Readings — From the August 2013 issue

One Porn Every Minute

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From a complaint filed against several bloggers by John Steele, an Illinois attorney whose firm, Prenda Law, claims its mission is to fight copyright piracy. According to court documents, Prenda Law has sued tens of thousands of people, threatening to name them in public filings that charge them with illegally downloading pornography unless they pay settlement fees. In May, a judge ordered the firm to pay $81,319.72 in legal fees and penalties for “brazen misconduct and relentless fraud.” Steele dropped his libel suit in March.

Many of the statements set forth in Paragraphs 31 through 166 falsely allege that Plaintiff has committed criminal offenses. Among other things, that Plaintiff was engaged in a “scam”; that Plaintiff is a “crook”; that Plaintiff is a “criminal mastermind”; that Plaintiff runs a “sophisticated shakedown racket”; that Plaintiff is part of a “mafia”; that Plaintiff has “the mentality of Ted Bundy”; that Plaintiff “can’t go to the bathroom without breaking a couple laws on the way”; that Plaintiff will attempt to prostitute himself for food; that Plaintiff “slithers out of his hole”; that Plaintiff “is a dirtbag” who has been “attempting to ruin lives his entire adult life”; that Plaintiff is “a seedy troll” and “one of the vilest porn copyright trolls of today”; that Plaintiff is lower than insects and worms; that Plaintiff is a “sociopath,” “narcissist,” and “megalomaniac”; that Plaintiff has a “drinking problem”; that one must “take an emergency shower” after “even most distant business” with Plaintiff; that Plaintiff cannot be “redone into a contributing member of society”; that Plaintiff “is a product of the drain rotting: tangled hair mixed with grease”; that “the name John Steele is as toxic as a helping of strychnine”; that Plaintiff was “born to prove that the ethical abyss is bottomless”; that Plaintiff is “shooting up the street while riding off with the loot from the bank”; that Plaintiff is a “monster”; that “John Steele = spineless cuckold”; that Plaintiff is “a stain on American Justice”; that the probability of “a discovery of a soul in John Steele [is] 0.00001%”; and that Plaintiff has “engaged in several illegal attempts to circumvent due process.” Defendants’ statements clearly expose Plaintiff to hatred, ridicule, and contempt.

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