The Rise Of Mass Copyright Infringement Filing Shakedown Factories In The US

from the they're-everywhere dept

For years, we'd heard the stories of the mass infringement "pre-settlement" sending law firm operations in the UK, such as (for a time) Davenport Lyons and ACS:Law -- and we wondered why nothing like that had popped up in the US. Earlier this year, of course, up popped the US Copyright Group operation (really an off-shoot of DC-law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver). Since then we've seen more and more such operations set up -- with many focused on the porn industry.

Ars Technica has a list of just a few of the law firms (and the silly names they've come up with) who have jumped into this game in the US. The more we see of this, the sooner it is that (as in the UK) backlash and hopefully legal sanctions will come as well. There's little indication that any of these attempts have anything to do with actually protecting copyright or preventing infringement. Instead, they appear to be using the court system as a way to scare people into paying lots of money. Yes, it's probably true that many of the people accused did infringe, but there is little effort made to ascertain the reality of the situation. Instead, the focus is on discovering who the people are so they can be hit with a "pre-settlement" offer.

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