Hurt Locker Subpoenas Arrive With New Language... And Higher Demands
from the the-$400-oscar-bounty dept
Separately, in Greg Sandoval's article, he talks to Cindy Cohn from the EFF who notes that they're hearing from a lot more people on the receiving end of USCG lawsuits who have no idea what it's all about and aren't BitTorrent users at all. That happened with the RIAA lawsuits as well, but apparently at a much lower rate. This certainly calls into serious question the techniques that USCG is using to identify file sharers and to make sure they're not suing innocent people. Of course, when you look at the economics of it all, to USCG it really doesn't matter. When it makes mistakes, the actual likelihood of getting in trouble for it times the likely cost of such a mistake is so low as to make the incentive such that there's little reason to care about false positives. Yet, on the flip side, the cost of defending yourself against a bogus threat from USCG is certainly going to be more than $2,900 in almost every case. As Cohn notes:
"When it comes to copyright," Cohn said "the law is set up so that truth, whether someone actually violated the law or not, takes a back seat to financial considerations."And, really, that's what's so nefarious about this whole process. The incentives are totally screwed up. USCG has no incentive to weed out the false positives, and the innocent folks threatened have powerful economic incentives to just pay up. It's still not "extortion," in that USCG can claim to have a legitimate legal basis for the demands, but it certainly comes damn close in practice.