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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: copyright, pre-settlements, settlements

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Derek, 11 Oct 2010 @ 5:24pm

    First they came for...

    They're wily fsckers, you have to give them that...

    Going after mostly porn infringement (for now) effectively casts any opposition as "pro-porn." It will be hard for those accused (legitimately or not) to rouse much sympathy.

    Later, armed with a stack of precedents, they'll be ready to file lawsuits over the more mainstream adaptations of Barbie Horse Adventures.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.