June 2012 Update – Case Closed
I meant to get this out a little sooner, but I was having too much fun (and not enough sleep). Just wanted to put some final analysis on the case closure of Liuxia Wong v. Hard Drive Productions (HDP), 4:12-cv-00469. I know I have said this before, but sometimes you need to pay attention to WHAT IS NOT SAID; it can be more important than what is said openly. Here is where the saying “silence is golden,” is appropriate.
The following document is the stipulated judgment signed by the judge on 31 May 12. First note that this is a judgement, not a settlement in which Wong dismisses HDP after reaching an agreement. Now I know that this came about after agreeable terms were negotiated, but I like the term “Judgement.” ;) Stip_Judgement_00469(CA)
That means there has actually been a judgement against the Trolls. Here is the difference –
A judgment is an official designation entered on a court’s docket that signifies that a plaintiff has prevailed in his court case against the named defendant. A settlement is an agreement by both parties to the lawsuit that resolves their dispute prior to trial.
Yes the terms of the judgment/settlement are confidential, but it is a start. As this case was the model for the Seth Abrahams case, I expect it to go the same way in the future.
The judgment stipulates that Mrs. Wong in no way infringed on any HDP rights or copyrights and was entered in her favor on 31 May 12. It is signed by Mr. Steven Yuen, Brett Gibbs, and Judge Yvonne Rogers.
Even though this is not the victory we would have liked to have seen, the fact that HDP (Prenda Law) was pushed into this corner and decided to settle is still a victory. HDP/Prenda’s position was so weak that they couldn’t even get Wong/Yuen to dismiss the case. As we have not heard from the Master Troll on this outcome, it is telling in itself. The judgment is now a record that the Troll can lose on the simple fact that they CANNOT tell who actually downloaded/shared the movie in question. The use of the public IP address as the single critical piece of evidence in their case is a sad joke when comes down to it. wait……. Do you hear it? ……… Yes that is the silence.
The other copyright defense lawyers out there saw what happened in this case and took note. I will liken it to a small animal hurt and making noise in the wild. The predators nearby hear the pain and see a target. The Seth Abrahams case will go the same way and add another building block in fighting the Trolls. I wonder how long it will take before another CA law firm decides to take a stab at a Prenda client. *** See the post after this one – Nicholas Ranallo is now the attorney for Josh Hatfield (3:12-cv-02049, AF Holdings LLC. v. John Doe and Josh Hatfield) *** Hey John, I don’t think Mr. Yuen came out so bad with this case. Who knows, we may see Prenda eventually leave the State of CA.