Born in 1954, Brett Kimberlin has led a colorful criminal life. In 1973 he was convicted of felony perjury after lying about his activities to a grand jury investigation drug trafficking.
Five years later Kimberlin became a suspect in the murder of Julia Scyphers, a 65-year-old grandmother who strongly disapproved of Kimberlin’s relationship with her 13-year-old granddaughter. Scyphers had been shot once in head.
However, police in Speedway, Indiana, soon had additional things on their mind. In the first few days of September 1978 a wave of bombings hit Speedway which led to serious injuries including the loss of a Vietnam veteran’s leg.
Authorities believed that Kimberlin set up the Speedway Bombings as an attempt to distract from the investigation into Scyphers’ murder. While Kimberlin was never tried for this crime (the only witness died) he was convicted of the bombings and sentenced to 51 years in prison.
Ever since, Kimberlin – the son of a lawyer – has become known for filing lawsuits against his critics – and failing miserably.
Nevertheless, Kimberlin isn’t giving up. In one ongoing case (Brett Kimberlin vs National Bloggers Club) the convicted bomber is taking action against several bloggers who wrote things about his past he took offense to. It’s a quagmire of a case and one that has just seen Kimberlin reference copyright-trolling aspects for the first time.
At this point Kimberlin is trying to identify a person who wrote about him on the Ace of Spades blog (AOS) but is not named as a party in the action. So far Kimberlin has been unsuccessful, however he feels that since litigants in copyright cases have previously succeeded in unmasking alleged infringers, he should also be able to.
“Defendant AOS repeatedly states that since Plaintiff has not identified AOS as a person in the Complaint, he cannot seek the identity of AOS. This circular argument highlights one of the basic reasons why Plaintiff needs to know the identity of AOS,” Kimberlin told a Maryland district court yesterday.
“As this Court noted in [an earlier Malibu Media case, extract below], a plaintiff cannot effectively litigate a civil case if he does not know the identity of the defendant.”
Malibu cannot engage in discovery to probe the underlying facts underlying its claim without first naming a defendant. Unless Malibu is permitted, at least at the initial stages of litigation, to proceed against a subscriber, it will be caught in a Catch-22…(link)
“It should be noted that this Court has granted the issuance of subpoenas in scores of cases brought by Malibu Media to identify anonymous civil defendants who violated copyrights by illegally downloading films,” Kimberlin continues.
“Many of those defendants made arguments similar to AOS, (e.g.,they would be subjected to harassment or pressured into settlement), yet every Maryland federal judge in each of those cases rejected their arguments.
“Wherefore, for all the above reasons and the reasons set forth in Plaintiff’s motion, this Court should order the identity of AceofSpades,” Kimberlin concludes.
Whether or not the Court will be swayed by Kimberlin’s arguments remains to be seen, but Popehat’s assessment of Kimberlin’s current and previous legal efforts is hardly a shining one.