Copyright Troll Malibu Media Tells Court That Its Critics (And Opposing Lawyer) Are Part Of A Psychopathic Hate Group
from the good-luck-with-that dept
You may recall, back when things were getting particularly desperate for Prenda Law, that it suddenly filed a series of lawsuits against its largest critics, including the users of the two major copyright troll tracking websites: FightCopyrightTrolls.com and DieTrollDie.com. That didn’t work out too well, but Prenda’s successor-in-spirit, Malibu Media, apparently did not learn the lesson. In a rather incredible filing in one of its cases in Illinois, one of Malibu Media’s main lawyers, Mary K. Schulz, absolutely flips out about FightCopyrightTrolls and its publisher SophisticatedJaneDoe, calling the site’s readers “an internet hate group” and accusing it of being engaged in “illegal extrajudicial tactics” in working with lawyers who are fighting Malibu Media cases across the country. The filing has to be read to be believed. The purpose of the filing is to try to bar opposing lawyers from talking to people associated with SJD’s site, because how dare opposing counsel actually be provided with relevant information to a case, concerning how Malibu Media operates (such as champerty or copyright misuse or other questionable tactics including a bogus “exhibit” that has nothing to do with the case in question.
It appears that Malibu Media’s lawyers have something of a persecution complex:
Plaintiff is the target of a fanatical Internet hate group. The hate group is comprised of BitTorrent users, anti-copyright extremists, former BitTorrent copyright defendants and a few attorneys. Opposing counsel is one of its few members. Indeed, as shown below, opposing counsel communicates regularly with the hate group’s leader. Members of the hate group physically threaten, defame and cyber-stalk Plaintiff as well everyone associated with Plaintiff. Their psychopathy is criminal and scary.
By administering and using the defamatory blog www.fightcopyrighttrolls.com, “Sophisticated Jane Doe” (“SJD”) leads the hate group. SJD is a former defendant is a suit brought by another copyright owner… She is a self-admitted BitTorrent copyright infringer. SJD’s dedicates her life to stopping peer-to-peer infringement suits.
Most of the rest of the filing is taking some of SJD’s admittedly mocking tweets and trying to twist them into some sort of conspiracy against Malibu Media and all of its lawyers. Ridiculously, the filing asserts that “The Internet hate group has conspired to and is implementing an unethical and illegal campaign to intimidate Plaintiff by threatening it with criminal sanctions.” As lawyers, they must know that only the government can actually get criminal sanctions. No private individual can legitimately threaten anyone with criminal sanctions. Opining that certain actions may open you up to criminal sanctions is very, very different than actually threatening someone with criminal sanctions when you have no direct power to do so.
Schulz also attacks the lawyers fighting against Malibu Media for not asking SJD to stop, as if they have any control over the situation, and as if they have any obligation to ask someone to stop investigating and mocking Malibu Media and its lawyers. Much of the complaint focuses on how the lawyer opposing Malibu Media in this case is “a key member of the internet hate group.”
Opposing counsel regularly Tweets with the other members of the hate group. Further, his Tweets are often part of a series of Tweets intended to harass Plaintiff and its counsel. Opposing counsel also Tweets about on-going litigation including this case and disparages Plaintiff… He even called Plaintiff a liar.
Opposing counsel is SJD’s and the other hate group members’ darling. They give him Kudos as he works toward trying to criminalize peer-to-peer copyright infringement suits.
I’ve seen no indication that anyone is trying to “criminalize” copyright infringement suits. They’re pointing out other behavior that may violate various criminal statutes. There’s a pretty big difference there. Malibu Media is also upset that the lawyer in question, Jonathan Phillips, actually releases some of the evidence turned up during discovery on his website. Because, apparently, Malibu Media thinks the legal process should be held entirely in secret. While it points out, accurately, that there is not a “first amendment right to see discovery materials,” that doesn’t mean they must be kept under seal.
Basically, the entire filing is an effort to (1) slam Malibu Media’s critics, accusing them of defamation and illegal tactics, without ever actually filing a lawsuit against them and (2) more importantly, an effort to make sure that a bunch of potentially damning and embarrassing information about Malibu Media is kept secret. Either way, calling a bunch of your online critics psychopaths and a hate group isn’t generally a strategy that works long term.