from the heading-down,-down,-down... dept
And now, it's facing a class action lawsuit from Morgan Pietz, the lawyer who was one of the main lawyers who helped unravel and bring down Prenda.
The complaint seeks class damages against Rightscorp for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, California’s Rosenthal Act, and Abuse of Process. The complaint alleges unlawful robo-calls, as well as other unfair debt collection practices, and that Rightscorp has abused the legal process by issuing DMCA Section 512(h) subpoenas that it knew were objectively baseless.Here's the same thing in more detail from the legal filing itself:
Rightscorp is regularly engaged in the business of collecting on alleged obligations of consumers to pay money (i.e., debt collection) for purported copyright infringement claims, such that it is subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.) (“FDCPA”) and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788 et seq.) (“Rosenthal Act”). However, Rightscorp has repeatedly and systematically failed to comply with the provisions of the FDCPA and the Rosenthal Act. Among other wrongful conduct: Rightscorp has engaged in telephone harassment and abuse (15 U.S.C. § 1692d); made various false and misleading representations (15 U.S.C. § 1692e); engaged in unfair collections practices (15 U.S.C. § 1692f); failed to provide validation and required notices relating to the debts (15 U.S.C. § 1692g); and furnished emails and letters knowing they would create false beliefs on the parts of consumers that their Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) were participating in the attempt to collect on the purported debts when in fact the ISPs were not participating (15 U.S.C. § 1692f).Should be an... interesting lawsuit to pay attention to.
Further, to identify potential consumers to target, Rightscorp has willfully misused this Court’s subpoena power by issuing at least 142 special DMCA subpoenas, per 17 U.S.C. § 512(h), to various Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”). These subpoenas, which were issued on this Court’s authority, but procured outside of an adversarial proceeding and without any judicial review, are so clearly legally invalid as to be a sham and abuse of the legal process. After an ISP moved to quash one of these 142 subpoenas in the Western District of Texas, on September 10, 2014, Rightscorp withdrew that subpoena rather than risk judicial review of its plainly unlawful use of this Court’s subpoena power. See In re Subpoena Issued to Grande Com’n. Net’s., LLC, W.D. Tx. No. 1:14-mc-00848, ECF No. 3, 9/10/14; see also id. at ECF No. 1, 9/5/14 (ISP’s motion to quash). Nevertheless, since then, throughout the later part of September and through until the filing of this action, Rightscorp has continued to issue dozens of new, legally invalid DMCA subpoenas on this Court’s authority (see, e.g., In re Subpoena Issued to US Internet Corp., C.D. Cal. No. 2:14-mc-864-UA, 10/14/14).