Copyright trolls cut and run at suggestion that they're a front for disgraced firm Guardaley

Now that evidence has surfaced suggesting that Guardaley, a disgraced firm of German copyright trolls, is secretly behind the legal actions of notorious US trolls like Malibu Media, the US plaintiffs are running scared, asking judges to dismiss their cases before they can be dragged into a discovery process that might confirm the link.

Guardaley is seriously toxic in the USA, and any suggestion that they were pulling the strings of US plaintiffs would likely be enough to get any case booted — and possibly result in sanctions for the lawyers representing the trolls.

The defendants in a case over downloading the B-movie Elf-Man has presented evidence that not only links Guardaley to the suit, but also suggests that Guardaley was one of the seeders of the Elf-Man bittorrent file. In other words, they were sharing the file while acting as representatives for the copyright holders, making the downloads they're suing over authorized, and not infringing.

As FightCopyrightTrolls points out, what may be even more interesting is the declaration from Lamberson's lawyer, Chris Lynch, which includes an email he sent to Elf-Man's then-lawyer Maureen VanderMay. As you may recall, in our post about the connection to Guardaley, we also noted that VanderMay had suddenly told the court she could no longer represent the copyright holders of Elf-Man, saying it was "impossible for counsel to both continue with representation and comply with the governing rules of professional conduct." In Exhibit B in the declaration, Lynch lays out evidence that the Guardaley shell company APMC was actually the one who hired VanderMay, rather than the copyright holder, and also that APMC had seeded various films from Vision Films itself, with the goal of then copyright trolling any IP address that downloaded them (i.e., just like Prenda's scam of uploading the films themselves). This raises all sorts of legal (and ethical issues), including the basic fact that if the copyright holder or one of its agents is seeding the films itself, it's no longer an unauthorized distribution, and thus not infringing.

We see this same pattern time and time again with the various copyright trolling efforts. Righthaven, Prenda and other copyright trolls seem to regularly try to dismiss cases when they're called out on questionable behavior in an effort to hide any more of that behavior coming out. It usually doesn't work very well, as opposin

Once Again, As Details Of Questionable Copyright Trolling Practices Come To Light, Troll Desperately Tries To Run Away [Mike Masnick/Techdirt]