Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"Randazza took on other clients without Liberty's consent" ya I, Crystal Cox, was probably one of them.

"But it appears the Randazza who spoke to Law360 is much more like the real Randazza that others have experienced, compared to the one who is representing LCS. In fact, last November, Ars Technica reporter Joe Mullin published a 3,000-word exposé on the Las Vegas attorney headlined "Bribery, gay porn and copyright trolls: The rise and fall of lawyer Marc Randazza."

The story highlighted an arbitration action Randazza initiated against his former employer, Liberty Media, accusing them of a number of things, including shooting a porn film in his office. Randazza sought hundreds of thousands of dollars from Liberty, but actually lost the case. Not that the attorney walked away with nothing, but the arbiter instead found Randazza owed Liberty at least $600,000 — and according to Randazza's bankruptcy filing in Nevada, up to $1 million — for a variety of claims, according to Ars Technica, including:

• Randazza "secretly negotiated" a $75,000 bribe from a defendant in a legal action;
• Randazza did unauthorized outside work while working for Liberty;
• And Randazza kept a $55,000 payment in a legal action he's actually most famous for, that should've instead went to Liberty.

That $55,000 payment was part of what is known as the Righthaven cases, where a company founded by a Nevada lawyer formed partnership agreements with newspapers as a way to crack down and collect revenue from blogs and online news sites that repurposed those stories.

Randazza became a darling of free press advocates when he defended many of those sites, helping to bring down Righthaven, which courts ultimately ruled had no standing to file the copyright suits in the first place.

Randazza did that work while working for Liberty, with the company's blessing. But then Randazza took on other clients without Liberty's consent, according to arbitration reports.

He sometimes even took on clients who Liberty was in legal squabbles with. One of those clients was a Youtube-style porn site known as Xvideos, which Liberty was cracking down on to stop its content from being pirated there.

Liberty claimed Randazza accepted a $35,000 retainer fee from Xvideos to represent them as well as additional monthly payments, while telling Liberty they shouldn't sue the site.

Instead, Randazza hatched a plan to go after individual people who downloaded Liberty content illegally through torrent sites, according to reports. Under this program, Randazza would locate an individual content pirate, and offer an "amnesty" of paying $1,000 to stop and not be sued by Liberty. "Dozens" of people paid the amnesty fee, a Liberty executive told Ars Technica, to the point where Randazza allegedly wanted to expand the program ... and charge a higher amnesty fee.

The program backfired before that next phase could begin. Bloggers who had once sided with Randazza were suddenly against him, including some gay-themed blogs that said Randazza was extorting people who might be "outed" if they instead chose to fight the lawsuit.

When the popular blog Queerty lashed out at Liberty and its legal strategy, saying it could actually nudge closeted teenagers and others toward suicide, Randazza himself spoke up.

"Liberty Media produces straight content too," Randazza said. "So any thieving little shit who gets caught can very easily lie to his parents that he was looking at straight porn."

Except Queerty pointed out that's not true — a lawsuit would have to state specifically what the offender had downloaded, which its sexual orientation audience would be obvious.

"The gay porn studio threatening to sue illegal file sharers doesn't seem too concerned that its lawsuits against some 40,000 so-far-anonymous BitTorrent users might out closeted gay teens who live in violent homophobic households," Queerty"

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