CA Judge Denies Gibbs Expedited Discovery of 115 Co-Conspirator Does, 2:11-cv-03478-GEB-EFB, First Time Videos v. John Doe

Thanks to the Doe that passed onto me this Prenda Law case from the Eastern District of California.  This case was originally filed on 30 Dec 11, and it differs from the normal Prenda/Gibbs/Steele crap by listing ONE Doe defendant (76.11.57.33) and 115 co-conspirators Does.

Bottom line – Gibbs only get the ISP subscriber information on One John Doe.  :)

It appears Gibbs was trying something different in the CA courts to avoid possible problems with multiple Doe defendants – improper joinder.  The complaint states that they used geolocation to determine that John Doe lives in the proper jurisdiction.  FTV v. John Doe, Complaint 11-cv-03478

In standard form, Gibbs then submitted an application for leave to take expedited discovery – Subpoena to COMCAST for subscriber information.  On 19 Jan 12, Judge Edmund Brennan, granted the subpoena for John Doe and denied it for all the co-conspirators/other ISPs.  19Jan12_Order_03748  Note: many of the 115 co-conspirators had ISPs other than COMCAST.  There is also the same declaration from Peter Hansmeier, 6881 Forensics LLC (Previously MCG, LLC), stating he was the technician that collected the BitTorrent information on John Doe and the co-conspirators.

On 31 Jan 12, Gibbs refilled the application for leave to take expedited discovery  Revised_Discovery_03478 –

On January 31, 2012, plaintiff filed a renewed application to conduct expedited discovery. Dckt. No. 10. Plaintiff again seeks leave to serve discovery on the other third party ISPs to determine the identities of John Doe’s co-conspirators. Id. Plaintiff makes the same arguments it made in the initial application, but it attaches a revised Hansmeier declaration in order “to clarify the two ambiguities in the Hansmeier declaration that ostensibly caused the Court to partially deny Plaintiff’s original application.” Id. at 1.

The Judge goes on to state that Plaintiff did show good cause to grant expedited discovery for John Doe, but not for the co-conspirators.

Although the revised Hansmeier declaration clarifies that he observed the coconspirators’ IP addresses engaged in the same downloading and uploading as John Doe, the declaration still does not establish that none of the internet subscribers whose information plaintiff seeks to obtain are innocent internet users. The concern remains that potentially nonoffending users’ information is being sought. As many courts have noted, “the ISP subscriber to whom a certain IP address was assigned may not be the same person who used the Internet connection for illicit purposes.” SBO Pictures, Inc., 2011 WL 6002620, at *3; Pac. Century Int’l Ltd., 2011 WL 5117424, at *2; IO Group, Inc. v. Does 1–19, 2011 WL 772909, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 1, 2011). “For example, ‘[ISP] subscriber John Doe 1 could be an innocent parent whose internet access was abused by her minor child, while John Doe 2 might share a computer with a roommate who infringed Plaintiff’s works.’” SBO Pictures, Inc., 2011 WL 6002620, at *3 (quoting Third Degree Films v. Does 1–3577, 2011 WL 5374569 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 4, 2011)).  Because plaintiff seeks information about the “ISP subscribers who were assigned certain IP addresses, instead of the actual Internet users who allegedly engaged in infringing activity, ‘Plaintiff’s sought-after discovery has the potential to draw numerous innocent internet users into the litigation, placing a burden upon them that weighs against allowing the discovery as designed.’” Id. (quoting Hard Drive Prods., 2011 WL 5573960, at *2). Additionally, as numerous other courts have noted, if the undersigned were to grant plaintiff’s renewed request for expedited discovery regarding the alleged co-conspirators, “[p]plaintiff would likely send settlement demands to the individuals whom the ISP identified as the IP subscriber. ‘That individual—whether guilty of copyright infringement or not– would then have to decide whether to pay money to retain legal assistance to fight the claim that he or she illegally downloaded sexually explicit materials, or pay the money demanded. This creates great potential for a coercive and unjust ‘settlement.’” SBO Pictures, Inc., 2011 WL 6002620, at *3 (quoting Hard Drive Prods., 2011 WL 5573960, at *3).

After laying down that much background to support his decision, the judge then states that Plaintiff didn’t bother to address the concern of the court (19 Jan 12) that plaintiff will name conspirators as defendants in the future –

the fact that plaintiff has not named the alleged co-conspirators in its complaint. See Dckt. No. 6 at 1, 9 (naming only one doe defendant, John Doe, and asserting that plaintiff will “seek leave of the Court to amend this complaint to join John Doe’s co-conspirators as defendants . . . .”). Although plaintiff contends that it may seek leave to join the coconspirators, plaintiff has not done so, and it is not clear that the court would permit such joinder.

I think the judge knows that Plaintiff is not going to name any of the co-conspirators, much less the single John Doe.  He is obviously well-informed to the general nature of these cases.  The Judge then issues the Order (7Feb12_Order_03478_CA) with a final bit of “too bad, try again.”

Although the court acknowledges that there is at least some risk that the ISPs used by the alleged co-conspirators could destroy the information plaintiff seeks and thereby preclude plaintiff from discovering their identities, in light of the entirety of the record, and for the reasons outlined above, the request to conduct expedited discovery regarding all of the  alleged co-conspirators is not reasonable and is not supported by good cause.

I have added the revised Peter Hansmeier (6881 Forensic LLC) declaration (P_Hansmeier_Decl_03748), as it gives a little more information on how the monitoring/data collection is accomplish.  It is still hidden under a veil of obscurity, but it will reach the light of day eventually.  So much for the following John Steele (Prenda Law) claim – …”not many articles out there about how a certain Miami firm is having any problems with the courts. I guess we will see.”  Yes you will  ;)

Thanks Raul for the Update on the Liuxia Wong v. Hard Drive Productions case - 5:12-cv-00469-HRL (PLAINTIFF LIUXIA WONG’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT HARD DRIVE PRODUCTIONS, INC.’S MOTION TO DISMISS)  http://ia700809.us.archive.org/15/items/gov.uscourts.cand.250725/gov.uscourts.cand.250725.10.0.pdf  No problems in the courts???….  I beg to differ.

DieTrollDie :)

About DieTrollDie

I'm one of the many 'John Does' (200,000+ & growing in the US) who Copyright Trolls have threatened with a civil law suit unless they are paid off. What is a Copyright Troll? Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation link - http://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls
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25 Responses to CA Judge Denies Gibbs Expedited Discovery of 115 Co-Conspirator Does, 2:11-cv-03478-GEB-EFB, First Time Videos v. John Doe

  1. DJ says:

    I believe that’s a photo of VA troll Timothy V. Anderson

  2. anonymouse says:

    Care to comment on that Johnny Boy?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seemed painfully obvious the “John Doe… and co-conspirators” thing was just to make the cases look less obvious after they fled the Northern District. Funny that the judges in Easter smelled Trolls coming and found a way to use their new gimmick as an excuse to deny discovery. These cases are a total waste now as they aren’t going to get subscriber info to use to threaten people, and just create more bad precedent to demoralize the Trolls.

  4. anonymoose says:

    John is too busy #winning. lmao

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Got to love it :) “Run Troll Run!” Cut/Paste from the Introduction –

      “Defendant Hard Drive Productions, Inc. (hereafter ―Hard Drive‖) brings its meritless Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 motion to dismiss based upon: (1) improper venue1 despite Hard Drive‘s judicial admission that venue is proper in this district; (2) its argument that no case or controversy exists despite Hard Drive‘s threats of a lawsuit, prior notice of litigation towards plaintiff Liuxia Wong, and its January 18, 2012 settlement demand of $3,000 to her; and (3) the fact that this action is duplicative of Hard Drive‘s action number C11-05630-YGR despite Hard Drive‘s concession that Mrs. Wong is not named in that action.”

      “Mrs. Wong respectfully requests the court to dismiss Hard Drive‘s motion to dismiss in its entirety as Hard Drive failed to controvert the allegations in her first amended complaint. Specifically, Hard Drive failed to controvert that it: (1) threatened a lawsuit against Mrs. Wong; (2) gave notice to her that its position was that she was liable for copyright infringement; (3) notified her to preserve all evidence else face spoliation sanctions; and (4) demanded a $3,000 settlement from her on January 18, 2012. All of these facts show that a justiciable controversy exists between Mrs. Wong and Hard Drive.”

      • anonymoose says:

        This whole thing was a great read.

      • DJ says:

        “Hard Drive‘s $3,000 settlement demand to Mrs. Wong is the equivalent of the 3,000 pound elephant in the room that Hard Drive never mentions in its moving papers.”

        Love it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if these guys are actually stupid and arrogant enough to believe the judge would overlook the fact that they simply did not respond to any of the issues raised by Wong’s complaint.

      Chances are this was a stalling tactic first and foremost, as they would otherwise have been required to file an actual answer to the complaint within 21 days of service, which would be the end of this week. Obviously that was too much work so they are going to push it off a month or two by filing this half-assed motion and waiting for the judge to rule on it. Worst-case they get some extra time to file their half-assed answer, and maybe try to beg Wong/Yuen to settle for free to make this go away. I suspect that Steele has been trying just that and this is why Yuen specifically includes case law to emphasize that a controversy still exists even if Prenda tries to weasel out by promising not to sue her.

      It will be fun to see Prenda’s motion get dropped-kicked into the garbage.

      • Raul says:

        I truly believe that is a suit that will not settle. It is being brought to destroy the troll business model. Wait and see.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh I completely agree. I think that’s why Yuen made it a point to emphasize that he is justified in pursuing this suit even if Prenda backs off. I believe he anticipates that they will drop their case against Wong and try to weasel out, so he wants to get this out of the way preemptively so they can’t stall by making it an issue in a later set of filings. They already passed on filing an answer to the complaint and went for a lame motion to dismiss instead to buy more time.

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Prenda has already made the offer to back off and everyone can go home and pretend like this didn’t happen. We all know John is a Pussy when it comes time to follow through with one of these, especially in CAND where he turns around and runs every time a judge calls his bluff.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree completely, and I think that’s why Yuen made a point of establishing that his action is justified even if Prenda backs off. I think he wants to get this out of the way preemptively so Prenda can’t use it as a stalling tactic in later filings, since we have already seen them stall by filing a lame motion to dismiss instead of a real answer to the complaint.

        I’ll bet Prenda has already offered to drop their case against Wong in exchange for Wong doing the same, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up dropping it anyway and trying to weasel away as the pressure builds in this case. We all know John is a Pussy when it comes to following through with these cases, especially in CAND where he has run away every time a judge called his bluff and told him to name and serve.

  5. Jdizzle says:

    All I know is I want every John for that paid up in this little scam to be reimbursed! Sad thing is that in the settlement there is surely a rider in there that prohibits this! But wait…do the John does ever actually sign the settlement???

    • Anonymous says:

      Uh, I’m gonna guess that if the scam is ultimately found illegal the settlement agreements will be voided. That’ll probably take a while though.

  6. anonymouse says:

    This is becoming increasingly hard to keep up with Mr. Hansmeier’s career.

    I, Peter Hansmeier, declare under penalty of perjury as true and correct that:
    1. I am a technician at 6881 Forensics, LLC (“6881”).

    How many titles has this guy held?

    What a crock of shit you are Steele….

  7. Raul says:

    From Wong’s opposition papers: “Either scenario, however, creates a justiciable controversy between Mrs. Wong and Hard Drive that involves the validity of its purported copyright to the adult pornographic work, and her claim of non-infringement.” Sounds like there is something highly suspect about either the creation of the pornographic work (who actually produced it /whether it is a renamed work which was earlier copyrighted by someone else al la K-Beech) or whether the copyright application was otherwise fraudulent. “Amateur Allure-Jen” has yet to be issued a copyright registration. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out

    • alwaysfightback says:

      If this is the case, what does this mean for the Does who already paid up for this case and others where the copyright was not fraudulent or legal?

      Should we be looking into each of these to be sure the copyright was legal and binding?

      If they were harassed and extorted based on fraudulent copyright claims I would think that would make the agreement with the troll fraudulent and subject to charges.

      Could an Atty. file a subpoena to the same Doe’s, ISP’s who would then be forced to contact the Doe’s “Like the trolls did” with a letter and info. regarding a class action case and that this was for discovery only and that they would not be named but could be rewarded up to $150,000 for fraudulent copyright infringement fraud.

      If somebody found such a situation and there was a respected Atty willing to do it, I would pay the $350.00 filing fee.

      Just a thought…and I’m serous about paying the $350.00 filing fee.

  8. Hansmeier says:

    RE: Gibbs’ (Mis)adventures
    That’s what happens when Prenda employs a brain-damaged attorney :-)
    Sooner or later John will have to pimp his blonde to cover his a$$!

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