AZ Troll (Beth Hutchens) Case Filing – 2:11-cv-01932-NVW (Does 1-26) – Third World Media, LLC.

Well a Doe passed on this Arizona case to me and I said I would take a look at it.  I honestly expected the same old Troll trash.  It is still Troll trash, but Troll Beth Ann Hutchens  (Hutchens Law Firm, PLLC) has a mind to put her personal touch to it. 

Linkedin profile

From the Hutchens Law Firm Web site:

Beth Hutchens is a solo practitioner in Phoenix, Arizona. She is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in the state of Arizona. Her areas of practice are intellectual property transactions and estate planning and probate.

Beth prides herself on not being a garden variety attorney. You can count on her to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and she takes a collaborative approach to problem solving. She is forthcoming, direct, and takes a no-nonsense approach to representing her clients.  Hutchens Law Offices is not for everybody, but Contact us for a free telephone consultation and find out if we are for you.

First off, the case title is huge (Third World Media, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Plaintiff, vs. Arizona Members of Swarm of May 13, 2011 through July 12, 2011, Sharing Hash File 763E1BC277D2705C4B651957D0BECF3A7E872D86; and DOES 1 through 26, Defendants.).  I brevity isn’t her strong point. 

The next thing that caught my attention was under the list of the specific complaints: (1) Direct Copyright Infringement, (2) Contributory Copyright Infringement, (3) Civil Conspiracy, and (4) Negligence.

The “Negligence,” complaint stood out to me.  Here is the cut/paste from the complaint section dealing with it.  Looks like the Troll is trying to cover all bases with this complaint. 

15. Upon information and belief, Defendants accessed, or controlled access, to the Internet connection used in performing the unauthorized copying and sharing of Plaintiff’s Motion Picture described above.

16. Upon information and belief, Defendants failed to adequately secure their Internet access, whether accessible only through their computer when physically connected to an Internet router, or accessible to many computers by use of a wireless router, and failed to prevent its use for this unlawful purpose.

17. Reasonable Internet users take steps to secure their Internet access accounts to prevent the use of such accounts for nefarious and illegal purposes. As such, Defendants’ failure to secure their Internet access accounts, and thereby prevent such illegal uses thereof, constitutes a breach of the ordinary care that reasonable persons exercise in using an Internet access account.

18. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants’ failure to secure their Internet access allowed for the copying and sharing of Plaintiff’s Motion Picture by use of the BitTorrent protocol on Defendants’ respective Internet connections, and interfering with Plaintiff’s exclusive rights in the copyrighted work.

19. Upon information and belief, by virtue of this unsecured access, Defendants negligently allowed the use of their Internet access accounts to perform the above-described copying and sharing of Plaintiff’s copyrighted Motion Picture.

20. Upon information and belief, had Defendants taken reasonable care in securing access to their Internet connections, such infringements as those described above would not have occurred by the use of their Internet access accounts.

21. Upon information and belief, Defendants’ negligent actions allowed others to unlawfully copy and share Plaintiff’s copyrighted Motion Picture, proximately causing financial harm to Plaintiff and unlawfully interfering with Plaintiff’s exclusive rights in the Motion Picture.

So if someone abuses your Internet connection, you are to fault and owe the copyright owner thousands of dollars?  I don’t think so.  What a load of crap. 

The next thing that is different about this complaint is the body of it listed out the 26 Does defendants by IP address and time they were observed downloading/sharing the movie (Tokyo Cream Puffs 8).  Usually this is done via an attachment.  It still does not show when the identified “Public IP Address” stopped sharing the movie.  This would be key to showing what IP addresses are properly joined.   

The Troll even made the claim that Doe #1 was first time they observed the movie file and possibly the one who seeded the movie file.  This is the first time I have seen this claim.  

 As Doe 1 was the first one detected as having distributed the Motion Picture, Doe 1 is, on information and belief, the initial propagator of the 763 Hash in the Bit Torrent swarm of May 13, 2011.

The only exhibit for the complaint was the copyright application for the movie, filed on 12 May 11.  As the copyright application has not been approved, it may limit any damages they are entitled to. 

The judge has granted the subpoena and the AZ Does will start to hear from the Troll shortly – if not already.  More to come on this one…

Take care everyone and have a safe holiday.  Drink an Arrogant Bastard Ale for me.  😉

DieTrollDie  🙂

“Some ships are designed to sink… others require our attention.”

  

 

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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21 Responses to AZ Troll (Beth Hutchens) Case Filing – 2:11-cv-01932-NVW (Does 1-26) – Third World Media, LLC.

  1. CTVic says:

    Seems to me like she’s trying to cover her bases by heading off the ‘Unprotected wireless’ defense, but if anything ever does get argued in a court of law (har-dee-har-har), that argument is just going to get torn to shreds.
    Average Joe Consumer barely knows how to turn a computer on, let alone secure a complex intertwining of independent third-party network devices to the point of being “hackerproof”. There is no law stating that a consumer of internet services has to meet a pre-established level of security in their setup, or hire an expert to meet that level for them.
    There is no reasonable expectation of security. If there were, then insurance companies would have a field day when their clients’ houses get broken into and vandalized roof to foundation. “No private security tours? Sorry, Joe … you didn’t secure your property, so you have no claim.”

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I agree with your assessment. Even our government and commercial sectors can’t prevent network compromises. The average home user is much worse off.

      DieTrollDie. 🙂

      • TrollBasher says:

        Even a “secure” network seems to have some degree of insecurity. I am sure theres a lot more out there. There is code, bots, botnets, viruses. worms, trojans and various malware specifically designed to hijack your connection make it appear that you are doing something naughty. Theres better stuff for the more secured networks (WPA-2 etc) available its just not as easy to find……..yet.

        A quick search reveals:
        Aircrack
        Aircrack is a suite of tools for 802.11a/b/g WEP and WPA cracking. It implements the best known cracking algorithms to recover wireless keys once enough encrypted
        packets have been gathered. . The suite comprises over a dozen discrete tools,
        including airodump (an 802.11 packet capture program), airplay (an 802.11 packet injection program), aircrack (static WEP and WPA-PSK cracking), and airdecap (decrypts WEP/WPA capture files).

        Kismet
        Kismet is a console (ncurses) based 802.11 layer-2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system. It identifies networks by passively sniffing (as opposed to more active tools such as NetStumbler), and can even decloak hidden (non-beaconing) networks if they are in use. It can automatically detect network IP blocks by sniffing TCP, UDP, ARP, and DHCP packets, log traffic in Wireshark/tcpdump compatible format, and even plot detected networks and estimated ranges on downloaded maps. As you might expect, this tool is commonly used for wardriving. Oh, and also warwalking, warflying, and warskating, etc.

        NetStumbler
        Netstumbler is the best known Windows tool for finding open wireless access points
        (“wardriving”). They also distribute a WinCE version for PDAs and such named
        MiniStumbler. The tool is currently free but Windows-only and no source code is
        provided. It uses a more active approach to finding WAPs than passive sniffers such as Kismet or KisMAC.

        inSSIDer
        inSSIDer is a Windows-only wireless network scanner. It was designed to overcome limitations of NetStumbler, namely not working well on 64-bit Windows and Windows
        Vista. inSSIDer can find open wireless access points, track signal strength over time,
        and save logs with GPS records.

        THC Hydra
        When you need to brute force crack a remote authentication service, Hydra is often the tool of choice. It can perform rapid dictionary attacks against more then 30 protocols, including telnet, ftp, http, https, smb, several databases, and much more. Like THC

        Amap
        Amap this release is from the fine folks at THC. Other online crackers are Medusa and Ncrack. The Nmap Security Scanner also contains many online brute force password cracking modules

        Medusa
        Medusa is intended to be a speedy, massively parallel, modular, login brute-forcer. It supports many protocols: AFP, CVS, FTP, HTTP, IMAP, rlogin, SSH, Subversion, and
        VNC to name a few. Other online crackers are THC Hydra and Ncrack.

        Brutus
        This Windows-only cracker bangs against network services of remote systems trying to guess passwords by using a dictionary and permutations thereof. It supports HTTP, POP3, FTP, SMB, TELNET, IMAP, NNTP, and more.

        SolarWinds
        SolarWinds has created and sells dozens of special-purpose tools targeted at systems administrators. Security-related tools include many network discovery scanners, an SNMP brute-force cracker, router password decryption, a TCP connection reset program, one of the fastest and easiest router config download/upload applications available and more.

    • Raul says:

      I f there were in fact such a “duty of care” a Doe could sue (implead/bring in as a third party defendant) their WiFi modem’s designor, manufacturer, distrubutor and the company that sold it to them for negligently failing to secure or otherwise advise the Doe as to the inherently dangerous nature of the device. The danger being that of being sued by copyright trolls.

  2. Doe DOA says:

    We need to have someone write an amicus on this one right away. Connecting does in a swarm lasting through multiple months is ridiculous because most torrents are downloaded in a the course of minutes to an hour before the torrent user disconnects. It can’t be civil conspiracy because no one knows who they are connecting to or when they were connected to them. People have to knowingly work together towards an action to be liable for conspiracy. Unless plaintiff has concrete evidence of when two torrent users are connected and when they were last connected.

    I honestly don’t believe the methods these data collectors use is that advanced. It’s probably exactly what this person in this video shows.

    I could do this at home. And it doesn’t show concrete evidence of anything. Besides the fact that an IP address was associated with a torrent. There’s no way to know how much of a file someone downloaded. Just that a particular IP address connected to the torrent. And THAT’S IT! That’s all these people have. Have no fear.

    • Doe DOA says:

      In other news… how funny would it be if two separate IP loggers got each other’s IP addresses and the law offices started harassing their own honey pot artists?

    • TrollTrasher says:

      Yes, exactly; I’ve yet to see ANYTHING claimed by the trolls that indicates they did anything besides having someone join a torrent swarm through a program like uTorrent and then just take note of all the other IP’s connected at the same time. Hell, most of those programs will even indicate which country each IP is supposedly based in. All of these claims of “flawless investigative software” and European security firms are so laughably hollow and so clearly BS.

  3. now you see says:

    The thing about negligence is that you owe a duty of care to the individual. Without a duty, there is no negligence. In the snippet you provided, there is no alleged duty owed to the video company to secure the internet. If I recall one of the negligence theory issues was that some ISP require you to lock your internet down, but that is again a contractual duty to your ISP, not a duty of care to the world at large.

    The application date for the copyright is the key date for statutory damages and attorneys fees.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Yes. Just reviewed “negligence” via the Cornell Law school site. I think the Troll would have hard time winning that one.

      DieTrollDie. 🙂

      • anonymous obviouly says:

        Yes, as a starting point you have to prove that the Doe owed a “duty of care” to the pornographer with respect to his WiFi connection and, to put it bluntly, there is none. “Cause of action dismissed, Rule 11 sanctions granted.” Ruth, try Nutrisystem, regain your self-respect and get out of the disgraceful job you are currently in.

  4. TrollBasher says:

    I believe that in order for the people who are collecting the IPs, you only need to be connected to a tracker. You actually can do this without downloading or uploading anything. Thats what they are probably doing in order to collect the IPs is just to be connected to a tracker in order to get all the stats (IPs included) which they are using as evidence.

    Just because they have an IP does not really prove that IP downloaded or uploaded from a swarm according to the research I have done.

    Switching to another point, I found this:

    http://torrentfreak.com/riaa-and-homeland-security-caught-downloading-torrents-111217.

    Now I wonder what files are being shared from the troll’s law firms IPs or the courthouse IPs where internet connections are available.

  5. anonymous says:

    It is revealing that the troll only “detected” torrent activity just after the copyright application was filed. The perfect timing suggests that the troll is only interested in cash, not deterrence.

    One possibility is that a honeypot scheme was deliberately launched for a date where threat leverage would appear higher.

    • Doe DOA says:

      Timing is irrelevant to the trolls anonymous. Otherwise they would not group infringements from july 2010 with infringements from august 2011. There are thousands upon thousands of these IPs just sitting on a spreadsheet somewhere. And apparently it doesn’t take a lot of technical know how to get them.

  6. Ariu says:

    I received a letter from her. It is titles “Letter Regarding Damages for Copyright Infrigment”.
    She has not included a settlement amount but is asking me to contact her to discuss the terms of settlement. Most of the settlement letters that I’ve seen so far include the settlement amount. Do you guys think she is trying some kind of new tactics. Any Idea? Please advise?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I have a copy of the letter and it is just a variation. The Troll might think it is a little less scary for the Doe NOT to see an amount at first. To find out the amount you have to call and it then gives the Troll a chance to talk and possibly get the Doe to make an admission.

      DieTrollDie. 🙂

    • Too Much Too Take, says:

      I got the same letter. Dumb me even called her office. She was talking about $20K for putting actors out of work. For a minute, I felt really bad….then I told her that it was probably someone who logged on my router,,,she did not care (to her, I found my excuse on the internet),,,,,at this point, I decided to call the recommended lawyer (a link on this site) and let him handle the settlement because the attorney sounds like she is after money,,,,not willing to compromise.

      • DieTrollDie says:

        $20K to keep an actor employeed????? First off, any settlement is split between the Troll and the copyright owner – more going to the copyright owner. After that split, the copyright owner isn’t going to pass it along to the actors – directly or indirectly. It is pure bank – plain and simple. Please keep me informed of what she does after talking with you.

        DieTrollDie 🙂

  7. Ariu says:

    Any news on the amount of settlement? She really thinks that she can get 20K. Most settlement offers I’ve seen go from 2K to 6K.

  8. Raul says:

    Beth Hutchens is another Weretroll! Back in December she wrote an article entitled “Copyright Trolls : “The Meaner Stepsister of Patent Trolls”for IPWatchdog in which she decried the practice of copyright trolling for a variety of reasons and which can be found here http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2010/12/08/copyright-trolls-the-meaner-stepsister-of-patent-trolls/id=13695/
    Notably she wrote:

    “Riddle me this. Accusations are made against an individual based on information obtained from the ISP, so how is USCG going to prove that the accused is the one who actually infringed? They get the information based on IP address so what do they do if they can’t prove, for example, Broomhilda Brapstein from Cheboygan, Michigan, is the person who actually illegally downloaded that movie? I guess they could trot out that she owns the IP address, so it was contributory infringement, but isn’t that a knowledge based argument? Don’t both of those accusations require, um, what was it called? Oh yeah, evidence. Besides, isn’t there some pesky rule about grounded in fact and law or some other such nonsense?”

    And she also pointed out that like her Third World Media lawsuit:

    “Psssst- you can’t get statutory damages if the infringement happens prior to registration.”

    So I hope some AZ Does can use Ms. Hutchens own article in their MTQs or other motion practice so as to explain to the court what copyright trolling is and how, in Ms. Hutchen’s words, “intellectual property’s latest monster” operates.

  9. Raul says:

    I so agree.

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