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.
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 – “firstname.lastname@example.org” Hello 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.
This 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.