“So you’re claiming anyone on a network with a scanner owes you a license?” asked Vicinanza. “He said, ‘Yes, that’s correct.’ And at that point, I just lost it.”
Vicinanza made the unusual choice to fight back against Hill and “Project Paperless”—and actually ended up with a pretty resounding victory. But the Project Paperless patents haven’t gone away. Instead, they’ve been passed on to a network of at least eight different shell companies with six-letter names like AdzPro, GosNel, and FasLan. Those entities are now sending out hundreds, if not thousands, of copies of the same demand letter to small businesses from New Hampshire to Minnesota. (For simplicity, I’ll just refer to one of those entities, AdzPro.)
Ars has acquired several copies of the AdzPro demand letter; the only variations are the six-letter name of the shell company and the royalty demands, which range from $900 to $1,200 per employee. One such letter, in which AllLed demands $900 per worker, is published below. The name of the target company has been redacted.
Wellington man Hayden Oliver started filming when he spotted the boat burning fiercely in the water on Canterbury’s Lake Lyndon on Friday afternoon.
As he filmed, a speedboat that had been at the other side of the lake approached at speed and turned sharply at the last moment, sluicing water over the fire. It repeated this at least four times.
“It was definitely a brave idea. There’s two sides to it really: it was dangerous but it was brave at the same time,” Oliver said.
He had spoken to the boat’s owner who said the fire started as he revved the motor and it was probably caused by an electrical fault.
“The guy just jumped ship,” he said. Oliver didn’t know who the two people in the speedboat were, he said, “just good sorts in a boat”.
Dave Black, the deputy harbour master for lakes Wanaka, Wakatipu and Hawea, said he had adopted the same tactic when a boat caught fire on Lake Wakatipu seven or eight years ago.