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Payback Time Nears for Victims of Prenda Law’s “Porno-Trolling Collective”
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The known business model of Prenda Law is to file lawsuits against John Doe defendants and send people IP address subpoenas showing they have infringed copyrights when downloading porn porn has been downloaded illegally from their computers or IP addresses. People settle and pay up. Prenda Law does a roaring business.

For those hit by the porno-trolling collective, it’s time to keep your eyes glued to the developments of AF Holdings LLC v. Patel in Georgia.

  
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A recent Comcast response to a subpoena in the matter links a user called Sharkmp4 to Prenda Law and to uploading and running a honeypot of porn torrents on Pirate Bay. Pirate Bay cooperated readily in the matter and found the IP address of Sharkmp4 was a Comcast IP. Comcast’s response shows the IP subscriber is Steele Hansmeier PLLC, which is a sister concern of Prenda Law. If proved, this means they had been uploading the stuff illegally all the time, and pouncing on whoever downloaded, forcing them to pay up.

For years, Prenda has been filing and settling suits against thousands of “John Doe” defendants who had no clue as to how Prenda knew they had illegally downloaded a porn file from a torrent. Now the picture is getting clearer.

In explaining the business model of Prenda Law in a lawsuit brought by Prenda in a California federal court, U.S. District Judge Otis Wright had observed, while issuing an order of sanction against Prenda, earlier this year:

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“Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system. They’ve discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle – for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn. So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow, starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry.”

Wright termed the law firm as “the porno-trolling collective” in the matter where the federal court found the plaintiff “defrauded the Court by asserting a copyright assignment secured with a stolen identity…” He also termed the lawsuits brought by Prenda as “cottage-industry lawsuits.”



The “porno-trolling collective” consists of Steele Hansmeier PLLC and/or Livewire Holdings LLC and Prenda Law Inc., AF Holdings LLC and/or Ingenuity 13, LLC, 6881 Forensics, LLC along with their associates.

However, what Judge Wright could not lay his finger on is being discovered in the matter of AF Holdings LLC v. Patel in Georgia, where Judge William C. O’Kelley has allowed discovery against the porno-trolling collective, resulting in the recent revelations that seem to directly link Prenda Law to running the honeypot of porno torrents, and baiting and catching people for shakedowns.



 

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