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).
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…