Your 5th Amendment Rights At A Copyright Troll Deposition

I was working on a future article when I decided to revisit the issue of Copyright Troll depositions conducted prior to naming/serving a defendant.  Actually this article also applies for those depositions that could occur in the discovery phase of a trial – highly unlikely IMO.  This topic rehash came about when CopyrightClerk posted an article about Troll Timothy Anderson being granted Early Discovery and Rule 30 Deposition authority in 12 copyright infringement cases in Virginia.   Disc_Rule30Depo_01272(VA)  

Other case documents   Complaint_01272(VA)   Docket_29Nov12_01272(VA)   Copyright_01272(VA)  

This is not a new thing for the Trolls, as Prenda tried this on a couple CA cases previously.  Some judges will allow it, while others tell Plaintiff to just name and serve the defendant if you are serious.  Here are some articles dealing with the issue of depositions.  Gibbs Whines   Sneaky Troll   Judge Denies Request

Detail on FRCP – Rule 30 Deposition from the Cornel University Law School Web site.  One interesting aspect of Rule 30 is section (2)(A)(i):

(2) With Leave. A party must obtain leave of court, and the court must grant leave to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(2):

(A) if the parties have not stipulated to the deposition and:

(i) the deposition would result in more than 10 depositions being taken under this rule or Rule 31 by the plaintiffs, or by the defendants, or by the third-party defendants;

Section (i) appears to be the reason why Troll Anderson asked the court to consolidate the 11 “Openmind Solution” cases.   Note: On 27 Nov 12, the court (Judge Rebecca Smith) denied his motion to consolidate the cases.   MotionDenied_Consol_01272(VA)   So this denial may actually kill the Rule 30 Depositions, as it is extremely unlikely that more than 10 depositions will come from each separate case.  That would mean at least 11 people per case is expected to be deposed.  It would have to be a big family (7 members) and at least 4 guests used the Internet connection at the date/time of the alleged infringement.  As the order granting the Rule 30 deposition is still in place, it may take a defendant to challenge this order.      

This attempt to consolidate the cases could have allowed him Rule 30 Deposition authority, but it may have other consequences.  As the Troll has now stated these cases are all related, ALL parties are likely jointly and severally liable for this alleged infringement.    MemoSuppConsol_01272(VA)   All of these defendants may have information that is relevant to the defense of each other.  Also of note is the settlement details of any of these defendants (if they settle) is relevant to the judgment against any of the remaining defendants who lose/default.  If this is a large swarm hash file group, these cases can be relevant to other cases located in and outside this jurisdiction.

5th Amendment to the US Constitution

As many of us know, the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution protects us against “involuntary” self-incrimination of a criminal act.  If you chose to “voluntarily” admit to a criminal act, then that is your problem – Yes people do voluntarily confess at times.     Note: As these cases are a civil matter, you will not be given a “Miranda” warning/advisement.

But then the Troll hiding in the shadows yells out, “That only applies to ‘criminal’ acts you freetard!  This is a civil matter.”  On 20 Oct 1924, the US Supreme Court, in McCarthy v. Arndstein, ruled that it applies to both criminal and civil matters where the answer “might” subject the deposed party to “criminal” prosecution.

The Government insists, broadly, that the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination does not apply in any civil proceeding. The contrary must be accepted as settled. The privilege is not ordinarily dependent upon the nature of the proceeding in which the testimony is sought or is to be used. It applies alike to civil and criminal proceedings, wherever the answer might tend to subject to criminal responsibility him who gives it. The privilege protects a mere witness as fully as it does one who is also a party defendant. It protects, likewise, the owner of goods which may be forfeited in a penal proceeding. See Counselman v. Hitchcock, 142 U.S. 547, 563-4.

But Copyright Law is only a civil matter.”  NO.  Copyright Law has civil and criminal aspects to it.   Sections 506 & 507 address the criminal aspects of it.  Criminal Code – 18 USC § 2319 – Criminal infringement of a copyright Note: For the criminal side of copyright infringement, the statute of limitations is 5 years.  It doesn’t matter if the Troll/Plaintiff is only pursuing this in a civil court, there is the possibility it could be taken up as a criminal matter.  As far as the US Supreme court is concerned, this is all that is required to allow a person to invoke his right not to possibility incriminate themselves.       

Now if you happen to find yourself facing a deposition subpoena, I would strongly suggest you get an attorney who knows about Copyright Trolls to represent you.  Please don’t let your ego tell you that you are smarter than the Troll.  You are going into their “home turf” and are at a disadvantage.  I was a seasoned investigator in my “past life” and have conducted many interviews and interrogations, so I know firsthand the dangers involved. 

If you do find yourself in a copyright infringement deposition alone and are not comfortable in answering certain question, you have every right to invoke your right against self-incrimination.  It cannot be used against you in a trial.  Note: the Troll may take it as a sign of weakness and then push harder by actually naming and serving you.  It still does not change the fact that their evidence is weak (Public IP address) and they have to find some sort of supporting evidence or they have a good chance of losing a judgment.      

Here is a video from a previous Fightcopyrighttrolls.com article – It is long, but well worth watching.

DieTrollDie :)  “The hard part about playing chicken is knowin’ when to flinch.”

About John Doe (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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49 Responses to Your 5th Amendment Rights At A Copyright Troll Deposition

  1. SJD says:

    Sorry I’m pressed for time today, so instead of commenting on the article, I will copy/paste my yesterdays’s comment from the Virginia thread. Note that DTD’s explanation of the reason behind the attempt to consolidate the cases makes a lot of sense — the part I did not understand well anyway.

    As it was explained to me, Anderson tried to resolve venue issues (I did not understand this part as well, and had not chance to ask more questions). This is moot anyway, as the motion was denied the next day.

    As for the Rule 30 depositions, it is a serious issue, and Prenda will most likely try to leverage it in their scare tactics. It seems that Anderson is prepared to issue some deposition subpoenas. An those subpoenas cannot be simply ignored, as a failure to appear will result in fines. On the other hand, appearing without a lawyer is also not a good idea, Anderson is not Duffy, he is a clever and dangerous crook. So, yes, bad news. Will try to alert EFF.

    If you receive such a subpoena, contact a lawyer, that’s the only advice I have. I can vouch for Mr. Powers, but as far as I know, he does not provide free consultations, although his knowledge and expertise is superb. I’m more than sure that there are many talented and honest attorneys in VA, I just don’t know them. If you happen to know some, please share this information.

  2. Great post and good job connecting the rationale for Anderson’s attempt to consolidate those cases!

  3. JohnDoe1029 says:

    Question about Anderson & Associations and Prenda Law. Is it normal to get 2 separate settlement letters from both firms? I’ve been getting letters from Prenda Law for the last 5 or so months (haven’t gotten a letter from them for almost a month), then yesterday I got a letter from Anderson & Associations.

    • George says:

      I too received a letter from Prenda in February, and now Anderson, giving me 15 days to contact him. I am worried now I thought it was dismissed but apparently I was wrong. I wish I had legal help but cannot afford it.

      • JohnDoe1029 says:

        Was your letter similar to this?
        “Dear —

        I have been retained by CP Productions, Inc. to pursue the commencement of the filing of a lawsuit against you for the copyright infringement of a movie entitled GHH – Maryjane 2.

        On –/–/—- –:– an individual was observed by my client using an IP Address of –.—.—.– engaging in what my clients alleges to be willful copyright infringement for the above entitled movie which is validly registered as a copyrighted work under the laws of the United States.

        You have been previously identified in litigation as the assigned registered user of the IP address stated in the previous paragraph on the date and time in question and you have been previously been afforded the opportunity to settle with my client with satisfactory terms and conditions which you have not accepted. The case has now been forwarded to me for the purposes of filing suit for the allegations of copyright infringement.

        I will extend to you 15 days to contact me to discuss this matter to determine if there is any reason why you are not liable to my client for copyright infringement. If I have not heard from you, I assume you have no defense to these claims and proceed accordingly.

        If you would like to resolve this matter in lieu of litigation, I will extend to you an offer to settle this matter if terms are reached within 15 days of today. If you fail to accept this settlement or fail to provide sufficient information as to why you are not liable for copyright infringement and suit is commenced, the offer to settle will be revoked and will not be extended at the pre-litigation settlement amount.

        My client has not given me any information that you are represented by counsel. If you are, please forward this letter immediately to your attorney. You will receive no further warnings about the commencement of the suit.

        This letter is an offer to settle a disputed claim and is governed by Federal Rules of Evidence 408.

        Sincerely
        (signiture)
        Timothy V Anderson.”

        I can’t afford legal advice either. However, I contacted the EFF since that’s who they referred me to. They are a donation based firm (IIRC), so they will help for free for you if they can. They are currently looking into my matter to see if they can help me or not. If not, I emailed a few other defense attorneys that the EFF referred me to (cooperating defense attorneys as they call it). Two of them replied back and said the initial consultation is free, but they won’t tell me the rate or what they want to charge. I’m going to see how the EFF goes before I use the free consultation. Hopefully this is just another “scam/scare” letter that can be ignored.

        Also, if any other people have other inputs or suggestions on how to take this on, please say so. Would be nice to have more inputs as this is the first case (1:12-cv-00808) where I was identified as an John Doe.

      • DieTrollDie says:

        If you are not in a State where Troll Anderson can practice, most likely it will fade away. If you are in a location where Prenda has hired out mini-trolls, there is a small chance of them opening a new case (2nd one). They might not even directly name you, just keep the “John Doe” (Clue….. WEAK CASE!). Feel free to contact an attorney who knows and understands these fools. Make sure you read the transcript from a recent Prenda case in Florida (Fightcopyrighttrolls.com article) – http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/11/30/a-hearing-transcript-or-a-comedy-screenplay-a-must-read-for-those-who-think-about-settling/ AND the wonderful transcript – http://fightcopyrighttrolls.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/nguyen-hearing-transcript.pdf No matter how much that letter may scare you, all of their cases are for $$%#!. With the current evidence they have, they are only willing to go after settlements and default judgments. Anyone who has fought back is either dismissed (they run away) or they settle with (pay off the Doe).

        Side note: If anyone is named in a single case, I would suggest making a motion to rejoin ALL the defendants from the original mass case it sprang from – Prenda previously claimed they were all party to this allegation – hold them to their original claim that was the basis for granting the subpoena for your subscriber information. Also, the fact that people settled and paid the Troll is relevant to various aspects of a case. They don’t want to truly litigate anything – just your money!

        DTD :)

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Forgot to remind everyone that for the original case (1:12-cv-00808) in IN, they have named and served the “John Doe.” Read my article on it – http://dietrolldie.com/2012/11/19/prenda-cornholers-serve-defendant-at-the-last-moment-112-cv-00808-mr-glover-448-does/ As this is the core case for ALL 1:12-cv-00808 Does, don’t do anything until it is done.

        DTD :)

  4. JohnDoe1029 says:

    @DieTrollDie
    What states does Anderson have practice in?
    Also, since you said to do nothing till the Glover trial is done, does that mean I should not really worry about the recent letter from Anderson until the Glover trial is over? Can they really get me twice for this? One from Anderson and one as a tortfeaser from the Glover trial.

  5. SMDH says:

    Anderson primarily operates in VA. I’ve seen him file in MO and CO as well

    • George says:

      So since I am in CO then I need to lawyer up and am screwed here or what? I just want this crap to end already.

      • DieTrollDie says:

        No drama. Talk to some if the great CO lawyers. I would only get an attorney if served a deposition subpoena or a summons/complaint. Do what YOU need to do help yourself. All of the trolls make noise and threaten, but no case has been judged on its merits. Only default judgments when people stick their head in the sand.

        DTD :)

      • JohnDoe1029 says:

        I know right? Seems like you and I are in the same position and same state.

      • George says:

        What do you plan on doing JohnDoe?

      • JohnDoe1029 says:

        I’m not really sure. I really hope Anderson will choose not to bring this to court, but I kind of have a feeling that will not happen. I am currently asking the EFF, though it seems it takes awhile for them to get back to me. I’m trying to find a lawyer (preferably free (which is why I am asking the EFF)). However, I am a college student with ~$20,000 in debt right now, and I do not have the funds for them. I hope I can find an defense attorney that will intercept the letters I am getting and hope Anderson is only going after those that doesn’t have a defense attorney.

        What’s your current course of action George?

  6. fu scum troll says:

    I got a summons for deposition by this POS Anderson, 2wks from now. I have no lawyer or money for one. I plan on going without one due to the system is fu*ked for people with no $$$. They asked for router logs which I could not get. So I will take my hard drivefrom the only PC in my house and offer to give these as*holes to take a GD look. Anyone care to offer advice or know a free lawyer? FML

  7. FU scum troll says:

    My router wasn’t even keeping logs but had an option to turn on, I find out a year later. After this deposition I plan and hope to go Jeff Fantalis on these human scum if they don’t want to leave an innocent man alone.

  8. FU scum troll says:

    The EFF with all the great work they do, does not have time for individual cases. I already emailed them and got a response within 2 weeks, I am sure they are busy. So don’t count on individual help.

    • JohnDoe1029 says:

      Hmm, that sucks. Anybody know an average/estimate cost to get an defense attorney here in Colorado? Don’t think they have group rates do they? lol.

  9. FU scum troll says:

    My 1st quote was $7500 up front from a local. I laughed and hung up, the system is so fu*ked and I am very pissed with nothing but contempt for these grimey basta*ds. Although another local is offering a free consultation this week I am sure the quote will be about the same after that. Everybody wants their cut on this scam!

    • JohnDoe1029 says:

      Who did you call? I was thinking about calling the people EFF referred me to, hoping they will be cheaper.

      • FU scum troll says:

        Just one of the local IP lawyers that came up in a google search here in southwest VA. I’ll bet most will be about the same up front fee. I heard of one Doe being quoted $1000 but that’s hear-say from net forums. I will be talking to an EFF referred VA lawyer this week, will update in this thread with the info… But these days you can’t even trust your own lawyer, I’ve joked that the lawyers from both sides and the judge split your money in the end…

  10. George says:

    What are the chances that this is a scam/scare tactic with easy monetary gain in the plan?

    • JohnDoe1029 says:

      So I found one that is relatively cheap. I won’t discuss the price since I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want me to discuss this in the open. However, the price is to not defend us in court. Instead, its to act as a firewall as well as intercepting letters. I’m really thinking about this as it will give me a piece of mind that the trolls have to go through somebody and talk to somebody before talking to me. He also told me he had a lot of cases against Anderson here in CO. So George, look through the CO list of attorneys from the EFF site and contact them.

  11. FU scum troll says:

    It is a scam and scare but with fed court backing so I guess it is no joke. Greed rules this system of shysters…

  12. Pingback: Follow Up – Your 5th Amendment Rights At A Copyright Troll Deposition | DieTrollDie

  13. I Just got back from depostion with one of Andersons troll underlings (Brian Harrison?). Told the truth and gave them my hard drive from the time of alleged download which I got back from my grandma who died recently. I hope there is a special place in hell for this scum sucking rat clan. Took about 20 mins with no terrible questions. I guess next these douches will wanna talk to my wife, and try to get some conflicting answers on purpose of course… bu

    • Mondo says:

      Could you give me an idea what your lawyer ended up charging? I am in roughly the same area and trying to figure out who I should work with.

      • FU Scum Troll says:

        I got quoted $7500, fuck that shit. I an layed off and about to lose my frucking house. These pieces of shit are just out to fuck over the common people. I didn’t get a lawyer and will be getting buttfucked by the system. Tim Anderson & your cunt undelings, John Steele, Hannsmeir, and any other piece of fucking garbage associated with you scum, FUCK YOU ALL AND I HOPE YOU BURN IN FUCKING HELL. Your mothers should have used a coat hanger to abort your fucking asses. Freedom of speech mother fuckkkerz! Where the fuck is William Wallace???

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have to say, I get where you are coming from, but threatening them to that extent is not helping our cause. Take a breather, realize you can always file bankruptcy (not sure about FL law, guessing you can file on it there) especially since you are losing your house. A lot of bankruptcy lawyers will file for $800 to $1000 dollars. I can’t say I know where you are coming from; I am not a John Doe, just a law school drop out who gave a friend’s grandmother some advice awhile back, but I can imagine I would be brought to expletives too.

    This is a battle that can be won, but you can’t give trolls the moral high ground. Just remember that at the end of the day, they have to be shallow, empty vapid people to make their living the way that they do as opposed to working for a living like the rest of us. After all, has it not been said, “What profiteth it a man to gain the world, yet lose his everlasting soul?”

    • George says:

      So what’s the time frame from receiving the letter for a settlement and then getting served for court?

      • I’m going to field this one as best I can; there are normally a bunch of real lawyers on here to answer this stuff (at least it seems) but I think the holidays have slowed things down a bit. Just keep in mind I am not a lawyer, I’m someone who completed two years of law school and is trying to use this opportunity to do the good work of a penitent. The easy answer is “It depends”. If you live in the same state they filed in, it could be quick, certainly within 3 months maybe sooner. If you live in a different state, they have to contract it out to another lawyer who is so dumb they haven’t heard about these suits by now, or such a moral weakling that they don’t care. It could be a year down the road, these things have a 3 year statute of limitations unfortunately. If you can afford it, hire one of the attorneys listed here to act as a shield for now ($400 most likely). If not, just wait and see what happens and don’t answer the phone or visit their settlement website. Keep the faith, and keep on fighting, that’s all you can do.

      • George says:

        Well I received a letter saying AF Holdings vs My Name, it gave me 15 days, I didn’t contact them, worried it’s gonna happen soon and ruin the holidays for me and my family. I just wanted some breathing room to find a lawyer to shield me.

      • JohnDoe1029 says:

        @George
        Are you the same George that got the threatening letter from Anderson & Associations from like 3 weeks ago? I guess since you got one from AF Holdings, then the Anderson & Associations was just another empty threat like from Prenda. I can’t really find where AF Holdings have jurisdiction in, but so far they’re mainly in DC, California, Arizona and Florida. IIRC, you are not in either of those states. They may or may not have any more jurisdiction. I’m not really sure, I only did a quick Google search.

      • George says:

        I am the same George, my letter was from Anderson but it was AF Holdings vs my name! So not directly from AF but from Anderson concerning AF. I still have a feeling they’re coming for me.

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Any case from AF Holdings (or Prenda/local counsels) is at a very shaky point with the Coopergate issue (Who is the real Alan Cooper???). Email Anderson a copy of Morgan Pietzs recent CA case motion for early discovery – asking who is Cooper and showing the court that it is being lied to.

        DTD :)

      • George says:

        Well that sets my mind a little at ease, but I’m still new to this so not quite sure what it all means. Thanks for your input!

      • George says:

        You said they are shaky what does that mean exactly? Sorry for the questions I just need the peace of mind I went through this once with Prenda and now with Anderson for the same thing. Are they trying to get money before this gets dismissed and goes belly up again?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        When I said “Shaky,” I was talking about the the general state of affairs for Prenda/Anderson/APLG. 1st – Public IP address does not equal culpability (only who pays the bill). 2nd – Prenda/Anderson violated a CO court order (Cisa case) when they contacted/attempted at least 12 VA Does (probably more across the US). Even if your case did not stem from the Cisa case, it can be brought up to support the claim that Plaintiff’s cases are motivated by bad faith. 3rd – The “Alan Cooper” (AKA “Coopergate”) issue goes to the heart of the Prenda/APLG operation and how it is based on FRAUD.

        If they dare name/serve a Doe with a complaint/summons, they are taking a risk of all this being brought up by a Doe who is willing to fight. It will be interesting to see if Anderson keeps working for these fools.

        DTD :)

  15. Pingback: Copyright Troll Violation of CO Court Order, 1:12-cv-00656, Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. Cisa (CO) – Torpedo #8 | DieTrollDie

  16. I don’t think you have too much to worry about on that front; their goal is to get you nervous (so calm down man!). I’ve been devoting a lot of time to researching all of this on DTD and FightCopyrightTrolls (and the court documents themselves of course), and the key here is whether they are in your state. If not, you could be looking at a huge lay over, during which time they are going to try to harass you of course. The shield is the best way to go if you can afford it, but if not just make sure you have caller ID and unless you are expecting an important call, turn off your answering machine. Your kids wont hear any abusive messages that way (and believe me, I know a lot of people on these sites aren’t religious like I am, but the fact that they would expose children to this filth boils my blood) and you can always explain to them that it’s a telemarketer if you’re really worried about it. Just don’t answer their call, don’t email them, don’t visit the settlement site and you’ll be okay. Try listening to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, I know that always calms me down when I’m stressed out (just a bit of levity there).

    • Oh, just one more quick thing. Sometimes I forget their victims have litle to no legal experience; being served with papers (a summons) is a very painless procedure 99% of the time. Your kids/family wont even realize what it was about, most likely. Someone will probably knock on your door, when you answer they will ask “Are you John Doe (insert your name here)?”. If you reply yes, they will hand you paperwork and leave. If they are unscrupulous they may just hand it over without even saying a word, and some Trolls reportedly are leaving them on people’s doorsteps (which is not how you’re supposed to serve papers, but they can get by doing it that way unfortunately…they probably are doing it that way out of fear, I can only imagine what would happen if they served the wrong person face to face).

  17. George says:

    I still haven’t heard anything in concern to the AF Holdings case. I received my demand letter back in November and still haven’t heard anything coming to my door step. I have researched and researched any cases happening and haven’t read anything. Any word on what’s going on with this? I know I’ve been told to calm down but I can’t and worry alot!

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Have you checked to see if your case was voluntarily dismissed by the Troll? Prenda was closing down many of its cases and it may be over for you – Two dismissed cases (Mass-Doe and single-Doe case).

      DTD :)

      • George says:

        I don’t really know how to check that stuff. Mine was with Anderson which I know is part of Prenda.

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