Friday, November 30, 2012

Florida case involving Prenda lawyers dismissed for attempted fraud upon the Court

In a Tampa, Florida, case, Sunlust Pictures v. Nguyen, the Court dismissed the case for several reasons, including attempted fraud upon the Court. The Court held:

The case is dismissed for failure to appear at this hearing, for failure to present a lawful agent, for attempted fraud on the Court by offering up a person who has no authority to act on behalf of the corporation as its corporate representative, and the Court will hear, by motion, a motion for sanctions and fees against this Sunlust entity and everyone affiliated with it, including a motion against Mr. Wasinger for his purposeful failure to appear at this hearing.

And a motion will also be heard on Mr. Duffy for his lack of candor in relation to his connection with this matter based upon the representation of Mr. Torres that he was contacted by the Prenda Law Group or Prenda Law, Inc. for the purpose of being retained as local counsel in this case and that was not presented to the Court in this purported correspondence. The case is dismissed.

I intend to advise the other Judges in the Courthouse of the nature of this matter and may refer this matter to the Florida Bar for further proceedings.
Transcript of November 27th hearing.pdf

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Ray Beckerman, PC

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Judge orders plaintiff's counsel to explain whether he entered into settlement in violation of court order

In Combat Zone v. Does 1-84, a Boston, Massachusetts, case, Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal has ordered plaintiff's counsel to submit a statement explaining whether he has entered into a settlement with a defendant in violation of the Court's previously issued order directing him not to enter into any settlements.

November 26, 2012, Order of Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal directing plaintiff's counsel to submit explanation

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Ray Beckerman, PC

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Judge Spatt upholds all of Magistrate Brown's findings in In re BitTorrent

In a Central Islip case, Patrick Collins Inc. v. Doe 1, District Judge Arthur D. Spatt has upheld all of the findings and conclusions of Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown (PDF), in In re BitTorrent Adult Film Copyright Infringement Cases, agreeing that
an IP address alone is insufficient to establish “a reasonable likelihood [that] it will lead to the identity of defendants who could be sued.” In re BitTorrent, 2012 WL 1570765, at *7. Judge Brown noted that an IP address only points to the internet account in question, and “[a]s a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices—which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals.” Id. at *3 (citing U.S. v. Latham, No. 06-CR-379, 2007 WL 4563459, at *4 (D. Nev. Dec. 18, 2007)). Due to the prevalence of wireless routers, the actual device that performed the allegedly infringing activity could have been owned by a relative or guest of the account owner, or even an interloper without the knowledge of the owner.
Judge Spatt noted that
a simple internet search reveals that detailed instructions are widely available that would allow anyone with only a moderate degree of computer knowledge to “hack” any wireless network that uses this feature, using almost any modern laptop. Furthermore, at least one website offers a $99 kit that gives the same capability to any user with even the most basic knowledge of computers. Many routers also use a security method known as Wired Equivalent Privacy (“WEP”), which the FBI warns has its own share of exploitable vulnerabilities. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Got a Wireless Network? It’s Time to Shore Up Security (May 4, 2007) available at

If the Court were to hold internet account holders responsible for any interlopers and guests who might infringe on the Plaintiff’s work, the Court would essentially be imposing a duty that every home internet user vigilantly guard their wireless network. The Court declines to impose such a duty. See AF Holdings, LLC v. Doe, No. 12-CV-2049, 2012 WL 3835102, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Sep. 5, 2012) (“AF Holdings has not articulated any basis for imposing on Hatfield a legal duty to prevent the infringement of AF Holdings’ copyrighted works [by securing his wireless network], and the court is aware of none.”).

Judge Spatt concluded "that the Plaintiff failed to establish a reasonable likelihood that the discovery requested would lead to the identity of the Defendants who could be sued."

Judge Spatt likewise agreed with Magistrate Judge Brown that there was no basis for joinder in these cases, under the Federal Rules.

November 20, 2012, decision of Hon. Arthur D. Spatt, District Judge

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Ray Beckerman, PC

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Court refuses to approve ex parte discovery in Discount Video v Does 1-29

In a Boston, Massachusetts, case, Discount Video Center v. Does 1-29, Chief Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin has entered an order denying the plaintiff's motion for ex parte discovery, due to the plaintiff's failure to set forth a discovery plan that would be calculated to identify the actual copyright infringer, rather than the subscriber to the internet service. Judge Sorokin characterized plaintiff's plan to dismiss without prejudice as to one of the Does and to start a new action against that Doe, without knowing who the actual infringer is, as 'smacking of' a "bad faith effort to harass the third-party subscriber".

November 7, 2012, decision, denying motion for ex parte discovery, Hon. Leo T. Sorokin, Chief Magistrate Judge

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Ray Beckerman, PC

Friday, November 02, 2012

Court sua sponte severs & dismisses in New Sensations v Does 1-83, holds joinder not permissible

In a Massachusetts case, New Sensations v. Does 1-83, District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV has sua sponte severed and dismissed as to Does 2-83, holding both that the requirement for permissive joinder that the claims arise from the same "transaction or occurrence" is not met, and that even if it had been met, there was an insufficient basis for the court to exercise its discretion in favor of joinder.

November 2, 2012, Decision of Hon. F. Dennis Saylor IV, severing and dismissing

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Ray Beckerman, PC