Feeds

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

Things look bad for Prenda Law team

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.