Prenda Law Inc., And The Michigan 300 – AF Holdings LLC. v. Matthew Ciccone, 4:12-cv-14442 (MI)

25 Jan 13 Update

SJD just posted the first part of an explosive story concerning the Guava case – BREAKING: A “defendant” in a Guava sham lawsuit has admitted that he was blackmailed into participating in a fraud  Take a read and see that Prenda Law Inc. is under serious attack.  As I stated before, this is a nuclear reaction gone critical.  Stay tuned, as there is more to come.  ;)

Take a look at the Merkel Affidavit and you will see this is what probably happened in the Ciccone case.   

DTD :)

————————————————–

First off, thank you Robert Cashman for posting the story about the Prenda Law Inc., effort to quietly obtain ISP subscriber information on 300 Michigan Does.   Hundreds Of John Doe Defendants in Prenda  Single John Doe Lawsuit

I was looking at this case after someone provided me insight into it.  Thanks Doe! Without rehashing Rob’s story, here are some parts of this case that I find interesting and insightful into Prenda’s efforts.

We all understand the local attorney (Jonathan W. Tappan) is simply a Prenda stooge, but check out the email address under Tappan’s contact information – “blgibbs@wefightpiracy.comHello Brett Gibbs, AKA: Pinocchio.  Prenda doesn’t even trust the local counsel to not screw up. LOL! This is another piece of evidence that the local Trolls don’t have a clue of what is going on and are likely to get messed over by Prenda. Well, you reap what you sow.

PST1aThis case is based on Matthew Ciccone, who was a Doe in a previous AF Holdings LLC case. I haven’t found out which case he was initially from, but it will present itself in time. Prenda decided to open up a single case on Mr. Ciccone.   complaint_14442(MI)and you can still find it listed on the Prenda Law Inc., Web site.  As well as another Prenda case with Tappan/Gibbs listed on it.  Sometime after being named in the single defendant case, Mr. Ciccone appears to come to some agreement with Prenda Law Inc.  This part doesn’t come from any court papers on the part of Prenda, but from another Doe Defender attorney, John T. Herman.  Mr. Herman is representing eight of the 300 Does who are part are associated with this case. Mr. Herman is of the opinion the settlement agreement Mr. Ciccone made with Plaintiff/Prenda Law Inc., includes the requirement that he stipulate (agree) to a motion for expedited discovery.   Archive Docket

In the motion for discovery, filed on 22 Nov 12, Plaintiff and Defendant Ciccone request the court authorize the expedited discovery of ISP subscriber information for 300 Michigan IP addresses that are not party to this lawsuit.   OrderExpidite_14442(MI)  OrderExpidite_EXA_14442(MI)    PHansmeier_Decl_14442(MI)   These 300 IP addresses are alleged to have shared Plaintiff’s movie (Sexual Obsession) with Defendant Ciccone. In the motion, Defendant Ciccone allegedly denies the allegations.

Defendant denies these allegations. However, in an effort to resolve this litigation and avoid further time and cost intensive litigation, Defendant is willing to stipulate the limited expedited discovery that Plaintiff seeks. The discovery of the identities of the other alleged participants in the BitTorrent swarm that Plaintiff alleges that Defendant was a member of, and allegedly passing back and forth pieces of Plaintiff’s Video with, would allow Plaintiff to determine whether such sharing in fact occurred. This would allow for a quick and speedy resolution of this case without further judicial intervention.

What a load of crap.  If Mr. Ciconne has agreed to settle, there is no need to get the subscriber information on 300 people who are not party to this lawsuit.  If they only need to verify that Mr. Ciccone is telling the truth, examine his computer and network devices.  Prenda wants the subscriber information so it can scare people into paying the settlement demand.  To allow Defendant Ciccone to somehow consent to the release of ISP subscriber information on the 300 non-party personnel is ridiculous.  This really show you how many judges do not understand the technical nature of these cases.  Unbelievable.

On 28 Nov 12, the court granted the motion for discovery and Prenda Law sent out the order to the ISPs.  Rubber Stamped On 7 Jan 13, Mr. Herman filed a Motion to Intervene (MTI), seeking to quash the ISP subpoena or at least have a protective order issued.   MotionInterV_14442(MI)   Since then, seven other Does on the “300 list” have hired Mr. Herman and he has filed additional MTIs.  On 9 Jan 13, the court set a 20 Feb 13, hearing to address the motions to intervene.   MTI_Hearing_14442(MI)

Take a read of the MTI and you will see that Brett Gibbs is going to have fun with this one. Mr. Herman puts forth a well written motion that is strong on explaining the nature of copyright trolls, Prenda Law Inc., and how they are abusing the courts in their business model.

Such adult film companies have cluttered the courts with lawsuits filed without a good faith intent to litigate on the merits, in pursuit of potentially extortionate settlements. See Third Degree Films v. Does 1-47, No. 12- cv-10761, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142079, at *1-4 & *33-34 (D. Mass. Oct. 2, 2012) (providing examples of extortionate litigation tactics in recent cases by “copyright trolls,” including many of Prenda’s clients); See also id. at *35, 36 (imposing protective measures to ensure plaintiff was not suing to “obtain the defendants’ information and coerce settlement with no intent of employing the rest of the judicial process”) As a result, Prenda (AF Holdings regional attorneys) have exploited these tactics with abandon as one of the country’s most notorious and vexatious copyright troll plaintiff law firms, and have been repeatedly reprimanded for using improper litigation tactics. Recent media coverage of the firm’s seamier aspects is also extensive.

I can see Brett Gibbs throwing another tantrum and filing a motion claiming that SJD and myself are in some sort of grand conspiracy to prevent honest content owners from protecting their rights.  Warning Mr. Gibbs – be careful in claiming AF Holdings LLC is “honest” – “WHO IS ALAN COOPER?”

Mr. Herman also brings to light the fact that capture dates of the 300 IP addresses all occur nearly 15 months after Mr. Ciccone’s IP address was detected in a BitTorrent swarm.

… Plaintiff’s latest strategy of using its case against Mr. Ciccone (with a confidential settlement agreement requiring his stipulation to the requested discovery) is a blatant attempt to circumvent federal rules of discovery as well as the numerous rulings which have prevented Plaintiff’s from obtaining the identities of mass numbers of individual Doe defendants in a single proceeding.

I know judges don’t like to go back and change their opinions, but it is going to hard not to.  I can’t wait to see the stupid response Prenda/Gibbs is going to file through Troll Tappan.  I bet it will be something akin to the claim that Mr. Herman doesn’t actually have any clients OR maybe he is doing this on behalf of attorney Morgan Pietz.  I bet Troll Tappan is not going to like to have to sign his name to the Prenda response.  ;)

Troll Tappan – Please reconsider your support of these types of cases.  It isn’t easy money and your name and reputation is going to be forever tarnished. 

Mr. Ciccone – If you have made a “deal with the devil,” I feel sorry for you.  Even if you did download/share Plaintiff’s movie, that does not give you the right to conspire with Prenda Law Inc., to aid in the extortion of others.

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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27 Responses to Prenda Law Inc., And The Michigan 300 – AF Holdings LLC. v. Matthew Ciccone, 4:12-cv-14442 (MI)

  1. SJD says:

    This is imperative to stop this brazen assault on the society by Prenda criminals ASAP. Essentially, emboldened by partially successful Guava / Arte de Oaxaca tricks, now they are testing the federal water.

    At very least we should publicize this crookery as wide as possible. I may write about it as well.

  2. MI says:

    I received the letter (Michigan – Ciccone case) from my ISP that was addressed to my apartment but I share the IP with roommates. Should I get a lawyer? I have never downloaded a torrent file, so I know I shouldn’t even be involved but I don’t know if sitting back could come back to haunt me.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      MI,

      I wouldn’t go out and get a lawyer yet. The judge has ordered a hearing on motion to intervene – prevent the ISP subpoena – scheduled for 20 Feb 13. What I would do is print out the Motion To Intervene, as well as the court order for the 20 Feb 13, hearing and mail them to the ISP legal department with a note telling them not to release any subscriber information until the judge order them to do so.

      http://ia801607.us.archive.org/25/items/gov.uscourts.mied.274202/gov.uscourts.mied.274202.docket.html

      Doc #12 & #14.

      The troll doesn’t really care who is responsible, only that they get the ISP subscriber information so they can threaten them with a lawsuit and financial ruin if they don’t pay up.

      DTD :)

      • doeadeer says:

        DTD,

        I’m also one of the does named in this suit. I’ll follow your advice above, but if the trolls do get my information and start calling, what is your advice? Just give them the RPR and sit back?

        Thanks!

      • DieTrollDie says:

        IMO – YES. I plan to do a post on “Default Judgments,” to further explain this. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/default_judgment

        In this case, there is ONLY ONE claim of copyright infringement for ALL the people involved. As Plaintiff claims that ALL all jointly and severally liable, they are all tied together for the SINGLE claim. The single claim means the max stat judgment is $150K plus attorney fees and costs for ALL.

        If Glover goes default, that means HE is responsible for proving to a court that the remaining Does are liable and should share his resposibility to pay. Not Prenda/Plaintiff. As this is VERY unlikely, the default will end the case and most likely give Prenda/Plaintiff NO money – just the feeble bragging rights that they won a default judgment.

        DTD :)

  3. S.O.L says:

    Good article!!!

    On a side note: Awesome pic! LOL

  4. notme says:

    I’m on of the 300 on this case. Learning my lesson about leaving my wifi open.
    I freaked out at first; the letter from the ISP does not specify the file, but I quickly found the case online. I can weather the consequences if my info is released. I’m sympathetic to those who want to pay and make it go away, but if you pay once, you may be targeted again. If you pay to settle, you are continuing the cycle.
    I’ve read this site and others extensively since this started and I believe that there’s nothing really to prevent them from just making up evidence: their evidence is never tested, and their, ahem, ethics are on constant display in public record. This is nothing short of organized crime: “pay us or we’ll sue you.” Like telemarketing, junk mail, Nigerian lottery scams, and plain old spam, they continue to do it because it works.
    The best analogy I’ve read so far is that an ip address is like a phone number. Assuming the actual data they have is legit, all they can show is someone made a “phone call” using that number and that you pay the bill for that number.
    Thanks for this site and your work, DTD!

  5. from the plantiff's attorney says:

    “Movants argue that Defendant’s 300 joint tortfeasors did not collaborate with him
    because their involvement happened “fifteen months” apart from Defendant’s. (Motions at 16.)
    This temporal concern does not eliminate the fact that Defendant collaborated with his joint
    tortfeasors.”

    “Movants do not raise a single argument under Rule 45. (See
    generally Motions.) Instead, Movants focus on inapplicable arguments and ad hominem attacks.”

  6. john says:

    Thanks for the article. I’m think I’m one of the 300 in this case, I appreciate the insight into what my options are.

  7. Pingback: A “defendant” in a Guava sham lawsuit has admitted that he was blackmailed into participating in a fraud « Fight Copyright Trolls

  8. John Doe ( 1 to 300) says:

    —— quote ———
    “I was looking at this case after someone provided me insight into it. Thanks Doe! ”
    —————
    well i am most likely at least one of them .I mailed mr. Pietz a copy of the notice from my isp .
    this is GOOD news !!!!

    15 months AFTER they grabbed ip’s from the swarm ( or A random swarm)
    now wonder the movie was UNFAMILIAR to me .

    After researching the title i found that that movie was a 100% “turn off” and something i would have NEVER DL’d in the first place .
    that 15 months also sheds light on NOT even knowing WHAT the film was

    so 15 months + 6 more since the case started + some more ? who knows how long .
    In that amount of time there is NO way to even try to recover files on a ext3 reformatted to ext4 file system

    and there has been at least one full new install of a operating system ( maybe 2 OS’s )

    way too much time passed
    there is NO way to even prove that it was not downloaded .

  9. Pingback: Judge Stops Release of Subscriber Information – AF Holdings LLC. v. Matthew Ciccone (Michigan 300), 4:12-cv-14442 (MI) | DieTrollDie

  10. Mike says:

    So im another one of these 300. Never even heard of the movie before. Im gonna call comcast and talk to them about holding on to my information till the hearing. Anyone know where i can stay updated on the case? They seem to wait till the last minute to give you five days to react.

  11. We’ve entered an appearance in this case and are coordinating our efforts with Mr. Hermann. I’ve personally handled many of theses cases against Prenda and I’m surprised that this new tactic has even made it this far. It is truly unfortunate that Prenda feels the need to, in my opinion, abuse the discovery process in this manner.

  12. hank says:

    Just in case others come across this, it seems Tappan is dismissing a number of his other Prenda/AF Holdings cases. Even if he sticks with this one, a hearing is set for Friday the 22nd (last I knew) and a good amount of the new Prenda info has already been introduced as exhibits.

  13. adam says:

    Did i read right that this case was dismissed?

  14. JR says:

    So what does that mean for each individual IP address? Are we free and clear, or can they file each one individually now? Thanks.

    • IU says:

      I don’t know the details, but from what I’ve gathered from the history of the case is that the names and contact info associated with the IPs were never released, since their was a hearing scheduled to determine the various motions to quash the supoena – and the judge had ruled that no data should be released prior to those hearings. Since the hearing won’t be held, the data should be safe. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  15. Pingback: Last-Minute Stipulated Dismissal of Ciccone And The Michigan 300 (AF Holdings LLC.), 4:12-cv-14442 (MI) | DieTrollDie

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