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daily 06/04/2013

    • He played a drummer with no name who has no lines, the same character he plays in Coldplay.
    • Weirdly, as the NME points out, Will Champion is not the first British alternative rock band member to have appeared in Game of Thrones this season. Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol appeared as a soldier in one episode, and Morrissey makes frequent cameos as the three eyed raven who haunts dreams.
    • One judge in St. Clair County, Ill.—the same court in which Smith’s case originated—recently allowed the firm to subpoena more than 300 ISPs for information on an unspecified number of people.
    • “But I figured, Well, if there are judges involved, and they’re ruling for us, and money is coming in, then it must be OK.”
       
    • First there was a bizarre court hearing in Tampa on Nov. 27, in which one of Prenda’s employees, Mark Lutz, identified himself as a representative for the pornographer, SunLust Pictures. According to several defendants, Lutz frequently called to follow up about settlement offers from Prenda. During the hearing, he kept whispering to Steele, who’d shown up to watch the proceedings. When the judge asked Steele to identify himself, he said, “I no longer actively practice law.
    • Along with another Prenda client, AF Holdings, it turned out to be an offshore company based in St. Kitts and Nevis, a notorious privacy haven.
    • Then Pietz stumbled onto a document in a Minnesota Prenda suit that made him realize these were more than small-time copyright trolls.
    • After Cooper came forward, Steele threatened to sue him. “Your life is going to get really complicated,” he said in a voice mail on Cooper’s phone that was played in court.
    • He didn’t need to defend his client against Prenda; he needed to go after Prenda itself.
    • Prenda tried to get Wright removed from the case and sued Cooper and his lawyer for defamation.
    • When Hansmeier was deposed in a San Francisco suit, he offered a baffling, seven-hour explanation of the company and its dealings.
    • “These people made my life hell,” he said. The showdown Sekora had hoped for never quite materialized: The lawyers invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to talk. But a few weeks later, Wright issued the rebuke that Sekora and thousands of Prenda’s other targets had been waiting for.
    • Then he turned the firm over to the U.S. Department of Justice, which may lead to a criminal investigation. In his deposition, Hansmeier had admitted that AF Holdings had never paid any taxes; Wright also promised to alert the Internal Revenue Service.
    • Still, settlement fees looked like easy money and soon inspired entertainment companies to fish for downloaders to sue, a practice known as copyright trolling.
    • In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, one of Voltage’s lawyers said his aim was to create a new “revenue stream.”
    • The lawyers would focus on copyright infringement committed through BitTorrent. And since pornography was both widespread and taboo, they’d never run out of defendants willing to pay their way out of trouble.
    • Pilcher says Steele and Hansmeier described their work to him as a “reverse class action,” where one company would go after thousands of people, and offered him a 50-50 split of the proceeds. He agreed.
    • One Illinois judge threw out a suit against 300 John Does, citing “Steele’s effort to shoot first and identify his targets later.” When a later case was randomly assigned to the same judge, Steele dismissed it himself.
    • As its client list grew, Steele adopted the nickname “the Pirate Slayer,” and in spring 2011 the firm hired other attorneys—many from Craigslist—to file hundreds of lawsuits in multiple states. Their biggest recruit was Paul Duffy, a Chicago commercial litigation specialist, who came on board in September 2011. Duffy would not comment for this article.
    • When Steele represented Lightspeed in Smith’s case, he appeared on behalf of Prenda Law. Pilcher, who was represented by both firms, refers to Steele and Hansmeier as the chiefs of Prenda.
    • The two talked for several minutes before Steele mentioned that he worked with Prenda, helping on a lot of its cases. Smith became suspicious and hung up. After an hour of frantic Googling, he determined that Steele “didn’t just work with Prenda, he ran Prenda,” he says. “That’s when I knew, I’m never talking to this guy again.”

    • Steele and his partner, Paul Hansmeier, are said to oversee a team of lawyers that has threatened to sue more than 25,000 people for illegally downloading porn. In every case, it appears, the lawyers try to settle early for a few thousand dollars.
    • Typically, Prenda starts by filing preliminary lawsuits against John Does identified only by their IP address, the number assigned to every computer with an Internet connection. Then it asks judges to compel Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T) to surrender the names of those customers. Next, Prenda says it will sue those people unless they pay to settle the claims.
    • The magazine estimated $15 million. Yet Steele and Prenda have never won a single one of these cases on its merits, according to Morgan Pietz, a Los Angeles copyright lawyer who’s fighting Prenda in court.
    • Even for the innocent, settlement is the easiest way out. Most people don’t want to be named in federal lawsuits, especially ones involving porn
    • “I tell people right off the bat that it’s possible they may be able to settle for less money than it costs to retain me,” Pietz says. “In most cases, there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for people who stick up for themselves.”
    • Some of its lawyers are suspected of buying copyrights to porn films and then secretly suing on their own behalf, without disclosing that information to the court.
    • Sure, McCoy’s still around or will be in the fall. And Connor Brewer remains on the roster, but he’s almost as invisible as a cleanup hitter on this campus.
  • I bet twitter woulda blown up in the 20s during the Teapot Dome scandal. Flappers. Prohibition. Presidential shenanigans.

  • tags: FTT13

    Lever de l’argent: “Soit vous vendez des metrics, soit vous vendez du rêve” – @CarlosDiaz #FTT13

    • The V3 operated according to a multi-charge principle in which secondary propellant charges were fired to progressively accelerate the projectile
    • But the most exotic device was the “explosive rat”. A hundred of the rodents were procured by an SOE officer posing as a student needing them for laboratory experiments. The rats were skinned, filled with plastic explosive, and sewn up. The idea was to place a rat among coal beside a boiler. When they were spotted, they would immediately be thrown on to the fire, causing a huge explosion.
    • Samwell Tarly is a motherfucking wizard, because he reads lots of old books and knows secrets. Including a secret passage through the Wall. Imagine how valuable that information would be to Mance Rayder — or to Bran Stark, who’s trying to get through the Wall right now. Jon Snow wouldn’t have had to climb 700 feet straight up. I love the look on Gilly’s face when she realizes that just reading old marks on a page gives you this kind of power.

       

      Preserving culture and knowledge is a kind of magic, especially in a land dominated by people who only obsess about the recent past, or only think about the present.

    • Now that Robb is gone, Bran and Rickon are the last surviving Stark boys, and they go two different ways in this episode, representing two ways forward for the Stark family. Bran is heading full speed ahead towards mysticism, seeking out the three-eyed crow and learning to harness his incredible powers. Meanwhile, Rickon (who gets more lines in this episode than he’s had in forever) is being sent to live with the Umbers, who will teach him to swing a sword and prepare him to be the lord of Winterfell — Ned Stark’s son.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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