On top of all the all allegations and active charges against Prenda Law, it now seems like they may also have deliberately seeded their own porn movies to the torrents with the deliberate intent of encouraging copyright violations?
ArsTechnica has a very thorough and informative writeup on how this was determined. Read it here
From the article:
Graham Syfert is a local Florida lawyer who has been defending people caught up in Prenda purported copyright suits. Last we heard from the defense attorney, he appeared to have settled some cases with the porn trolling outfit. Nearly two weeks ago, Syfert told Ars that he was still involved in two more Florida Prenda-related cases: Sunlust Pictures v. Nguyen, and First Time Videos v. Oppold.
The latter case was initially filed back in July 2012 against a Florida man named Paul Oppold. Oppold was accused of downloading an unauthorized copy of a First Time Videos (FTV) pornographic film which was being represented by Prenda.
On Monday, Syfert continued his defense of Oppold, filing a damning motion. The motion includes a 31-page affidavit and related exhibits (compressed .ZIP archive) that offer a detailed analysis and a startling conclusion about one of the primary Prenda lawyers, John Steele. According to the filing, Steele
is the most probable candidate for the identity of Pirate Bay user sharkmp4. Sharkmp4 was the originator of the only found public releases of Ingenuity 13 works prior to the creation of naughtyhotties.com. Some works were shared by sharkmp4 prior to the registered copyright date with indications of access to a higher resolution copy (more related to the direct source). Therefore further inquiry would need to be made upon John Steele, and all those within his control, to identify if he is infringing the copyrights of Ingenuity 13, AF Holdings, and others through the Pirate Bay user “sharkmp4”.
The affidavit was written by Delvan Neville, an unlikely character in this entire saga. A self-described “gamer, nerd, RHP doctoral student at Oregon State University, focus on radioecology,” Neville was hired by Syfert (to the tune of $4,000) to conduct a substantial investigation into the online practices of "6881 Forensics," the company Prenda Law uses to identify infringers. (6881 Forensics is apparently headed by Peter Hansmeier, brother of another key Prenda-linked lawyer, Paul Hansmeier.)
There's much more, including an interesting account of the computer forensics used to investigate the actions of Prenda. But the real gem is the conclusion drawn by Graham Syfert, the previously mentioned attorney defending some of those accused by Prenda:
Prenda Law's business structure is such that it is copyright-violating pirate, forensic pirate hunter, and attorney. It also appears that Prenda Law also wants to/has formed/is forming a corporate structure where it is: pornography producer, copyright holder, pornography pirate, forensic investigator, attorney firm, and debt collector. Other than the omission of appearing in the pornography themselves, this would represent an entire in-house copyright trolling monopoly—not designed to promote their own works for distribution and sale, but to induce infringement of their works and reap profits seen from mass anti-piracy litigation.
I can't wait to see how this latest one plays out.
Note: the ArsTechnica article also includes a link to a zipped file of the 31-page affidavit (with exhibits) that Syfert filed with the Florida courts about this allegation. The file weighs in at close to 25Mb worth of good reading if you're at all interested in how this sort of thing gets presented in a legal setting. Direct download link here