Porno copyright trolls Prenda: expert says they pirated their own movies to get victims to download

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40 Responses to “Porno copyright trolls Prenda: expert says they pirated their own movies to get victims to download”

  1. Mitchell Glaser says:

    Now why didn’t I think of that? It seems obvious in retrospect. Like turning the neighborhood kids into junkies then running for Sheriff on a law-and-order platform.

  2. teapot says:

    But but I thought media companies were police who could conduct their own ‘stings’?

    I would suggest it’s likely that all of these Anti P2P douchebags do exactly that: by seeding their own original torrents they can then say with confidence that every IP who is also seeding that particular torrent has acquired it illegally.

    • GlyphGryph says:

       Except IS it illegal, if the copyright holder is making it publicly available for free and you choose to partake?
      Does this work for physical products as well?
      Because I’ve got this great idea for giving out free bracelets…

      • joseph barrows says:

        not illegal if the rights holder is the one making it available. so there is no pirating involved

      • teapot says:

        Your logic would be sound if it were apparent who is the originator of particular torrent files (it’s not). Since one wouldn’t know that the rights holder upped the content, it’s still illegal. Furthermore: merely uploading a file to a public space does not mean the rights to that file are revoked. Newspapers print pictures, but that doesn’t mean I have any rights to those pictures (outside of rights protected by fair use).

        Is upping the torrents themselves voiding their property rights to the content? No.
        Is it *inviting* piracy? Yeah.. that’s kinda the point.

        Full Disclosure: I pirate basically everything

        • Xploder says:

           You mean there are people who *don’t*?

        • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

          I created the event so that I could profit from it.
          Doctrine of Unclean Hands.

          This is bad for Pretenda, very bad.

        • “Furthermore: merely uploading a file to a public space does not mean the rights to that file are revoked. ”

          Is it, though? 
          That’s a serious question – are there any experts on US (copyright) law around?
          Because to me, it sure seems like uploading your own works to a site that *explicitly invites sharing* would pretty clearly mean that you’ll waive your rights, at least when it comes to that source. 

          • teapot says:

            No, it doesn’t. IANAL but I do understand the rights that a content creator has to their own material.

            Since (I assume) their porn flicks have a copyright notice on the back of the package I’d say there’s no doubt as to the licence type.. simply distributing the content via another mechanism does nothing to change the rights on the work itself.

            Most torrent sites explicitly invite sharing whether that content is legal or illegal so I don’t see how that would void any copyright.

            Now you’ve got me sounding like I’m on their side – I’m not – it’s just that when dealing with assholes like Prenda you’ve got to be able to articulate what exactly they’re doing wrong and not distract ourselves with things they’re within their rights to do. Basically, Coward had it right with the “Doctrine of Unclean Hands” bit.

          • Rob says:

            From a comment on techdirt, there is no package.

            The torrent release was it. Nothing else.

          • teapot says:

            @sqlrob:disqus This is all irrelevant to my point. There IS a package that exists which clearly lists that the work is protected under copyright.

            Even if the copyright holder chooses to distribute that media via torrents it does not affect the validity of the copyright.

            People are confusing a distribution technology for a licensing scheme. If I play you a copyrighted song over the phone it doesn’t mean that the song is no longer copyrighted  just cause I broadcast it to another place/person.

          • lafave says:

             the D’s argument would be that the P has created a license to download the movie by uploading the film himself.

            see also TAC’s response about the Clean Hands Doctrine – since P uploaded the film to TPB, he should be barred from arguing that it was downloaded against his wishes.

  3. Jake0748 says:

    So this means that these Prenda evil douchebags are going down soon, right?  I mean, I know the “law is an ass” and all that. But aren’t there at least a few good judges and legislators who might just smack them down in to oblivion? Or am I just being to idealistic?
     

    • nixiebunny says:

      Lawyers usually get away with it, but this behavior is a bit too brazen. This John Steele character didn’t know when to quit.

      • Richard Kirk says:

        Being brazen, amoral, and venal does not help Prenda’s case. Doing everything but loading porn onto the people’s computers themselves does not help. Being sloppy, and leaving their fingerprints everywhere does not help either. I long to see them all in dungeon deep in durance vile, and this may actually happen.

        However, there will be a sequel. Someone else will learn from Prenda’s mistakes, and do something similar but a bit more slickly. I hope the investigators are smart enough and law is agile enough to deal with the second wave people too.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Hmm.  What to do?

  4. austinhamman says:

    come on who didn’t see this coming.  im pretty sure i made a comment to this effect during the whole prenda trainwreck.

    its the classic “cutting you to sell you a bandaid” it’s the venus flytrap maneuver, it’s the pedophile with free candy.

    they had a good scam going, and they woulda got away with it if wasn’t for that pesky lawsuit.

  5. slickhead says:

    I thought this was assumed already.

    • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

      Once upon a time there was an Anonymous Coward who tried to tell people about these horrible copyright trolls… and the stories he told seemed so fantastical no one believed him.
      Now one by one these stories are being proven to not be fables but fact.

      It is one thing to assume, it is another to have evidence to support the position.

  6. bill says:

    Stop hitting yourself!

  7. Marc45 says:

    I dream of a world where porn is free of copyright trolls.

  8. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    OHAI Cory!
    I was coming to share this, but someone beat me to it…

    So are we going to post a grid so we can bet on how long till the first rat cracks and starts talking to save their own ass or maybe which one heads to a nice sunny place with no extradition treaty…

    • nowimnothing says:

      I have been following a bit on Ars, I think their main strategy now is to throw Gibbs under the bus.

      • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

        ArsTechnica, TechDirt, Popehat, TorrentFreak, Slashdot, Forbes, BusinessWeek and a few other places…

        If you want the deep dirt dive into the dark places…
        http://www.fightcopyrighttrolls.com and http://www.dietrolldie.com
        Run by Sophisticated Jane Doe and DieTrollDie respectively.
        They are lovely people who go sucked into the path of some trolls, and now have founded a growing community of people actively working to fight the trolls.

        There is more dirt recorded in their posts and discussion than has made the news so far.  People didn’t want to believe what was being said there, I think the entire community is pretty much vindicated now.

        They both were sued by Pretenda, Duffy, and Steele as the case was reaching critical mass in Judge Wrights courtroom… maybe they were doing something right.  (Disclosure: Yes that is my smiling avatar and words in all 3 lawsuits as a Doe defendant who defamed them.  Apparently butthurt is an actionable claim.)

        I spend a lot of time reminding people that without the work of FCT and DTD we might not have reached his point yet, taking cheap shots at trolls, and adding historical information to discussions.

        And when your bored of Pretenda… there are other trolls to focus on, and we can always use more eyes looking.

  9. Tribune says:

    Are we sure John Steele  did not appear in the films?

  10. Smart marketeers torrent their own material as an advert – a free sample if you will.

    John Steele is not a smart man.

  11. Nell Anvoid says:

    If this doesn’t convince everyone that there are just too many damn lawyers…I don’t know what will. Funny how all this is not really about justice and the rule of law….only making money by gaming weak laws. It’s happening in lots of areas…not just porn copyright trolls. The Prenda wiz kids are just a symptom…the problem is much  bigger and pervasive.

    Anytime a profession turns into an “industry” a functioning society has got a problem on its hands. 

    All these new law school grads might want to broaden their horizons and bring their financial pipe-dreams down a few notches.

  12. angusm says:

    At this point, I’d give it about three more days before someone reveals that John Steele broke into people’s houses while they were out, installed a BitTorrent client on their computers and downloaded the porn himself.

  13. herklots says:

    Cory – you might want to correct your spelling of ‘principle’ before anyone else notices. Tsk, tsk!

  14. Rick Adams says:

    I thought that one of the reasons Prenda was in so much trouble was that they were claiming to represent material that wasn’t theirs to begin with?
     

  15. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    OHAI Cory…  can we get an update?
    Those nice people at TPB decided to help out…
    http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-helps-to-expose-copyright-troll-honeypot-130604/

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