I have an update to a Troll Mike Meier case I reported in June 2012 (See below) – Digital Sin Inc., v. Does 1-176, case 12-cv-000126, SDNY.
This case has dragged on since Jan 2012, as Troll Meier tried to get as many settlements as possible. For a case with 176 Doe defendants, one would expect a troll to maybe get a 50% settlement rate. On 20 Sep 12, Troll Meier submitted a motion to dismiss all the Doe defendants except for Doe #25. The reason for choosing to keep Doe #25 on the case is not known. I can only believe Troll Meier has some information or a feeling that Doe #25 will give into pressure or possibly default. He also asked the court to seal the amended complaint listing who Doe #25 is. The court agreed and sealed the complaint on Doe #25.
This Court’s Order of January 30, 2012 (Docket# 6), provided Defendants in this case a sixty day window to move to proceed anonymously prior to their names being turned over to Plaintiffs counsel. Although the Court has not received any such motion on behalf of Doe # 25, the Court grants Plaintiff permission to redact any information identifying Doe # 25 from its amended complaint and any other materials that Plaintiff submits within fifty days of the date of this Order. If after fifty days from the date of this order Doe # 25 does not move to proceed anonymously or pseudonymously, Plaintiff shall file an unredacted version of its amended complaint and all other subsequent filings.
What I did not see was that Troll Meier had served Doe #25 by the required date of 26 Sep 12.
Upon closed examination of the Dismissal and Status report, some interesting information comes to light. Dismiss_00126(NY)
- Of the 176 Does defendants, Troll Meier only got subscriber information on 54 of them
- Of the 54 Does, only 11 decided to pay the settlement demand.
- No Does were ever named and served after opening the case 9 months prior
- Doe #25 is the only defendant still tied to this case
- Doe #25 does not appear to have been served by 26 Sep 12
Troll Meier states he only got 54 of the 176 subscriber information because the ISPs were slow and they limit the number of requests per case/attorney. Not sure what number Troll Meier is claiming he was limited to or by which ISPs. Sounds like some Troll BS to me to make it look like it isn’t his fault.
The last paragraph in the status report is funny in that he tell the court that he personally handles all communication with defendant or their lawyers, does not use a call center, and does not initiate communication over the telephone.
So Mike, are you trying to say that if you don’t use strong-arm tactics and intimidation, fewer people will settle?
- 176 / 11 = .0625 (approx. 6%) settled overall
- 54 / 11 = .2037 (approx. 20%) – settled from known Does
- 11 * $3500 = $38,500 – return on investment
Still not a bad return for $350 and other expenses. It is telling for all the Does who are facing Troll Meier. Only 20% of the Does settled out of nothing but Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt (FUD). We will see if Troll Meier actually does go after Doe #25, but I have my doubts.
For Doe #25, many of us know some good NY IP attorneys. Please contact us for any assistance.
This is a follow-on post concerning my 19 Jun 12, Troll Meier posting. It also goes well with Rauls’ 20 Jun 12, posting, “Mike Meier has an audacity to continue fishing in the Southern District of New York. Judge McMahon is not impressed.” Troll Meier must really like the abuse he gets in New York.
Well some initial analysis disclosed the likely reason Troll Meier has been sending out the settlement demands accompanied by a “draft” federal complaint is because some of his NY cases are getting a little stale. Not to mention the judges in NY seem to be taking a notice to his antics.
I have corresponded with a couples Does who have received these settlement offers and they have stated they were initially a party of a previous NY case. One in particular is Digital Sin Inc., v. Does 1-176, case 12-cv-000126, SDNY. Case Docket. Complaint_00126(NY) IP_addresses_00126(NY)
The case was initially filed on 6 Jan 12, and the judge did allow Troll Meier to issue a subpoena for Doe ISP subscriber information. In the 30 Jan 12, Memorandum & Opinion (MO_00126(NY)), Judge Nathan states the following:
The Court is concerned about the possibility that many of the names and addresses produced in response to Plaintiffs discovery request will not in fact be those of the individuals who downloaded “My Little Panties #2.” The risk is not purely speculative; Plaintiff’s counsel estimated that 30% of the names turned over by ISPs are not those of individuals who actually downloaded or shared copyrighted material. Counsel stated that the true offender is often the “teenaged son … or the boyfriend if it’s a lady.” (1117112 Tr. at 16). Alternatively, the perpetrator might turn out to be a neighbor in an apartment building that uses shared IP addresses or a dormitory that uses shared wireless networks. See, e.g., Mot. to Quash Verizon Subpoena, 11-CV -7564 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 6, 2012) (Docket #11) (claiming that a Doe defendant did not know how to use a computer and implying that the perpetrator was a neighbor in his condominium). This risk of false positives gives rise to “the potential for coercing unjust settlements from innocent defendants” such as individuals who want to avoid the embarrassment of having their names publicly associated with allegations of illegally downloading “My Little Panties #2.” SBa Pictures, Inc. v. Does 1-3036, 2011 WL 6002620, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 30,2011).
Have to love the 30% comment – Plaintiff’s counsel estimated that 30% of the names turned over by ISPs are not those of individuals who actually downloaded or shared copyrighted material.
So with this case, 30% of the people Troll Meier threatens with a federal law suit didn’t do this? .3 X 176 = 52.8 – Round up to 53 ISP subscribers.
This case did have one Doe motion to quash and a letter from a Doe explaining while the public IP address was not a good way to identify the actual infringer. The judge ruled against the Does and allowed Troll Meier to proceed.
On 13 Apr 12, Troll Meier filed an application for more time to serve defendants and a status report. Rule4m_Ext_00126(NY) He requests a 120 day extension claiming the ISP are slow, as well as the need to review all the information once he receives it. On 11 Apr 12, the judge approved the 120 extension to serve Does. This essentially give Troll Meier out to August 2012 to name and serve defendants in this matter.
One thing I noticed in this application was the reference to “Your Truly” in it. In section (ix) concerning the case status:
Troll Meier tries to say that since one Doe didn’t list his IP address, he probably is some sort of “interloper” (not an actual Doe in the case) trying to disrupt the court proceedings by filing a “torpedo.”
“Disrupt” the proceedings???? I don’t think so. Since when is it a disruption to inform the court of these sleazy operations and try to bring some common sense into it. The correct way to write about my efforts is not to disrupt the court, but to make it harder for you and your Plaintiff’s to continue to file these shake-down operations.
Speaking of shake-down operations, the current amount Troll Meier and this Plaintiff are trying for is $3.5K.
OK people, don’t give into this bozo and pay him out of fear. All he has is the public IP address and nothing else. By his own words, 30% of you are not the actual infringer. Can you really see him really going to trial with that? I didn’t need to file a torpedo for Troll Meier. He is his own worst enemy.