Sometimes an image can say it all.
I will admit I wish the judge was harsher on Prenda, but all the issues he brings up and then slaps back down is funny to read. It is akin to a Three Stooges episode. Too bad this is real life and our courts are so slow to address this problem. It is common knowledge in the Federal courts that Copyright Trolls are making a mockery of the system. No one denies that copyright infringement occurs or that the content owners have a right to fight back. What they don’t have is the right to set-up a business model to extort money from alleged infringers and use the Federal court as a tool.
There are so many parts in this Memorandum Opinion that can be (and will be) cited by Does and Defense attorneys for ongoing and future cases. I will add/update this post to highlight certain parts, but for now I will leave you with this from the beginning of the opinion:
On December 16, 2012, merely nine days later, Millennium voluntarily dismissed the action without explanation. As Comcast opines, a very likely explanation for Millennium’s dismissal – especially in light of Millennium’s subsequent actions – is that the undersigned had previously imposed restrictions upon plaintiffs who had brought a similar copyright infringement case, and Millennium therefore preferred to litigate before what it considered to be a more favorable forum. In that prior case, the undersigned held that the applicable venue statute in copyright actions, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(a), effectively requires every defendant to be a resident of the state of the judicial district where the case is filed, and thus, there is no good cause to take expedited discovery related to possible infringers who are not likely to be residents of the state in which that judicial district is located because those possible infringers cannot be prosecuted in that lawsuit. Nu Image, Inc., v. Does 1–23,322, 799 F. Supp. 2d 34 (D.D.C. 2011). In the Millennium TGA I complaint, the Plaintiff did not allege that any one specific Doe defendant resided in the District of Columbia, let alone that all of the Doe defendants resided here.
Having a judge start off with essentially, “I caught you Judge/Forum shopping,” isn’t a good thing. The Opinion ends with the Judge telling Plaintiff that they will only get the City and State of the 351 public IP addresses (Comcast subscribers) from the ISP. Comcast is required to keep the full subscriber information on file for 6 months. This will allow Plaintiff to seek any subpoenas the right way – in the proper jurisdiction of the defendant. BUT WAIT!!!! That would mean Prenda/Plaintiff will have to file new cases in these jurisdictions. As ALL of these defendants have now been part of TWO previous legal actions for the same issue (1:11-cv-02176 (DC) & 4:11-cv-4501 (TX)) , Federal law (FRCP 41) effectively prevents any new cases. My post on FRCP 41, “Troll Ball.” Now you can’t tell me Judge Wilkins didn’t know what he was doing. It is like giving a kid a suckers that he can’t get the wrapper off of. 😉
Please take a look at the Memorandum Opinion and give me your thoughts.