. For those of you who haven’t guessed it, the 6881 stands for the common port first used in BitTorrent Internet traffic – Port 6881. Port 6881 is still common to BitTorrent traffic, but many people change it to a non-standard these days. Some ISP have tried to block and/or throttle traffic that is possibly P2P in nature.
As well as not being able to find much on 6881 Forensics, try finding some information on Peter Hansmeier. That is some slim picking also.
So why do I care about 6881 Forensics and Peter Hansmeier? The same reason you should care…. Because his monitoring and collection of public IP addresses is the main support to the cases (and troll firms) that use them. Without someone to swear that they have evidence showing at least Prima Facie proof of copyright infringement by Doe defendants, the judge is not going to grant a subpoena for ISP subscriber information.
In the Information Technology (IT) realm there is a term call “Security through Obscurity.” What this means is if a company keep the nature of its product/software secret, them no one can find about its vulnerabilities and exploit them. MCP and 6881 Forensics LLC are following this security principle. We and the courts really know nothing about 6881 Forensics, Peter Hansmeier, or the relationship with Prenda Law (previously Steele|Hansmeier). The supporting documentation (AKA declaration), only states in a broad simplistic terms that the “technician,” Peter Hansmeier used sophisticated and proprietary software to collect public IP addresses of alleged copyright infringers. That all of the identified public IP addresses illegally downloaded and shared a copy (or portion of Plaintiff’s copyright protected work) on a certain date and time.
As the court is going to take the declaration of peter Hansmeier at face value and assume it is true and correct, it is unlikely that the court will require any further details on this company, it experience, technical certifications, and relationship with Plaintiff and the Copyright troll.
More to come on this topic. DieTrollDie :)