Prenda Law Issues Subpoena For IP Addresses Of Every Visitor To Critic Blogs For The Past Two Years
from the what-are-they-smoking? dept
This is rather incredible. We already wrote about Prenda Law’s series of defamation lawsuits against commenters on two key blogs that have been instrumental in exposing their shenanigans: FightCopyrightTrolls and DieTrollDie. While John Steele has dismissed his claim, the other two suits are still moving forward as far as I know. And now it’s come out that Prenda Law’s Paul Duffy sent a ridiculously broad subpoena to WordPress demanding every IP address of every visitor who has visited either site since the beginning of 2011. Basically, they’re looking for everyone who has ever visited either site:
Our client is requesting all Internet Protocol addresses (including the date and time of that access in Universal Coordinated Time) that accessed the blogs located at dietrolldie.com and fightcopyrighttrolls.com between January 1, 2011 through the present. Please provide this information in an Excel spreadsheet.
The subpoena is from Paul Duffy, so it’s a bit ridiculous to claim “our client” since he is the client. This seems like a pretty clear abuse of the subpoena process, though, coming from Prenda Law, whose specialty is doing anything it possibly can to get IP addresses, perhaps it’s no surprise. The subpoena was issued in association with the original claim that was filed in state court. The cases have all been removed to federal court, and hopefully the lawyers at WordPress know better than to just cough up this info like that. Even more ridiculously, Duffy tries to claim that this is an “emergency” so they shouldn’t waste any time in handing over the info:
Due to the emergency nature of the requested information, it is imperative that your organization responds to the subpoena immediately. The requested information is perishable and vital to the claims asserted in a complaint alleging widespread and systematic defamation.
What hogwash. They’re looking for data going back to January of 2011. If WordPress has logs going back that far, it’s not like they’re suddenly going to disappear. And, of course, the “widespread and systematic defamation” claims are already pretty questionable.
It’s not difficult to look at this and see a likely attempt at creating chilling effects to try to scare people off from visiting those sites. Considering that Prenda has been collecting all sorts of IP addresses in its various copyright trolling lawsuits, can you imagine what they might do if they can cross reference IP addresses of visitors to those sites with the IP addresses they’ve already sued over?