Court Finds Copyright Trolling Lawyer Evan Stone In Contempt; Orders Him To Pay Attorneys' Fees

from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept

Remember Evan Stone? He's one of a "new breed" of copyright trolling lawyers, who has been trying to sue large groups of John Does based on IP addresses, claiming they infringed on a client's work. Of course, the end game of these lawsuits is not to actually take these people to court, but to find out who they are, send them a nastygram... with an offer to "settle," and then get as many people to settle as possible. It's basically a way to use the court system to force lots of people to give you money. Thankfully, the courts have been cracking down on many of the more egregious players in these games. Evan Stone was one of the earlier players in this space in the US, but one who made a pretty big mistake last year while representing porn producer Mick Haig. One of his cases came before a judge who recognized how sketchy these lawsuits were, and told Stone that he couldn't subpoena for the Does' identities just yet, and in the meantime, he asked Public Citizen and EFF to represent the interests of the still anonymous users. Amazingly, Stone sent the subpoenas anyway. The appointed lawyers discovered this when they heard from one of the Does in question. When they confronted Stone about it, he dropped the case in the most petulant manner possible (basically whining about the judge appointing these meddlesome lawyers who kept him from getting his way).

In response, the lawyers at Public Citizen and EFF filed for sanctions against Stone... which they got, to the tune of $10,000. Stone, of course, appealed.

However, as you can see below, the court isn't buying it (not one bit). Not only does the court order him to pay attorneys' fees to Public Citizen and EFF (basically the $22,000 the lawyers asked for, though the court gets there through very slightly different math), but even more interestingly, the court also finds Stone in contempt and is requiring that he pay $500 per day until he pays the attorneys' fees owed...


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  1.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    $500 a day? Ouch.

    Also, thank reason for good judges!

     

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  2.  
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    Jim McGinn, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    I like this judge.

     

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  3.  
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    Mark, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    He was only following the guidance that was sent down from Rightshaven by not filing his appeal before the deadline.

    He saw it work so great for them, he thought he would give it a try as well.

     

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  4.  
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    KelvinZevallos (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    "whining about the judge appointing these meddlesome lawyers who kept him from getting his way"

    Seems this mystery is solved.

     

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  5.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    good news on techdirt?

    Wait a sec...

    Good news...coming out of the American legal system?

    Checks the ground...Yep, it's cold. Hell very possibly has frozen over...
    (either that or January in Canada are cold, but for now I'll go with the hell-froze-over hypothesis.)

     

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  6.  
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    Glen, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    And here I thought he was auditioning for Righthaven.

     

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  7.  
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    gorehound (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re: $500 a day? Ouch.

    Good !! One more scum down who knows how many more to go !

     

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  8.  
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    Donnicton, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 4:23pm

    From what I understand, he ignored the deadline and then filed a motion to stay the sanctions two days after he was required to pay the ten grand.

    Someone's been studying from the big book of Righthaven filing strategies.

     

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  9.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    The nasty ding is ordering him to serve the sanctions order in other courts. That had to be about sending a message. And it wasn't just that he had violated Rule 26 re early discovery -- he had brought a motion to be relieved of its obligations, then violated the rule. No arguing mistake ...

    The court only had to make a discretionary call (very tough to flip on appeal) per the violated rule itself. Awesome.

    Oh, and how would this Court even know to hire the EFF, et al? A: Was already up on this sort of thing. This order reads like a message to trolls everywhere.

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    I am no longer anonymous, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 5:57pm

    Masnick, two-faced shit, slimy, chubby.

     

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  11.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Re:

    Evan that is no way to talk about someone just reporting on your failure as a lawyer.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re:

    ...Yeah, maybe I should have include a sarc mark there.

     

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  13.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:07pm

    Mike you left off the best part about this case.
    While EFF and Public Citizen were in court before the Judge with Stone, Stone was hiding the fact from everyone he had already sent the subpoenas, his reasoning being that the RIAA used some clause (that later was thrown out by that Judge)that he was supposed to be able to send them. He was arguing his case why he should be allowed to shake people down, while already having begun the shakedown. He could not understand why the Judge was angry.
    But thinkgs are looking up for Stone he changed over the DC courts for his latest round of shakedowns, DC home of the Judge (Read RIAA Shill) who thinks Does have no rights or interests in their records.

    And of course there could be no connection between Funimation (his employer) acquiring the US rights to IP Man and IP Man II based on how well it was being torrented, even if the cases against those alleged infringers was filed before the ink was even dry on them getting the US rights.

    Of course IP Man and IP Man II highlight that it isn't people wanting it for free, they just want it. There was no US distribution deal before that, so the market had a void that consumers filled themselves because no one thought they wanted the content. Nothing like being deaf to the demands of the market until you can extort much more money from people who would have been your customers if only you'd bothered.

     

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  14.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Damn you, ruining my chances for one of the funniest spots for the week.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't actually know if our new favourite troll IS Evan Stone, but I'm sure he'll still be happy enough to refer to Mike as the above few buzzwords I've included. After all, he's magically no longer anonymous.

     

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  16.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Re:

    They do seem to be deaf to the message thou.
    I think IO Group just ended the last of their named cases, dismissed with prejudice IIRC.

    Randazza and his henchlings are moving forward with mass cases (well outside of the 4 month window) as well as named cases. My favorite is the case that almost went to default judgement, and the reason is the proof of service on the subpoena shows a nonexistant address... funny how the court in Boston seems unable to notice a huge error like that.

    Steele has moved to Florida and made up a new name for his firm to abuse the Writ of Pure Discovery law there, using a state court for a federal law case... yeah that is fair. German tracking firms are setting up machines in FL so they can argue FL is the proper jurisdiction.

    No Judge has demanded an independent review of the methods used to identify the alleged infringers, something that confounds me after Steele super expensive never wrong system identified a grandmother and when the media questioned Steele's shakedown tactics he publicly admitted there was a mistake.

    Oh and then there was the Steele associate who told a Judge in open court that they had mislead the court in the filing that IP address was enough to identify people and wanted access to the accused home and every computing device and storage device they owned.

    Randazza, not to be outdone, has stepped up his game by floating his argument that even if you aren't the one who did it, it happened on your account and your then responsible to pay for it. Guess he is hoping no one informs the court of how easy it is to hack even secured WiFi and how the owner might be totally unaware of others using the connection because there isn't a meter ticking up showing data usage.

    I'm sure SJD will be along shortly with more details I missed.

     

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  17.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It just seemed to fit perfectly at the time.
    Besides Stone hates me more than Mike, I've been on his trail since he started with his Lucas Entertainment cases.

    I exposed how he was actually actively participating in the alleged infringment, making it worse.
    I exposed his 2nd hand fax machine with the phone # of a charity stored in it.
    I exposed his office as a mail drop box place.
    I mocked his neighbors ugly couch.

     

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  18.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It just seemed to fit perfectly at the time.
    Besides Stone hates me more than Mike, I've been on his trail since he started with his Lucas Entertainment cases.

    I exposed how he was actually actively participating in the alleged infringment, making it worse.
    I exposed his 2nd hand fax machine with the phone # of a charity stored in it.
    I exposed his office as a mail drop box place.
    I mocked his neighbors ugly couch. true story.
    I mocked him in forums where he was hiding under a pseudonym, tracking what was being said about him and the cases. (At least Randazza's spy was upfront about being a spy).

    He hates me because methodically and logically I pointed out all of the hurdles and flaws in what he was doing and got people to think rationally instead of pulling out their checkbook in fear.
    That and I've been there at every single screw up he has managed to pull laughing my ass off.

    sorry about dbl post... i accidentally htmled

     

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  19.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jan 26th, 2012 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re:

    You keep saying Randazza. Are you certain that's who you think it is?

    Or are there two notable Randazzas and I'm not aware of the fact?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 11:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm starting to wonder if this is actually a good way to flush out the trolls and shills that frequent the site: draw attention to their tactics and force them back under the bridge. It seems to have largely worked so far:

    - Copying /ootb's/ slashes and focusing on his $100 million dollar movie
    - Forcing Technopolitical to cite his supposed PhDs and calling him out on his refusal to edit his posts
    - Accusing the e.e.troll (the one who refused to capitalise any letters) of being TAM
    - Pointing out Average Joe's dislike of fair use despite using it

    Of course, darryl is an exception as a result of his erraticity. To satirise darryl would be to render one's post unreadable which is not the point of satire. Still, it seems that consistent repetition of shilly buzzwords is working.

     

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  21.  
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    lsk, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:33am

    he should have settled out of court :p

     

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  22.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 2:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Marc Randazza champion of free speech, slayer of Righthaven, Gay Porn copyright shakedown troll.

     

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  23.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Meh I just assign them names that stick...
    like our new special friend... Paywall Bob :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 2:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I will even make it easy to see...
    http://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=marc+randazza

    Copyright trolls- I hate them, they hate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:07am

    Re:

    Going off-topic, is it possible for comments to become un-"report"ed? I visited the site earlier in the day and it had been flagged. As of writing, it isn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    - Forcing Technopolitical to cite his supposed PhDs and calling him out on his refusal to edit his posts

    Actually it was his refusal to acknowledge my (genuine) PhD and then his refusal to apologise when it was proved to him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:24am

    Re: good news on techdirt?

    Hi, as you all know, I'm the devil, also known as Satan, but you can call me toby, if you like.

    I believe all of you have recently noticed a certain lack temperation. I assure you this is not a problem with the heating system, but because of the recent economic downturn and the rising energy prices we decided that open flames and boiling oil are not any longer a effective use of or ressources.

    Yes, Yes adolf, I know that doesn't explain why you and stalin just froze in place. Truth is, that the costs of our growing legal department to defend against the **AAs claims that we are to pay royalties for their recent productions because of their potential use as audio visual torturing applications. That, by the way is plain absurd, we might be cruel, but even we have limits, so nobody has to fear to be subjected to twilight or justin bieber down here.

    And no, the masochists in row 3 are not getting an exception. That would totally bankrupt us and NOT giving it seems to be a cheaper way to torture you at the moment.

    So, were was I, ah yes, because of those bastards we had to spent all our energy budget this year on the shipping costs for the legal communications.

    So, in evaluation of these events, I officially have to admit, Hell indeed has frozen over. But don't worry, we are currently developing a new concept of operations. Until the new concept is finalized we decided to reopen temporarily as a winter sports resort.

    We hope to be in our regular business as soon as possible but I can't currently not predict when this might be.

    So, everybody enjoy yourselves while it last.

    And for the execs that got us into this mess, I am really looking forward for your visit, once regular operations have resumed, I promise, we really WILL have a very special place just for you.

    Yours truly, Toby the devil

     

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  28.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: $500 a day? Ouch.

    The shadow dunno, but I betcha SJD knows...
    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/

    its a start....

     

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  29.  
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    wvhillbilly, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    My question: How can these trolls claim damage when they don't even own the material in question and have no interest in it other than running a shakedown racket?

    They're nothing but parasites and it's high time someone called them for what they are.

     

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  30.  
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    wvhillbilly, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    My question: How can these trolls claim damage when they don't even own the material in question and have no interest in it other than running a shakedown racket?

    They're nothing but parasites and it's high time someone called them for what they are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re:

    Their client is the owner of the "film" in question.
    The client pays nothing for this little exercise, all of the lawyer fees and such are taken as a cut form the settlements with the rest going to the producer who has lost kajillions of dollars for people seeing the porn without paying.

    The game is to get your target to admit guilt either directly or indirectly and get as much money as you can. You do not want to actually ever take one of them into a courtroom without a confession because a defense lawyer would raise the serious questions about the reliability of the IP address gathering and identifying the responsible party.
    While we remain on this wild IP is our greatest asset kick, I expect these sorts of shakedowns will continue.

     

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  32.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: $500 a day? Ouch.

    I do, I do.

    I other news (I wonder why no one noticed it earlier...):

    Kenneth Ford is charged with 2 felonies including forging a Court Order

     

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  33.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm slow in updating my blog recently - overwhelmed at work... But I diligently tweet all the #copyright trolling related news I stumble upon. So if anyone wants to stay updated, follow me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Life is not a Hollywood western (black hats/white hats). Admittedly Randazza (himself, but mostly people from his firm) did a great job sinking Righthaven. Yet I hope he will be eventually sanctioned for his other deeds that are based on a methodology not so different from Righthaven's.

    Some (even good) people can't survive a cognitive dissonance attack and insist that Randazza is an angel.

    But he is a monster (see TAC's link above.) I even proposed a new name for his firm "Janus Law", but unfortunately this name is already taken by a guy who does not understand irony.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Their client is the owner of the "film" in question.
    The client pays nothing for this little exercise, all of the lawyer fees and such are taken as a cut form the settlements with the rest going to the producer who has lost kajillions of dollars for people seeing the porn without paying.

    The game is to get your target to admit guilt either directly or indirectly and get as much money as you can. You do not want to actually ever take one of them into a courtroom without a confession because a defense lawyer would raise the serious questions about the reliability of the IP address gathering and identifying the responsible party.
    While we remain on this wild IP is our greatest asset kick, I expect these sorts of shakedowns will continue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Re:

    And I would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling lawyers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    BadAgain (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 9:34pm

    Mr. Evan Stone is back at it again! This time he's helping a camgirl by the name of Jalyn (Lisa Paige McBride). He has just sent a bunch of subpeonas to various websites, host providers, registrars, etc.! He has filed apparently with the District Courts of North Texas, even though McBride resides in Illinois.

    We were told that when one of the websites, that he is filing against, sent him an email asking what the camgirl wanted, his resply was "I do not know who this is and I will not discuss settlement with anyone but a listed defendant after that defendant makes an appearance in the case."

    I wrote the website and they wrote back giving me his reply and said they are located physically in the Netherlands. By the way, Evan Stone has apparently even sent a subpoena to the Dutch Chamber Of Commerce!

    EFF and Public Citizen need to get involved in this case to stop Evan Stone again from gathering IPs only to scare into settlements and according to his reply to the websites email, he wants a settlement, but he has gone way above and beyond by sending a subpoena to another country's Chamber of Commerce to gather IP addresses and information.

    EFF and Public Citizen need to review this case carefully and sanction Evan Stone again for repeating what he is commonly known for doing that got him in trouble last time.

    The website said the case number is 5:13-cv-00986-DAE and was filed with the District Court of North Texas, apparently.

    I have no further information, other than what the website told me and now they are hush about it, but want to know what can be done about Evan Stone's practices.

     

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  38.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    He never quit.
    He was running trolling for Funamation after he got the judicial beatdown.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    BadAgain, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Re:

    So, how to get PublicCitizen and EFF to look into his actions on this new case?? Apparently, Even has sent out subpoenas again (as before) and is getting companies, on this case, to send him and IP addresses, copies of emails and more! This Evan needs to be looked at again by the PublicCitizen and EFF. How do the get involved or how can someone get them involved?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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