First Hand Account Of Judicial Smackdown Of Prenda In Minnesota

from the a-bit-of-confusion dept

Yesterday we had a story about how a judge in Minnesota, Judge Ann Alton, angrily accused Paul Hansmeier of fraud in the lawsuit filed by Alan Cooper against Prenda. There was some confusion by the judge about whether Cooper and Godfread were in on the fraud too, which seems to have made the judge less open to possible damages against Prenda. Either way, without a court reporter, Matthew Sparby, who was in attendance, wrote up the following first-hand account of what happened in the court room. It's definitely disappointing to see that the judge made a few bad assumptions about Cooper/Godfread, but good to see that she knew that Prenda has been up to no good.

I am not an attorney. I attended today's hearing out of curiosity and convenience. I happened to have an appointment across the street from the Hennepin County Government Center today and decided that it would be interesting to see the wheels of justice in motion first hand. As such, it is important to note that these are the observations of a layperson.

As the session started, Judge Alton announced that there was no live court reporter and that there was an audio recording being made instead.

Two other cases were called first, and then the Judge called Cooper vs. Prenda. She began by saying, "This one gives me a lot of pause." Then the attorneys introduced themselves.

Paul Godfread was present representing Alan Cooper (who was not in attendance) and Paul Hansmeier was present representing Prenda, et al. He sat alone at the table and I don't believe any other Prenda principals were in attendance.

Judge Alton then started off by addressing Hansmeier saying that it would appear he had a bit of a conflict relating to some findings of law, "[an] order from a US District Court Judge sanctioning you for fraud, among other things." She went on to say, "I'm not sure I should hear you at all." She asked Hansmeier if Morgan Pietz had filed the list of Bar Associations to which the Prenda principals were admitted as well as whether Pietz had sent copies of Judge Wright's order to all of the other Judges presiding over Prenda cases. Hansmeier replied, "I believe he did, your honor."

Judge Alton was clearly agitated going into this. In reference to the Prenda business model she said, "This is fraud, clear and simple." She also said, "I will be reporting this to the Lawyers Board." In fact, she would make a similar comment at least one more time at the end of the hearing. Still addressing Hansmeier, she went on, "Your involvement in this case is a TRAVESTY!" She added impact (both figuratively and literally) to that point by slapping her hand on the bench.

If I closed my eyes, I could have very easily assumed I was watching an episode of Judge Judy at this point. Judge Alton's passion and inflection as she admonished Prenda's behavior was, quite frankly, a tremendous surprise to me as a non-attorney. My discussions with actual attorneys after the hearing confirmed the abnormality of the scene.

In an attempt to defend their activities, Hansmeier referenced the the actions of the RIAA and MPAA. Judge Alton was unimpressed. She told him, "That doesn't mean you become your own zealot!" Further berating Prenda's pattern of mailing threatening settlement letters to alleged copyright violators, Judge Alton said, "You are guilty of fraud every time you send one of these letters." Hansmeier then began to reference the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case. Again, the Judge wasn't interested, interrupting with a curt, "So what?"

Now things got a little bit confusing. The Judge called Paul Hansmeier a fraud. Then she said that Alan Cooper is a fraud and that Paul Godfread may be a fraud as well. I looked to the person sitting next to me and the look on his face showed the same confusion. Quite humbly, Godfread told Judge Alton that he took exception to being labeled a fraud. He tried to clarify the situation but his message didn't seem to get through. In fact, for much of the hearing, Judge Alton was under the impression that Judge Wright's order actually implicated Alan Cooper as a Prenda Principal. Luckily this comes up again later.

As Godfread was explaining Cooper's actual position in reference to Judge Wright's findings, Hansmeier objected. He complained that there was no evidence to support the findings and said that they weren't given the opportunity to cross examine Cooper during the sanctions hearing in Los Angeles.

Throughout the hearing, Judge Alton would frequently refer back to Judge Wright's sanctions order, reading portions of it both to herself and out loud to clarify various points including asking where "Nevis" is. Godfread said it was an island in the Caribbean, most commonly known as an offshore tax haven. While he was saying this, Hansmeier was shaking his head.

The Judge continued to review the various exhibits filed with the case and Paul Hansmeier again raised the issue of not having been given the opportunity to cross examine Alan Cooper in L.A. Judge Alton glared at him saying, "That, right now, does not concern me."

She then turned her attention to Godfread saying, "You're not going to get any damages out of me. I don't give damages when everyone is a fraud." Again, she appeared to be under the impression that Alan Cooper was complicit in Prenda's actions. Godfread repeated his earlier assertions that Cooper was merely a caretaker for John Steele's property in Minnesota. The Judge then said, "Mr. Steele worked for Prenda Law which is running these phony lawsuits."

After reading further into Judge Wright's findings, Judge Alton finally identified the portion that clearly separated Alan Cooper from Prenda's actions and identified him as a victim of their fraud rather than a willing participant.

Unfortunately, this new realization didn't seem to alter Judge Alton's stance on refusing to grant any damages. Godfread decided to approach it from a different angle, though. In lieu of damages, he suggested that Judge Alton order Prenda to return all of the settlement money it had received over the course of its campaign. Judge Alton rejected that suggestion saying that it wouldn't be possible unless, via discovery or other means, they are able to determine how much money that actually is.

The Judge then took a moment to reiterate that Prenda's methods of threatening people are not allowed before moving on to the topic of service. This is, after all, a Default Hearing. Hansmeier repeated the assertion that Prenda never received service of the complaint. The judge looked through the folder in front of her and suggested that Godfread may not have properly served Prenda. She asked Godfread if he served them through publication. He said that he didn't, but told her that, as shown in his Affidavit of Service, he sent the complaint and the interrogatories via certified mail and provided a receipt from the US Postal Service showing that it was received by Prenda on March 18th. He also refers to the fact that Prenda DID respond to the interrogatories, so how can they claim they never received service of the rest of it? Judge Alton then said, "That will satisfy me."

Hansmeier then claims that Duffy received only the interrogatories and not the complaint, and that Godfread's receipt doesn't prove that the complaint was sent in that envelope. The Judge responded with, "Mr. Duffy's credibility is not good and he's not here."

Judge Alton then asked Godfread about other facts such as whether they have proof that Prenda was keeping the settlement money. Godfread said that Hansmeier himself admitted as much. Hansmeier responded saying, "That is categorically false."

The Judge then asked if Cooper had actually testified to the fact that he did not authorize the use of his name in the AF Holdings cases. Godfread confirmed that Cooper did testify to that. Then, talking to Godfread, Judge Alton said, "I can't find a conspiracy to harm him. I believe you but I can't find it."

She then made her order. She ordered that Prenda and its principals immediately cease using Alan Cooper's name, "and that's all. That's as far as I'll go."

In parting, she addressed Paul Hansmeier, once again saying, "I believe you to be in violation of a whole lot of rules." She then repeated her earlier statement that she was forwarding the case folder to the Lawyers Board.

And that was the end. Judge Alton then called a recess before the next case.

After leaving the courtroom, I sat down with another observer for a cup of coffee as we discussed how strange the hearing was. A few minutes later, Paul Godfread walked up and we chatted for a while about how the hearing had unfolded in such an unexpected way. He understandably lamented the lack of a damage award. When I told him that following all of this over the last several months has been educational, he expressed a fear of it being a poor source of education given how atypical these proceedings have been.

Still, I'm glad that I was able to attend today and I would encourage other members of the laity like myself to make an effort to observe these kinds of proceedings themselves. It was a truly fascinating experience.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Given the confusion regarding Cooper, and the fact that she originally thought he was involved in the entire mess rather than a victim of it, I almost have to wonder if she was reading Wright's filling fully for the first time while in the court room, and had just skimmed it beforehand.

    Disappointing that she didn't award any fees to Cooper/Godfread, but I have to imagine that the fact that she plans to pass the case file to what I assume is the agency in charge of the lawyers of the state has got to have the Prenda gang quite worried, as a more thorough investigation into their actions is the last thing they want.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    I can see that it might be of interest about once a week, but clearly your mania is due to the copyright related aspects and your notion that a few bad lawyers should mean end all copyright.


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    ZOMG! Yet another item on Prenda Law! A staple in the soporific "At The Bench" series. Mike sez (short version): "Wow. Wow. Wow. ... The story is gripping."
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130303/23353022182/prenda-law-sues-critics-defamation .shtml
    03:58:55[d-365-1]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:08am

    just love you command of english

    Either way, without a court reporter, Matthew Sparby, who was in attendance, wrote up the following first-hand account of what happened in the court room.

    WTG Techdope

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:11am

    Re: Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    It's the TechPrenda show.. every child player wins a prize.

    Roll up, Roll up.

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Wow, you guys really obsess over these guys. You do realize that there's all kinds of dirtbags out there who do way worse things, right?

     

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  6.  
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    Call me Al, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    Yes but those ones aren't as funny.

     

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  7.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    And going by your logic, only the very worst of crimes should be talked about or tried in court, everyone else can walk because someone else did it a bit worse than they did. Hey Joe, let's conflate rape with copyright infringement again! Harry can walk away free after raping 5 kids, cause Tom in the court room next door raped 7. Hooray for the legal system!

     

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    bob, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:18am

    usual rubbish from average joe and out of the blue, never mind.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:18am

    John Steele just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Re: Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    "your notion that a few bad lawyers should mean end all copyright."

    Makes a change from your constant obsessive lying, such as the above falsehood. Seriously, you can tell when there's no way to defend the actions of despicable people in certain stories, because all you guys can do is whine that they're written about!

     

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  11.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Re: just love you command of english

    Other than the last few words being superfluous, (should have stopped at first hand account)...the sentence does work perfectly in English. What about your sentence? "Just love YOU command of english"? It's Your, not You, and English has a capital letter!

     

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  12.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    Yeah, you tirelessly defend them in most comment threads. Here, all you have is a pathetic attempt at deflection.

     

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  13.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: just love you command of english

    Grammar Nazi attempt that makes 3 grammar violations in the first 3 words! I love it :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:25am

    "Now things got a little bit confusing. The Judge called Paul Hansmeier a fraud. Then she said that Alan Cooper is a fraud and that Paul Godfread may be a fraud as well"

    this freaking Judge, does not have a clue what she is talking about, and should leave it up to people who actually know what they are doing..

    Has anyone been charged with fraud ?? if not she has committed liable, and has no concept of innocent UNTIL PROVEN !!!!..

    You want a TRAVESTY !!!! there it is..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    darryl just hates it when due process is enforced, too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Way to slander .. Mrs Judge..

    It would also be considered "contempt' of court and not admissible if it had come from anyone else, and I guess this judge is too stupid to excuse herself from further proceedings and be replaced by someone,, you know.... competent !!!!

     

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    PRMan, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    Ready to confess, Joe? Go ahead... Sounds interesting...

     

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  18.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    Each exciting episode of Prenda Law:
    1. is more entertaining than most Hollywood tripe
    2. is reality
    3. has no commercials
    4. can be freely shared and discussed
    5. costs nothing
    6. is public domain
    7. is educational
    8. and really rankles you because of the the preceding items

    But why go all Prenda, all the time? There are so many other clowns to laugh at. I'll give you a hint:
    In an attempt to defend their activities, Hansmeier referenced the the actions of the RIAA and MPAA.
    Look judge, there are bigger criminals than us, see?

     

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  19.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    Less than average joe writes:
    Wow, you guys really obsess over these guys. You do realize that there's all kinds of dirtbags out there who do way worse things, right?
    Yes, there are bigger dirtbags that do way worse. Let me give an example.
    In an attempt to defend their activities, Hansmeier referenced the the actions of the RIAA and MPAA.
    Look judge, there are bigger criminals than Prenda, see?

    They got away with this copyright trolling extortion shakedown racket and abuse of the court system to send "settlement letters" for a long time before the courts caught on. So why shouldn't we be able to get away with it too?

    But the RIAA/MPAA were smart enough to see the end of copyright trolling, and switched to Sick Strikes instead.

    But TechDirt is not obsessed with Prenda. It covers lots of other great topics. DMCA takedown abuse. DMCA criminalizing unlocking and circumventing for legal purposes. Hollywood violating its own most holy copyright laws. Hollywood buying the government and encouraging corruption. And many other interesting topics than just Prenda.

     

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  20.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    John Steele just hates it and thinks it is unfair that judges are so biased against perpetrating multiple simultaneous frauds upon the court while using the court as a tool in an extortion shakedown.

    This bias on the part of the judges is brazenly obvious.

    This bias is unfair to the John Steel who has stated he has a goal of making $10,000 per day from extortion shakedown settlement letters.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    You mad, Nora? Still obsessed with calling everyone children I see. Are you trying to project something?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: just love you command of english

    )...the sentence does work perfectly in English. the

    'the' with a capital T please, such as The for the start of a new sentence.

    your , followed by brackets is not correct either, being superfluous.

    "about how a judge in Minnesota" capital for "judge" making it Judge as well.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    average_joe really hates it when due process is enforced by the courts.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    You're in no position to criticise anyone for their standard of English, darryl. Your usage of language is an insult to any thinking organism with a culture involving words. Talk to any solar panels lately?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    Reason is entertainment from watching asshats from getting their just deserts. If other copystupids that fleece the public at large were being raked over the coals we'd saddle up to those posts with marshmallows too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    And that was the end. Judge Alton then called a recess before the next case.

    So a complete sentence starting with "And" and ending with "end".

    And that was the end

    What the fuck does that suppose to mean?

    I guess he really was trying to say

    And that was the end, Judge Alton then called a recess before the next case.

    btw, it's not a 'recess' if they go onto another case.

    A recess is when you take a recess, and get back to that particular case.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    "Wow, you guys really obsess over these guys. You do realize that there's all kinds of dirtbags out there who do way worse things, right?"

    You shouldn't talk that way about the people who sign your paychecks...

    ...Or were you implicating yourself? In which case I'd start taking a card out of the Prenda book and plead the 5th...

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    Oh you were commenting on the article as a whole? Rather than trying to find fault with a single sentence that grammatically doesn't have any faults? Also where is there a case of your followed by brackets? I've just searched for all instances of the word your, and nowhere on this page is there a bracket next to the word, so I don't know where you got that from.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re:

    Has anyone been charged of convicted of fraud?

    By anyone, I mean anyone of the people this Judge stated had committed fraud?

    If not then what is stopping them from laying charges against this Judge for liable/slander?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also for contempt of Court!

     

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    jackn, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Its a shame that people are able to judge without knowing the facts. Well, I guess -like the general population - there are stupid judges too.

    To bad someone can't claim incompetence (not just on this case) of a judge and have them quickly removed from service. esp when they are doing the kind of damage this judge has done. I am sure this pattern of not knowing what you are ruling on is not isolated to this case.

    Does this judge normally handle other complaints (like family court?). This seems a little out of her league.

    What a stupid judge. I guess this is why the wheels turn slowly. 5 steps forward and one idiot judge sends it 3 steps back.

     

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  32.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    "committed liable"

    this freaking Judge, does not have a clue what she is talking about, and should leave it up to people who actually know what they are doing..

    So you are obviously out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, due process, that would include a stupid Judge accusing everyone and anyone of fraud.

    Also displaying a complete understanding of the law, which is somewhat surprising from a "Judge"!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, Judges getting up in Court and accusing everyone she can thing of, of fraud is 'due process'. It's a clear display of bias, and also a display of a complete understanding of her job and responsibilities.

    She clearly does not have a clue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    Jealous, Joe?

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, I am not a Judge, nor do I propose that I am.

    On the other hand, she IS a Judge, and displays almost total ignorance.

    I am also not biased either way, fact is I don't really give a flying fuck about Prenda, whatever that is. Or Alice Cooper, though he does write some great songs.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I always though "Prenda" was a brand of handbag's.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Alton has access to all the information Wright has. Hansmeier failed to break new ground or account for all the holes in testimony or paperwork. When asked to explain himself he went "But, but, but, RIAA!"

    You keep wanting to believe anyone who punishes copyright enforcers is bad, and we should all feel bad. Keep talking to your solar panels, you incompetent boob. They're obviously the only intelligent life form you can communicate with.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Alan. Alan Cooper. A man, who is a caretaker and not a FEMALE singer.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So Judge Wright must also be a stupid judge for stating that Prenda Law is committing fraud on the court. You are just butt hurt that your idols are getting slapped down for breeching the law in what they have done.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For someone who doesn't "give a flying fuck" you are pulling out all the stops to make them look good. I'd be inclined to believe you - what the hell would supporting Prenda do for you all the way in Australia, anyway? - if not for the fact we already know you're more full of shit than a clogged toilet.

     

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    Yer Gramma, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    "That was the end." Recess is merely a break in proceedings. The business of the court was suspended and was to continue. It does not have to imply that the same case would resume.

    Thanks for playing.

     

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    Anon E. Mous (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Where is Nora? Maybe she is busy posting away somewhere as BitTorrentBetty.

    Love how the Judge kept shooting down Hansmeier "We didn't get to question Alan Cooper" Defence. I notice that he conveniently forgot to mention how He and the rest of the Prenda gang took the 5th.

    Another referral to the State Bar, that's twice now for Hansmeier, he better do and apply for that driving course at Truck Masters he may need it.

    With Gibbs, Duffy and Hansmeier all being referred to the various State Bar they belong to, and the possibility they could lose their licence to practice, which will leave their career choice dead in the water but yet leaves Steele unscathed.

    You would have to think their is going to be a little animosity creeping in to the minds of Gibbs, Duffy and Hansmeier that they are taking the brunt of the court beatdowns while Steele (who is allegedly retired from the practice of law) is left with his law careers intact so to speak.

    So if the IRS brought a case forward or a RICO indictment
    came down, you would be foolish not to think that Gibbs, Duffy or Hansmeier would consider a deal to save themselves from harms way and maybe to extract a little revenge on Stelle who has escaped virtually unscathed where his licence to practice is concerned compared to the others.

    I wonder how Steele is sleeping at night knowing that Gibbs would be the first good candidate to cut a deal since Gibbs seems to be on the outside looking in as far as Team Prenda is concerned.

    It will be interesting to see what the Federal & State AG's come up with in their investigation and the IRS Criminal Division with their investigation of Team Prenda.

    I would bet their are a lot of people are moving their assets in to wives, girlfriends (or boyfriends if your so inclined, right Nora -er- I mean John) and even Pet's names to avoid a possible forfeiture of assets.

    Of course there is also the possibility if a RICO indictment comes down that some long Jail sentences could fall on some of Team Prenda, unless of course some of Team Prenda cuts a deal, but I would bet Steele will be the guy holding the bag.

    Of course just my opinion, but who knows one day our dream may come true.

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re:

    When have I defended them? I recall pointing out that the court in California would not have general jurisdiction, but I did say it would have specific jurisdiction which is all it needs. That's not defending them. That's pointing out that the claim about general jurisdiction was incorrect. Got anything else, or is this just a faith-based assertion?

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re:

    average_joe really hates it when due process is enforced by the courts.

    I love due process. I think that H. has a point that the sanctions are probably criminal, not civil, and that he was not afforded due process. If this were Dotcom or similar, Mike would be going apeshit about the apparent lack of due process. There would be article after article after article about how the person was getting railroaded. But since it's H., we get nothing. It's a total double standard. I care about everyone's due process rights equally.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not hand. Douche.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "what the hell would supporting Prenda do for you all the way in Australia, anyway? - "

    To get up your nose, and Mick the nicks.

    It's an easy source of amusement.

    It's managed to get you all upset, job done!

    As I said, I don't support Prenda, I don't care what or who Prenda is, (therefore the flying fuck thing).

    It's funny you can almost see the conversation between Mick the nick and Sparby..

    Masnic:

    "For Prenda = Bad"

    "Against Prenda = Good"

    Do you understand Sparby ???

    Sparby "I think so, can you run it by me one more time, just to make sure?"

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re:

    Don't I know it. If anything remotely bad happens to anyone pro-copyright, that's front page news on TD, aka, Pirate Central. But if anything remotely bad happens to someone pro-piracy, that's the end of the world and a complete miscarriage of justice that does nothing but discredit the entire copyright system. But yeah, Mike's not pro-piracy and he's just on the fence about whether there's any propriety to copyright in general.

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re:

    Sign my paychecks? LOL!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Got you pissed off, that is enough reward in itself.

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re:

    Of what? I just think it's funny how completely obsessed you guys are about these idiots because, gasp, they're anti-piracy. Copyright enforcement threaten you much?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe Alice Cooper is a caretaker too !!

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re:

    Oh, I think it's pretty funny when an obvious pirate gets his comeuppance and Mike scrambles, desperately, to throw out any argument he can think of or "borrow" (usually the latter) to defend them. And it's funny too how Mike cares nothing about whether these idiots are getting railroaded and denied their due process rights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I had a clogged toilet the other day, then I made you get out of my toilet and it was not clogged anymore!

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, we're "obsessed" over the many abuses of the legal system they were perpetrating, like shoddy evidence, baseless legal threats and ignoring orders from judges. Not that they're "anti-piracy".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Jesus Christ when I said I wanted to hire these guys to dig me a hole to China last week I did not mean a crater the size of Nevada.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Prenda wasn't pro-copyright. It was pro-"Try and abuse the legal system to rake in millions in the name of copyright".

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You ignore willingly that Hansmeier is suffering due to his own actions. He and the rest of the Prenda gang, PLED THE FIFTH. That was the end of their due process. They willingly and knowingly ended any attempts for them to tell their side of the story when they admitted that any attempts by them to do so would either catch them in a lie or truthfully reveal their abuses of the law.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Look here, folks. You heard it from Average_Joe. To be pro-copyright, you have to be equated to a group of thuggish lawyers who demand millions all over shoddy evidence and baseless threats. To him, that's what being pro-copyright is.

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, if that hearing was criminal in nature, which it seems to me it was despite the underlying infringement action being a civil action, then drawing any inferences from the silence is impermissible. If you read H's brief, he points out other ways in which his due process rights may have been violated. My point is that I care about that because I care about everyone's due process rights. Mike glosses over those arguments because the thought of H's due process rights being violated doesn't bother him. The fact is that judges don't typically investigate, charge, and punish criminals. Even if H is guilty, he deserves the same due process as everyone else. But, of course, Mike enjoys the thought of this guy getting railroaded, no matter whether his constitutional rights are violated or not. I don't operate that way.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    Are you trying to give grammar lessons?

    Don't. Just... don't.

    (p.s. your "corrected" version is a comma splice)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    "Other than the last few words being superfluous, (should have stopped at first hand account)...

    notice the comma after the word "superfluous"?

    Notice the bracket after the comma ?

    also noticed the lack of "" encasing "first hand account"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    It probably should read as

    Other than the last few words being superfluous, it should have stopped at "first hand account".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    That's "TechDirtbags" thanks!

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Judges enjoy wide exemption from slander and defamation laws because otherwise that would be freaking crazy you nut.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    Yeah so? The point is, you were the guy originally bringing up grammar/spelling mistakes, while making plenty of his own. That means you have no standing.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You care about everyone's due process rights? What about in all the articles leading up to Six Strikes, you were praising it as if it were a gift from God? There's no due process there, it's six accusations and you're out.

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you actually suggesting the judge should hold him/her self in contempt of him/her self?

    As for your question: has anyone the judge accused of fraud been convicted of fraud: there is this thing called due process that Hollywood is unfamiliar with. Be patient. The convictions will come. (Unlike the Hollywood case of accusation == guilt.)

    As for libel (yes, that's the correct spelling) or slander, statements in court are privileged. The context matters. If someone accuses you of molesting squirrels in public, that may be actionable. If they accuse you in court, it is not. Quoting the court accusation is not libel, because there is a record to follow in the court to eventually find out if the accusation was proven or not.

     

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    Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's got nothing to do with them being anti-piracy. Indeed, there's little shown to suggest that they are anti-piracy.

    Jumping on the bandwagon of copyright trolling doesn't imply a political or moral stance.

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:40am

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

    Where' the due process violation with Six Strikes? There's no government action. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_actor I'm talking about people's actual due process rights, not some TD version of reality.

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > if that hearing was criminal in nature, which it seems to me it
    > was despite the underlying infringement action being a civil action

    The underlying purported infringement action may be civil. That is different than the fraud which is what the hearing was about. Fraud upon the court is criminal, even if you commit the fraud in the course of a purported civil action.

    Now, I say "purported" because there never really was any infringement action. All they wanted was to game the court system to send out extortion shakedown settlement letters. There never was any intent to litigate -- as evidenced by the plaintiff's own actions whenever they find a defendant willing to fight.

     

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    Kritbag Difrat, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, have you figured out why you "like" six strikes laws?

    Give us a shout when you've got that one figured out, because I just don't see it.

    Six strike laws are bureaucratic, do not follow good American principals like allowing accused to see evidence, allowing the accused to make a case, and separating accusers from decision makers.

    What's to "like" about such an obviously unfair system?

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:47am

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

    If there is no force of law, then ISP's should just tell Hollywood where they can take their Sick Strikes and be done with it.

    If there is force of law behind Sick Strikes, then there is no due process.

    Which way is it? And therefore, which consequent result?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    "You do realize that there's all kinds of dirtbags out there who do way worse things, right?"

    Including you, boy?

     

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    average_joe (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:49am

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

    Then you agree with H that the hearing was criminal in nature and thus he should have been afforded more protection under the Due Process Clause? I haven't actually researched the issue enough to know for sure, but my initial thought was that it was criminal and H's petition made some plausible points to that effect. I don't care if he spends 40 years in jail for whatever crimes he may have committed. But I do care if his due process rights were violated. Just imaging how much Mike's head would explode if one of his piratical buddies was railroaded like his. I seriously think Mike would have to be hospitalized he'd be so upset.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:49am

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

    Yes of course - internet subscribers being told that they are violating COPYRIGHT law cannot contest it, even though it invokes a law enforced by government, and was in fact a system heavily pushed by Joe Biden.
    If there is no force of law behind six strikes, then the subscribers can rest easy, knowing that the accusations have no force and therefore, it would be illegal to arbitrarily restrict or cut off their internet service based on nothing more than an accusation.
    If there is force of law behind Six Strikes, then you've got to include Due Process.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Has anyone been charged of convicted of fraud?"

    This from a boy who already tried to hang Kim Dotcom from the nearest tree!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:51am

    I was actually teary-eyed reading this. It was like, " WAY TO GO, ANDY DUFRESNE!!!! STICK TO THE WARDEN AND HIS RIGHT HABD GUY!!!"

     

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  79.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    On what basis do you say TechDirt is pirate central?

    Just because someone might:
    * be against copyright
    * point out that piracy exists
    * point out that individual piracy doesn't harm copyright owners
    * point out that the world has changed and Hollywood needs to change with it
    doesn't make me them piracy.

    If something bad happens to someone innocent or at least deprived of due process to potentially show innocence, then it is a big deal, and rightly so. Furthermore proof of guilt should be required, not proof of innocence. When these things continually occur, it is evidence there is something very rotten about copyright.

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Prenda may not be anti-piracy. In fact, they may be pirates. Or not. Who can know.

    What they are is fraudsters gaming the court system to use copyright law in order to shakedown people over a copyright accusation and blackmail of being associated with gay pr0n.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:02am

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

    Mr Lawyer in Training - what does Taking the Fifth mean? Go on, tell me that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Just go smearing ALL TECHDIRT, ALL THE TIME.

    Oops, you're already doing that and it sucks. Tough shit, jackass!

     

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    Berenerd (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:24am

    Re: Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    So what you are suggesting is a reality TV show called...CSI: PRENDA ? dear god no...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Good stuff, Mr. Sparby. Very detailed.

     

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    lucidrenegade (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    "Wow, you guys really obsess over these guys. You do realize that there's all kinds of dirtbags out there who do way worse things, right?"

    Case in point...

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When the system is designed to unfairly separate the accused from their funds and connections, what else is needed?

    If you can't beat the law, bend it to your will...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Prenda waived their due process by refusing to testify when compelled.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nah, they're just criminals trying to scam the law into paying their bills.

     

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  89.  
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    Vanye (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    Was it the longest night of their lives, too?

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you think that by invoking their Fifth Amendment rights they waived them? I'm guessing you're not a lawyer.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here's what happened.

    Prenda lawyers send out letters in an attempt to make cash.
    Judge at one of the cases smells something fishy and, after many shenanigans, asks the Prenda team for their side of the tale, to try and defend themselves.
    They say no.
    They say they won't talk.

    This is the end of due process for them, at least where they're concerned. They had ample opportunity to set the record straight, but willingly and knowingly said they won't talk. Therefore, the only evidence before Judge Wright and other judges, the only evidence before them that they could look at and rule on, was evidence that pointed to Prenda's guilt. By pleading the fifth, by not talking, Team Prenda didn't enter anything to contest that.

    I'm not a lawyer and I'm able to understand that much. What about you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    "In parting, she addressed Paul Hansmeier, once again saying, "I believe you to be in violation of a whole lot of rules." She then repeated her earlier statement that she was forwarding the case folder to the Lawyers Board.

    And that was the end. Judge Alton then called a recess before the next case."

    I beg to differ, if she refers this to the Lawyer's Board it is only the beginning.

     

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    anonymouse, May 22nd, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    Yes there are worse cases out there, but there are many sites to go and read about them if you can find them.

    This is of specific interest to the readers of this site as regards the illegal use of copyright laws.
    And the site would not be posting these stories if it did not attract the people who use the site to comment about how much fun they are having reading these stories, If it does not interest you techdirt has many other stories about other subjects regarding copyright violations and misuses etc.

     

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    apauld (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    thanks for the write up

    enjoyed the read

     

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    JMT (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I just think it's funny how completely obsessed you guys are about these idiots because, gasp, they're anti-piracy."

    I'm not sure if you're genuinely naive or just trying to deflect from the truth (I suspect the latter). These guys are NOT "anti-piracy", their entire business model depends on it! They're not trying to stop piracy, they're trying to profit from it. If piracy stopped, so would their income stream.

    Judging by your frequent rape comparisons, you seem to believe copyright infringement is a crime as bad as rape. So surely profiting from piracy is even worse? Maybe even as bad as murder! Are you sure you want to be taking their side of this?

     

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    Matthew Cline (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Denied due process?

    Denied due process? Prenda and friends had lawyers at the same hearing the Cooper attended, and those lawyers could have cross examined him.

     

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    Mike Brown (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Alice Cooper is also a man. Just sayin'.

     

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    Matthew Cline (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    It's legaltainment

    Some people find legal shenanigans by lawyers to be entertaining. Just look at all of the people who follow Ken White's coverage of the Prenda story; most of them aren't involved in the whole copyright-pirate thing. And personally, I was endlessly entertained by the whole SCO v Linux reporting that Groklaw did.

     

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    Matthew Cline (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 4:44pm

    Denied due process?

    At the hearing before Judge Wright at which Cooper was present, Prenda and friends were represented by at least one lawyer. Those lawyers could have cross examined Cooper then. So how was Prenda's due process denied?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 5:36pm

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

    If the evidence is stacking up against you and you plead the fifth, they aren't going to go easy on you. Pleading the fifth is basically admitting that you cannot refute what is being said without further incriminating your self, it isn't a get out of court free charge. I'm not understanding how you can say they are being railroaded and not being afforded their due process. They were given their due process, they refused to comply with the court's questions. End game.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Way to slander .. Mrs Judge..

    Except that judges enjoy wide exemptions from slander and lible, as was previously pointed out. So, you know, maybe you should be examining your own competency? Trust me, calling a judge incompetent isn't going to endear them to you and your cause.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2013 @ 6:17pm

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

    And you wonder why no one believes your claims of credentials. This is supposed to be the level of intelligence that embodies the anti-piracy movement? The shining star of righteousness that average_joe rushes to defend?

    You're deluding yourself if you think anyone's "upset" at you. An exchange with you is like kicking a retarded puppy that begs for more.

     

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    Eric The Fruit Bat, May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Just go ALL PRENDA, ALL THE TIME.

    I smell a movie script in a few years...

     

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    That One Guy (profile), May 22nd, 2013 @ 11:42pm

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

    With the notable difference that people would feel guilty for kicking the puppy.

     

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    Niall (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 2:56am

    Re: Re: Re: just love you command of english

    You would only capitalise 'Judge' at the start of a sentence, when addressing one directly, or when naming a specific one. It is perfectly correct to say "The presiding judge on the case was Judge Judy".

     

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    Niall (profile), May 23rd, 2013 @ 2:59am

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

    And the poor widdle diddums at Prenda never railroaded any of their victims or denied them their fair due process, did they?

     

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    KatAttack, May 25th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think you are being a bit unfair to the Judge, AC, If she was truly ignorant of the law she would have been swayed by Hansmeier's Russett Thomas and RIAA arguments.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, right, that's because you don't get any. That's okay, not everyone can act like a brain-dead fool and get paid for it.

     

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


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