At the height of its confidence, Prenda sued AT&T and Comcast. Tantek Celik / flickr 2012 was a good year for Prenda Law.

The law firm raked in at least $1.9 million by sending thousands of letters alleging that Internet users had illegally downloaded p**nographic films. In August of that year, Prenda was feeling so good about itself that it made a particularly bold move.

The law firm actually sued two of the nation’s biggest Internet service providers, AT&T and Comcast, frustrated that the ISPs wouldn’t hand over subpoenas seeking the identities of some 6,600 people.

The bizarrely worded complaint alleged that the ISPs had “aided and abetted” hackers who gained entry to p**n websites owned by Lightspeed Media, an adult content company that was then a Prenda client. But it was really all about discovery—that is, getting the names of users.

As AT&T’s lawyer explained to the judge:      

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