The week after a federal judge in California fined a group of lawyers for trolling the Internet looking for downloaders of porn and then suing them, ostensibly, for copyright violations, one of the trolls argued in a Georgia court that the judge should ignore the ruling because the Golden State has gay marriage.
Prenda Law, Inc. made millions of dollars off intimidated porn watchers before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II ruled in Los Angeles that four lawyers and their associated companies lied to his court, bought copyrights for the sole purpose of harassing porn watchers and didn’t pay their taxes. He ordered that they pay $81,320 in legal fees and penalties and said he would ask the U.S. attorney's office, the Internal Revenue Service and federal and state bar associations to take a look at Prenda.
The lawyers monitored the file-sharing website BitTorrent and identified the IP addresses of those downloading pornographic movies. They then sued those people for copyright enfringement and offered to settle with those who couldn’t afford to fight back or might be embarrassed by the publicity.
When Wright made his ruling, he instructed the lawyers to inform the judges of his findings in other jurisdictions where they were similarly embroiled. Courts outside Judge Wright’s jurisdiction would not be obligated to follow his decision as precedent, but he wanted the relevant information that was presented in his courtroom readily available to other courts.
Jacques Nazaire, representing one of the companies affiliated with the now-defunct Prenda law firm, argued in a Georgia court that the judge should ignore the California federal judge because that state “has different laws than Georgia, a different Governor than Georgia; a different legislative body than Georgia, different business needs than Georgia and different views.”
More specifically, “California Courts have legalized gay marriage.” The pleading also mentions other conservative hot button issues like gun rights and California’s immigration policy in arguing that the court should not allow Judge Wright’s ruling to be admitted as evidence.
Nazaire warned that Georgia’s state’s rights would be obliterated if the California ruling were allowed to be admitted. Divorce laws, creditor rights, bankruptcy petitions and insurance company prerogatives would all be ruined if the Georgia court buckled in the face of California aggression.
Inexplicably, Nazaire’s appeal to the Georgia court failed to cite Judge Wright’s extensive use of Star Trek references in characterizing Prenda’s behavior. Wright began his written ruling by quoting Spock from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” And then his legal opinion took flight.
“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.”
“Plaintiffs engaged their cloak of shell companies and fraud that the Court went to battlestations.”
“Resistance is futile.”
And now Prenda attorneys, with their innovative line of reasoning in Georgia, are boldly going where no attorney has gone before.