What is Your Story?

One new Doe made a great suggestion that some of us “seasoned” Does share our Copyright Troll experiences from start to current/finish.  This will help the newbies see how the situation unfolded for the rest of us.  I will make the first post and welcome all others to tell their story.  Be mindful not to give too much away and make it easy for the Troll to identify you.  For a majority of you that will not be an issue.  For others who have pissed off the Trolls by our actions (like myself), be safe.

My Story

In 2010, I received a package in the mail from my Internet Service Provider (ISP).  What is this?  Upon opening it, I found a bunch of papers, some appearing to be court documents, stating my public IP address downloaded/shared a copyright protected porn movie.  The owner of the porn movie was suing a bunch of the people who downloaded/shared the movie in Federal Court (located in another State).  I didn’t do this, but as I have others in the residence who use my Internet connection.  I go around and check the devices to see if the file in question can be found.  I questioned everyone in the residence, but everyone denied doing it.  I don’t find the file and as I know (as the registered public IP owner) I didn’t do anything wrong, I put it to the side.  I thought there is no evidence to support the allegation, so this will go nowhere.  Some serious family issues soon arose and I never went further with it.

Sometime later, I got another letter in the mail from a Copyright Troll.  This is when I started to get worried.  The letter stated in very clear terms that I was a defendant in a Copyright Infringement case (filed in another State) and I had downloaded/shared a porn movie via BitTorrent on a certain date/time.  The letter stated that “I” was responsible for this illegal activity and that the copyright owner was prepared to sue me for as much money as they could get ($150K + attorney fees).  I freaked!  The letter also explained that there was no excuse or defense to these allegations.  Bottom line – I was guilty (In their opinion) and if I chose to, they would be kind enough to accept $3K to make the threat of losing everything go away.

I started to search the Internet for any information on this case, and soon found the term “Copyright Trolls.”  After that the information started to follow.  I found the EFF and contacted one of the attorney on their Copyright Defense page.  This attorney explained to me that this was a legal scam to extract as much money from Doe defendants as possible.  He also explained the statute of limitation was three-years and since the case was filed in another State, the Troll would have to get someone authorized to practice law in my State to file a case against me.  He said I could get a local attorney to represent me and send the Troll a letter stating 1) I didn’t do it, 2) No evidence on my systems, 3) I will fight you in court if need be, 4) If by some odd chance you win, I will file bankruptcy.  If I didn’t want to pay an attorney to do this, I could ignore the Troll and it would likely pass.  As I didn’t have the money to spend on an attorney, I opted to ignore the Troll.

I again went around to all the systems in the house and verified that the movie was not on any of them.  I also checked on my Wireless Fire Wall/Router and determined that unknown systems/users had been connecting to it.  I took screenshots of the connected systems and then blocked them.  I keep these records and all the other paperwork on my case in a safe place, in case it is ever needed (Highly doubtful).

Soon after talking to the attorney, I had a voicemail from the Troll agent.  Same BS line as the initial letter, “My client is prepared to go forward…… If you want to settle and avoid an expensive trial…. Possible finding of $150K+ against you….. Please call me at …..”  I got a couple more voicemails and even another letter.  All during this time I’m learning more and more about this racket and what a bunch of sleazy bottom-feeders me and the multitude of Does were having to deal with.

The calls and letters stopped and I never heard from the Troll again.  Also during this time I found Fightcopyrighttrolls.com (Hi Jane!).  After getting better educated on this situation, I decided to start my own blog and try to help some of the Does.

I kept an eye on my case in PACER and soon found out that the Troll had dismissed it.  It stayed open for more than a year.  The troll claiming that “The ISPs are slow,” “negotiations were taking a long time,” etc.  I would come to find out this was the standard procedure for a Troll.  Milk a case for all that it is worth and then shut it down and move to another.  GREED!  Plain and simple.  Recent court filing also confirmed that one of the Trolls has not named/served a single Doe.  The other trolls are doing the same thing.

So I haven’t paid a Troll or defense attorney a dime and I’m still around!  The worse thing I have lost is some time I spend trying to get the word out.  The return I get in good Karma is worth it.  I’m still under threat, as the statute of limitation has yet to pass – but it will.  As I have pissed off the Trolls and some copyright owners, I don’t think it is a good idea to come out once the three-years has passed.  Not the most difficult thing for a Troll to find out a public IP address and add it to a list of “offenders.”  Proof or “Stopping Piracy,” has nothing to do with these legal actions.  Money drives it all.

15 June 2012 Update – Take a listen to this Doe talk about “his story.”  Thank you SJD for finding this.

8 Jan 2013 Update – Since my last update, some Trolls decided to name or name/serve a limited number of Does with a summons/complaint or a deposition subpoena.  These cases are usually the result of a previous mass-Doe case that the Troll uses to obtain ISP subscriber information on the Does.  The numbers are still very small overall, but you should be aware of this.  STILL, we have had ZERO cases judged on their merits in a trial.  This new tactic is designed to either get the named Doe to settle or test the water for a possible default judgement motion if the Doe does not respond at all.  If this happens, I’m of the opinion to hire an attorney knowledgeable on these cases.  The problem the Troll has with this tactic is what to do if a defendant answers a complaint with a denial or denial/counterclaims, the Troll/Plaintiff can’t easily drop the case.  The Troll doesn’t want to have the case judged on its merits – there is none.  The Troll then has to either wait for the court to dismiss it for some reason or settle with the defendant – paying off the Doe.  Even if a court dismisses such a case, the Troll knows the defendant is most likely going to motion the court for an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs.

18 June 2013 Update – At this point we have seen the start of the destruction of Prenda Law and the PA Bellwether trial took place.  I expect Lipscomb and Malibu Media will claim the trial validated all their claims and that are only attempting to stop pirates from taking their content for free.  The Bellwether trial was disappointing in that it failed to make Lipscomb/Malibu Media answer any hard questions about their operation.  It was a “show trial” agreed upon after all three defendants settled with Plaintiff.   The possible long-term effects of this trial are debatable, but Copyright Trolling in its various forms will continue.  Lipscomb/Malibu Media have tailored their efforts to minimize the risks, but if they play it long enough, they will crap out.

OK, enough of me.  What is your story?

1,588 Responses to What is Your Story?

  1. Doe says:

    Advice for non-LHF CEG-TEK DMCA notices from ISP still to ignore?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I suggest not to contact CEG-TEK ever. Doesn’t matter who owns the content. You should also stop the BT activity on your network and make sure it doesn’t start back up later.

      DTD🙂

  2. Randoe says:

    I’ve been reading through your website and I’m still confused on what I should do. I received the copyright letter from my ISP last night that I infringed on LHF productions. I called a lawyer on the EFF page and she told me that if I settle it would cost 3-4K. I, like many others, don’t have that type of money. I know your stance has been wait and see if they go as far as to sue me but if they do then how much would it cost me. I can’t afford it costing more. I was even sweating when I thought it would be $300.

  3. Randoe says:

    Paperwork sent

  4. Thatguy says:

    After about a month and half of ignoring. I finally got a ‘Notice of a lawsuit and request to waive service of a summons’ . Not sure if I should keep ignoring or not. This is for the LHF case, in Washington.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      OK. IF you sign the Waiver of Service you will have 60 days to “answer” the complaint (send an “answer” to the court) in which you have to admit, deny, or say you don’t have enough information to answer each of the claims in the complaint. IF you fail to do this, then the Troll can ask for a default judgement against you. IF you don’t sign the Waiver of Service, the Troll has to pay a process server to serve you. IF that happens, you only have 21 days to answer the complaint. If the Troll does not serve you, they he cannot motion the court for a default – UNLESS they he can show they have tried various ways to serve you, but that they can’t find you. It is my opinion (non-legal advice) is NOT to sign the waiver. If he is going to serve you, then let them pay for it. YES, I know they can simply add the expense to any default award request, BUT that is EXACTELY what the Troll doesn’t want to do. WHY? Because it cost him (or at least the Plaintiff) real money to do so. A waiver only cost them a little bit of time. Also, a default award is in NO WAY as desireable as getting real money voluntarilly from a Doe. A default judgement still has to be collected. The Troll knows that if a Doe is willing to let a case go default, they probably are not to worried about collections efforts to get the money. Plus, it will AGAIN cost Troll/Plaintiff more money to try and force the collection/garneshment, etc. For some of these cases, trying to collect $3-5K defaults is going to cost them more. Now they could sell the debt to a collection agency, but that still only gets them pennies on the dollar.

      It really depends on your situation and if want to answer the compaint or let it possibly go default. For many of the WA BT Copyright Troll cases, the courts are only awarding $750 statuatory damages and them fess/costs (est. $2-3.5K).

      DTD🙂

      http://copyright.infringementadvisor.com/2016/03/dallas-buyers-club-cobbler-nevada.html

      • Thatguy says:

        Thank you so much for your answer DTD. The case has 11 people on it in Washington, and one of those is my fiance. I dont want a default judgement put against her and showing up on her credit. Would it be worth it to pay an for an attorney? The Attorney around here is charging $750 flat fee for a defense.

        I’m very much leaning on ignoring it, but dont want to have that judgement put against her and showing up on her credit. Thanks again for providing peace of mind!🙂

      • DieTrollDie says:

        The use of an attorney to settle is a matter of personal choice. In my view, if you are going to pay the asked settlement amount you don’t really need an attorney. I will caution people that in talking with the Troll, never discuss ANYTHING about how it happened. You simply want to settle and move on with your life. An admission or giving the Troll ANY other information is NOT required to settle. A Settlement is simply a payment in exchange for being release from the case (Not sued). Do NOT discuss the details of the incident/case. Where I do see an advantage of using an attorney is IF you can’t handle the stress of it OR if the attorney can get the settlement amount reduced by at least the amount of his fee ($750).

        Of course your fiancé could simply write the Troll and tell them she is the ISP subscriber and she didn’t do this. The Troll will of course not believe her, but sometimes a simple response is necessary start. The Troll will then want her to tell them who else has used the network and if they run BT on it. What it will come down to is if she ignores the Troll, THEY will have to decide what their next step is. For many of the Trolls, that is turning out to be amending the complaint with the true names of the ISP subscribers and serving them. The Waiver is just a cheaper way to serve a person. The Trolls will negotiate – but it isn’t likely to be easy. A voluntary settlement is PREFERRED by the Troll. I have seen various default judgements in WA in which the court ONLY awards $750 plus fees/costs (est. $2-3.5K). This is often less than the settlement demand AND it is only a paper victory until they can collect the money. If a Doe is willing to let a case go default, there is a good chance he/she isn’t going to worry about paying the Troll anything. Plus, forcing a collection requires the Troll to expend more time and money – this affect their bottom line (profit).

        Please keep me informed on what happens

        DTD🙂

  5. Doe says:

    I did get a subopena from Cell film holdings. I am pretty sure none of us in our residence downloaded the movie. This to me looks like a legal scam. Any one in WA know how to deal witht this?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Please send me what you have recieved and I will get back to you in private – dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com

      I assume you recieved a copy of the subpoeona to the ISP for YOUR ISP subscriber information. Please note this is NOT a scam, but a real Federal Copyright Infringement law suit – send me the paperwork and I will verify. YES, the Trolls are abusing the legal system (my opinion) to extort money, but do NOT simply ignore this. If you do that, there is a good chance it will end in a default judgement against you.

      If you are not 100% sure that nobody is using BT on your network, I would go around to all the computers and make sure. I would also change the password on the WiFi firewall/route and not freely give it out. Make sure you tell everyone in the residence that it has to stop. I do suggest you contact a knowledagable attorney in your jurisdiction and see if you can get a free consult to discuss options.

      DTD🙂

  6. doe says:

    You just told my whole story from beginning to end..i told them i didnt do it id take lie detector test sign do anything I can honestly say I didnt do it but I settled out of court got me for 4000.00 dollars I told them my husband passed away i don’t have no money but they still threaten law suit and garnishing my wages. I’ve made my self sick over this mess.

  7. doe says:

    Just got a notice from my ISP that LHF is request my information for a movie called “London has fallen”. This is first time I heard it, I was surprised, but again, I host on Airbnb and has open Wifi for my guest to use. What is my next step? just wait and see? or I can ask my ISP not to release my info?

  8. One of the Does says:

    Received via certified mail….Offer to compromise rule 408 from an attorney.
    Re: Copyright infringement lawsuit “London has fallen”
    They list me as one of the Does in this lawsuit. In the Eastern District Court in North Carolina.
    They also has sent a waive service of a summons.
    The big issue i have I do not live in that district. According to the complaint paper work, i must reside in that district for them to legally bring me to court. I reside in the western district.
    I have not send the paper work back.
    The court has taken the following ” Order on motion for leave to take discovery prior to rule 26(f) conference”
    My I.P. does not match the one sent to me via the attorney letter. I know they change.
    The court should see Improper venue, and it has NO personal jurisdiction over me.
    The BitTorrent activity may have happen, can’t verify that because many people have access to my wireless internet, i do have a password on it now.

    Waiting, just wanted to add my experience to this forum.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      So had you previously recieved a settlement demand letter from the Troll? If so, please email me a copy (dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com). I generally don’t recommend (non-attorney recommendation) signing a waiver of service form. If they are going to serve you (sometimes they will not) make them pay for it. If the jurisdiction is wrong, you will have to maotion the court to dismiss the case because of this. Note: The Troll could still refile in the correct jurisdiction against you. I don’t know the NC cases (Troll attorney), so it is hard to say if they will amend the complaint to formally name you as a Defendant – so Trolls will and other will not. I would get a PACER account and monitor your case – look at the docket at least once a week. If the Troll never amends the complaint to the true name of the ISP subscriber, then they will not be able to serve you with the complaint/summons. You could also write the Troll and tell them that you did not infringe upon Plaintiff’s movie, you don’t know who did, and you did not authorize anyone to do so. I will caution you that in talking to the Troll be very careful in what you say – don’t make any admissions or say it is your responsibilty because your name is on the ISP bill – DON’T. The Troll will likely want to know who was using the network duing the entire period they recorded – likely to have recorded BT activity on your network over a couple months. They are not likely to believe a one time guest was responsible. The recorded BT activity will also have a list of the many other files that were being shared via the BT client on your network. They will try to identify who these files are likely associated to – and then go after them. Soi unless you can give them an easy target to go after, they will likely claim you are responsible and unless you pay, they will take you to trial. Here are a couple articles to read – https://dietrolldie.com/2016/06/15/the-dangers-of-talking-to-the-bt-copyright-troll-they-are-not-your-friends/ AND https://dietrolldie.com/2016/05/06/copyright-troll-poker-or-how-to-survive-this-troll-no-limit-game/

      DTD🙂

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