Cyber Beat Daily: Notorious Copyright Trolls Shattered In Court + The Day's Top Tech Stories

The day’s top stories in social media and technology for 4/2 include: the epic court hearing in the case of infamous copyright trolls Prenda Law, man’s Facebook hookup turned out to be a heist, Should Tweets Cost You Your Job?, a Texas student suspended after tweeting a photo of his state standardized test (marked up with “YOLO” in place of what should have been an answer to an essay question), Google faces more questions about its privacy policy, the SEC finally approves posting official disclosures on Twitter and Facebook, hackers hit North Korea, more on large-scale DDoS attacks, AT&T’s weird profane-password ban, Donald Trump is suing a cybersquatting hacker, Facebook to go to jury trial over its Timeline, a Wikipedia editor is threatened with lawsuit, Hammerpoint’s War Z security breach, panel discusses Violence, Sexism, and the Future of Gaming, and Torment: Tides of Numenera delayed beyond December 2014 release.   

Read below for these stories and more.


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Prenda Law had a very bad day in court Tuesday – what’s been referred to as “an extinction-level event.”  US District Judge Otis Wright II of the Central District of California had some stern words for the notorious copyright trolls after only a 12 minute hearing in which Prenda attorneys all invoked the fifth amendment to avoid self-incrimination.  It was a move that has likely damaged the company irreparably and quite possibly, in an unprecedented fashion. 

Below is a collection of posts from the day on how the hearing unfolded.  If you’re not familiar with the entire history of this case, rather than trying to summarize it here, I include some historical links for you to catch up from sources intimately familiar with the case, located at the bottom of this section.

Law blogger Ken White of Popehat, who attended Tuesday’s hearing, has penned the definitive post of the day in the Prenda case:

Prenda Law’s Attorneys Take The Fifth Rather Than Answer Judge Wright’s Questions


Roundup of additional Prenda posts of the day:

Judge smash: Prenda’s porn-trolling days are over; Prenda lawyers take the Fifth. And a federal judge will assume the worst.

Deep Dive: Prenda Law Is Dead (cross-post of Popehat’s post)

Team Prenda Shows Up In Court, Pleads The Fifth… Angry Judge Ends Hearing In 12 Minutes

TorrentFreak: Prenda Copyright Trolls Plead the Fifth

Prenda lawyers take Fifth Amendment; judge storms out: “We’re done” – ‘Those in attendance describe Judge Otis Wright as “incandescently angry.”‘

Copyright troll Prenda refuses to explain legal strategy

If you need a visual aid to follow this story, Ars Technica has this  helpful chart.

If you want to catch up on this whole sordid affair from the beginning, Popehat has been on the scoop from early on.  Here’s the entire series.   Ars Technica and TechDirt also have a plethora of historical coverage.

Social Media/Tech Trends, Happenings and Faux Pas.

When will they learn?

Indiana man’s Facebook hookup with teen actually setup for heist, police said


A debate on this topic from differing viewpoints.

Should Tweets Cost You Your Job?

A student answered his essay question to his STAAR test (that’s the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test) with “YOLO” and “I have the TAKS test to study for, not this unneeded craziness.” Then he tweeted it and sent it to the Arlington Independent School District and the Texas Education Agency.  Not a smart use of Twitter.

Arlington student suspended after tweeting STAAR test photo


Oh, Google.  Don’t be evil.

Google Faces More Inquiries in Europe Over Privacy Policy


The SEC announced Tuesday that it will finally allow companies to announce news through social media.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ Facebook Flap Forces SEC Into 21st Century

Hoaxes, Harassment and Hacking.

Hackers claiming association with Anonymous claim to have seized more than 15,000 passwords belonging to several North Korean websites (we’re not entirely sure yet how this “sets North Koreans free”).  However, ‘The Jester’ has also claimed responsibility for the attack.

Anonymous to North Koreans: ‘Anons Are Here To Set You Free”


Last week’s DDoS attack caused big problems for some, went unnoticed by others.’

Can a DDoS break the Internet? Sure… just not all of it


‘If no one’s supposed to see your passcode, why does it matter?’  My thoughts exactly.

WTF? AT&T’s profane-password ban lets some swears through

Law and Order.

The Donald is a bit touchy, it seems.

Donald Trump Suing Cybersquatting Hacker


Is it just me, or does it seem like someone is bothering Facebook every week?

Facebook dispute over ‘Timeline’ trademark to go to jury trial


The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) targets a Wikipedia editor who called for more neutral citations and content contributions.

Wikipedia Editor Threatened With Lawsuit For Participating In Discussion Leading To Deletion Of Entry


They’ve had a rough week…

Hammerpoint acknowledges War Z security breach, emails and passwords compromised


Since video games are being blamed for everything these days…

Video: Curry College Panel Discusses Violence, Sexism, and the Future of Gaming


Thanks to crowdsourcing funds from fans, they’ll now expand their original scope. That means a little more time.

Torment: Tides of Numenera delayed ‘a few months’ beyond Dec. 2014 release