What is Your Story?

One new Doe made a great suggestion that some of us “seasoned” Does share our Copyright Troll experiences from start to current/finish.  This will help the newbies see how the situation unfolded for the rest of us.  I will make the first post and welcome all others to tell their story.  Be mindful not to give too much away and make it easy for the Troll to identify you.  For a majority of you that will not be an issue.  For others who have pissed off the Trolls by our actions (like myself), be safe.

My Story

In 2010, I received a package in the mail from my Internet Service Provider (ISP).  What is this?  Upon opening it, I found a bunch of papers, some appearing to be court documents, stating my public IP address downloaded/shared a copyright protected porn movie.  The owner of the porn movie was suing a bunch of the people who downloaded/shared the movie in Federal Court (located in another State).  I didn’t do this, but as I have others in the residence who use my Internet connection.  I go around and check the devices to see if the file in question can be found.  I questioned everyone in the residence, but everyone denied doing it.  I don’t find the file and as I know (as the registered public IP owner) I didn’t do anything wrong, I put it to the side.  I thought there is no evidence to support the allegation, so this will go nowhere.  Some serious family issues soon arose and I never went further with it.

Sometime later, I got another letter in the mail from a Copyright Troll.  This is when I started to get worried.  The letter stated in very clear terms that I was a defendant in a Copyright Infringement case (filed in another State) and I had downloaded/shared a porn movie via BitTorrent on a certain date/time.  The letter stated that “I” was responsible for this illegal activity and that the copyright owner was prepared to sue me for as much money as they could get ($150K + attorney fees).  I freaked!  The letter also explained that there was no excuse or defense to these allegations.  Bottom line – I was guilty (In their opinion) and if I chose to, they would be kind enough to accept $3K to make the threat of losing everything go away.

I started to search the Internet for any information on this case, and soon found the term “Copyright Trolls.”  After that the information started to follow.  I found the EFF and contacted one of the attorney on their Copyright Defense page.  This attorney explained to me that this was a legal scam to extract as much money from Doe defendants as possible.  He also explained the statute of limitation was three-years and since the case was filed in another State, the Troll would have to get someone authorized to practice law in my State to file a case against me.  He said I could get a local attorney to represent me and send the Troll a letter stating 1) I didn’t do it, 2) No evidence on my systems, 3) I will fight you in court if need be, 4) If by some odd chance you win, I will file bankruptcy.  If I didn’t want to pay an attorney to do this, I could ignore the Troll and it would likely pass.  As I didn’t have the money to spend on an attorney, I opted to ignore the Troll.

I again went around to all the systems in the house and verified that the movie was not on any of them.  I also checked on my Wireless Fire Wall/Router and determined that unknown systems/users had been connecting to it.  I took screenshots of the connected systems and then blocked them.  I keep these records and all the other paperwork on my case in a safe place, in case it is ever needed (Highly doubtful).

Soon after talking to the attorney, I had a voicemail from the Troll agent.  Same BS line as the initial letter, “My client is prepared to go forward…… If you want to settle and avoid an expensive trial…. Possible finding of $150K+ against you….. Please call me at …..”  I got a couple more voicemails and even another letter.  All during this time I’m learning more and more about this racket and what a bunch of sleazy bottom-feeders me and the multitude of Does were having to deal with.

The calls and letters stopped and I never heard from the Troll again.  Also during this time I found Fightcopyrighttrolls.com (Hi Jane!).  After getting better educated on this situation, I decided to start my own blog and try to help some of the Does.

I kept an eye on my case in PACER and soon found out that the Troll had dismissed it.  It stayed open for more than a year.  The troll claiming that “The ISPs are slow,” “negotiations were taking a long time,” etc.  I would come to find out this was the standard procedure for a Troll.  Milk a case for all that it is worth and then shut it down and move to another.  GREED!  Plain and simple.  Recent court filing also confirmed that one of the Trolls has not named/served a single Doe.  The other trolls are doing the same thing.

So I haven’t paid a Troll or defense attorney a dime and I’m still around!  The worse thing I have lost is some time I spend trying to get the word out.  The return I get in good Karma is worth it.  I’m still under threat, as the statute of limitation has yet to pass – but it will.  As I have pissed off the Trolls and some copyright owners, I don’t think it is a good idea to come out once the three-years has passed.  Not the most difficult thing for a Troll to find out a public IP address and add it to a list of “offenders.”  Proof or “Stopping Piracy,” has nothing to do with these legal actions.  Money drives it all.

15 June 2012 Update – Take a listen to this Doe talk about “his story.”  Thank you SJD for finding this.

8 Jan 2013 Update – Since my last update, some Trolls decided to name or name/serve a limited number of Does with a summons/complaint or a deposition subpoena.  These cases are usually the result of a previous mass-Doe case that the Troll uses to obtain ISP subscriber information on the Does.  The numbers are still very small overall, but you should be aware of this.  STILL, we have had ZERO cases judged on their merits in a trial.  This new tactic is designed to either get the named Doe to settle or test the water for a possible default judgement motion if the Doe does not respond at all.  If this happens, I’m of the opinion to hire an attorney knowledgeable on these cases.  The problem the Troll has with this tactic is what to do if a defendant answers a complaint with a denial or denial/counterclaims, the Troll/Plaintiff can’t easily drop the case.  The Troll doesn’t want to have the case judged on its merits – there is none.  The Troll then has to either wait for the court to dismiss it for some reason or settle with the defendant – paying off the Doe.  Even if a court dismisses such a case, the Troll knows the defendant is most likely going to motion the court for an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs.

18 June 2013 Update – At this point we have seen the start of the destruction of Prenda Law and the PA Bellwether trial took place.  I expect Lipscomb and Malibu Media will claim the trial validated all their claims and that are only attempting to stop pirates from taking their content for free.  The Bellwether trial was disappointing in that it failed to make Lipscomb/Malibu Media answer any hard questions about their operation.  It was a “show trial” agreed upon after all three defendants settled with Plaintiff.   The possible long-term effects of this trial are debatable, but Copyright Trolling in its various forms will continue.  Lipscomb/Malibu Media have tailored their efforts to minimize the risks, but if they play it long enough, they will crap out.

OK, enough of me.  What is your story?

1,451 Responses to What is Your Story?

  1. Joe says:

    I got a dcma letter but no contact from ceg-tek? Should I expect more letters? I am on comcast and didn’t know what to expect when I got the letter and found this site. Thanks for the help in advance.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Thanks for the information.  If possible, forward me a copy of the email you got. Dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com I will not release it and I will be better able to answer your
      question. 

      So the DMCA notice is from CEG-TEK?  I can only assume that the settlement portion was stripped off by the ISP.  I haven’t heard of Comcast doing this, but I welcome it.  The DMCA has nothing to say on what has to be forwarded
      BESIDES the main details of the notice (see below) –

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512
      (3) Elements of notification.-
      (A) To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:
      (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on
      behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
      (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a
      single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
      (iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the
      service provider to locate the material.
      (iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if
      available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
      (v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
      (vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
      (B)
      (i) Subject to clause (ii), a notification from a copyright owner or from a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner that fails to comply substantially with the provisions of subparagraph (A) shall not be considered under paragraph (1)(A) in determining whether a service provider has actual knowledge or is aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent.
      (ii) In a case in which the notification that is provided to the service provider’s designated agent fails to comply substantially with all the provisions of subparagraph (A) but substantially complies with clauses (ii),
      (iii), and (iv) of subparagraph (A), clause (i) of this subparagraph applies only if the service provider promptly attempts to contact the person making the notification or takes other reasonable steps to assist in the receipt of
      notification that substantially complies with all the provisions of
      subparagraph (A).

      So what I would suggest is to first identify the source of the BT activity that lead to the notice.  Stop the BT activity and ensure it doesn’t start back up. I would suggest you resecure your WiFi Router with a new password.
      Also, contact your ISP and tell them you have taken steps to ensure this
      doesn’t happen again – DOT NO give the ISP details on who or what caused it – just that you have fixed it.  Ignore the notice and move on with your life.

      DTD :)

  2. B says:

    Just got a second copyright notice forwarded from my ISP that was sent to them on the date that I was supposed to pay the original settlement. The message is identical except this time they’re asking for a larger settlement. Should I call my ISP and tell them that these claims are identical so they don’t shut off my internet? The deadline for this one is also 3 days, so advice would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Hi all, received a Happy New Year gift on 12/31 in the form of a Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subpoena letter from Comcast with a deadline of filing motion to quash set for early next week.

    Love your site (& Jane’s), which are both extremely rich in helpful dot-connecting articles and defense resources, but time is running out, and having already spoken with one attorney (who pretty much seemed to enjoy scaring me half to death), I regrouped a bit…

    Last night I contacted a Human Rights group to see whether they could lend assistance (haven’t heard back from them yet), but I’ve also been checking out the viability of utilizing the Sovereign line of pre-emptive “defense.”

    A few years ago I closely followed Max Igan from down under and listened intently to his talks on taking back one’s sovereignty. I dug deeper and came upon a book posted on his site by Mary Elizabeth Croft titled “How I Clobbered every Bureaucratic Cash-Confiscatory Agency known to Man … a Spiritual Economics Book.”

    Going further, I started getting set up on getoutofdebtfree.org, a site founded on the inspiration Mary provides in her work (here is the dedication page: http://www.getoutofdebtfree.org/Mary-Elizabeth-Croft).

    If there is anyone on here who is familiar with this, namely taking back one’s sovereignty in the form of “being the agent for one’s strawman.” (Think of International Law or Maritime Law, based on Commerce, which is the current prevailing system globally, as being the Monopoly board, while the player’s names, especially represented in ALL CAPS, as being the tokens or game pieces, players either wittingly or unwittingly participating in the big corporate game – corporatocracy, anyone ??).

    Please forgive me, for those of you who are already familiar, if I didn’t get the above quite right, and please give feedback with correction and/or additionally helpful descriptions. I’m going primarily by mental notes and very little sleep at this point (and getting later by the minute so I’ll be signing off soon).

    But, in any event, my line of thinking is this: if the court system is one based on Maritime Law, which it is, then it is based on commerce, and commerce flows between corporate entities, but if we take ownership of our corporate name – claiming our sovereignty as a person, not a corporate entity, then we are placed outside the rules of the game, so to speak.

    Thus, I’m wondering at this point whether a workable “defense” would be to transcend rather than defend – in other words, if the first step taken is to perform Common Law Copyright/Trademark Procedure and Estoppel and Declaration, could this stop the Copyright Troll dead in its tracks because you’ve effectively taken your game piece off the board? You are no longer playing the game as a corporate entity, but instead are ejected off the board via your declaration of sovereign person-hood.

    Please follow these links to find out more on this – it would be great to hear others’ thoughts on this:

    Copyright/Trademark Procedure and Estoppel
    http://www.getoutofdebtfree.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=39#.VpXCFU96G8o

    Declaration
    http://www.getoutofdebtfree.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=95148&p=437445&hilit=Common+Law+Copyright+your+name#p437445

    Also, here is article type of posting re: MM LLC:

    “IP address does not constitute a person, judge rules in copy”
    http://www.getoutofdebtfree.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=66099&p=256099&hilit=malibu+media#p256099

    Thanks Folks!

    DTD! :-)

  4. Me says:

    I sure wish I found this site sooner. My girlfriend got a notice forwarded to her via her ISP Shaw and she ended up forking over the settlement money of $300. She told me about it and all I could do was shake my head even after telling her many times theyvwere not taking her to court. But her naive response was that she didn’t want to play with fire and she thinks there was no sure way knowing if they wouldn’t or not. She’s damn lucky she has a loving boyfriend willing to help on the payment she did and I got her to immediately call her credit card company and close her credit card.

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