Jan 2016 – FOR THE UPDATED POSTING, PLEASE GOT THIS ARTICLE. This article was from Feb 2012 and primarily deals with Steele|Hansmeier, Prenda Law, and the copyright trolls of that time period. In general, the message is that UNLESS you have to speak to the Trolls (Valid legal order, deposition, etc., I would recommend against it). Please do NOT ignore valid subpoenas, summons, or other court orders – This is a time to consult with an attorney.
This article was recently (30 Dec 2015) cite in a Copyright Troll filing (last page) – DECL_Lowe_Doc15_01406(WA)
I have been fielding more and more emails and posting from Does asking what they should do when a Troll calls. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but I think I have the initial response you should give the Troll representative. I call it the “Richard Pryor Response,” after an Eddie Murphy skit (Raw – Chewed out by Bill Cosby).
Here is a YouTube clip from it – Have a Coke and smile and shut the …….. (go to approx.4:25)
Tell the Troll representative this and only this. Don’t get mad or argumentative – that is what they want.
- 1) I didn’t do it
- 2) The movie is not on my system
- 3) I will fight you in court
- 4) Have a nice day and don’t call back
Follow this as a script and DON’T talk about anything else. Anything you say will be exploited by the Troll in an effort to get you to settle.
- Tell the Troll you are worried about losing your job and I guarantee he will use it as leverage against you.
- Tell him you own a home and he then knows you have assets he can possibly target.
Make sure you document the Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How of the conversation. Keep this information in a folder, just in case you ever need it. Be sure to add to it when they continue to call and email with threats. Documentation is key.
So what has driven the change from completely ignoring the Troll when he calls? There has been a couple of cases where a Troll requested the court grant a subpoena for a 4-hour deposition of a Doe defendant. (https://dietrolldie.com/2012/01/05/brett-gibbs-whines-an-end-to-311-cv-01566-hard-drive-productions-inc-v-doe-ip-address-173-55-54-77/ AND https://dietrolldie.com/2012/01/16/judge-denies-troll-request-to-depose-an-unnamed-doe-but-known-to-the-troll-in-case-s-11-3074-kjm-hard-drive-production-v-doe/) Most of these requests have been denied, but I know of one that was granted. The Troll complained to the court that the Doe defendant would not talk to them and was being evasive. The Troll said they needed to talk to the Doe defendant to fully determine if he (or others in the household) was responsible. If the Doe would have at least responded to the Troll with the Richard Pryor Response, the judge may have simply denied the request and told the Troll to move forward with naming and serving a summons. The Trolls don’t want to do this; it essentially shuts down their easy settlement efforts and they have to spend money to proceed. They also know how weak their public IP address evidence is. Can’t wait to see what comes of a deposition where the Troll “technical” experts/witnesses get questioned on their methods and procedures of collecting the public IP addresses and what they actually mean.