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 126.96.36.199 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.