John Steele Plans To Appeal Judge Wright's Order; Says Judge Is 'No Fan Of IP Law'

from the no,-he's-not-a-fan-of-abusing-IP-law dept

While Judge Otis Wright may have been careful to set the financial punishment for Prenda at just less than how much it will cost to appeal, it appears that will not stop John Steele from appealing. Apparently, Steele doesn’t seem to recognize that speaking to the press given his current situation may not be that wise, because he told porn news publication Xbiz the following about his reaction to the ruling:

Steele on Tuesday told XBIZ that he plans on appealing Wright’s order with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Obviously we don’t agree on the ruling,” Steele said. “Judge Wright based his order on an eight-minute hearing where there was no testimony, no evidence introduced. Clearly Judge Wright does not like this type of litigation and he’s no fan of intellectual property law.”

Actually, Judge Wright did not base his order on just that eight-minute hearing (I believe it was actually 12 minutes, but who’s counting?). He based it on all of the piles upon piles of evidence presented before that, combined with Steele and his partners’ decision to refuse to testify. For Steele to now complain that “there was no testimony, no evidence introduced” is pretty laughable, since the reason there was no such information brought forth at that particular hearing was mainly due to Steele and his partners’ own decision. However, there was plenty of testimony and evidence introduced previously, and Wright’s order was based on that. The whole point of that last hearing was to give Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy a chance to respond to and refute that evidence. They did not do so. To now complain about it is pretty funny.

Separately, the argument that Judge Wright “is no fan of intellectual property law” is equally silly. Wright seems pretty clearly to be annoyed, not at intellectual property law itself, but by the clear abuse of those laws.

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Companies: prenda, prenda law

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Comments on “John Steele Plans To Appeal Judge Wright's Order; Says Judge Is 'No Fan Of IP Law'”

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crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

From what I can tell, if you want to run an extortion scheme like this using IP law, just don’t lie to judges about which cases you are working on and make sure to get proper company representatives, cross your I’s, dot your T’s, when you extort away. Otherwise you might have to pay a fine, but nowhere close to what you got from your extortion.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Awesome!

While I enjoy watching these guys get put to the fire, I can’t help but wonder why they haven’t left the country. There are several decent countries that probably wouldn’t extradite them for the things they could be charged with. Either they are really stupid, or extremely confident that they will be exonerated. It’s not likely they’re going to be getting a lot of business as lawyers after this anyway, so having to learn a new skill set in a different country isn’t much different than staying here.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Awesome!

It’s entirely possible that there are a few too many people interested in the case, and therefor them, for them to easily slip away like that.

After all, lying to a judge is one thing, trying to slip out of the country in the middle of a very well known trial is something all together different, because while the first might get them in trouble(and in this case it appears to have done so), the second would almost certainly bring down all sorts of less than pleasant attention on them.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Awesome!

Yes, but if you know that what you have done is illegal, and that it’s being referred to the authorities, then why don’t they just leave. They’re not on bail. That I know of, nothing is stopping them from taking a vacation to France and once there asking for asylum a la Roman Polanski.

I’ve never done this (nor felt the need to) so I don’t know how hard it would actually be.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Awesome!

True enough I suppose, now that the trial is over they could just skip the country, but it’s entirely possible that their egos are so big that they honestly still think that they’ll be able to talk their way out of the massive amount of trouble that’s about to be dumped on them, and if that’s the case, I cannot wait until they find out how wrong they are.

Beech says:

Re: Re:

well, to be a stickler, pleading the 5th doesn’t automatically mean you’re guilty and don’t want to incriminate yourself. But when you’re a lawyer in a hearing with an irate judge who is asking you to “show cause” that you’re in the right for filing a lawsuit…..yeah, pretty much mean’s you’re guilty.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m far from familiar with U.S. law, and I realize the 5th has multiple parts to it, but how is it possible to be compelled to be a witness against yourself if you haven’t got any knowledge of your own guilt to disclose?

Are you allowed to hide truths that are not testimony against yourself because you think someone might misconstrue them as being such?

Ben S (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That’s a grey area, not sure if the 5th amendment covers that, though it might. Realistically, you can plead the 5th for any reason at all, even if you aren’t technically guilty. The reason for this is that probing into the reasons for pleading the 5th would be trying to force the person to incriminate themselves. You’d have to provide solid evidence that the answer to the question could not possibly have incriminated the person giving testimony to be able to levy any form of punishment.

For example, a person could testify in court in defense of some one who was definitely guilty of a crime, then plead the 5th when asked certain questions in order to deflect suspicion from the accused, onto them. You could try and question them as to why they plead the 5th, but they would respond by just pleading the 5th some more. How are you going to prove the answers to the questions can’t possibly be seen as incriminating? That would be a hard thing to do, and I don’t see it happening. The end result would be that a person can plead the 5th for any reason they want with out fear of any form of punishment.

Anonymous Coward says:

These comments just go to show that the entertainment industry, and the lawyers the hire to represent their “cause”, may understand the internet conceptually, but they clearly have no grasp of it experientially.

For years the industry has managed to thrive buy playing a convoluted shell game. so that one hand is never aware of what the others are doing. Their lawyers apparently of like mind. Unfortunately, the internet is a perfect foil for such efforts as it allows the collection and dissemination of information that pulls the rug back on their dirty little activities.

And this is why they hate the internet.

Because for all their talk of “morality”, of fairness, and of defending the “rights” of creators, when you really correlate their actions it becomes very clear how inherently dishonest, deceptive, and dishonorable these people really are.

Anonymous Coward says:

The judge even cited precedent in his ruling specifically regarding taking a defendant’s silence in court as a negative… And he also warned them during the hearing that remaining silent would allow him to draw his own conclusions based on the evidence presented.

The appeals court hearing should be short and entertaining as well.

Maxwell (profile) says:

The Next Generation

If today’s judges are amusing themselves in their rulings with strong cultural references of their time, which i find awesome, how long until we see rulings incorporating “lol”, “roflcopter”,”umadbro?!” and much more from the internet and video game culture ?

I wonder if judges in Japan make anime references in their rulings… 😛

anon456 says:


I think this post understates the chutzpah implicit in Steele’s comment here — not only was there “no testimony” because Steele chose to invoke the 5th Amend, but, since this is a civil case, the judge is ALLOWED to draw inferences from that silence.

To berate the judge for not hearing testimony in that circumstance is pretty remarkable.

Art (profile) says:

What can he appeal?

Wouldn’t this appeal be more about challenging the finding of facts by the judge? If that is the case wouldn’t Steele have to present the information that he plead the 5th on to have a chance at winning the appeal? It doesn’t seem like appealing the fees is very likely to go anywhere. Talk about really trying to put himself in a worse place.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Know your enemy

You’re lucky I’m off work tomorrow, otherwise I’d reach through the internet and smack you, for just leaving that link lying about, with no warning signs. Seriously, haven’t you heard by now how dangerous TVTropes is? How it sucks you in and won’t let you go? One time I went on it, and when I finally somehow managed to get off it, my previously fuzz-free face now had several days growth on it.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Know your enemy

I’ve heard rumors about how it traps people there, but have never experienced it myslef. It only keeps me there when I have no reason to leave & allow it to keep me there (mostly when I’m trying to kill time).

Also, before I click any link, I check the status bar at the bottom of the browser, to see where it goes. I don’t follow links blind. I assumed anyone using TechDirt would know to do that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yesterday I posted hoping that Prenda would chomp down on the bait and appeal. While this isn’t as apoplectic as I wished it would be, it’s a promising start. Maybe he’ll get pornographers to publicly out themselves and file amicus curiae briefs in conjunction with Nazaire’s full-retard responses.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re:

They will appeal, and they will win. What the judge did was basically make himself into judge, jury, police force, investigator, prosecutor, and denied the defendants any time for defense, and then found them guilty of the changes that he himself came up with.

If this stands, it would permit every judge in the land to railroad any lawyer that they don’t agree with. That would suck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re really trolling now, aren’t you?

Prenda Law wasn’t the defendant in this case; Prenda Law was the plaintiff. Never mind the fact that they invoked their right to not testify, therefore permitting Wright to invoke his right to make do with whatever he was given. Considering that Prenda attempted to have him removed on the same baseless claims that he’s “anti-IP” that set off big alarms that Prenda had something they didn’t want Wright looking at.

What – did the other shills refuse to troll on this topic on basis of principle, and you were forced to fill in for them? I suppose it’s only fair that the best and brightest copyright enforcers have the best and brightest people to speak in their favour. Is that you, Nazaire?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

If they somehow won by discrediting the judge, what would that get them? If they win and go back to practicing law, do you think any judge in the US would let them in a courtroom for future cases knowing that they operate by launching incoherent personal attacks on judges when they lose?

Anonymous Coward says:

I like err love money....

I recall that John claimed to be making $10k/day.

$80k fine is 8 days of work, less than two weeks of work even considering he might only work on weekdays. Giving up 8 days of income to make bad situation go away or waste makes money to risk a much larger fine. Spock would conclude that the logical choice is to shut up and pay up.

Either he lied and never made $10k/day or he is blinded by greed.
The fact he has not split for a non-extradition country yet makes me believe that his greed will be his undoing.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: I like err love money....

Unfortunately for Steele(and fortunately for everyone else), Steele seems to think he can talk his way out of the current mess, not realizing that at most he’d be able to get out of the 80K fine, as the referrals to various government agencies, judges, state bars and all the other stuff the judge has done is not something an appeal can ‘undo’.

Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

When Steele was giving this “We will Appeal and be victorious” speech, was there circus music playing in the back round? You would have to think Steele must fell like a clown giving that statement knowing the noose is tightening around their necks.

Steele and Prenda anytime they have been challenged have always put up the big front and Huffed and Puffed and got no where.

What do these guys think the chances are that they will have success on appeal? We all know what happened in the Florida case where Lutz got questioned and Steele was there and when the Judge quizzed Lutz he didn’t know this or that and couldn’t name anyone at AF Holdings.

The Judge in Florida declared that there was a fraud on the court and Steele & Duffy are facing sanctions there.

Then you have the case in San Francisco Where Judge Chen in another Prenda case wants to see the signed ADR that bears “Salt Marsh” signature and that was supposed to be presented by April 29 2013.

You can bet your ass now that Judge wright’s report is going to go to other courts that are hearing any Prenda cases will be tuned into what is going on with Prenda and those involved in Prenda and their various cases.

I would also have to believe that the Appeals court will be made aware of the other cases and the Judges rulings in them and Prenda actions concerning them.

Sorry to say but these guys are history, I think Steele, Duffy Gibbs and Hansmeier will be sitting around the fire at the rail yard beside the boxcar, and relishing the days of old where they would chase ambulances and divorce cases and think of how good they had it as they are passing around that bottle of Scotch Ripple while waiting for the can of beans to finish cooking.

These guys have been long on the fringe side of the law, from their copyright trolling suits to their other side line of filing as an intervener in class actions suits as an objector to a settlement… but willing to drop their objection for 30K ~ wink wink ~ nudge nudge.

While they are gone for now I doubt we have seen the last of them, I hope the IRS and RICO will for once and all finish off these characters as they have crossed the line of right and wrong in my opinion.

I thought Kevin Trudeau was the definition of a true criminal, but Kevin looks like a Saint compared to the Prenda gang!

Steele's statements to AVN (profile) says:

[…] Regarding the referral for sanctions imposed by Judge Wright, Steele said, ?As far as the referrals to the various Bar associations, the Illinois Bar is well aware of this type of litigation. I have had inquiries from the office of the Illinois State Bar and have satisfied their requests in the past. I am confident that agencies like the IRS and the Illinois State Bar require actual evidence before taking action against someone.

?Most importantly,? he added, ?hundreds of judges across the country have ruled on these same cases and have thrown out the crazy conspiracy theories of people like Mr. Pietz [Morgan Pietz, a defendant?s attorney in the case] and groups like the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). Content producers are still winning the vast majority of hearings in piracy cases, but it is inevitable that an anti-piracy attorney would have a case in front of a judge such as Mr. Wright.?

[…] Steele told AVN that it is his understanding that Livewire Holdings, one of the entities identified by Judge Wright?by way of an actual Prenda relationship chart included in the order?as being a member of the Prenda family, ?is filing multiple new cases this week.”

?Hopefully,? he added defiantly, ?the pirate that got away in this matter will be caught and brought to justice down the road.? […]

Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I love this bit: Steele say?s LiveWire Holdings will be filing new cases this week! LMAO.. good luck with that John!

And once again Steele is also saying he is not associated with Prenda Law?but yet he knows LiveWire Holdings is filing new cases. John ought to give Miss Cleo a call his Psychic abilities are uncanny!

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