Dallas Buyers Club, LLC, Versus The Gaslight Coffee Roasters – 1:14-cv-04010 (NDIL)

TrollMug_GCRThis Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) case (1:14-cv-04010) was filed in Northern District of IL on 30 May 14, against 45 John Does alleged to have downloaded/shared DBC during 12-16 Feb 2014. What makes it different from the standard mass-Doe BitTorrent (BT) Copyright Troll cases is the Defendant, Defense Attorney, and the work of Mr. Delvan Neville.

The copyright infringement complaint and motion for early discovery (seeking ISP subscriber information) are the standard Troll templates, claiming joinder of the 45 John Doe IP addresses is appropriate because the infohash/torrent file for all the Does is the same.   Complaint_04010(IL)   Complaint_Exhibits_04010(IL)   Motion_ED_Doc_10_04010(IL)   Docket_2Feb15_04010(IL)  

Now I will say I was a bit surprised that the court did tell Troll Michael Hierl to provide additional information concerning joinder.   Motion_SupportJoinder_Doc_21_04010(IL)   In their support document they claim that joinder is appropriate and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in AF Holdings, LLC v. Does 1-1058, 752 F.3d 990 (D.C. Cir. 2014), was wrong. The Trolls states that in the Prenda Law case, there were 1058 Doe from multiple jurisdictions and the time-span was approx. five months. This case only had 45 Doe in the same jurisdiction and a time-span of only 5 days. The Troll of course did not inform the court that there was additional information showing that joinder of Defendants based on the infohash was not justified. Here is a previous declaration in a DBC case in IN. Decl_Neville_Doc_17-1_01142(IN)  As there was no dissenting view provided, the court granted early discovery. Here are some previous articles of interest regarding Troll Hierl/DBC, DC Appeals Court ruling, and Mr. Neville’s Declaration.

As the ISPs started to notify their customers of the law suits and pending release of their information, one John Doe was in a little different situation from most. This John Doe (#26) was not a residential ISP subscriber, but a small business – Gaslight Coffee Roasters (GCR), 2385 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 (corner of Fullerton Ave & Milwaukee Ave).  GCR provides WiFi Internet access to over 200 customers each day. Note: The identity of GCR was voluntarily disclosed to the court by their attorney (see below). BTW, the coffee, food, and atmosphere at GCR look great – I will have to stop in sometime. 2nd Note: There were two additional Comcast Business customers listed – Doe # 24 & # 36 (see Complaint IP listing).

The owners of GCR decided not to give into extortion (my opinion) and sought the services of attorney Scott Kane, Kane Community Law, Logan Square, Chicago, IL.

Attorney Kane opted to defend his client by attacking the issue of mass joinder in BT Copyright Infringement cases. The Trolls claim mass joinder is appropriate because the torrent file for all 45 Does had the same infohash number and all the Does resided in the same jurisdiction. Attorney Kane hired Delvan Neville, Amaragh Associates, LLC, to look at this particular case and tell him if the joinder of 45 Does was justified. What Mr. Neville provided was similar to his findings in another mass-Doe DBC case I reported on previously.  Previous article

Mr. Neville’s assessed the chance that ALL 45 Does shared the same file (via BT) amongst themselves during the 5 day period was “astronomically small.” Well, Mr. Nelville, how small is that?

Decl_Neville_04010(IL)

There is a 1 in 7 tresviginitillion (1 in 1072) chance that ALL 45 Does are linked together by some actual data sharing, NOT just a hash file number. WOW! You have a better chance of winning the Power Ball lottery three times in a row than being able to link up all 45 Does and show that joinder is proper!

Mr. Neville also makes the point that EVEN if the 45 Does were properly linked, Troll/Plaintiff would not be able to show this, as their monitoring apparatus (CBC/IPP/APMC) does not have the ability to record such data, as well as not all the Doe BT clients provide information concerning the other peers (other Does) they are communicating (sharing data) with.

I would also like everyone to note that the BT swarm members in the analysis were NOT limited to a geographical location or single jurisdiction (like this case of 45 ILND Does).  This is important to note, as the current mass-Doe BT copyright troll cases are all filtered (by the Trolls) to a single court jurisdiction.  Mr. Neville’s analysis was on UNFILTERED SWARMS of BT clients. This is important, as I believe the filtering makes it even more likely that any BT client in a swarm shared/received data from a BT client from OUTSIDE of the jurisdiction.

On 29 Dec 14, Attorney Kane filed a Motion to Sever (including the Neville Declaration) and a notice disclosing that Doe #26 was GCR.   Motion_Sever_Doc_28_04010(IL)   Decl_DelvanNeville_Doc_28-1_04010(IL)   DBC_NDIL_Cases_Doc_28-2_04010(IL)  GaslightCR_Doc27_04010(IL)

On 15 Jan 15, Troll Hierl filed a motion to dismiss all remaining Does in this case.   Motion_DismissAll_Doc_34_04010(IL)   According to the docket, there were 14 Does who were dismissed by the Troll prior to the full dismissal that ended the case. So it looks like 32 Does (including GCR) didn’t pay Troll/Plaintiff a dime. On 21 Jan 15, the court (Judge Sara Ellis) authorized the dismissal and closed the case. The dismissal (without prejudice) mooted attorney Kane’s Motion to Sever and allowed Troll/Plaintiff to avoid having to address the joinder issue (again) with a Judge who previously raised concerns. The Troll was probably concerned that even if they only dismissed GCR, the court would have sue sponte (on its own) required the Troll to respond to the Neville Declaration.

What Does It Mean?

I believe this means the Trolls do not want to have to defend their claims of joinder. Fighting the Neville Declaration is too risky in my opinion. Dismissing the case and moving onto new ones removes the threat to their operation. As many of these cases never have a motion to server raised, it is safer to dismiss and not risk a court severing all the Does. As the Troll/Plaintiffs do nothing to try to limit the spread of their movies via BT (like sending DMCA notices to the ISPs of the Does), they know they can simply file more cases.

If I was an attorney representing a Doe in one of these mass-Doe suits, I would hire Mr. Neville to provide a declaration, as well as attaching the previously filed declarations and the fact that the Trolls dismissed the cases instead of addressing the issue.   Decl_Neville_Doc_17-1_01142(IN)   Decl_DelvanNeville_Doc_28-1_04010(IL)   Even if I was a Pro Se Doe Defendant, I would file a Motion to Sever based on both of these declarations.  Note: The Troll can still refile against any dismissed Does, but I doubt this will happen.

Mass joinder of BT Copyright Infringement Defendants is bound to die as more and more courts see how the Trolls are simply avoiding the issue when forced into a corner. Even in the Northern District of IL, the Trolls would rather not have to answer the hard questions. Hopefully we will begin to see Mr. Neville’s declaration used in other jurisdictions.

Give Thanks

If you are one of the dismissed IL Does that didn’t have to pay a settlement, do me a favor and drop attorney Kane and GCR a thank you note. Better yet, treat him to lunch or to a great cup of coffee at GCR. Also don’t forget Mr. Neville at Amaragh Associates, LLC.

DieTrollDie 🙂  Always yield to temptation, It may never pass your way again.  [Lazarus Long – Time Enough For Love, Robert Heinlein]

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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17 Responses to Dallas Buyers Club, LLC, Versus The Gaslight Coffee Roasters – 1:14-cv-04010 (NDIL)

  1. The typo monster (or maybe the mis-spell check) has bitten you:
    ” What Mr. Neville provided was sillier to his findings in another mass-Doe DBC case I reported on previously. ”
    Somehow I don’t think Mr Neville provided anything silly! lol

    Shouldn’t the coffee place be entitled to attorney fees and costs since they had to defend themselves?

  2. Anon E. Mous says:

    Delvan’s finding’s in another case were a ” fly in the ointment ” to the trolls and they were trying their best to say his work wasn’t relevant and he was no expert, and that didn’t work. Now you have another of Delvan declarations scaring the trolls. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    The Trolls are starting to cringe when Delvan’s declarations get filed, because of the fact that his results are making the trolls results being scrutinized even more so. The IHG already has issues about our German friends investigations and methodology, and when you see Delvan;s declarations it sure does make you go Hmmm, how did the trolls come up with theirs.

    BTW DTD loved this line in the story:

    ” There is a 1 in 7 tresviginitillion (1 in 1072) chance that ALL 45 Does are linked together by some actual data sharing, NOT just a hash file number. WOW! You have a better chance of winning the Power Ball lottery three times in a row than being able to link up all 45 Does and show that joinder is proper! ”

    That is classic ( if only that was in Delvans report…lol ) Seriously though that illustrates the point to what Delvan results were, and in my mind that is a steep obstacles for the trolls to overcome. I am of the opinion that Delvan’s findings and the Coffee Shop being one of the IP addresses were going to make the trolls 99% accuracy claim look like a load of you know what.

    Obviously the trolls decided to cut and run then have to face the music, you would have thought they would have relished the opportunity to prove how solid their case is….guess not.

  3. Not Me says:

    Just got a notice from DBC LLC in the mail today and researching everything I can find on this. Any advice?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Very broad question. For most people, taking the wait and see approach is a good one. Don’t contact the Troll. The chance you will be named and served is low. Also, the jurisdiction will give us an idea of the Troll and what his past actions have been.

      DTD 🙂

      • Not me says:

        The notice I received from Dallas Buyers Club is filed in the Illinois Northern District /Chicago. From reading the other posts I concluded that it’s best to follow these steps roughly :
        1. Don’t file motion to quash or vacate as it’s not effective.
        2. Don’t settle.
        3. Admit to nothing.
        4. Tell trolls that you don’t have any of the media anywhere.
        5. That you will fight them. Possibly countersue.
        6. That if you lose you’ll declare bankruptcy.
        Obviously many here I think are wondering whether you could go at it without getting a lawyer at some point. Ignoring this does not seem to be recommended. Many months (and pockets) are fed from these frivolous accusations on both sides of the issue, so that is also concerning. At the end of the day where do the numbers stand?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        It is up to you if you want to respond to the Trolls. Just make sure don’t lie or say something that could haunt you later. Often it is easier to not respond and take the wait and see approach. For most of the DBC does, they will not be named/served. Filing a motion to quash is unlikely to work. A motion to sever could work, but the Troll could then just refile on you as single Doe because they are pissed off. Try to get a couple free consults from IL attorneys who have worked against these Bozos. Going it Pro Se is possible, but it isn’t easy. I don’t have numbers for you, as the Trolls and the does tend to keep quiet with the details. I can say there has been only one “show” trial in PA. Otherwise the Trolls don’t want to take cases to trial because it costs so much and it exposes their operation to further scrutiny.

        DTD 🙂

  4. st0rmcr0w says:

    I received a letter from DBC last year, still haven’t been contacted other than with their stock letter… looks as though the case was originally filed last July. I have just been waiting to see what happens, so far nothing. A question I have, according to my research and also what I have seen written here, it looks as though the case is only good up to 120 days? Am I reading that right? Does that mean they would have to refile against any does wishing to be served? If this is the case, it would seem that the only people who would actually be served would be ones they have information on (say, an admission of guilt or some evidence against), or possibly ones who are unresponsive which they believe they can get a default judgment against – since it costs more money to refile. Can you confirm/correct my understanding here on this? Thanks.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      The 120 days is generally the time required to serve once they have the name of who they think is the infinger. As many courts do not hold them to this, the Trolls tend to drag out the cases as long as possible. Each local troll is different as far as who they want to serve, but overall it is not something they want to do. Have incriminating evidence or knowledge that a person will likely default does influence them. Still it is a risk because people have fought back from time to time. This costs them more money, as well as it has exposed internal aspects of their operations they would like to keep hidden.

      So is your case still open? I would review the docket and see what the Troll is doing with other Does in the case. Still, with DBC I think the wait and see approach is still good.

      DTD 🙂

  5. Oreocookieblast says:

    I received a letter stating to pay 3800$ by March 18 2015 for settle , what should i do ? i am scared 😦 please help

  6. Oreocookieblast says:

    Plaintiff is Dallas Buyers club LLC . I including family is a little worried as of what needs to be done here or if we don’t do any thing or dont decide not to settle by April 1st 2015 , they may add you to the list of Defendants to be server with a copy of te complaint in this lawsuit

    Can you please give me few reasons of not to contact them or dont do any thing so that i can tell my family . I will send you the letter in some time

    • DieTrollDie says:

      There is no benefit to contacting the – except for the Troll attorney. You cannot explain this away or get them to be considerate. DBC has filed hundreds of cases with thousand of Does. There is NO way they can name/serve all of the non-settling Does. It is best (IMO) if you take the wait and see approach – do nothing until named/served. I know this is scary, but it is VERY unlikely to happen. This is a numbers game to them and if you are quiet, the threat may eventually pass. If you settle early, you will never know if they would have served you. Their business model is NOT to name/serve people, but to collect settlements. Taking a person to trial is costly and even if they win, they may never be able to collect and damages.

      DTD 🙂

  7. Oreocookieblast says:

    What if i don’t do any thing i receive a summons/complaint and they ask for more money etc etc then what ? thank youu

    • DieTrollDie says:

      The chance of this is very unlikely IMO. Even if you are named/served, you can still work out a settlement. The Troll does not want to take this to a trial, as it cost them more money then they want to spend.

      DTD 🙂

  8. Pingback: Duel Article: Dallas Buyers Club LLC Activity & Forensic Expert Patrick “Never Convicted” Paige | DieTrollDie

  9. Pingback: GA Court Servers BT Copyright Troll Case Sua Sponte – 1:16-cv-04055 (NDGA) – “Royal Flush Odds” | DieTrollDie

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