Despite that Voelker is a superlaywer, I doubt he knows anything about the loot. Duffy did not know everything either to begin with. I'm more surprised that Adam Urbanczyk didn't appear in the indictment, even by initials, although the collusion and faux defendants were mentioned.
Re: "Well, we had to drop that case. Time to focus on the other 27 currently in the works..."
I share your pessimism. While reading this story, I couldn't help seeing a parallel between this fraud and Prenda's Cook county shenanigans. If you don't remember, Steele/Hansmeier colluded with a "defense" attorney Adam Urbanczyk in order to secure an "agreed order" to subpoena ISPs for addresses of thousands of future shakedown targets. I wrote about it 4 years ago.
Judge Taylor clearly saw this massive fraud, there is absolutely no doubt about it, yet a mild slap of the wrist was the only result. It took federal courts, dedicated attorneys, and 4 more years to dismantle Prenda. Meanwhile, Steele is still practicing (as well as disbarred Hansmeier - vicariously through his wife), shaking down small businesses. And if Urbanczyk is ever indicted over this, I'll be immensely surprised.
To say that the following justification for the venue is weak would be an understatement:
This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants Trump for President, Inc., Trump Sr., Trump Jr., and Pence because they do business and/or transact business within the State of Illinois. Defendants Trump for President, Inc., Trump Sr., Trump Jr. and Pence have conducted tortious acts of infringement in the Northern District of Illinois, conducted acts directed at this District, and/or transacted or done business within this District.
Defendants have social media profiles wherein they have individuals who follow their social media posts (hereinafter “Followers”). Defendants have Followers in Illinois and in the Northern District. Defendants actively sought to campaign in the Northern District of Illinois and have scheduled and promoted rallies in support of the same.
I don't have time to review Prenda's argument in this case, but it is worth noting that a year ago during the 9th Circuit appeal argument, Prenda's attorney specifically asked for that -- to judges' disbelief:
Judge Pregerson: "Do you want us to send this back and have it turn into a criminal contempt? Is that what you want?"
Daniel Voelker: "At a minimum? Absolutely, You Honor: my clients want their day in court..."
Also, the very people who are supposed to benefit from this law, most likely would be in disadvantage.
While copyright trolls are experienced in scaring people into paying, folks with legitimate grievances are not. The tribunal call can issue an injunction... and then what? There is no “small enforcement” procedure and the losing side can safely ignore the judgement because in order to collect, a "winner" will necessarily have to face significant expense, which is contrary to the whole idea of such system to begin with.
Reservoir Dogs? Why is that the name of the movie? a friend once asked me. Well, I told them, in areas with wild dogs they hang out near watering holes, ponds, or puddles or whatever but as the summer goes on in some places it starts to dry up and the dogs, who once shared the water begin to turn on each other.
Humans do it for a lot less than water is the difference.
But wouldn't the very act of having a judge say that a person is a non infringer completely negate the case?
It would, but the judge didn't say that. He just allowed the counterclaim to stay for a future resolution, which will take place either during a trial (not likely) or on a motion for summary judgement.
A common mistake is to conflate case with complaint: while a plaintiff conjures a case by filing the complaint, it does not have power to close the case, only to dismiss its own claims (subject to rules). If the defendant doesn't counterclaim, dismissing the complaint normally results in an administrative closing. However, if the defendant files a counterclaim, the plaintiff has no power over it, and the case stays alive.