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Old 18-06-12, 23:38   #1
 
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Pirate ILLEGAL >>RoboTrolls Threaten BitTorrent Pirate Site Owners

DIE TROLL DIE (DTD)
News and Views Involving Copyright Trolls & John/Jane Does



RoboTrolls Threaten Alleged BitTorrent Pirate Site Owners With Lawsuits

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 Ernesto

.

Starting two years ago, hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent users who allegedly shared films without the consent of copyright holders have been dragged to court in the US.

The aim of the copyright holders, or copyright trolls, is never to take any of the cases to trial.

Instead they want alleged infringers to pay a substantial cash settlement to make legal action go away. Some equal this scheme to extortion, but the copyright holders say they are merely protecting their work.

One of the most active law firms engaged in these mass-BitTorrent lawsuits is Prenda Law. The firm has filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of adult entertainment companies and is frequently accused of harassment-like practices once they obtain the identity of account holders. For example, the firm is known to call accused BitTorrent pirates at their homes, urging them to pay up.

Starting last week, however, these ‘live’ phone calls we replaced by so-called robocalls. Instead of a real person, the accused now hear a previously recorded message. While these calls may be cheap and effective, the way they are carried out by Prenda Law raises all sorts of question.

A transcript of the call was posted online by DTD and reads as follows. Note that the call suggests that the defendant is working for the law firm.

“This is [accused name] with Prenda Law. With our clients offer to settle being expired now for more than 30 days it is pretty clear to them that you don’t plan to enter into a settlement agreement with them which is fine. This call is to inform you that we are going to start the process of filing a lawsuit with your name in it.”

“At first, you will receive time sensitive documents. We have found that most people do have an attorney review them. If you would like to get an idea of what the complaint will look like just go to our website www{.}wefightpiracy{.}com. We do have some of our recent filings there. If you have any questions give us a call. We can be reached at 305-748-2102 and your reference number is xxxx.”

An interesting technique, but also one that might actually be against the law, as Sophisticated Jane Doe points out. For example, while robocalls are allowed in some states, they are not in others.

Perhaps more worryingly is the suggestion that Prenda Law is targeting their entire database of defendants with these calls. This means that defendants whose cases have been dismissed (even with prejudice) are contacted as well.

The same is true for those defendants who already hired a lawyer. Directly contacting a defendant who’s represented by an attorney is frowned upon, to say the least.

The above shows that the law firms retained by copyright holders can go to extremes to get their settlement fees. In recent months several judges realized this. For example, in the Eastern District of New York they are advised to throw these cases out because they’re a “waste of judicial resources”. In other cases we’ve seen that judges specifically state that ISPs can’t reveal telephone numbers of account holders.

The law firms, however, are smart enough to evade jurisdictions where they are not welcome. And as long as they can convince alleged pirates to settle, through robocalls or not, they will continue business as usual.
END

They will have a job finding or getting through to me. The communication system in this country is of a Third World Standard.

.

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Old 19-06-12, 01:25   #2
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Default Re: ILLEGAL >>RoboTrolls Threaten BitTorrent Pirate Site Owners

The big key to all this is called Joinder. Joinder is why these firms are seeking judges that don't know better and they will at some point find them in the back waters or where there is a sympathetic judge that might not know better (though he should).

First and foremost in this massive extortion scheme, is convincing a judge to issue a discovery action. The discovery action pretty much gives the lawyer all the power he needs to find out who, where, when, and what. It also allows him to turn an IP number into a name and address. Now the thing is that discoveries are only issued for preparation of a court case. But the trolls have no interest in taking it to court as that costs money. Making money is what this is about, not spending it.

The joinder issue is key for a couple of reasons. One of them is financial. It costs to bring a case to court; court fees, lawyer fees, time spend developing defense lines, nothing is cheap. So getting a mass of people all on one court case and not individual is key to saving money. If you have to pay for each person to take to court that's a ton of money. The other reason joinder is important is that it has a reason to exist in the court of law. Joinder is used to bring more than one person into a case to be charged. But they must be shown to be involved directly with that case. Joinder doesn't really work when you compare file sharing though many have tried. From trying to say it was a conspiracy to commit copyfraud, to attempts at Class actions which do allow large amounts of people to be joined in to a single case. None of those hold water when you go to looking at how they are used compared to how they are intended to be used.

The last issue that makes all this illegal is that in the joinder process, the court most be within the jurisdiction of the accused. You can't hold court on an individual in California, in Flordia without some sort of legal tie. Either the company filing has to be in Flordia, the offense has to have been committed there, or the person sued has to reside there. But in these extortion cases, most of the IPs are for elsewhere outside the jurisdiction of the court and therefore illegal to file or make claim there. The court does not have jurisdiction over the case, nor the authority to try it.

These sorts of attempts have been tried over and over. Every time you find out that it is illegal or should never have been allowed. Robo calling is just an even more slimy way to do it after they have the data.
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