Once Again, As Details Of Questionable Copyright Trolling Practices Come To Light, Troll Desperately Tries To Run Away
from the run-away,-run-away dept
A few weeks ago, we wrote about evidence coming to light suggesting that the massively discredited German firm Guardaley, and a variety of its shell companies, were actually key players behind a bunch of US copyright trolling cases (including at least some of Malibu Media’s). Much of the initial evidence for that came out in a copyright trolling case brought by the copyright holders of the film “Elf-Man” in a case against someone named Ryan Lamberson. On Friday, Lamberson’s lawyer sought to compel discovery in an effort to dig into what’s really happening behind the scenes, and how involved Guardaley and its various shells really are in this case. And, almost immediately, the lawyers for Elf-Man decided to run away as fast as they could, filing a motion to dismiss with prejudice.
As FightCopyrightTrolls points out, what may be even more interesting is the declaration from Lamberson’s lawyer, Chris Lynch, which includes an email he sent to Elf-Man’s then-lawyer Maureen VanderMay. As you may recall, in our post about the connection to Guardaley, we also noted that VanderMay had suddenly told the court she could no longer represent the copyright holders of Elf-Man, saying it was “impossible for counsel to both continue with representation and comply with the governing rules of professional conduct.” In Exhibit B in the declaration, Lynch lays out evidence that the Guardaley shell company APMC was actually the one who hired VanderMay, rather than the copyright holder, and also that APMC had seeded various films from Vision Films itself, with the goal of then copyright trolling any IP address that downloaded them (i.e., just like Prenda’s scam of uploading the films themselves). This raises all sorts of legal (and ethical issues), including the basic fact that if the copyright holder or one of its agents is seeding the films itself, it’s no longer an unauthorized distribution, and thus not infringing.
We see this same pattern time and time again with the various copyright trolling efforts. Righthaven, Prenda and other copyright trolls seem to regularly try to dismiss cases when they’re called out on questionable behavior in an effort to hide any more of that behavior coming out. It usually doesn’t work very well, as opposing lawyers often use the opportunity to press for legal fees, and to seek discovery anyway.