Judge: copyright troll showed "staggering chutzpah" in sending its own subpoenas to ISPs

Kurt from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "A judge the the Northern District of Texas writes a blistering opinion, sanctioning Evan Stone, attorney for porn studio Mick Haig Productions, $10,000 for improperly issuing subpoenas to ISPs without court permission in order to obtain the identities of alleged p2p file sharers. The Court had appointed EFF and Public Citizen to represent the alleged file sharers."

Gotta love copyright trollery that causes a judge to use the term "Staggering Chutzpah" in his official communications from the bench.

To summarize the staggering chutzpah involved in this case: Stone asked the Court to authorize sending subpoenas to the ISPs. The Court said “not yet.” Stone sent the subpoenas anyway. The Court appointed [EFF and Public Citizen] to argue whether Stone could send the subpoenas. Stone argued that the Court should allow him to – even though he had already done so – and eventually dismissed the case ostensibly because the Court was taking too long to make a decision. All the while, Stone was receiving identifying information and communicating with some Does, likely about settlement. The Court rarely has encountered a more textbook example of conduct deserving of sanctions.
Judge Sanctions Copyright Troll Attorney for "Staggering Chutzpah" (Thanks, Kurt!)


  1. The judge failed to be fair to these guys they should have been fined 10,000 dollars per track , I mean per subpoena.

  2. My breath was not stolen by the fact that “chutzpah” was cited in official court opinion. Nay, it was stolen by “chutzpah” being used in official court opinion IN TEXAS! Maybe there’s hope for our red south yet ;-)

  3. Will some US atty get the chutzpah already to just fine/imprison all these copyright d-bags on RICO?  Just because legal loopholes make it legal, doesn’t mean these fy-by-night law firms aren’t racketeering.

    1. They’d just lobby some of their bought-and-paid-for legislators to cockblock any meaningful judicial action, I fear. On a more general note, considering the breadth and gravity of their crimes against the American people, it would be really nice to see more millionaires/billionaires pumping iron in gen pop.

      1. Except Stone was working mostly only Porn cases, and no lawmaker wants to appear soft on porn…  *giggle*

  4. Wow. It looks like the EFF got slightly more than what they were even asking for. They suggested in their brief either sanctions or attorney fees, and they got both. That’s a smackdown. 

  5. Reminds me of the phrase “breathtaking inanity” that Judge Jones used to describe the actions of the creationists in his decision against them in the 2005 Dover trial.

  6. The TechDirt article provided a useful piece of information: that this is a different Evan Stone than the performer in the same industry. Didn’t think it likely but people have odd second careers sometimes.

      1. “With 882 film credits, porn Evan Stone wouldn’t have much time for a second career,” said Antinous, instantly recalling the number from his memory rather than checking imdb.com.

      2. That name came as a bit of a surprise- I was thinking, “Man, this guy really gets around”. Can a presidential run be that far behind?

  7. You also seem to have missed he has to file this ruling against him in every open case he has going.
    He still needs to produce the records for people who might have settled with him, while the Judge can not undo those contracts of “settlement” there is a very good possibility that Stone and Mick Haig will find themselves the target of a mass lawsuit from the Does he illegally stalked and extorted. 

    This is actually extortion this time because there was NOT a case moving forward against these Does at the time and Stone made up subpoenas in violation of the courts instructions.  He lied to them that they would be facing charges if named, because the court had not ruled on the validity of his original motion.

    This is also the Evan Stone who told told people his method for tracking the evil “pirates” was to use an off the shelf torrent client, which means one could raise questions about him making the alleged infringement worse by keeping the swarm alive.

    Hes not the porn star, he is the balding Texan who has faced issues with every single case he has filed.  He was using a PO Box to have legal documents sent to, his business line was answered by a machine and he is about as unprofessional as they come.

    But don’t worry, I believe Stone is still working on these types of mass cases on behalf on Funimation, who recently acquired the US rights to IP Man and IP Man 2 and immediately filed mass suits to unmask does before the agreement for the rights of those movies had dried.  I wonder if the amount of Torrent Traffic for those 2 titles had anything to do with the companies decision to acquire the rights to those films.

    Oh and never forget this is the genius screaming about pirates stealing from others when his own “investigation firm” (1 guy former verizon vp) was using the coat of arms from some little known company called the East India Trading Company.

  8. I wonder what percentage of readers first read this post with the thought, “Wait, Evan Stone is a LAWYER?”

    It’s good to know somebody’s cleared it up that he’s not the same guy.

  9. So assuming he bills at typical extortionate lawyer rates, I suppose $10,000 would be what, around a half week’s billable hours?  Equivalent of about a $150 fine to some poor schmuck making minimum wage?

    1. Actually the copyright shakedown is much more beneficial for the lawyers.
      They charge the client nothing upfront, and then keep a portion of the “settlements” for themselves and turn the rest over to the client.

      ACS:Law I think was getting 80% of every settlement.

      Robert Cashman on his blog points out that $10,000 works out to about 4 settlements based on Stones reported amounts.  This is hardly damaging to him financially, which can not be said about the people he has targeted.

      The IP identification has never been proven in a court of law, but the threat of we’ll tell everyone you watch porn scares people into paying this scumbag guilty or not because the allegation alone can be hugely damaging.

    2. There is no equivalency there, of course: someone on minimum wages need that money to simply survive. It won’t kill the lawyer. Wooden bullets do though.

  10. OK I’m confused here … the judge sanctioned Stone (in other words gave official approval for what he did) but also criticised him. This doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. Your confused by the definition being used –
      sanctioning in this example is imposing a fine and other penalties on him for violating the courts order.

    1. It crossed my mind, but then I thought that Staggering Chutzpah would make a great first album title for a band named The Copyright Trolls.

  11. I always learn something new here: I thought “staggering chutzpah” referred to a drunk belligerent rabbi!

  12. I heard a rumor that Staggering Chutzpah’s increasingly drunk version of “Dayenu” was a response to the line in the Pogues’ “Waxie’s Dargle” about Jewish moneylenders. I tried to ask their drummer about it after a show, but he won’t talk to me because my mom was born Protestant.

  13. NPR’s “This American Life” did a great hour long piece detailing patent law & intellectual property law. If anyone is wondering why a small Texas town is the center for all of these law suits, it’s because their court dockets aren’t filled with anything else. A lawyer can get their case heard and get a judgement quickly, in relative terms. A side note is that the more the judges & jurors deal in these types of cases the more savy they’re becoming to this troll like behavior. As long as the defendant doesn’t cave to the financial pressure of the lawsuit, they might stand a chance.

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