Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/20/ip_address_search_shows_prenda_copyright_trolls_seeded_smut_then_sued/

Comcast court docs show Prenda copyright trolls seeded smut then sued

Pirate Bay data catches company red-handed

By Iain Thomson

Posted in Law, 20th August 2013 18:45 GMT

Top copyright troll Prenda Law has been caught red-handed seeding torrenting sites with pornographic films in an effort to drum up business for its copyright lawyers.

The attorneys at Prenda Law specialize in firing out letters to internet users accusing them of pirating luridly-named pornography (Alexis Texas sucks and fucks at a porn show is unsubtle even by the adult industry's standards) and threatening a very public legal case unless they cough up a few thousand dollars in compensation for their alleged crimes.

These kinds of practices have already inspired one California judge to deliver an epic Star Trek-themed smackdown to Prenda Law and fine them $81,000 (and additional charges for late payment). But the firm, which operates under a host of associate companies across the US, is still litigating – but a new court document in a separate case is going to cause it major problems.

In June it was claimed in court that Prenda Law was setting up porn honeypots, seeding out films via sites such as The Pirate Bay and others. When the claims were made, Pirate Bay admins went through backup tapes and found that the films used by Prenda Law to sue largely came from a user called "Sharkmp4", who used a relatively small range of IP addresses.

The defense team than subpoenaed Comcast to provide information on the owner of one of the IP addresses, 75.72.88.156, and the court filing, released by Torrentfreak, shows it belongs to none other than Steele Hansmeier PLLC, a company once operated by Prenda Law lead attorney John Steele.

Steele Hansmeier became infamous in 2011 when it spammed out over 10,000 legal complaints against the owners of IP addresses accused of downloading porn, including a grandmother in her 70s who claimed she didn't even know what a BitTorrent is.

The company isn't returning calls or emails at present. ®