Prenda's John Steele Pleads Guilty, Admits To Basically Everything

from the welcome-to-the-big-leagues dept

Remember all the bravado behind John Steele and his copyright porn trolling? I’ve noted in the past that Steele reminded me of some guys I knew in college who believed that they were so smart that they could do whatever they wanted, and talk their way out later if they got into trouble. And, for many years, it seemed that Steele was fairly successful in doing exactly that. Remember all his big talk right after Judge Otis Wright referred Steele and his partners to law enforcement over his copyright trolling efforts? At the time, he yelled and screamed about how it was unfair and unprecedented, and insisted loudly that he would prevail.

I?and others involved?have been in front of hundreds of judges. This is the first judge that has ever sanctioned anybody involved with Steele Hansmeier, Prenda Law, or whatever.

He also continued to insist that he barely had any role at all in the grand scheme, involving shell companies, forged documents, faked honeypots and more:

I work part-time with Livewire Holdings, one of the entities that Lutz owns. My role is on the business side. I acquire other adult content companies and deal with expanding the holding company. The main goal is to handle a lot of content and websites and to be involved in the adult space. For that, I’m paid a flat fee. I won’t say how much, but it’s a modest flat sum.

Anyway, fast forward a few years, and as you’ll recall, Steele and his partner Paul Hansmeier were arrested late last year, and on Monday Steele pled guilty in court in a deal where he basically admits to everything that many of us covering the Prenda saga had suggested he was doing over the years. It’s all in there. The summary (though even more is in the full document):

Beginning in about 2011 and continuing until about 2014, defendant John L. STEELE and co-defendant Paul Hansmeier executed a scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in copyright lawsuit settlements by deceiving state and federal courts throughout the country. The defendants–both lawyers–used sham entities they controlled to obtain copyrights to pornographic movies, some of which they filmed themselves. The defendants then uploaded the movies to file-sharing websites hoping to lure people into downloading their movies. When STEELE and Hansmeier ensnared someone in their trap, they filed false and deceptive copyright infringement lawsuits that concealed their role in distributing the movies, as well as their significant personal stake in the outcome of the litigation. After fraudulently inducing courts into giving them the power to subpoena internet service providers and thereby identify the subscriber who controlled the IP Address used to download the movie, the defendants used extortionate tactics to garner quick settlements from individuals who were unaware of the defendants’ role in uploading the movie, and often were either too embarrassed or could not afford to defend themselves. When these individuals did fight back, the defendants dismissed the lawsuits rather than risk their scheme being unearthed. After courts began limiting the number of people STEELE and Hansmeier could sue in one lawsuit, they changed tactics and began filing lawsuits falsely alleging that computer systems belonging to certain of their sham clients had been “hacked” and recruited ruse defendants to fraudulently obtain authority from courts to subpoena internet service providers. Furthermore, when courts began questioning the defendants’ tactics, the defendants repeatedly lied and caused others to lie to courts in order to conceal the true nature of the scheme. The defendants also caused interstate mailings and wire transmissions to be conducted in furtherance of the scheme to defraud.

All that and more are in the document that Steele has now signed, confessing to it all. Now, as I’ve discussed in the past, it does pay to be at least somewhat careful around believing what’s in plea bargains, as the pressure put on people who’ve been indicted to sign such an agreement is massive — usually involving an agreement to agree to less time in prison in exchange for an easy plea. However, as Ken “Popehat” White notes in his thorough write up of the case, in this case, it doesn’t appear that the “plea bargain” is much of a bargain at all for Steele. He isn’t agreeing to much of a “lesser” charge to get off easy. He’s agreeing to all the key things, and then hoping maybe that the judge will go on easy on him later, because he’s also agreed to roll over on Hansmeier:

Steele and the government have stipulated to factors yielding an anticipated guideline range of 97-121 months of imprisonment. Yes, up to ten years in federal prison. This is not a highly favorable plea agreement ? Steele isn’t getting any killer deal (yet) for pleading guilty. The feds made him plead to both mail fraud and money laundering ? a “good deal” would drop the money laundering. In addition, the feds made Steele agree to just about every Guideline enhancement I can think of, rather than leaving those enhancements open to argue. Steele has truly hurled himself on the sword here….

[….]

I’ve seen a lot of plea agreements in a lot of federal cases, and I don’t recall another one that so clearly conveyed the defendant utterly surrendering and accepting everything the government demanded, all in hopes of talking his sentence down later. Trusting your ability to talk your way out of it later is typical of a sociopath and a con man, of course.

Ken, of course, has a bunch of more insightful thoughts on this as well, so go over and read it if you haven’t already.

Of course, now this means that Hansmeier is in even deeper shit than Steele. The feds have no reason to cut a deal with him to roll over on Steele, and Steele has now agreed to testify against Hansmeier. They may still cut a deal, but it certainly appears that the final chapter concerning Prenda isn’t ending well for either Steele or Hansmeier. Of course, in the meantime, after my last post, people noted that Hansmeier’s wife has picked up on Hansmeier’s “encore” act of doing ADA trolling — a very similar legal scheme in which they find some sort of minor technical violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and then try to shake down small businesses into paying up. You’d think that maybe after seeing how the copyright trolling has ended up for her husband, Hansmeier’s wife might reconsider doubling down on the family business. Remember, last we’d heard, the FBI was also looking into Hansmeier’s ADA trolling activities. So we may not be able to retire the “Prenda” tag just yet…

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Companies: prenda, prenda law

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Comments on “Prenda's John Steele Pleads Guilty, Admits To Basically Everything”

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154 Comments
Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Tears for the loss of a national icon

Tissues will be available. Don’t let this loss of a favorite punching bag put you off. Our society has the capability of replacing him with comparable or worse characters to laugh at and deride. We can look forward to more legal entertainment in the future. Hoping that it will be sooner rather than later is probably not good for anyone’s head space. History repeats, don’t let the timing of revelations get you down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Tears for the loss of a national icon

Remember all the bravado behind Michael Masnick and his “you didn’t invent Email” argument? You what’s going to be so interesting? When we all see kind of deal TechDirt offers to to get out from under Charles Harder. What do you think, Mike, is he going to settle? I wonder. Won’t be long now, and we will all know, right Mike? Tick Tock…. There is a whole community (mostly silent, we’re shy) of American Inventors that are awaiting this outcome, as well as quite a large Hamiltonian community. We’re all on the edge of our seat. One question, Mike, as you make your way through each day with the ax right over your neck, falling fast: Are you sorry? It would count a lot towards the leniency you are going to need. We’ll forgive you, MIke, just say you’re sorry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Tears for the loss of a national icon

You know, you’re right, I am an ass. I am not proud of the hatred that I hold for Michael Masnick, and I’m sure that in an earlier time, I would have challenged him to a duel to settle what I consider to be a matter of honor. Short of a duel, I want to meet him in court, so I can confront him directly. And before the opportunity of court arrives, I vent my hatred, outrage and blood lust in the form of commentaries. I think it’s good for me to let it out. Thanks for the opportunity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Tears for the loss of a national icon

A duel? Bitch please. You are a coward. A sad spiteful coward at that. The best you have to offer is low grade trolling. Your not some special hero. You’re just some guy who blames his problems on someone else. There’s ten million assholes out there just like you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Tears for the loss of a national icon

I think there are approximately 200 million

The US population is around 319 million, give or take.
So, not only are you incapable of using google to find a trivial answer, you are too cowardly to post using your real name when musing you’d like to engage in a dual.

I smell either bull shit or a justified hard spanking. Either way, I have noted that the people that will implement a plan don’t talk and talk about it.

They just get on with the job.

So not only are you a toothless and powerless cur, you sir, are a coward in my opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Tears for the loss of a national icon

Well, I certain understand your point of view, and I am very happy that unlike other posters here, you actually know the population of the US. Good for you. My estimate of 200 million is roughly accurate, I believe, if you consider just American Patriots (maybe I should have been more clear). That is, people who feel strongly enough about the American System and the American Constitution to literally pick up a gun in its defense. The best of these are uniformed Americans (IMHO even TSA workers), but there are more of us than wear a uniform. So, you might be right, but my mistake was not based on ignorance, but opinion and estimation regarding how many Americans are true Americans, in that they would take up the defense of America at their personal peril. There are others, of course, and may they live in peace amongst us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Tears for the loss of a national icon

OK, I pulled it out of my ass, you are right. But it seems about right, don’t you think, considering the last election? I mean, it was a bitter pill to swallow to elect President Donald Trump for many people, but they did it, because they saw true American Greatness in him. These are the people I mean, the Americans of Today, including the American President of Today, Donald J. Trump (and his beautiful wife). So, the first couple, that’s two, his cabinet, that’s about a dozen or so more (right?), me, the Hamiltonians (not that big a group, but rich) and all the people that elected him (were you one?). I stand by my number of 200 million, and challenge you to do better.

Cowardly Lion says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Tears for the loss of a national icon

You keep on capitalizing American Stuff like it’s important. It isn’t. You’re on the internet. It’s global. Get over it. Your self-centred preening is kind of jarring to a chilled-out European like myself.

And what’s with your obsession with Trump and his wife? That’s actually disturbing.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Tears for the loss of a national icon

“OK, I pulled it out of my ass, you are right”

“I stand by my number of 200 million”

Ignoring the utter idiocy displayed between these 2 quotes, you’re saying “I admit I’m lying my ass off and I stand by my lies”? Then expect people to take your other words seriously (or have some underlying mental issue that makes this seem like a good use of your time)?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Tears for the loss of a national icon

What a great question, thank you again. Yes, I’m afraid I have an underlying mental issue. I actually have quite a bit of angst regarding Michael Masnick, I even use rude names to describe him and attribute really terrible socialist shitbag ideology to him. I think about him a lot, and wonder what I can do to expose his lying ways and misleading propoganda. I think it’s in my blood, I’m cursed, from my ancestor Alexander Hamilton. Sometimes I have dreams. I won’t talk about them here, but suffice it to say, I think you are right. But, the good news is that this forum seems to serve a therapeutic purpose, as I’ve mentioned time and again. And people like you are my best friends now. I really appreciate it when you keep posting words like “utter idiocy”, it gives me therapeutic material to work with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Tears for the loss of a national icon

For example (since you don’t seem to want to play): What do you mean, exactly, by “utter idiocy” as opposed to “the usual level of idiocy” or “something really not idiotic at all”? Can you be more specific? Asking these kind of questions is both therapeutic for me, and a guide for others about how to deal with ridiculous arguments, like those usually posed by Socialist Shitbags. Hint: Go read “The Idiot” (I call out the author in another post), then come back to this forum, and give us a reply to remember. 🙂

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Tears for the loss of a national icon

“For example (since you don’t seem to want to play)”

Apart from your choice of the word “play”, what makes you think that? The opportunity for you to respond to me was there, and you took it. You then gave exactly 13 minutes between these 2 comments.

Bearing in mind that this is not a live conversation, email notifications of responses come at 15 minute intervals, and people generally aren’t hovering over a page waiting to give a response to people in this kind of forum… well, your mental illness decided on a conclusion before there was time for the alternative to happen.

“Go read “The Idiot””

I believe I’m doing just that. Sorry, but I’m not taking reading recommendations from someone as clearly and self-admittedly deluded and unhinged as yourself.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Tears for the loss of a national icon

“Yes, I’m afraid I have an underlying mental issue. I actually have quite a bit of angst regarding Michael Masnick”

Yes, we’ve noticed. If you weren’t spending so much time obsessing over this forum (mainly responding to yourself and not other posters), I’d be thinking that Mike should get some physical protection. I’ve seen behaviour like this before, and it’s usually on some documentary where a stalker decides to go and meet the object of his obsession. It never ends well on those shows.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Tears for the loss of a national icon

You are so perceptive! Did you ever read American history (don’t mean to be rude). Look up the date July 12, (some say 11) 1804. What happened, genius? A pair of deluded American Patriots made a huge mistake, over a personal sleight. They lost their minds! That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid. By venting. So help me out a little more, please.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Tears for the loss of a national icon

Well, that does ring a little true. The purpose of my life used to be money, and now I have too much. So, what’s left? Well, more than one thing, but honor is high on the list. But you are right to worry about me, my fellow Hamiltonians worry about me, too. That’s why we have court systems, so we can separate blind hatred and blood lust from legitimate and honorable disagreements, with some parties more guilty and some parties less guilty. They’re expensive, but usually expose a lot of truth. Short of all that expense, well, here we are. Please, dish away, it’s helpful. Sometimes some truth happens with people with differing opinions speak to each other.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Tears for the loss of a national icon

More than nerve was hit, but not today. Did I say I was ashamed, I don’t remember that, it doesn’t sound like me. Sometimes I try to write in a humble tone, but I certainly didn’t mean to drift into “ashamed”. About the choice of venue, it’s simply opportunistic, don’t read too much into it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Tears for the loss of a national icon

I think it says quite a bit that the “opportunity” you chose was to step up to the plate after the downfall of an individual who made his living out of milking victims in the name of intellectual property.

Reading into it is not necessary. Your intentions scream like a billboard.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Tears for the loss of a national icon

Blah blah blah blah blah….

The white men who control the military industrial complex will always crush you dark skinned people to white wash history and relegate you to shilling snake oil on infowars.

One does wish you actually who you were pretending to be, but even the faker pretending he invented email is supposed to be smarter than that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Tears for the loss of a national icon

Honestly, thank you again, this is like therapy for me, I feel a little better with every post. All that anger and blood lust draining from my psyche. Remember Hal in 2001? “I can feel it” Really, I think it’s helping. As for you, my new blah friend, hmmm.. Very interesting. I think we’ll need some more time together before I diagnose your malady in a useful way. How about a longer post next time?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Tears for the loss of a national icon

No, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark invented Hal. But come on, do you remember the scene? Little white rectangular components sliding out of the mainframe that was Hal, and him saying “There is no question about it. I can feel it”. Great cinema, no? I see it as an analogy of my own feelings when I post here. My angst is going, though, not my mind (I hope). Other times, I feel like Neo, when he jumped into Agent Smith, and then became Agent Smith, and then consumed Agent Smith. I especially feel like that when I read my own posts of the forum of my nemesis.

Christenson says:

Re: Re: *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

To begin with, this is a non-sequitur. And the irony of its placement is apparently lost on you…re-read the tone of John Steele’s words quoted above, compare that to yours, and think about whether you will manage to convince multiple judges of your righteousness. You may need to read up on cognitive dissonance first.

You are full of bluster…and ignorant of the Streisand effect, which means that within the technosphere, the question is what will it take to get the courts to do the right thing here? Your efforts mean all of us now know very well now who didn’t invent e-mail, even if he wrote the greatest e-mail program of its day.

I am an inventor. I don’t need patents to make my stuff real, although two have been issued with my name on them as inventor, and one is making my employer quite a handsome profit. There are multiple others in various degrees of practice, and none of them were motivated by patents. Instead, I need a San-Francisco style state of open mind, where someone listens when I say “but I know how to do that!”, or we need a system that does “X”, and agrees with me it’s an important problem that “X” solves.

You make me want to donate more to Mike’s website and defense fund. He always was deserving, keeping us informed with interesting documents, but you make him especially deserving!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

I salute you and your kind, my fellow American Inventor, Nice to meet you. I knew you guys were out there, and wound respond to the call I was making.

I will do you one better than donating to his fund, I’ll fund the whole thing! What do you think, Mike. Here are my terms: You write an apology regarding TechDirt, and the Streisand effect. You give us the URL and ownership of all materials. We post your apology for 30 days, and then TechDirt disappears forever, and your good name is restored.

This is not so different from what we used to do long ago in Massachusetts. A little humiliation time in the public stocks, and then you’re free to go your own way, your name restored.

In return, we will fund your case with Mr. Aayadurai, up to $1M, with funds from the Alexander Hamilton Institute. If you agree, I will go there personally and petition the funds on your behalf. The AHI aspires to uphold the principles that made (and make) America great, I believe with a blood relative of Alexander Hamilton speaking on your behalf, success is assured.

It’s a good offer, Mike, come on, think about it. America and Americans are the side to be on, my friend, come on over. You can finish your fight on our nickel, while storing your honor, and not besmirching ours further. 72 hours.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Well, it seems you might have been hoodwinked by some scoundrel on the internet. Sorry about that. My suggestion is to report him to the authorities, and then use the American Banking System to try to recover your funds. My relative invented it, did I mention that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

And by the way, that last response was inspired by “The Idiot”, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. My insult about “Sharik” was inspired by “The Heart of a Dog”, a great novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. Americans actually always have the most profound things to say worth reading, so I also have been featuring quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Harry S. Truman, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and others. I usually reserve my Russian references for people I don’t like (sorry).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

And another by the way – what’s with the ridiculous wrench in fist advertisement about “right to repair”? WTF? Was this left over from some unused Russian propaganda? You’re visually identifying yourselves as socialist shitbags, you get that, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

You are right, I was ignorant of the Streisand Effect. It goes something like this, right?: If you writing is stinky and disgusting enough, most people will leave it alone, like an abandoned baby in an open sewer that no one cares enough about to try to rescue. That’s about it, isn’t it?

I propose the Hamilton Effect in response: writing about the meaning and implications of capitalism, its genesis and impact; the role of markets, money, and banks in economic growth; and the importance of the rule of law and property rights in wealth creation (including constitutionally granted rights, like patent rights).

Streisand Effect vs. Hamilton Effect – I thing mine is the better strategy of the two. Time will tell.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

So, you admit you’re ignorant of a term, spend time creating an elaborate false definition for it (instead of spending the mere seconds it would take to research its actual meaning), then spend more time arguing against that definition so that you can declare yourself the winner?

How utterly pathetic can you be? How far do you have to fall before this sounds like a good way to spend your time, let alone a winning argument?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

“miserably insufficient or inadequate” seems to cover what you’re attempting in here, yes. You have so little truthful argument to make, you’ve created fictions to battle each other rather than address the meaning of an actual defined term.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

OK, yes, thank you for clarifying. So, you’re asking me “How utterly miserably insufficient or inadequate” can I be. That’s not an easy question. But let me suggest something to you. If you look at my other post, about “The Idiot”, you will see that the Russian authors of their day taught the world how to deal with socialist ideas, techniques, and shitbags. One incredibly effective technique is simply to literally interpret their words, and then attempt an honest answer, leaving them with nothing to say. Want to play? Let’s see. How about “A Lot!” (Oh, that’s not very good, is it?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Ok, I’m sure you understand my real intention. What I am doing is establishing a written record of how to debate with socialist ideas, techniques, and shitbags (not that you are one of them). Technique one is above. Technique two is explained in my second reference, the one about “Sharik”, the stray dog taken in by a kind physician. The lesson he learned is that sometimes, you cannot call a dog a man. It’s a bad idea. You have to remind them they are a dog, by putting the argument that the people that they are criticizing are people, and they are dogs. I used this argument in the TSA article (check it for yourself). The two in combination, being literal, and helpful, and demeaning, when appropriate, have devastating effects on social ideology and propoganda. Sometimes good people (like you) get sucked into really stupid arguments (like the meaning of pathetic, a term often used by socialist shitbags). But then, calling it for what it is clear it up. Check me.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

“What I am doing is establishing a written record of how to debate with socialist ideas, techniques, and shitbags”

No, you’re posting a lot of rambling nonsense, much of it replying to yourself and not others, that does nothing except make you look rather unhinged. Your lack of a grasp on the basic definitions of some of the words you’re using only increases the ridicule.

You think you’re putting up a good fight against the scaaary socialists, but you’re actually just making yourself look like someone for whom internet access is a good thing – otherwise you’d just be standing outside shouting at lampposts and a potential physical hazard to the people telling you to take your meds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

I stand corrected, thank you. I was referring to the Masnick Effect, the one about leaving an idea alone in a cesspool of vileness and maliciousness in the hopes that no one respectable will challenge it, but instead that it will draw idiots to come play in the sewage.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Think of it what you will. If an esteemed descendant of Alexander Hamilton – a rich inventor, at that, with a huge fraternity of like-minded individuals – will not make himself known to substantiate his identity, your proposal might shed some light to prove that you are who you claim to be. Of course, with all the resources allegedly at your disposal, why would you have anything to fear from being identified?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Good question. I think I am afraid of the “Malice Effect”, as I described above. That is, by having my actual name used in close reference to the dog Sharik (my special name for Michael Masnick) some of the stinky shit around him well rub off on me. That’s the biggest reason. Secondarily, since I’m sitting on real evidence, if he does actually call me out, I will rub his false propaganda in his face, with the records (and my name) behind it. Happy to do it. And since he’s so willing to give me his forum to promote my ideas, here I am. An Anonymous Coward. Just like you. 🙂 Welcome, brother. I assume you have the same fears as I.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Nut up. Ok, I’ll do it, or at least, I’ll try. What does it mean, exactly? Put my nuts on the table, that’s a possibility. Sometimes in gambling there is a “nut” term about betting. Or do you mean, in an ironic way, like one the way Bulgakov would write about. Nut up. Ok. Help me understand what to do, my friend, and I’ll give it a go.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Hey, good news, everybody. In case you were wondering about my Bulgakov references, I found “Heart of a dog” online. Is that great, or what? It’s a classic, and I think there are English subtitles. But actually, you don’t really need them. You can easily spot Sharik (on the operating table), and then later chasing cats on all four legs. It’s really great, give it a try. It has a lot of important points about the products of socialist ideology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whHySar4EoY

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Seems that, for all your bravado about “America is the greatest, all others eat shit”, you are unfamiliar with a rather American idiom. “Nut up” is short for “grow a pair of nuts” — ”nuts”, in this case, meaning “balls”, which is a reference to testicles, which further denotes the idea of courage.

If you say you are going to reveal all this information you have against Mr. Masnick and attach your name to it, you can either nut up (have the courage to reveal that information and attach your actual legal name to it) or shut up (quit talking altogether because you lack both the courage and the credibility required to make people believe you).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Both the courage and the credibility? I’m just not sure about that. The courage is questionable, I mean, just look at my name (on this forum). But my family has a history of courage, of course, maybe stupid courage (it got Alexander killed). It’s a quandary, all right, I wrestle with it every day. Now where were we? Balls are courage. Got that. Did I say I was gong to reveal something? I think I specifically said I was NOT going to reveal something, unless called out. I don’t think I volunteered to call myself out, because of the Masnick Effect (stinky shit spreading to all nearby). I thought I was clear about that, my cowardly brother (or was he the other one?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:13 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

I think I specifically said I was NOT going to reveal something, unless called out.

Quoting Mr. Masnick while linking to the source of said quote: “I see you claim to have evidence of all of this. Please do post it here, because such evidence literally cannot exist, because what you are claiming is not even remotely true.”

Get over whatever delusions you have about being related to Alexander Hamilton and address Mr. Masnick. No “I am so clever” not-actually-clever takes on his name or phrases he has coined, no painful references to a film nobody but you cares about — just present your evidence, straightforward and with your legal name attached, as a reply to the comment I linked to.

If you cannot do this, stop posting. Most of your comments will end up flagged, anyway, so people will know you are a troll and not worth taking seriously. (Me, I have little else better to do with my time, which makes me a perfect foil for fighting a basement-dwelling imbecile like you.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

Basement-dwelling imbecile, wow, that’s like balm to an open wound. You are really an artist with words. Now are you asking? Let me look again: I think you are asking me to present my evidence, right? With my legal name attached. It is tempting, my nature is to go there, I wonder, maybe you can help me. Can we pick a jury first, so I can present my evidence to them? This socialist crowd is too rough for me. I tell you what, you pick two neutral individuals, I’ll pick two neutral individuals, we’ll ask them like gentlemen to hold the information confidential, and then render an opinion about whether Michael Masnick publishes articles with phony references and phony authors. Sound fair?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15 *Crocodile* Tears for the loss of a national icon -- from an inventor

So you are a complete coward lacking in total credibility. I can now assume that everything you say is a lie — hyperbolic bluster meant to fool only the foolish.

If you cannot nut up, please shut up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:17 A reply for a great big phony.

I am not Mike Masnick. I am not his legal representative. I am not related to him in any way. I do not work for Techdirt or Floor64.

I am someone who is interested in seeing whether you actually have this evidence of whatever you are accusing Mr. Masnick of doing. (Something about spreading socialist dog propaganda? I have lost track thanks to your general idiocy.) Since you said you would “rub his false propaganda in his face, with the records (and my name) behind it”, I am calling upon you to do just that — offer up the evidence that proves your charges, with your legal name attached, so that everyone here can go over it and judge your accusations accordingly.

But since you refuse to even offer up the evidence, I have no choice to assume you are both a coward and a liar. Feel free to prove me wrong — not that you will, of course.

Oh, and for the record: Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:18 A reply for a great big phony.

Well, OK, good for you, my fellow coward. I understand that you are interested in seeing my evidence. That’s one thing. But I’m really not sure I’m at all willing to share it with this socialist crowd (well, there are also some Americans, I’m sure). Two different things. Offer me two respectable Americans who will promise in public to keep the information confidential (name them). I will offer two of my own (I will name them (if they agree)). The four of them will review the evidence with each other, and come to a conclusion as a group about the statement I outlined above. I’m game. Let’s go. Name 2, and back up (at least a little) that they are Respectable Americans, then I will do the same (or at least try to). They say they will keep it confidential, I send the evidence to all four, we get an opinion. Sounds very American and less Socialist, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:19 A reply for a great big phony.

You said you would reveal your so-called "evidence" if Mr. Masnick called you out. He did. Now you are placing further stipulations upon your initial one in the hopes that they will never be met, thus giving you a "win". Even if Mr. Masnick were to meet the stipulations you described, you would eventually add another stipulation — "I will not hand over my evidence until I see a video of Mr. Masnick masturbating in front of my neighbor’s sprinkler at 3:32am on the third Tuesday of the month while dressed in a Batman costume" — that he either could not possibly meet without great expenditure or are otherwise impossible to meet anyway.

In America, we call this "moving the goalposts". It is a sign of cowardice and the surest sign that your so-called "evidence" is nothing more than a figment of your imagination. You are a coward and a liar, Shiva Ayyadurai did not invent email, and now I actually do have better things to do with my time.

Please feel free to fornicate yourself with an inanimate carbon rod.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 A reply for a great big phony.

“Inanimate carbon rod, wow, are you a chemist, or a physicist, or something?”

My guess is Simpsons’ fan. It’s interesting how obsessively “patriotic” you are, but you don’t seem to have any grasp of common American cultural references, idioms and tropes, every one of which has gone over your head. Strange.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 A reply for a great big phony.

Strange how an obsessively “patriotic” American only has a Russian book popular during the Soviet era to fall back on when his assertions are being questioned, isn’t it? You don’t seem to have any actual arguments, just jingoism, deflection and appeal to authority. All fallacies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:24 A reply for a great big phony.

I don’t think so. My point was that the Russians developed, over the years, the absolutely most biting criticism of socialism, in the form of books and now movies of great authors. We can learn from them how to handle the socialists among us, and why we need to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:26 A reply for a great big phony.

But you know, when you said “feeding” it made me think of Dogs, and the analogy of a Dog (Sharik) in the movie I referenced before. I don’t think it’s really about degradation, I think it’s about respect. We should all respect other people, right? It’s good for us, helps us keep order in our society. There is kind of a social order of respect, for normal Americans, right? Historical figures, current leaders, those who serve in the military, they all deserve respect, right (even the TSA)? That’s really the point of Sharik – he has no respect for other, like most socialists. When you hear Sharik belittling and degrading others, you need to call him out as a dog. We’re all dogs, understand, and we all have master, and we should. It’s good for us. Sharik is a BAD DOG. Does that kind of clear that up for you?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:26 A reply for a great big phony.

Thank you for that, I assume it is OK for me now to tag along on this comment, since you already said sorry. I had a little trouble making that last point, didn’t I? How can I say what I mean? Let’s limit my point just to Americans, OK, it’s too complex to try to include everyone. And let’s make it just Patriotic Americans (already defined). My point is we should respect each other, work together, and combat nasty shit sticky evil socialist propaganda at every opportunity, or we will end up regretting it, as the great authors in Russia surely did. Better?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:28 A reply for a great big phony.

I just don’t know how to give advice to others. For me, I’m an American. I’m so American that another blood relative of mine John Webster, the first governor of the Colony of Connecticut, through my great grandfather’s wife, who ran a mission in Mexico, even after her husband Hiram Hamilton was killed by the very constituents he was trying to serve. That’s life. Anyway, my American view runs deep in my blood (obviously excessively so, don’t you think?), and I just don’t know how to speak to other people in other counties about other problems. I’m an American, interested in solving American problems. God bless America!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:29 A reply for a great big phony.

Hey, cool, here’s a public reference to my great grandparents: https://books.google.co.th/books?id=Tct5CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=frances+snow+mexico+hamilton&source=bl&ots=Rt_bHBarP7&sig=3LcIinTNmOO73xeILwZ9YY6HU-I&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjzhr-56MTSAhUJTI8KHWeCCWwQ6AEIGDAA#v=onepage&q=frances%20snow%20mexico%20hamilton&f=false

Cool, huh?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:30 A reply for a great big phony.

Do you get now why we don’t like our name besmirched? We’re an old and proud family, and don’t really want anything to do with Mr. Masnick. He picked this fight, and now he’s in it. Take our deal, Mr. Masnick, say you’re sorry and lose the web site and all it’s contents.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:21 A reply for a great big phony.

In Massachusetts, Mr. Masnick, we take our names seriously. I have now officially besmirched your name, by saying you print phony articles with phony authors and phony legal opinions. And I am saying I can prove it to a committee of four, two from your side and two from mine. The only requirement is that they are Respectable Americans, willing to say in public that they will keep the information confidential. Name them (your two seconds), and I will face you in a “people’s court” of your peers, rather than on a battlefield. That sounds fair, doesn’t it?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 A reply for a great big phony.

“Am I missing something?”

Yes. Although the conversation you’re having is in public, you’re conversing with some who is not Mr. Masnick. It’s the equivalent of having a debate with someone in the lobby of a hotel and referring to the other person as “Mr. Marriott” in case the owner is listening in. Do you also refer to Mr Zuckerberg directly whenever you talk to people on Facebook?

“He can read it later.”

He almost certainly has better things to do, unless he’s working out the details of the stalking case. But, even if he was, he’s not the person you’re actually talking to right now. Don’t you think it strange to be referring to someone who may read the conversation later rather than the person you’re talking to?

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well, he does have to make restitution. I don’t suspect that he still has all that money he extorted, and though the likelihood of his getting a job after prison will be low, he still has to pay those people back. Maybe there are enough lawyers out there who will buy his instruction manual on how to extort the public (when and if it is published, though he may call it his memoirs) that will give him enough to make those payments.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

8 Restitution. Defendant understands and agrees that the Mandatory Restitution Act, 18 U.S.C. 3663A, applies and that the Court is required to order the defendant to pay the maximum restitution to the victims of his crimes as provided by law. The defendant understands and agrees that the Court will order him to make restitution for the entire loss caused by his fraud scheme and that the restitution order will not be limited to the counts of conviction. (emphasis added)

They were already embarrassed when they got sued by Prenda, and the public records will be from the suits, and records from the court (unless settlements are not documented by the courts). The rewards will be whatever they lost which I take to include attorneys fees, but legalese is not my specialty.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 6th, 2017 @ 6:08pm

Truly a rousing and convincing response, because clearly no-one but TD staff could have written something like that, seeing as everyone that isn’t a pirate-commie-jaywalker supports the likes of Steele in their many… inventive ways of securing money via the legal system.

Seriously, that was the best you could come up with?

Joel Coehoorn says:

Testimony not worth much

Given how many times Steele has already shown a willingness to, shall we say, stretch the truth in a courtroom, how much is his testimony really gonna be worth? It shouldn’t be hard for a competent defense attorney to turn this around on him in course. That might at least help explain the weak deal.

Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

Steele and Hansmeier took a lot of cash from people over 6 million dollars and they weren’t too worried about getting caught.

For years they lied and deceived the courts and even when faced with facts that their scheme was bullshit, they still lied about and then complained how they were being victimized by the courts.

Even when facing sanctions the lies never stopped, same disregard they had for the the rules of law, they themselves are now facing being at the mercy of the court like so many people who were victims of their extortion scheme.

The real kicker here though it some of the people they tried to make victims fought back, and with defense lawyers of Doe’s and FCT & DTD helping shone the light on the Prenda scheme and now Steele and Hansmeier are soon to experience a side of the court that they have never seen.

Steele and Hansmeier deserve every second of jail time they get. Even once the Prenda gravy train came to an end and all the court judgments they faced , they went right to the next best way to extort people for money to not sue, and that is the Americans With Disabilities Act Lawsuits.

The easy settlement cash is obviously too hard for Steele and Hansmeier to give up, and even once they serve their jail time, I fully expect them to be in the background as I am sure they are both going to not be able to act as a member of the bar in the legal profession, but as the brains of some new scheme to extort people for money I am sure we are going to hear there names connected to some new scheme in the future.

Hans law License is suspended, he isn’t allowed to practice law, but that doesn’t mean he can’t consult. Hans hasn’t given up the ADA lawsuits, all he did was get his wife ( who is a lawyer btw ) to be the “face” and name on the ADA lawsuits.

You can bet your ass that it is Hans who is still running the show, Browne ( Hans Wife ) is just the front for it. Whether Hans wife will want to wait around 8 year or however long Hans gets remains to be seen.

I would bet that we will see Hans and Steele’s name in the new in the future when the next extort people for money scheme they get involved with blows up in their face. Hans and Steele will be back, That is settlement cash is way to easy to resist.

The sad thing is there are other Lawyers doing the extort for settlement scheme, I am hoping now that the FBI and US DOJ have an idea what is going on now that they start to look at the Lawyers who are pulling the same extort for cash lawsuit scheme and start cracking down on these clowns

Anonymous Coward says:

Bargain

Kind of ironic that a man who was using ‘settlement offers’ to force people into paying him instead of going to court, gets offered a plea bargain; basically offering him a kind of settlement.

The whole idea that it is possible to negotiate and make a (binding!) deal about what someone will be charged with/sued for is absurd and leads to misuse. From ‘extorting settlements from downloaders’ to ‘plea bargains for crooks like Steele’ to ‘a weak slap on the wrist for a fraudulent banker’…
It creates even more levels of “justice” than the regular ‘high court / low court’ distinction.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re:

I find it hilarious that some people are upset about the recent Prenda/Steele court losses.

Not "some people" so much as "one guy".

Did they have investments that are going sour? Certainly it is not due to principles, because they have none or a lack of justice they do not understand. Maybe they simply like to watch the world burn.

Nothing so complicated as any of that. He’s a troll. If Techdirt is against Steele, then he has to be for Steele. That’s it. If you’re looking for some deeper motivation, you’re not going to find it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyright lawyers and downloading pirates are just two types of criminals. I'm against both.

This isn’t a victory for pirates over copyright, it’s victory (LONG overdue) over criminals dressed up as lawyers. It was delayed by other criminals in the same gang who dress up as judges. Problem is always lawyers.

Glad I read this because produced the best comment EVER on Techdirt:
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170306/16355436855/prendas-john-steele-pleads-guilty-admits-to-basically-everything.shtml#c836

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyright lawyers and downloading pirates are just two types of criminals. I'm against both.

This isn’t a victory for pirates over copyright, it’s victory (LONG overdue) over criminals dressed up as lawyers. It was delayed by other criminals in the same gang who dress up as judges. Problem is always lawyers.

Glad I read this because produced the best comment EVER on Techdirt:
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170306/16355436855/prendas-john-steele-pleads-guilty-admits-to-basically-everything.shtml#c836

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And due to the shady, underhanded way copyright enforcement has traditionally been carried out, the masquerade was completely convincing. Had it not been for Steele’s misguided chutzpah and bravado exposing everything, it would not be any different from the RIAA’s operations.

This was intended to be copyright enforcement, and its demise is most certainly a blow against similar efforts, legitimate or otherwise.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This was intended to be copyright enforcement, and its demise is most certainly a blow against similar efforts, legitimate or otherwise.

I don’t see how it’s going to stop any legitimate (or, let’s say, legal; there are plenty of legal enforcement mechanisms that I don’t consider to be legitimate) efforts.

Arthur Hinty says:

Prenda stories

Mike, you and your colleagues have done a very commendable job with all this. I assume your salaries aren’t massive, being in this line of work and all — even at best, I assume, the pay doesn’t reflect the qualify of the work done.

So get to work on a movie script and get yourself a house out of all this work. “Prenda” on the big screen would be a hell of a story. Steve Carell for the lead.

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