4 Feb 13 – Update. Default judgment granted against Walter Szarek (see original post below). On 31 Jan 13, the AZ court granted Plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment against Mr. Szarek. Default_Judge_Szarek_02123(AZ)
The court awarded PLaintiff the absolute minimum in statutory damages for a single claim of copyright infringement – $750.00. I think the AZ court is sending the Trolls a message. Now the attorneys fees and costs were more – $3850.00 and $395.00 respectively. So a total of $4995.00 was awarded to Plaintiff. Funny , if you divide the total judgement of $4995 by 1140 (# of total defendants), you come up with $4.38 per defendant. Way to go Prenda!
What makes this default judgement interesting is that is truly affects 1139 other defendants, one of which is David Harris of AZ. All of the AZ cases stem from a the same DC case, where Plaintiff/Prenda Law claimed everyone was “jointly and severally” liable for the single claim of copyright infringement. As Plaintiff has now resolved it single claim of copyright infringement for this movie, it falls to Mr. Szarek to come after the remaining Does. This is highly unlikely and essentially kills any and all cases that stemmed from the DC case.
If you are one of the Does from the DC case, please inform the court of the AZ default judgement, how it applies to your active case, and motion for your case to be dismissed.
One thing did pass my mind. This may be a way the Plaintiff/Prenda Law will try to remove itself from the AF Holdings LLC (AKA: Alan Cooper Fraud) cases. I imagine that will depend on the individual judges, as well as the status of the any defendant counterclaims.
More to come on this one I’m sure.
15 Nov 12 – Update. Paul Duffy informs the court that he is the national counsel for AF Holdings LLC. He may be the figurehead for Prenda Law, but John Steele is driving this train off the tracks. Duffy_AFHoldings_02144(AZ)
14 Nov 12 – Correction. Mr. Harris was unable to manually file his answer on Monday, 12 Nov 12. Since my initial post he has made some edits to his answer and counterclaims. No drastic changes and the feeling is the same. Harris_Answer2_02144(AZ)
Well Prenda law Inc. (John Steele), has been fairly quiet as of late. I bet old John is up to no-good, as well as trying to decide where his business should be located – Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, or maybe Colorado – where he could join Troll Kotzker in legally smoking marijuana. Maybe if he did smoke some marijuana he wouldn’t be such an @#$! I’m sure he needed something after finding out on 9 Nov 12, that AF Holdings LLC, was going to have to post a $48,000 security bond to be able to proceed with the case (# 3:12-cv-02393, AF Holdings LLC, v. David Trinh, Northern District of CA). Double-Tap Article
Well, Prenda has been busy in Arizona. On 9 Oct 12, local AZ Copyright Troll, Steven James Goodhue, filed eight named single defendant cases in the AZ District court. They are Prenda cases and you can find the complaints on their Web site. The summons have been issued, but there is no record of service just yet. Note: Prenda does a habit of serving a summons and not filing it with the court for some time. So it looks like the rambling claims of John Steele may have some truth to them. But there is more.
What the Troll doesn’t bother to tell the eight defendants or the AZ court is that they are all related to each other. Must have slipped their mind – Not likely. Another interesting thing is where did Prenda get the names of the defendants from? Well if you do some simple research, you can find that all eight of the AZ defendants were first part of DC case # 1:11-cv-01274, AF Holdings LLC, v. Does 1-1140, initially filed on 13 Jul 11. Complaint_01274(DC) The Troll in the DC case was Timothy Anderson, Anderson and Associates, PC. The case was voluntarily dismissed by Troll Anderson on 29 Feb 12, just prior to a court imposed deadline to serve defendants no later than 9 Mar 12. Dismissal_01274(DC)
The movie in question is “Sexual Obsession,“ and the Plaintiff for this case (AF Holding LLC) received the rights to the movie from Heartbreaker Films on 12 Jun 11, through a copyright assignment agreement. copyright_Assign Note: Heartbreaker Films was granted a copyright for the movie on 25 Mar 11, but it doesn’t apply to AF Holding LLC until 12 Jun 11. copyright *** Take note of that date in comparison to the dates of infringement noted by the Troll. Per each of the complaints, ALL of the alleged infringements by defendants occurred prior to 12 Jun 11, rights assignment agreement to Plaintiff (3 Apr, 6 Apr, 6 May, 8 May, 10 May, 13 May, 3 Jun, and 5 Jun). *** A quick review of the dates for all the DC cases show only 44 IP addresses had a date of 12 Jun 11, or after. So it looks like for over a thousand Does, Plaintiff didn’t/doesn’t have standing to sue.
Following the 29 Feb 12, dismissal, Prenda has been farming out the individual Does to mini-Trolls in various Districts. AZ Troll Goodhue made a deal with the Devil and got eight defendants to file cases against.
- A.J. CHUBBUCK
- RICK FRIEND
- ANDREW GUTIERREZ
- DAVID HARRIS
- CHRISTOPHER HEGGUM
- STEVEN LAIZURE
- JOHN SONG
- WALTER SZAREK
- 2:12-cv-02124 (Chubbuck, public IP address 18.104.22.168) AJ Cubbuck (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02125 (Friend, public IP address 22.214.171.124) Friend (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02127 (Gutierrez, public IP address 126.96.36.199) Gutierrez (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02144 (Harris, public IP address 188.8.131.52) Harris (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02130 (Heggum, public IP address 184.108.40.206) Heggum (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02131 (Laizure, public IP address 220.127.116.11) Laizure (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02132 (Song, public IP address 18.104.22.168) Song (AZ)
- 2:12-cv-02134 (Szarek, public IP address 22.214.171.124) Szarek (AZ)
All of these cases were filed in the AZ District court on 9 Oct 12. These are all cookie-cutter cases with the usual minimal information. The complaints all fail to mention the fact that they were once part of a mass-Doe case in DC, or that the eight cases in AZ are related. I’m sure this is the same for the multitude of cases filed in various Districts from DC case 1:11-cv-01274.
What really makes me laugh is that the complaint has the claim of “Negligence” in it. Really John? You just got you butt handed to you in CA concerning the claim of negligence. I guess you need to be reminded a claim of negligence in this matter is going to lose because of 1) Copyright Law preempts the claim of negligence in this matter; 2) Negligence requires a “legal” or “contractual” duty to protect Plaintiff’s movie; 3) The Communication Decency Act (CDA) protects services providers (and people) from legal action arising from a third-party use of their network. Troll Goodhue, educate yourself and get out of this mess as soon as possible – ref: Hatfiled Case.
What The Troll Claimed In The DC Case
In the original complaint, the Troll claimed all the defendants took part in sharing Plaintiff’s movie via a specific BitTorrent swarm (Hash File). The DC case only had one claim of copyright infringement for the Does. As all the 1140 Does were part of the case, the Troll is claiming they were all properly joined. The Troll even claimed that once they obtain the names of defendants from the ISPs, they will be able to name and amend the complaint as appropriate. Funny how that never happened. On 29 Feb 12, the Troll gave us this gem when he dismissed the DC case prior to the service deadline of 9 Mar 12.
Plaintiff acknowledges the Court’s busy docket; Plaintiff is currently engaged in settlement negotiations with a substantial number of putative Doe Defendants. Rather than prematurely initiate litigation against individuals who may ultimately wish to resolve Plaintiff’s claims via settlement—and thus needlessly burden the Court—Plaintiff believes that dismissing the claims against the remaining non-settling Doe Defendants in this action without prejudice in lieu of filing actions against non-settling individuals strikes a favorable balance between preserving Court resources and safeguarding its intellectual property rights.
What The Troll Is Claiming In These Single Defendant Cases
The Troll makes the following claims against each of the Defendants.
- Copyright Infringement – Reproduction
- Copyright Infringement – Distribution
- Contributory Infringement
- Civil Conspiracy
What is really funny about these complaints is that even though it is a single named defendants, the wording in it comes back to a “swarm,” “third-parties,” and the fact that each defendant took part in a group effort. The Troll even tries to hide the fact that these eight cases are related, when he states the other members of the swarm are “unnamed individuals” or “users.”
22. Defendant, using IP address 126.96.36.199, without Plaintiff’s authorization or license, intentionally downloaded a torrent file particular to Plaintiff’s Video, purposefully loaded that torrent file into his BitTorrent client, entered a BitTorrent swarm particular to Plaintiff’s Video, and reproduced and distributed the Video to numerous third parties.
46. When users in this unique swarm all possess the same infringing work with the same exact hash value, it is because each infringer possesses an exact digital copy, containing the exact bits and pieces unique to that specific file of Plaintiff’s original copyrighted work. They only way this happens in a BitTorrent swarm is through the sharing of these bits and pieces of each same unique file, with the same unique hash value, between the users in the swarm. In essence, although hundreds of users may be uploading the copyrighted work, a single user will receive only the exact parts of a singular upload through that exact swarm, not a compilation of available pieces from various uploads.
54. In using the peer-to-peer BitTorrent file distribution method, Defendant engaged in a concerted action with other unnamed individuals to reproduce and distribute Plaintiff’s Video by exchanging pieces of the Video file in the torrent swarm.
As these eight defendants all came from the same swarm, per DC case 1:11-cv-01274, they are all related and the troll should have made that clear to the court. If they are all the related to the same swarm as claimed and supported by the hash file, they should be consolidated into one case.
Now looking at the various dockets I came across an interesting motion. Harris_Filing_01274(DC) On 5 Nov 12, Defendant David Harris (2:12-cv-02144) filed a motion with the court to be able to file electronically (ECF) without an attorney. Harris is Pro Se and it looks like he is going to fight this. Good luck Mr. Harris and please contact us for any assistance.
*** Last Minute Information *** Mr. Harris is filing an answer to the complaint and making counterclaims. It appears they did serve Mr. Harris with a summons/complaint. Please take a look at the following document and see what Troll Goodhue is going to have to deal with. :) Harris_Answer2_02144(AZ) Mr. Harris denies all allegations and make the following counterclaims (MALICIOUS PROSECUTION, ARIZONA CONSTITUTION Article II §8, DEFAMATION, & INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS) against Troll Goodhue.
1.Because of the FACT that damages to Defendant are base solely on illegal and fraudulent behavior of the attorney of record’s firm Prenda Law Inc. Or in the event that Steven Goodhue is acting independently of Prenda Law Inc.Liability is charged against they(m), not AF Holdings as lawyers licensed to practice law here are bound by the jurisdiction of the United States of America whereas Foreign Corps are not and of coarse Troll Goodhue and Troll Prenda Law was hired by the Plaintiff as legal counsel.
Reading the answer gives me a feeling that this Doe is no easy target. He may make some mistakes in the official proceedings, but he will just correct/adjust fire as needed. This one isn’t going to be easy for the Troll to turn tail and run from.
What To Do?
If I was one of the eight Does, I would seriously consider hiring a good IP attorney. Not because Prenda has any real evidence, just that they are hoping to either get you to settle after seeing your name on the case or getting a default judgment if you ignore the summons. Ignoring a summons is the wrong thing to do. For theses eight defendants it is especially wrong because the cases has some serious faults. Troll Goodhue was a fool to take theses cases from Prenda. Here is why they are so weak.
- Only direct evidence they have is the public IP address of the ISP subscriber (one who pays the bills). Unless one of the defendants made an admission, their case is weak.
- Plaintiff (AF Holdings LLC) did not receive the rights to Sexual Obsession until 12 Jun 11. Prior to that, only Heartbreaker Films was the owner of the copyright. Heartbreaker Films is not the Plaintiff in these cases. All of the AZ defendants had alleged infringement dates prior to 12 Jun 11. Heartbreaker Films has standing to bring a case against these defendants, NOT AF Holdings LLC.
- These cases cannot survive a claim of negligence against the defendants. Copyright preemption – No duty to protect Plaintiff’s movie – Communication Decency Act (DCA) protections.
- Prenda did not inform the court all of these cases were related to the prior DC case containing 1140 Doe defendants IP addresses. Prenda sent settlement letters to the ISP subscribers for these public IP addresses and stated they were responsible for the infringement.
- The eight AZ cases are directly related and should be joined. The other 1132 Doe defendants are relevant to this case and may have information pertinent to the defense of these AZ defendants. As they voluntarily dismissed the eight in the DC case, Plaintiff has “One Strike” against them. One more dismissal for the defendants and the case against them is done – adjudicated on its merits.
- As AF Holdings is a foreign company, they should be required to post a security bond to cover the cost defendant litigation for the eight cases. Reference CA AF Holding LLC case – $48,000 bond. I haven’t found an AZ law that would directly require this, but I believe AZ Title 7-101, Execution of bond; sureties, could be used by the judges to require it. AZ lawyers please chime in on this if possible.
Sorry for the extra long post, but I thought this one may benefit the AZ defendants and possibly all the other named defendants in AF Holdings LLC cases involving the movie Sexual Obsession across the US. Remember there are over a thousand Does from the orignal DC case in which AF Holdings has NO standing to sue.
I’m sure there will be more to come on these cases.