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Copyright trolls plead the 5th, p*** off judge

Prenda, likely the most notorious “copyright troll” law firm in the world, might have to pay for its silence.


Kevin Collier

Internet Culture

Prenda, likely the most notorious “copyright troll” law firm in the world, might have to pay for its silence.

Eight lawyers appeared in court Tuesday to testify about their operations. According to multiple sources, they didn’t say a word.

That’s right: After finally being assembled before Judge Otis Wright II—after several skipped out on him March 11—they appeared and pled the fifth the entire time.

“All in all, hearing lasted maybe ten minutes,” tweeted legal blogger Adam Steinbaugh, who attended the hearing.

Prenda has long been convicted in the court of public opinion of a pretty heinous crime: accusing Americans of downloading porn, and threatening to sue if they don’t cough up. It stands accused of creating a series of fake companies that hired the firm to obscure a mission of sending out more and more bogus lawsuits.

In recent weeks, Prenda tried a host of seemingly last-ditch tactics, even demanding to know the Internet protocol (IP) addresses of everyone who’d visited popular anti-troll blogs.

Twitterer @DarkMoe3, who was also present, said he heard one lawyer advising former Prenda counsel Brett Gibbs to “take the fifth.”

Legal blogger Ken White, who wrote an extensive account of the case at Techdirt, said that Judge Wright was clearly leaning towards blaming Prenda.

“It should be clear this court’s focus has shifted dramatically from litigation of intellectual property rights to attorney misconduct—such misconduct as brings discredit to the profession,” Wright said.

Prenda is due back in court April 18. Its official website remains filled with stock photos.

Photo by hammershaug/Flickr

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