Comcast Confirms That Steele-Hansmeier Controlled IP Address Used To Seed Content

from the but-of-course dept

We already covered the filing from Blair Chintella highlighting the audio evidence that John Steele had impersonated both Alan Cooper and Mark Lutz, but there was a second bit of evidence in there that's just as damning. It appears that a subpoena sent to Comcast has more or less totally confirmed that it was John Steele or an associate who uploaded the films. Delvan Neville's evidence on this point was pretty convincing, with the one piece lacking being who actually had control over the key IP address that was involved in the activities.

Even though there was clear evidence that John Steele controlled that IP, one of the exhibits is Comcast confirming that 75.72.88.156 was in fact assigned to Steele Hansmeier PLLC, the former law firm of John Steele and Paul Hansmeier. Now, the few remaining defenders of Steele and Hansmeier may try to claim that we have noted that an IP address alone proves little, but this is not the IP address alone. There is so much more evidence around that, and the concerns about an "IP address alone" tend to be with it identifying the wrong random person. The chance that someone uploaded these films before anyone else had and somehow magically known to spoof the very IP address of the law firm that would then begin the copyright trolling process around those films is so close to zero that it's zero. The evidence at this point is indisputable: John Steele or someone working with him uploaded the films. And, now there's evidence that he flat out pretended to be Alan Cooper and Mark Lutz. People who know John Steele's voice have confirmed that it is him. Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy's angry denials about all of this keep looking worse and worse.

Meanwhile, Nazaire has wasted little time in responding to all of this by... well... ignoring nearly all of the evidence above. At least this time he, or someone else, figured out how to change the metadata on the PDF to actually say "Jacques Nazaire" instead of "Paul Duffy" (which suggested the filings were actually written by Duffy, who is not admitted on this particular case -- and whom Nazaire has pretended to distance himself from). However, they haven't quite figured out the metadata stuff completely. Andrew Norton points out that the metadata still points to the same weird Chinese language PDF producer that Duffy has used, rather than the iT3XT that Nazaire had been using. Oops.

The rest of Nazaire's response is pretty funny as well. The crux of Chintella's argument against Nazaire was that he violated the rules with his request to stop the discovery by failing to have the required "meet and confer." Nazaire argues that his brief emails with demands should suffice because an actual phone call would be taped and played on the internet, where he might be further embarrassed:
It has been alleged that a good faith effort has not been made to meet and confer. The facts however demonstrate that, on August 3 and August 4, a good faith effort was made to have the excess discovery demands in this case withdrawn. Because of the unnecessary publicity garnished by press releases in this case (See Exhibit A), it is difficult for plaintiff's attorney to call to discuss confidential and privileged matters regarding this case. The telephone and live conversations will more than likely be taped and played on the internet. The confidential matters discussed via email will more than likely be posted as a publicity campaign on the internet. Given the environment that has been created, the plaintiff has made the best effort possible to confer regarding discovery. Plaintiff has not issued any press releases or tweets regarding this matter
I'll leave it to the lawyers out there to discuss what an absolutely, stupendously ridiculous claim that is to make. Either way, we'll see what the judge makes of all of this, but the evidence is piling up against Team Prenda, and the hilarious attempts to tap dance out of it keep getting more and more ridiculous.




Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    psy (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    Lovely work by all

    There is little or no chance that the IP would have been spoofed or known prior. Logical. And I am having a good laugh now. Doesn't get much better than this. But it will I'm sure.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    This points more and more to being a scam cooked up by the involved parties that starts at point A and extends to the final end point of payday. Damn anyone that gets in the way.

    It's not just one item alone, it's the piling on top of the heap of items already discovered ever more. At some point you have to reach the conclusion that you are seeing what really is, not some make believe someone else would like you to believe.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Forgot to add, I wonder if 'Dark Horse' will now be paying us a visit? That's one heck of a coincidence that something of this nature comes up and suddenly he checks in.

    Don't tell me, it is either coming in from TOR or from a VPN. Just like someone else that has been mentioned in the past as their standard pattern of internet use for certain practices.

     

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  4.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:21pm

    I think my eyes are on the fritz, I'm reading Nazaire's argument as to why he didn't want to be involved in a phone conversation with the opposing lawyer, and while he seems to be saying something else, all I'm seeing is 'I really don't want to get caught in yet another lie'.

    It would seem he learned well from his mentor Steele, 'at all costs try never to put yourself in a position where you can be questioned'.

     

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  5.  
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    Andrew Norton (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    As a point of fact, the issue of taped calls came up in the July2nd hearing.

    Mr Nazaire complained, and made out it violated Georgia wiretap law, New York wiretap laws (since he often travels to NY state), and Federal wiretap laws. I knew that was all crap, and I'd guess the former FISA judge did too.
    However, Mr Chintella did talk about not recording calls unless approved by both sides, but that he'd only done it because Mr Nazaire has promised some sort of agreement on the phone, and then reneged.

    So the whole 'calls may be recorded' thing is based on faulty law, and has been discussed in front of the judge who (it appeared to me, from what I saw of his body language) to not be buying it at all.

    Of course, since Mr Nazaire filed my blogpost as evidence (60.15) he's also filed the specific references to the laws as evidence (page 3), so he can't get away with claiming that at all now, without looking even worse.

    Isn't this FUN!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Jail?

    Why are these lowlifes not in prison yet?

    The fact that they are still running free really exemplifies just how misguided the heavy hand of the law can be. To those accused of infringement comes swift fines, blocking and little to no due process, but when the accuser turns accused, the wheels of bureaucracy seem to grind on interminably, for example: has Steele even been disbarred yet?

     

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  7.  
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    Andrew Norton (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Jail?

    Shhh, there's 3 weeks of discovery left!
    Imagine what else we can find out!

     

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  8.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    Re:

    it's not small potatoes though.

    just like the fool that defends his case can set a bad precedent, doing so here can set back all the MPAA/RIAA trolling going on if not end it outright.

    case in point: have you been hearing about MPAA/RIAA going after people for torrenting at all lately? hint: nope.

    they have distanced themselves as far as they can from any sort of courtroom trolling for the most part, as they realize this case may basically crush them altogether.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    all I'm seeing is 'I really don't want to get caught in yet another lie'. ,/blockquote>

    I can see that..

    But what I can't get out of my head is an image of Nazaire running down the street bawling, chased by a crowd of "teenagers from Mom's basement with finger ray guns going PEW PEW", while he's screaming "Why don't they STOP! They won't STOOOO--OOOOOO-OOOO-ooop!"

     

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  10.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Still waiting...

    I'm still waiting for the news that these asshats are getting thrown into durance vile, and their licenses to practice law have been suspended or revoked (preferably permanently).

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    What's particularly interesting is that Comcast complies with BCP 38

    (Well, at least as far as I can tell from the outside looking in.)

    To explain: let's suppose that you are Foo, Inc., and you're allocated a /24 (what used to be called a Class C network that happens to be 192.168.5.0/24. One of the things that you should probably do is refuse to accept packets arriving from the outside world that claim to be from 192.168.5.1 or from any other host in the range 192.168.5.0 to 192.168.5.255, because THEY'RE FORGERIES. (That's YOUR range. You should never see a packet coming from elsewhere that claims to be from YOUR range.) A second thing that you should do is refuse to send packets outbound from your network that claim to be from anything but 192.168.5.0/24 because THEY'RE FORGERIES. Same reason as previous, just inverted.

    That's the basics of BCP 38, which is a "Best Current Practices" document frequently cited in discussions between network administrators. There's much more, of course: for instance, you also shouldn't accept incoming packets that claim to be from private (non-routable) networks because THEY'RE FORGERIES. BCP 38 is not the end-all be-all of network administration, but following it is very helpful in eliminating a lot of things that are obviously wrong -- which leaves less stuff left over for other measures to cope with. Not following BCP 38 and being responsible for highly visible boneheadedness gets you called out on NANOG or elsewhere because BCP 38 is now over a decade old and you really should have paid attention by now.

    What does this have to do with our heroes, those IP-defending slalwarts at Prenda?

    Comcast uses BCP 38. That means that you can't spoof a non-Comcast address from inside Comcast -- well, you can, it's just that you can't reach anywhere using it because your traffic will be blocked once it hits one of their perimeter routers. And since you can't reach anywhere: you couldn't upload something to a web/ftp site, nor could you seed it as a torrent.

    But it gets better.

    Comcast uses BCP 38 inside their network, which means that if you have block A of Comcast addresses and the guys down the block have block B of Comcast addresses, you can't forge theirs either.

    You see where this is going? Because Comcast is pretty good about enforcing network hygiene practices, they've dramatically narrowed the scope of places from which it would be possible to successfully spoof a Steele Hansmeier PLLC-assigned IP address. In fact, they've narrowed it to "other Steele Hansmeier PLLC-assigned IP addresses".

    And that...that does not bode well for Steele Hansmeier PLLC. Tragic, I know. The Internet weeps for them.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    I hope the copyright owners of the works, sue John Steele and Paul Hansmeier for 2 million dollars, each. Just like what happened to Jammie Thomas and her poor family.

    Then justice will be properly served.

     

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  13.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    Er ...

    ..."it is difficult for plaintiff's attorney to call to discuss confidential and privileged matters regarding this case."

    Um, if you are talking to opposing counsel, the very last thing you should be talking about is confidential and privileged matters -- regarding your client at least. Especially with regard to discovery disputes, all communications with opposition should be made with the idea that they may end up as an exhibit.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: What's particularly interesting is that Comcast complies with BCP 38

    You see where this is going? Because Comcast is pretty good about enforcing network hygiene practices,

    I've met some of the Comcast networking guys... and they know their shit better than just about anyone else. They're good.

     

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  15.  
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    steell (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 3:05pm

    XXX Copyright owners

    IIRC, Steele talked about the XXX films the client (him) had bought from someone else. Prenda claimed that Steele's gardener/handyman signed the Copyright Transfer.
    So in this case, it was the Copyright owner that uploaded the files as .torrent.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

    I've been saying this since the start on Torrent Freak, but goddamn I did not think they were stupid enough to use their own mother fucking ISP...

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 6:53pm

    It is pretty damning that the only way for copyright enforcement to get anything done is to break every other law in the book just so "content producers" can afford another mansion.

    out_of_the_blue must be proud of these corporations.

     

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  18.  
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    Postulator (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    They fought the law...

    At what point do criminal investigations commence into conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud, perjury and all the other criminal charges that appear to be relevant to these assclowns (Prendarasts?) now?

     

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  19.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 8:42pm

    BWHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA

    And I allegedly defamed them...

     

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  20.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 15th, 2013 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Er ...

    the very last thing you should be talking about is confidential and privileged matters

    I try to follow that advice when talking on the phone anyway ... especially now that I am pretty certain that my phone calls are being listened to by the NSA anyway. I've been known to say stupid stuff on the phone as a joke, but figuring some of that may already be in some record somewhere, I figure I'll fly low to keep from ending up on a watch-list or a no-fly-list.

     

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  21.  
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    lol, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:29am

    That comcast IP was also used to host naughty-hotties.com, btw.

    Just linking this here again...
    http://i.imgur.com/RJSkZsF.jpg

     

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  22.  
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    KMB, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:35am

    Paradox

    Prenda (or AF or someone): Your honor, this IP address is the clear evidence that defendant downloaded copy righted material belonging to us without adequate payment.

    Prenda: You tech heads should shut up - it's not possible to trace an IP to a person!

     

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  23.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 1:52am

    Re: What's particularly interesting is that Comcast complies with BCP 38

    Wait... are you therefore stating that some ISP's (and major ones at that) in the USA do not fully comply with BCP38?

    I'm shocked.. shocked and dismayed.. /sarc

     

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  24.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Re: What's particularly interesting is that Comcast complies with BCP 38

    Epic win of a comment. And you got +funny for that last sentence ;)

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 4:49am

    Metadata?

    I thought the NSA said that Metadata did not contain any identifying information?

     

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  26.  
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    Pragmatic, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    Re:

    She's not, she's deluded herself that the little people who actually do the creating (not just the fatcats who own the copyright and make all the money) actually get a share of the monies collected. They don't, we've told her, and she's decided to ignore us because we're something something commie pirates or something.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    So if the copyright owner uploads the film, they have done so with the intention of having other people download it, so everyone who downloaded anything they seeded did so lawfully.

     

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  28.  
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    Bill, Aug 16th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    I wonder what the chances are that

    people who have settled with Prenda in these cases could now go after them for fraud/extortion etc.

     

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  29.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 16th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    they have gotta be coked up...

    ...that is about the only thing which 'explains' their weird behavior: smarter-than-you ploys, empty threats and promises, doubling down on idiocy, scheming and plotting too-clever-by-half shit that bites them in the ass, etc, etc, etc...

    looks like manic cokehead behavior to me...
    dog damn, its parasites like this that give drugs a bad name...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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


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