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Judge Refers Prenda Copyright Trolls To Criminal Investigators

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the don't-mess-with-the-court dept.

The Courts 134

SternisheFan tipped us to news that the infamous copyright trolls Prenda Law are in a bit of trouble with the law. Today, U.S. District Court judge Otis Wright issued sanctions against Prenda. He recommends that the lawyers involved be disbarred and fined, granted court and lawyer fees to the defendants (doubled for punishment), and has referred them for criminal prosecution. Among the findings of fact are that they set up dozens of shell companies to disguise the true owners, actually committed identity theft, dodged taxes on settlement money, lied to the court, and abused the court by setting settlements on flimsy charges just below the cost of a defense.

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134 comments

Good (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43651323)

Everywhere needs more judges like this. All too often people involved with the legal process or shielded by large beaurocracies feel they can act with impunity and are somehow above the law. Criminal prosecutions are just the thing to remedy that attitude.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#43651359)

like most professions it is the few bad eggs you hear about that really do tarnish everyone. There really are quite a lot of good judges that really are only interested in doing what's right (within the confines of the law) and though it feels untasteful for me to say even most lawyers are for the most part honest.

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651471)

like most professions it is the few bad eggs you hear about that really do tarnish everyone.

Is it the same thing when it comes to lawyers? I guess Shakespeare's little ditty was only about a few bad apples?

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651575)

So we are going to judge a profession by what a 16th/17th century playwrights personal opinion of them was now? that is a new low even for Slashdot.

If it's a conclusion that stood that long (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652209)

then maybe there's something to it, hmm?

The basic problem of Lawyers is that they make the powerful more powerful.

They also self-seed, which isn't good. Make a law that can only be understood officially by a lawyer? More money for lawyers, more work for new lawyers.

This is a factor of the first proposition, mind, since the Lawyers are powerful. And they can make themselves more powerful.

Re:If it's a conclusion that stood that long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43654455)

As long as a judicial system allows you to pay someone to argue your position better than you can, there will be lawyers. What would you change in our system?

Re: Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651739)

'twas the often misread opinion of Mr. S that to destroy society one must kill all the lawyers, so said the anarchist, for the fabric of the social contract is woven by rule of law and in its absence might governs - which acted in favour of the said anarchist.

Re: Good (5, Informative)

XaXXon (202882) | about a year ago | (#43651889)

You know this is a common misinterpretation, right?

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/17/nyregion/l-kill-the-lawyers-a-line-misinterpreted-599990.html [nytimes.com]

Basically the rebellion knows that lawyers maintain order in society and in order to throw it into chaos they need to get rid of the lawyers.

Also,

"The first thing we do," said the character in Shakespeare's Henry VI, is "kill all the lawyers." Contrary to popular belief, the proposal was not designed to restore sanity to commercial life. Rather, it was intended to eliminate those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution -- thus underscoring the important role that lawyers can play in society.

http://www.spectacle.org/797/finkel.html [spectacle.org]

Re: Good (1, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43652061)

Rather, it was intended to eliminate those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution -- thus underscoring the important role that lawyers can play in society.

Yes, lawyers play an important part in perpetuating the State mechanism.

lawyers maintain order in society and in order to throw it into chaos they need to get rid of the lawyers.

Only if you accept that the State represents order rather than being the primary source of chaos [hawaii.edu] , preventing just regulatory mechanisms from replacing its role. Indeed, peaceful regulation of society would be revolutionary.

Re: Good (3, Informative)

Kythe (4779) | about a year ago | (#43654429)

Ah, yes, the eternal vision of all utopian fantasies: everything would be peaceful and perfect if everyone would just behave in a certain way. Well, DUH.

Re: Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652151)

You know this is a common misinterpretation, right?

How about you go to read the play yourself. It's there at Project Gutenberg. There's nothing in the play to even suggest that the rebels think lawyers as pillars of stability that have to be removed.

For starters, Cade is talking about what the society will be after he is made the king: "There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny; the three-hoop'd pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass. And when I am king snip there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord."

At this point Dick makes the suggestion of killing all lawyers. Cade's response to that is to agree and the justification is that it is a lamentable thing that a scribbled lambskin can destroy a man.

The next scene is the trial of the clerk during which Cade asks him whether he writes his name or is he a honest man who draws a mark, instead.

The thing is clear: to the rebels lawyers and those who can write in general are crooks that are standing on the way of utopia.

Re: Good (4, Informative)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about a year ago | (#43652801)

Alternately:
Shakespeare was making a lawyer joke [spectacle.org]

Some highlights from that article:

Far from "eliminating those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution" or portraying lawyers as "guardians of independent thinking", it's offered as the best feature imagined of yet for utopia. It's hilarious. A very rough and simplistic modern translation would be "When I'm the King, there'll be two cars in every garage, and a chicken in every pot" "AND NO LAWYERS".

and

The argument of this remark as in fact being favorable to lawyers is a marvel of sophistry, twisting of the meaning of words in unfamiliar source, disregard of the evident intent of the original author and ad hominem attack. Whoever first came up with this interpretation surely must have been a lawyer.

MOD UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43653635)

MOD UP; that was very informative!

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43652005)

Arguably, (at least in cases analogous to this one), it isn't so much about bad judges; but about not enough good ones.

Prenda's undoing came about, in no small part, because a Serious Judge(Federal District Judge, lifetime-appointment-by-the-president-confirmed-by-the-senate, etc.) became very, very, very displeased with how they were messing with the court and refused to either rubber-stamp them or let them drop the case and quietly run away to a safer venue.

Wright appears to have put nontrivial time and effort into familiarizing himself with the case, asking the requisite hard questions, calling parties in for serious beatdowns, and so on. Given the (relatively) small scale of Prenda's scamming business, compared to some of the other shenanigans that end up in federal court, they probably got substantially more attention than they could have expected going in, or that most of their slimy little peers get(though hopefully this case will serve to raise the profile of such piracy-extortion operations).

The trouble isn't that other judges are cackling evilly and conspiring with Prenda types, it's just that Prenda's "push hard against the weak, quietly drop the case and walk away if resistance is met" strategy merely requires a judge with a full docket to not follow up on them too closely. In this case, they were screwed because the judge didn't accept their surrender, and chose to take a significant personal role in chasing them down.

Re:Good (2)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | about a year ago | (#43652257)

The ruling is also quite hilarious, peppered with ridicule, Star Trek references, and such. Not what one would expect from the typical judge.

Re:Good (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43652403)

Based on the descriptions of the in-court hearings, the judge is completely and utterly ripshit with Prenda, so I can only imagine that he had one hell of a good time writing that ruling, once it became clear just how much hanging-yourself rope Prenda had voluntarily allocated themselves.

Re:Good (2)

OldPappy (53227) | about a year ago | (#43653593)

For some reason, as I read another article on the judge's comments, all I could think of was that court room scene in Ghostbuster's II.

Re:Good (1)

Gription (1006467) | about a year ago | (#43655069)

The ruling is also quite hilarious, peppered with ridicule, Star Trek references, and such. Not what one would expect from the typical judge.

The best one is from Page 2, Line 16: "As evidence materialized, it turned out that Gibbs was just a redshirt."
Someone needs to buy the judge a beer or bake him a cake. Outstanding!

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#43653359)

I think this points to there needing to be a LOT more money spent on the courts.

Courts should have the time/money to give real attention to each case, and lawyers should almost be unnecessary. If your lawyer doesn't bring up a defense it should be the duty of the court to do so for you, and so on. Courts should also have a duty to obtain all the evidence they can, even if not brought forward by either party. By all means dump those costs on the loser in the end. Trails should be about finding the truth and dispensing justice and equity. They should not be a debate club where you reward the person with the best argument and data presentation.

Sure, it would cost more money to run the courts, but it can't be more expensive than bombers. And every trial would get down to root cause. If the root cause is that some sociopath has a job in some industry then the solution is to bar them from working in that industry, or putting them in jail, even if the only matter brought to the court was a lawsuit over some file sharing or whatever. When you go to the court, you'll get justice, and not necessarily the justice you're looking for. That will make people think twice about wasting the court's time.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | about a year ago | (#43652179)

If it were just a few bad eggs, you might be right. However, it always seems that when they are discovered, (most of) the rest of the group closes ranks and attempts to shield them from facing the music. This applies to lawyers, doctors, police, military, the church, government bureaucracy, corporations, etc.

In my view, this makes (most of) them all equally culpable.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652327)

If it were just a few bad eggs, you might be right. However, it always seems that when they are discovered, (most of) the rest of the group closes ranks and attempts to shield them from facing the music. This applies to lawyers, doctors, police, military, the church, government bureaucracy, corporations, etc.

In my view, this makes (most of) them all equally culpable.

Internet GED and all that, but I think the phrase is "accessories after the fact" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessory_(legal_term) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43653495)

I agree, it applies to pretty much everyone who identifies with a profession. They see the rules they have in place, or at least a process to regulate whatever problem arose, and see no need for other oversight, as that's just (in their opinion) going to make life difficult for them, the innocent ones, and do nothing to stop the ones who are guilty who already avoided the process.

For example, me, scientist. When I hear about scientific misconduct, I grit my teeth when I see suggestions for changes in oversight. We have peer review which is experts reviewing their peers. It's not 100% effective. Obviously. Obviously no system is going to be 100% effective at catching greed or misconduct. From my perspective, peer review is the best way to catch misconduct though. And we already do it. I can't think of a better system, so any change is probably going to be for the worse, both for science and for me. Witness Lamar Smith and the terrible cabal of assholes (I'm guessing the Koch bros) who are attempting to control scientific funding to attempt to silence studies they don't like. If there were a big scientific misconduct case in the news right now, that would be the best shot at such people getting control of science: they'd argue changes needed to be made to scientific oversight, that the system wasn't working and they could do it better.

Even if there weren't a conspiracy to neuter science, changes imposed on us from non-scientists are unlikely to be any good from my perspective (and probably from any perspective.) I'm biased of course, but I don't think I'm wrong. Other professions obviously feel the same way, and they might not be wrong either. The financial sector, for example, we have good reason to distrust everything they say, but they might be accurate that ending too-big-to-fail in the ways that are being discussed could cause major economic problems. I certainly know less about the economy than most of them do.

Bottom line, it's not simple to make positive changes to fix professional misconduct. There are good reasons to not trust insiders: they are biased in favor of nothing changing. And there are good reasons to not trust outsiders: they are generally less informed than insiders and might mess things up.

Re:Good (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#43655041)

However, if the community wishes to regulate itself, it needs to be willing to hand over it's own. If a police office shoots and unarmed civilian, his fellow officers should hand him over for criminal proceedings. If a lawyer commits fraud, his fellow lawyers need to disbar him... The problem is when in the desire to avoid outside interference you allow misconduct to continue through a sense of comradeship.

It is not self regulation per say that people object to, but the fact that self regulation often leads to protecting your own instead of seeking justice. Justice relies on the honest and compassionate among us having a louder voice than the sociopaths. If you are honest, speak up when you see evil. If, however, your community refuses to speak up and instead hides the crimes, then the logical conclusion is that the sociopaths outnumber the honest and you cannot be trusted.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43653569)

...it is the rest 95% that give lawyers bad name...

Re:Good (0)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43653785)

like most professions it is the few bad eggs you hear about that really do tarnish everyone. There really are quite a lot of good judges that really are only interested in doing what's right

Sadly, this is not true. If it was, there would be many more cases like this one. When you see the rulings by the judge in this case, it makes you realize just how corrupt and incompetent most other judges are.

To bad Judge Wright wasn't in charge of the SCO vs IBM case. The whole thing could have been wrapped up in a fraction of the time.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651743)

I'll agree when they prosecute Microsoft and Apple for extortion.

Re:Good (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43653225)

It sounds like he's simply enforcing the numerous laws these guys broke. Good on him, but it sounds like he's doing the full extent of his job. I can't see the use in having a judge that wouldn't do this. So "Everywhere needs more judges like this," seems wrong, I'd suggest "Everywhere needs ONLY judges like this."

Re:Good (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#43653671)

I agree, but the way in which he did it could be better. Head over to the Popehat article [popehat.com] and read about the judge littering his order with Star Trek puns. Nerd joy? Yes. Appropriate in the courtroom? Hell no. Dude needs to take his job seriously.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | about a year ago | (#43654883)

I'd say he took the case more seriously then Prenda. Their entire business model stemmed from filing cases hoping they wouldn't go to trial, and dropping them if it looked like they might. I see the Star Trek references as the Judge saying, "If you're going to make a mockery of the Judicial system, then the system retains the right to mock you back."

Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (5, Funny)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about a year ago | (#43651355)

From TFA:

"... they offer to settle—for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense."

Judge Wright then awards costs plus punitive damages totalling $81,319.72 to the victims, saying that the sum

"is calculated to be just below the cost of an effective appeal"

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43651399)

Are you sure the dot is not a comma?

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651437)

It's the US, the dot is not a comma.

But what's with the Star Trek quotes in the ruling?

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651597)

well... a bit of an off-topic pun here but the US DOT is actually IN a comma... have you seen some of the huge potholes in the roads around the US? /end pun :p
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Transportation

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43651409)

A judge with an awesome sense of humor!

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (2)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year ago | (#43651455)

No kidding. The ruling is also peppered with lots and lots of Star Trek references. He actually begins it with a quote from the Wrath of Khan.

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (5, Informative)

v.dog (1093949) | about a year ago | (#43651589)

Popehat's write up on this [popehat.com] is even better:

Referring to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the IRS's CID is like siccing both the Klingons and the Romulans on Prenda, except that the Romulans have a somewhat better grasp of due process than IRS CID.

Prenda Law certainly won't live long and prosper

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#43654651)

Kobayashi Maru scenario, and this time the people running the scenario know exactly how the cadets cheated the system, so expect the lossage to be epic and memorable.

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43651777)

Could be worse:

Now, them Prenda boys was in a whole heap o' trouble...

Justice Wright: "Well, boys, there's several kinds of shit in the world; bullshit, horseshit and pigshit, to name but three. You've given me fine examples of all of those, but now, I gotta tell you, there's a whole other type of shit. This kind don't wash off, and you're in a real big steaming pile of it."

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (5, Funny)

Angeret (1134311) | about a year ago | (#43651513)

Yeah, really! An honest judge with a liking for sci-fi and a sense of humour. America is done for, done for I tell you!!!

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43654379)

Well done, you found one. *pats head*

Now go and find enough to actually run a civilisation.

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652177)

In saying this, the judge said that choosing an amount just below the cost of defence is an ok thing to do.

Earlier in the article, it seemed that it wasn't when these 'bad' guys did it.

However, if Prenda appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652281)

then they can't use as a defence that it is acceptable to price a settlement just below the cost of defending against the claim.

Which means that the amount of this ruling is open to change, but the reason for a penalty was valid.

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652293)

It's because they are being punished in this case. It's not the same thing.

Re:Judge has a great sense of humour/justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652387)

"What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

This just means (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43651357)

They simply didn't matter enough, like a big corporation does. Not enough lobbying means you'll be judged as hard as any other citizen would be!

Magpul begins moving production (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651377)

http://www.bob-owens.com/2013/04/magpul-begins-moving-production-out-of-colorado/

"On Tuesday morning, the company provided a little more detail about what it was doing in a second reply to Wooldridge’s query. It specifically referenced the manufacture of its sights and PMAG ammunition magazines, which, according to its website, can hold 10 to 30 rounds.

“We have started making PMAGs outside CO for the first time ever,” the posting reads. “The sights are made outside CO. We are actively moving forward with moving other items out.”

----------------------

Great idea, chase away businesses that are producing things people want, things by the way that people use to protect themselves and their families. Oh and by the way they also pay state taxes because they actually make a profit.

Fuck Colorado.

Gosnell is on trial for allegedly killing, Karnama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651387)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/06/abortion-rights-community-has-become-the-nra-of-the-left.html

I’ll put my cards on the table: I think life begins at conception and would love to live in a world where no women ever felt she needed to get an abortion. However, I know enough people who are pro-abortion rights—indeed, I was one of them for most of my life—to know that reasonable and sincere people can disagree about when meaningful life begins. They also can disagree about how to weigh that moral uncertainty against a woman’s right to control her body—and her own life. I have only ever voted for Democrats, so overturning Roe v. Wade is not one of my priorities. I never want to return to the days of gruesome back-alley abortions.

But medical advances since Roe v. Wade have made it clear to me that late-term abortion is not a moral gray area, and we need to stop pretending it is. No six-months-pregnant woman is picking out names for her “fetus.” It’s a baby. Let’s stop playing Orwellian word games. We are talking about human beings here.

How is this OK? Even liberal Europe gets this. In France, Germany, Italy, and Norway, abortion is illegal after 12 weeks. In addition to the life-of-mother exception, they provide narrow health exceptions that require approval from multiple doctors or in some cases going before a board. In the U.S., if you suggest such stringent regulation and oversight of later-term abortions, you are tarred within seconds by the abortion rights movement as a misogynist who doesn’t “trust women.”

Speaking as a liberal who endorses more government regulation of practically everything—banks, water, air, food, oil drilling, animal safety—I am eternally perplexed by the fury the abortion rights contingent displays at the suggestion that the government might have a serious role to play in the issue of abortion, especially later-term abortion.

The fact that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651429)

it happened more than once is a travesty of the system.

Re:The fact that.. (5, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#43651625)

It took this ONE judge basically collecting 5-10 other Fedral cases after putting out an order to consolidate Prenda's cases to fewer jurisdictions. It was only after getting a half dozen other circuit courts to agree, he could even read that they had been using different names and such in different courts. He broke down a lot of the corporate veil judges normally don't get to do.

It took special permissions from other courts and over a year of sorting paperwork to get ONE SET of troll lawyers. Effectively all this does its chase the trolls out of HIS court, and into courts where the judges won't catch them.

Re:The fact that.. (4, Interesting)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about a year ago | (#43651683)

It took this ONE judge basically collecting 5-10 other Fedral cases after putting out an order to consolidate Prenda's cases to fewer jurisdictions. It was only after getting a half dozen other circuit courts to agree, he could even read that they had been using different names and such in different courts. He broke down a lot of the corporate veil judges normally don't get to do.

It took special permissions from other courts and over a year of sorting paperwork to get ONE SET of troll lawyers. Effectively all this does its chase the trolls out of HIS court, and into courts where the judges won't catch them.

Actually, the Judge has gone a bit further than that - he has referred all of the individuals identified as actively culpable to the Bar Associations for the districts where they are legally allowed to practice due to their lack of "moral turpitude". Given that judges have no direct control (albeit with considerable influence, but no official ability to directly rule on such matters), he is effectively telling the American Bar association to strike these guys off, take them to a quiet spot, order them to dig a ditch and climb in, ready for the ditch to be filled in.

Re:The fact that.. (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43651981)

he is effectively telling the American Bar association to strike these guys off, take them to a quiet spot, order them to dig a ditch and climb in, ready for the ditch to be filled in.

From which ditch they will run their congressional campaigns.

Re:The fact that.. (3, Insightful)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about a year ago | (#43652197)

From which ditch they will run their congressional campaigns.

I am not sure it would go quite that far... after all, they may be liars, cheats, bullies, shysters, conmen, and to cap it all... lawyers. But there is a long way to go from that to suggest they can make the leap to the next level of unconscionable evil and become Congressional Politicians.
Oh, damn, showing my jaundiced and cynical side there, making the overly broad generalization that all politicians are scum of the earth whose sole purpose in running for office seems to be to hop on the gravy train of lobbyists' "Campaign Contributions" and line their own pockets at the expense of the electorate and citizenry of the country they are elected to serve :)

An interesting side-question would be to ask how many competent and genuinely honest people would get into politics to do some real good, but are put off or corrupted in the face of the Gravy Train on one side, and world-weary cynics like me, seeing the worst in all politicians and condemning them without personal knowledge, on the other. Not too many, I guess... (but if you think that YOUR congressman/woman is doing a good job, don't just post about it here, send them a letter praising their performance - if enough people do that, so that they get some positivity once in a while, it might help them to make the right choice next time, too.

Oooo look, a Unicorn!!

Re:The fact that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43654877)

making the overly broad generalization that all politicians are scum of the earth whose sole purpose in running for office seems to be to hop on the gravy train of lobbyists' "Campaign Contributions" and line their own pockets at the expense of the electorate and citizenry of the country they are elected to serve

Jaundiced and cynical indeed. I'm sure for many of them it's not their sole purpose ... there's also the ability to tell people (legislate) what they can and can't do, and have that backed by force of law.

Re:The fact that.. (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#43655525)

Assuming the IRS will let them. Remember, not only did he notify the Bar associations, and the AUSA, but he also sent it to the IRS.

Re:The fact that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652563)

Note: The judge didn't refer them to their local bar associations due to their LACK of "moral turpitude": He referred them to their local bar associations due to the fact he stated that "there is little doubt that Steele, Hansmeier, Duffy, [and] Gibbs suffer from a form of moral turpitude unbecoming an officer of the court."

(Not trying to be a grammar n@zi, just trying to help clear up a minor error...)

Re:The fact that.. (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43653427)

Actually, the Judge has gone a bit further than that - he has referred all of the individuals identified as actively culpable to the Bar Associations for the districts where they are legally allowed to practice due to their lack of "moral turpitude".

Actually, quite the opposite. Not for the lack of moral turpitude, but for the presence of it. Turpitude = depraved or wicked behaviour or character.

Re:The fact that.. (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about a year ago | (#43654861)

Actually, quite the opposite. Not for the lack of moral turpitude, but for the presence of it. Turpitude = depraved or wicked behaviour or character.

Quite true... I was so taken with the idea of moral turpitude that I ended up in two minds about how to phrase it, and ended up doing both, shooting myself in the grammatical foot in the process... that'll teach me to get excited about turpitude :)

Re:The fact that.. (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about a year ago | (#43654415)

He also told the US Attorney's office to look into the possibility of racketeering, and the IRS to look at them for tax evasion. Oh, and he's sending a copy of this to every judge who has a case with them anywhere in the country.

The next time these guys are in court, it's probably going to be as defendants.

Re:The fact that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43654333)

He also referred the case to the Criminal Investigations division of the IRS.
Even if the trolls get off scot-free in every remaining court case, and somehow survive the inevitable criminal charges, the tax man is going to cream them.
(captcha: circus. How apt.)

"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (5, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year ago | (#43651445)

For even more geek appeal, Judge Wright also peppered his order with Star Trek references, beginning with this quote:

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
  —Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

and hammering it home towards the end:

Third, though Plaintiffs boldly probe the outskirts of law, the only enterprise they resemble is RICO. The federal agency eleven decks up is familiar with their prime directive and will gladly refit them for their next voyage.

I strongly suspect he deliberately designed this order to get maximum publicity with the tech media.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651499)

I'm sure he would have used Star Wars quotes instead if they actually had any intellectualism behind them, instead of being fancy ways of saying "Zap! Powie!".

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651605)

I'm sure he would have used Star Wars quotes instead if they actually had any intellectualism behind them, instead of being fancy ways of saying "Zap! Powie!".

I'm sure that you could have put a little effort in to it and come up with a few very relevant Chewbacca quotes.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43651599)

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Interesting quote to open with, because in court they don't.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651637)

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Interesting quote to open with, because in court they don't.

Yes they do. The whole legal system is based on that premise. The very existence of a legal system is a protection for the many.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43651663)

Yes and No. The legal system protects society as well as preserving the rights of individuals. In court, what matters is the law, which may have been written with the needs of the many in mind, but when applying that law, those needs are not always a consideration right then and there. If a murderer is tried, with hard evidence against him, but all evidence is ruled inadmissible on a technicality, he walks (or should walk). The needs of the many = lock up a known murderer. Needs of the few = right to a fair trial.

Of course you can argue that the right of a fair trial is also in the interest of everyone else, thus it's "the needs of the many". The point is that the ST quote implies a weighing of interests (needs), whereas the judge in many cases will not apply such weighing, only the law.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43651965)

"The legal system protects society as well as preserving the rights of individuals."

I'm thinking that it's:

The legal system protects society by preserving the rights of individuals.

As for the Honorable Mr. Wright, wow. I didn't think I'd live long enough to see some real justice happen in this country, the way things have been going of late. Three cheers, huzzah, and all that. Now, where's that transporter beam that can work as a replicator.... 'cuz we need a whole lot more like him. To read a ruling that's incisive, witty, and just plain fun is a great way to start the day.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43653953)

The needs of the many = lock up a known murderer. Needs of the few = right to a fair trial.

You have that precisely backwards. The needs of the few == lock up a known murderer, who can only kill a handful of people (unlike a POTUS.) The needs of the many == due process.

Of course you can argue that the right of a fair trial is also in the interest of everyone else, thus it's "the needs of the many".

It's a basic human right, thus it's the needs of the many.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (2)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#43653387)

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

I always wonder why that quote doesn't make conservative SciFi readers heads assplode, it is so socialist/communist.

Re:"Wriiiiiiighhht!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43654969)

Nah, we just dismiss it as mushy-headed pacifistic vegetarian Vulcan thinking. We all know they're not as logical as they pretend to be.

Judge loves movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651469)

The order is an excellent read, the judge doesn't spare any chance to link in movie referrals. He appears to be a big fan of Star Trek!

Get him on some other cases (4, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#43651503)

Do you think we can get him involved with some other cases like Apple/Google/Samsung etal it would be nice if someone stopped them from behaving like juvenile pricks.

Re:Get him on some other cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651557)

The problem is that while they're all idiots, they're all right in their own twisted way.

Re:Get him on some other cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651591)

The difference in the Apple Google Samsung deal is they are all sophisticated participants in the market that brought actual products to market and created many of the patents they are trying to enforce.

I can draw a legal distinction between a classical patent troll like Prenda and Apple/Google/Samsung. While there is a definite need for some sanity in the crap churned out by the USPTO, I don't think it rises to the smackdown you want.

Re:Get him on some other cases (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43651993)

Do you think we can get him involved with some other cases like Apple/Google/Samsung etal it would be nice if someone stopped them from behaving like juvenile pricks.

That's what happen when you have an economic/political system that rewards people for behaving like juvenile pricks. One judge won't change that. It'll take about 75million voters.

Re:Get him on some other cases (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#43654513)

Judge Otis Wright needs to write a book. And start a thinktank. And appear on the View. And the Daily Show. And 60 Minutes.

Awesome quotes from an awesome judge! (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43651521)

Here is the official filing:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/139843902/Prenda-Sanctions-Order [scribd.com]

First lines:
 

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” —Spock,
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
(1982).

Somebody should make a status of this judge. Preferably 3D printed and with references to popular SciFi universes. He deserves no less. :-)

- Jesper

Re:Awesome quotes from an awesome judge! (1)

newmind (775000) | about a year ago | (#43652229)

this was the best thing i've read in ages! The fact that this is non-fiction just makes it soooo much better...

Fundraiser for statue/artwork (4, Informative)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43651691)

In sutiations like these, everybody always talk about how cool it would be to "do something". Several people have already mentioned a statue.

Well here goes: The unofficial Otis D. Wright Statue Fundraiser

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-unofficial-otis-d-wright-ii-statue-fundraiser [indiegogo.com]

Go throw a buck or five at Judge Wright. Show the world that your respect for this man reaches further that a simple forum-post :-)

- Jesper

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652023)

A statue for doing one's job? Where's the fundraiser for my statue?

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (4, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43652065)

A statue for doing one's job? Where's the fundraiser for my statue?

Not quite. He went well beyond his duties (in the best possible sense). He could have simply shut the case down at an earlier point, collected his regular pay, and proceed to the next case. Instead this judge decided to use extra time and resources to do "the right thing" - as opposed to just his job.

:-)

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43652101)

Awesome. You know it would probably sell if you put a Star Trek TOS insignia on the statue's judicial robe.

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43652205)

Actually I was thinking more along the lines of Q's robe (at Picard's/Humanity's trial) ... ;-)

/J

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year ago | (#43653081)

I'm tempted to make a 3D model of him, like a bust, and upload it to Thingiverse. Thousands of statues of the guy, all over the world :D

If I link from there to the IndieGogo campaign, that'd be some extra exposure too. I hope I do get to it in time!

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43653541)

If you have access to a 3D printer, or are a 3D artist able to make the modelling involved, please get in touch with me through the IndieGoGo campaign.

If you feel you are in a position to make busts like the ones you describe, we could easily make them a Perk in the campaign and compensate you for making them.
:-)

- Jesper

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year ago | (#43653765)

I tried sending you a message, but it seems I can only send messages to people that I'm connected to via a project. Will just donating $5 count as "being connected to you via a project"?

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43654033)

I don't know. I actually expected IndieGoGo to have a proper procedure for contacting the owner of a campaign.

Since that does not seem to be the case, please write to: wrightfundraiser@conceptfactory.dk

I have updated the campaign description to include this email for contact information.

:-)

Re:Fundraiser for statue/artwork (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43654175)

Thanks for reaching out through the campaign; but IndieGoGo does not share any other information with your message so I am unable to get in touch with you. Please mail me on the contact address now listed in the campaign description. :-)

- Jesper

Good morning read (1)

hebertrich (472331) | about a year ago | (#43651717)

With a good coffee , reading this is good to the last drop , i mean line. Reading this judgment is a treat.
If you havent done so yet , make yourself a favor , read the judgment. I never enjoyed reading one as much as this one.
Better than the SCO court papers and bankruptcy filing that's for sure. Hopefully they will end up disbarred.

What a treat , thanks for posting !

 

Re: Good morning read (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43653967)

I think the difference in the SCO judges is that they knew the nature of SCO lawyers and didn't want to give them any room for appeal. Also they were probably more frustrated than amused by SCO as all their tactics were legal but didn't cross lines. In this case, the judge has enough evidence of the lawyer's misconduct and prior behavior that even if they appeal, the appeals court will turn away any appeal. When one court can show that you outright lied to them, other courts are not likely to find you credible.

The judge must be a Star Trek fan: (2)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#43651719)

Quote:
Third, though Plaintiffs boldly probe the outskirts of law, the only enterprisethey resemble is RICO.The federal agency eleven decks up is familiar with their prime directive and will gladly refit them for their next voyage. The Court will refer this matter to the United States Attorney for the Central District of California.

Re:The judge must be a Star Trek fan: (1)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#43651729)

And I hope the Judge will beam these trolls out and directly into their respective prison cells where they belong.

The sane judge (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43651837)

The system needs a judge like this who can plainly see what the public at large has been complaining about for well over a decade. Astronomical awards are used as nothing more than a hammer to force people to pay thousands of dollars per infraction and avoid going to court. The entire thing is a sham on the public and the court system and never intended to represent anything resembling justice.

Unfortunately the Supreme Court refused to take up the absurd statutory award that was put forward in the Jamie Thomas case despite overturning the much (smaller proportionally speaking) Exxon Valdez award. We're going to need a series of court cases like this one to bring some sanity back in the system.

Whoopsie! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#43652631)

It's all fun and games until you piss off a judge. Too bad you can't sentence someone to be beaten with a baseball bat in this country. Not that he should let THAT stop him...

Jim Bell says "you can't do that" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43654659)

Too bad you can't sentence someone to be beaten with a baseball bat in this country.

Is that against the Kickstarter (smirk) terms of service? I'd chip in a few bucks...

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43653499)

But did they show up to court this time?

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