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Copyright Trolls Order Wordpress To Disclose Critics' IP Addresses 119

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-want-a-list-of-everyone-who-has-looked-at-this-poster dept.
TrueSatan writes "Notorious copyright troll Prenda Law has sent a subpoena to WordPress attempting to force the disclosure of all IP addresses related to two WordPress-hosted sites that specialize in monitoring and encouraging action against copyright trolling. The sites in question are fightcopyrighttrolls.com and dietrolldie.com. These sites state their aims as: 'To keep the public and fellow victims informed and to ensure that through activism, trolls make as little money as possible.' These are goals which almost anyone (bar a copyright troll, or lawyer acting for one) might well applaud. Prenda Law's demand is not for a subset of addresses that might have posted in a manner that could be construed as legally defamatory but for all IP addresses that have accessed these sites, irrespective of the use made of them. Prenda Law has filed three defamation lawsuits already against the individuals who run Fightcopyrighttrolls, and one has been dismissed (PDF). Dietrolldie released the following warning: 'As there is a possibility that a release could occur, the public IP address (date/time stamp) could fall into the hands of Prenda. I would expect that they would then try to cross-reference the IP address with their list of alleged BitTorrent infringement IP addresses ... If you have ever gone to this site or Fightcopyrighttrolls.com since 1 January 2011, you may want to contact WordPress. Tell them you want them to refuse this overly broad request and at least wait until the issue of the case being moved to the Federal court is answered before releasing any information.'"
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Copyright Trolls Order Wordpress To Disclose Critics' IP Addresses

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  • How about... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beorytis (1014777) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:15PM (#43119765)
    ...even if you've never visited those sites, contact WordPress and tell them you want them to refuse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about sending a Motion To Quash the subpoena to the court. Imagine if every reader of these blogs did that? The court would receive thousands, maybe tens of thousands of motions - that's how you send a message.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How about someobody go postal on their asses, go into their building with a few AR-15s, shoot everybody and burn the fucking building to the ground?

        Nah, that's too good for them.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You know, for the first time I can actually see why gun control might be a bad thing ;)
        • to order a drone strike on Prenda Law and drop a couple of Hellfires. Do it when the owner and key lackeys are present.

          I'm against drone strikes in general but I'll make an exception in this case.

      • Is there a $35 charge for that? ;)

      • by Achra (846023)
        IANAL, but I _think_ that I would need to move for and receive an order giving permission to file a motion in that case, since I am not a party to the action? Wouldn't that be an Amicus motion? .. although, I suppose that if you are one of the John Doe's listed in the case (and didn't mind to identify yourself) - and were currently pro se? then I think you could file that motion. Who knows. Maybe everybody should try it and we'll see what happens. Worst case, the court throws out a thousand motions.
        • IANAL, but I _think_ that I would need to move for and receive an order giving permission to file a motion in that case, since I am not a party to the action?
          Wouldn't that be an Amicus motion? .. although, I suppose that if you are one of the John Doe's listed in the case (and didn't mind to identify yourself) - and were currently pro se? then I think you could file that motion. Who knows. Maybe everybody should try it and we'll see what happens.
          Worst case, the court throws out a thousand motions.

          Anybody with some time and money to burn can file an amicus brief. I mean, you're practically begging the trolls to sue you and use your amicus brief as "proof" you're a "pireate," but if a million people did it then...

    • by msauve (701917) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:48PM (#43120147)
      I think they should comply.

      Dear Prenda Law,
      Our records indicate that the IP address range of 0.0.0.0/0 (and ::/0 for IPv6) covers all hosts which have ever connected to any Wordpress site.
      Sincerely, Wordpress.
      • LOL, they should give them ALL the IP Addresses that connected and pad it with about a terabyte of possible IP addresses.

        Technically they comply -- but trolls will have to sift out all the chaff.

        Too funny.

        Sine a lot of connectors IP addresses are going to change as the ISPs recycle them -- they could just leave off the dates and for the most part, having the IP address would be useless.

        But it would really be sad if they had to comply with such a court order, as it totally abuses the justice system to intimi

        • Technically they comply -- but trolls will have to sift out all the chaff.

          You don't even need to pad.

          "It's all the right octets. But not necessarily in the right order. [youtube.com]"

        • by bryan1945 (301828)

          Make sure to include all of Prenda's IPs. See if they sue themselves!

          • Probably won't have to manually add them, someone at Prenda has to have gone to the blogs and seen something they don't like and would have only gotten worse as more people in the company go to the blog to see what all the fuss is about so their ips are most likely there already.

        • Don't forget that they should be printed out, not electronic. This way, to properly sift through them, the trolls would need to re-type the whole thing back out. (Make sure to use a "creative" font to make scanning them difficult.)

    • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:07PM (#43120365) Homepage Journal
      Wordpress replied that "the blog owner has already informed us that the subpoena will be challenged. Per our policies, we will not turn over any information (including on commentors) until that challenge has been decided by the courts."
    • ...even if you've never visited those sites, contact WordPress and tell them you want them to refuse.

      This times a million: Make sure the understand that this will affect your decision about where to host your blog. They're in the free speech business: Time to sack-up.

    • Spurred by all the stories I Googled for Prenda Law to see what they say on their website.

      What I found was a referring site (http://www.wefightpiracy.org/ that has a link to Prenda Law).

      When I followed this link I was greeted by the following message: "This Site is not Compatible With Your Browser".

      That's odd ... in fact it's a first. Well ... since I'm using Mozilla they just might refuse to interact with any browser but true and trusted Microsoft IE. So I went to another machine and used IE on the w

  • Fuck Prenda Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:16PM (#43119787)

    They're mutant vampire aliens sent from Xenu to do the Devil's bidding.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fustakrakich (1673220)

      I would like to think that Prenda Law is doing us all a favor. By putting the absurdity of copyright, patent, libel, and slander laws on full display, we could hopefully see a more widespread movement to abolish this nonsense.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We can do this forever Brett!

  • Three words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:17PM (#43119801)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_to_quash

    If you refuse the subpoena, the judge may decide that Wordpress is committing contempt of court. A better alternative would be to have their own lawyer request a motion to quash the subpoena.

    Of course, the best thing Wordpress can do is to listen to corporate counsel and pay attention, but I'm no lawyer, so don't listen to me. :)

    • by anarxia (651289)
      Yeah right. Wordpress will get fined in the worst case. In case they comply they will lose a lot of bloggers. Nice try Prenda Law.
  • ... could you force them to sue themselves?
  • Poison the well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pla (258480) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:18PM (#43119823) Journal
    Does that include the IP addresses of the 20 million visitors they will get over the next 48 hours for appearing on the Slashdot FP?
    • Does that include the IP addresses of the 20 million visitors they will get over the next 48 hours for appearing on the Slashdot FP?

      If I were a gambling man, my money would rest on "yes".

      • To be fair both blogs have been linked in numerous previous /. articles and likely already have already registered many of those same IP addresses from those occasions. Well, at least the members of /. that break the rules and read linked articles :)
        • by Legion303 (97901)

          "Well, at least the members of /. that break the rules and read linked articles :)"

          And both of them are probably following this case very closely to see if their IP addresses are going to be released.

          • by KGIII (973947)

            I clicked the link intentionally. They can have my IP address. I'm not scared and it would give me something interesting to talk about should they come bug me. I have far more free time than they do.

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      Does that include the IP addresses of the 20 million visitors they will get over the next 48 hours for appearing on the Slashdot FP?

      Sorry but a low end android phone could handle the load from a slashdotting these days.

  • And here's my IPv6 address: take:your:copyright:and:go:fuck:your:self
    • That's not a valid IPv6 address. Remember, an address does have to be hex.

      But here are my IP addresses - 192.168.10.106 for IPv4, or fe80::1c98:3703:3f57:f595%16 for IPv6. Have fun!

      • That's not a valid IPv6 address. Remember, an address does have to be hex.

        But here are my IP addresses - 192.168.10.106 for IPv4, or fe80::1c98:3703:3f57:f595%16 for IPv6. Have fun!

        Okay fine, I'll hex it. beef::cafe:fa65:1410:face

        Directed at Prenda, not you, kind sir. :)

  • I wonder what they think they gain with that sort of stance. Gather up all IP addresses (which are NOT personal identification) and sue everyone remotely associatable? Including, say, google for indexing those sites? What?

    If wordpress somehow cannot refuse (or just doesn't have any balls; this is a possibility) the least they can do is heap all the IP addresses together without specification. It seems that mounting a legal attack on such a broad range of hosts is sure to flounder.

    And you'd think even copyri

    • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:24PM (#43119883)

      They want to intimidate.

      • Intimidate who exactly? The group of people they are targeting have already been victims of what basically amount to legal extortion from Prenda and other trolls. That's why this commonity exists in the first place. These people weren't intimidated by threat of lawsuit under weak legal theories then, and they won't be intimidated by threat of lawsuit under weak legal theories now. These are probably the *worst* people to possibly go after, as they are most the most savvy of anyone to this sordid and convolu
    • by bahco (522962)
      Just trying to remove a wrong moderation.
    • by firex726 (1188453)

      It's pretty clear from the summary what they want.

      They want the IP Addresses then will cross check then against their list of IP Addresses of people who have pirated stuff then go after those guys.

      Sure the cases may be dismissed, but some will pay and others will hire a lawyer out of their own pocket to fight it. Either way he pirates who visited the site will pay.

      • If you've read any of the posts at those blogs you'll note that this particular law firm operates without determining who actually pirated something. For example, when a court asked how they determined that the defendant was the perpetrator, they claimed that their research indicated he lived alone and thus was the sole user of the IP address. Of course a brief consultation with his lawyer ensued who quickly spoke up and indicated that the defendant has been married and living with his wife of many years no
        • by firex726 (1188453)

          Now you're just being pedantic.

          I was not going to go into the difficulties of IP Addresses being used as an identifier for piracy as it's pretty much assumed anyone reading this probably has already read 100+ other articles about just that thing and I was not going to waste my time and effort re-explaining it.

  • Hey, where did all of those people who say anonymity on the Internet isn't necessary run off to?

    • OK I'm an old timer who was on the internet when everyone used their real names and an employer email address. Shoot what did you want to say?

      • The idea of online anonymity dates back to the days when September was not the only month online. The Penet remailer was created in 1993 just to prove the point that people could send and receive email without using their real names if they wanted to do so. Many of the designs concepts in modern systems like Tor can be traced back to Penet.
        • by idontgno (624372)

          The idea of online anonymity dates back to the days when September was not the only month online.

          +1 Eternal September [knowyourmeme.com] reference. God damned AOL'ers. I knew it would come to this, back in '93. I just fucking knew it.

    • Hey, where did all of those people who say anonymity on the Internet isn't necessary run off to?

      I'm sorry, could you repeat your question? I couldn't make it out with the extreme echo in the room...

  • Give'm Hell!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bananatree3 (872975) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:27PM (#43119911)
    Enjoy some afternoon reading, and piss in Prenda's sought-after goods:

    FightCopyrightTrolls.com [fightcopyrighttrolls.com]

    Dietrolldie.com [dietrolldie.com]
  • Or maybe... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beorytis (1014777) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:39PM (#43120057)
    ...Prenda just wants proof that lots and lots of unique visitors have viewed the allegedly-defaming content as justification for seeking a giant-size judgement.
    • ...Prenda just wants proof that lots and lots of unique visitors have viewed the allegedly-defaming content as justification for seeking a giant-size judgement.

      Maybe they should do some crying in front of the judge and jury. You know, make it look like it hurts really badly to have common folk calling you an ass when you're an ass. ;)

  • Legal blog summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by spasm (79260) on Friday March 08, 2013 @04:44PM (#43120105) Homepage

    Popehat (a great legal blog - I have no affiliation, just a fan) has a great and hilarious summary of the case including why Prenda's lawyers could be facing jail on March 11:

    http://www.popehat.com/2013/03/05/prenda-law-researches-streisand-effect-says-i-gotta-get-me-some-of-that/ [popehat.com]

    and

    http://www.popehat.com/2013/03/06/what-prenda-law-is-facing-in-los-angeles/ [popehat.com]

    • I love 47 U.S.C. 230 [cornell.edu] Paragraph (e) -- (provided by Cornell Law School)

      "(e) Effect on other laws
      (1) No effect on criminal law
      Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the enforcement of section 223 or 231 of this title, chapter 71 (relating to obscenity) or 110 (relating to sexual exploitation of children) of title 18, or any other Federal criminal statute.
      (2) No effect on intellectual property law
      Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand any law pertaining to intellectual prop

    • Just posted w.r.t. this subpoena: http://www.popehat.com/2013/03/08/a-quick-note-regarding-prenda-laws-subpoena-to-wordpress/ [popehat.com]

      There are a number of problems with this subpoena.

      First, once Cooper and Godfread filed their notice of removal, the state court lost all jurisdiction over the matter (at least unless or until the case is sent back) and all proceedings in state court halted by operation of law — including the obligation to respond to outstanding discovery. Prenda Law would need to re-issue the subpoena in the federal proceeding.

      Second, though I am looking into it, it's not clear to me whether Prenda Law followed the requisite procedure under the Uniform Interstate Discovery Act required for them to serve a subpoena on a California company in an Illinois case. We'll see.

      Third, the subpoena is ridiculously overbroad. It asks for the IP addresses of everyone who visited the sites, not just people who made specified comments — let alone comments that could plausibly be deemed defamatory. Moreover, it demands IP addresses for a period in 2011 before Prenda Law existed, and therefore before it plausibly could have been defamed or wronged.

      Fourth, under emerging doctrines governing attempts to discover the identity of anonymous commenters, it is doubtful that Prenda Law can justify its broad subpoena. Prenda's lawsuit, as I earlier pointed out, is a mish-mash of complaints about statements of fact (which could conceivably be defamatory) and statements of opinion (which cannot). Under these circumstances a court should quash the overbroad subpoena under the increasingly prevalent rule that a plaintiff must make some sort of preliminary showing to discover information about the identities of anonymous speakers.

      • You missed the fact that by considering the site offensive to them, Preda have demonstrated that they believe themselves to be trolls. While I presume the US legal system does not actually include being a troll" as a crime, I would expect a jury to consider it to be incitement.
  • Seems like it's a good time to think about plugging the cable modem into a persistent Tor connection or something. If the courts can't protect 1st amendment rights, Tor would at least make it harder for the Trolls to drag you through legal mire over a basic right that's supposed to be protected under the constitution.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Then everyone with an exit node will be sued in every lawsuit. They may never lose, but getting sued a thousand times a year would really suck.
  • Once a teacher I had asked a student each class to write down the names of the onces who disturbed class. Students on the list had to stay after class.

    When I was the one who had to write the names down, I could not get myself to write down just some names. So I wrote down all the names.
    I then challenged here that she could either let everybody stay, let nobody stay or let just me stay. In any case the list would be useless from now on. (The next step would be that we would write down random names.)

    So if th

  • SLAPP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:18PM (#43120513)

    I'm surprised they can't get these cases moved to SLAPP status... The same corp filing 3 cases in 3 courts over "defamation" sounds like they are using the courts to shut up people they don't want to hear from. These sites are naming names and events, so they might get them on technicalities... But then FOX news got a pass that FABRICATIONS were still not defamation... So the only possible purpose of the suits is to collect information to harass the readers later.

    Part of the problem revolves around court culture. Lawyers are used to going to court and calling defendants, plaintiffs all kinds of names, making grand requests for judgements that are hundreds of thousands of dollars... Then packing their briefcases and going out to lunch with the other lawyers.

    Judges don't like reporters going after the LAWYERS in a case because "it's just business". Except in these cases, the lawyers ARE the ones causing the problems .. Courts don't really censor what lawyers say in court... But then what they say HAS to be taken as intent to keep these threats...

    It takes time for the judges to pick up that these guys are running the same thing in every town... The legal PROCESS can't keep up rules to prevent this stuff.

    • If you read the full story behind what's going on here [popehat.com], you'll see that the lawyers who filed this motion are all getting dragged in front of a federal judge that they've managed to piss off. The judge has been throwing phrases like "defraud the court" and "incarceration" so Monday's hearing should be fun to watch.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday March 08, 2013 @06:11PM (#43121249) Journal
    Now if every slashdotter clicked on those to links, and forwarded it to all their friends, or put those links in as auto loads in some of their blogs, ...
  • 127.0.0.1
  • Some of the PDF they linked at http://ia701508.us.archive.org/28/items/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.71.0.pdf [archive.org] has redacted parts. You can simply copy/paste the redacted part into a text file to see what was said. LOL.
  • Really, so what if a particular IP address accessed them? That proves nothing. Pointless. Non-story other than Prenda Law trying to scare people. "Oooooo we have your IP". Fuck Prenda Law. No, I'm not posting as an anonymous coward.
  • I am in the process of migrating from gmail.com and wordpress.com to chalisque.{net,org} and chalisque.com and related websites: that way you control what is and is not done, and have an actual binding legal contract with the hosting provider which clearly sets out who is responsible for what. Of course this costs money, but you do get what you pay for with free-as-in-beer services.
  • Usually when a copyright or patent troll lawsuit appears on Slashdot, there's the very real possibility that the results will make no sense and be totally unfair, because of the courts' (EVERY courts') tendency to lose their collective minds and forget 100 years of jurisprudence when the phrase "on the internet" or "on a computer" appears in a proceeding.

    This time, that won't be a problem. Why? Because it's not even going to get to that part of the lawsuit. Prenda was apparently so sloppy that they're go

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