from the quash-them dept
We’ve talked a few times about Prenda’s big bag of tricks in trying to get contact information associated with IP addresses by any means necessary. Lately, that’s meant filing questionable “hacking” (not copyright) cases in state court — especially in St. Clair County, Illinois, which is currently enmeshed in a giant drug scandal — where a named defendant is “sued” but the focus is on identifying people associated with a variety of IP addresses named as co-conspirators (but not named as defendants). In one such case, officially for “LW Systems,” but involving the same crew of Prenda folks, the court has now put the brakes on the subpoenas, quashing them at the request of various ISPs and John Does associated with the IP addresses.
The “defendant” in this case, Christopher Hubbard is represented by Adam Urbanczyk, who, in previous cases, was accused by the judge of being “in bed together” with Team Prenda, for not opposing any sort of discovery. In an altogether different case, yet with some similarities to the one at hand, a defendant admitted to the court that he had agreed to be a named defendant and take a dive in not opposing discovery as part of his own “settlement.”
In this case, the judge, Andrew Gleeson, clearly suspected something was up and said that he wanted to know more about the ownership and control of LW Systems. Gleeson also said that he was aware of Judge Wright’s famous order in the Prenda case in California, as well as the Delvan Neville deposition in the First Time Videos case in Florida, which presents an awful lot of evidence that John Steele is uploading the videos himself, and setting them to encourage downloading — which would certainly call into question what sort of “hacking” went on to access the files.
At the very least, Gleeson has also granted the motions to quash the subpoenas, meaning that “LW Systems” doesn’t get the information it’s been seeking.
Gleeson said he had questions about the complaint and ownership of plaintiff – LW Systems.
“I think I need to be careful…,” Gleeson said. “This is major litigation that will take years to go through.”
While it’s not a resounding push back on Team Prenda, it certainly suggests that one of the few courts in the country that was still a “friendly” home for their cases is now growing skeptical as well.