Feeds

Smut-spreading copyright trolls told to return cash extracted from victims

Things look bad for Prenda Law team

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The team behind Prenda Law's copyright-trolling business took another hit when a judge ordered it to pay back money to the people it accused of downloading hardcore pornography – AND pay their legal costs.

The ruling, from the district court of Minnesota, was made against AF Holdings, a shell company set up to manage the copyright of two pornographic films, Sexual Obsession and Popular Demand.

The firm, and its infamous lawyers Prenda Law, took payments of between $3,500 and $6,000 from people who were accused of illegally downloading the grumble flicks. These payments were to avoid a public trial in which members of the accused's families may be called as witnesses.

However, it turns out that AF Holdings doesn't own the copyright to these two blue movies, and Judge Franklin Noel was blunt in his assessment of the firm's conduct.

"AF Holdings failed to produce any credible evidence that the assignments were authentic. The court has been the victim of a fraud perpetrated by AF Holdings, LLC," the beak wrote.

"The court concludes that the appropriate remedy for this fraud is to require AF Holdings to return all of the settlement money it received from all of the defendants in these cases, and to pay all costs and fees (including attorneys’ fees) incurred by the defendants."

It's the second time this year that Prenda Law and its many shell companies have been slapped down by the courts. In May Judge Otis Wright II of the Central District of California wrote an epic smackdown of the firm's practices in a court order laden with Star Trek references, fined the biz $81,000 and recommended law enforcement officials investigate.

Subsequent investigation found that members of the firm had been deliberately seeding pornographic films on torrenting websites with titles such as Alexis Texas sucks and fucks at a porn show. The seeder's network IP address was traced to Prenda Law's lead attorney John Steele. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.