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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Filed Under: copyright, pre-settlements, settlements


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  1. icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), 11 Oct 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Prediction:

    A new fun hacker game:
    Get somebody you don't like on the list(s) of these stupid shakedown factories!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2010 @ 3:54pm

    what a scary yet fitting picture that is, meet the face of the ip lawyer, worse than "ambulance chasers"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2010 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Prediction:

    Or:

    Drive by and seek open wireless networks. Connect. Download something that is sure to attract attention (be sure to disable all sorts of "shields" since your goal is to get caught). Repeat until bored (or out of gas...or batteries).

    Then, sit back and watch those lawyers fire their (patented) "Pre-settlement Letter MIRV Warhead" at your "victims".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    abc gum, 11 Oct 2010 @ 4:32pm

    When scam emails originate in the us, are they still called 419?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Vincent Clement, 11 Oct 2010 @ 4:33pm

    Leave it to the RIAA and MPAA to legalize extortion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Prediction:

    uh, this is undoubtedly happening right now, and I'm certain the percentage is significant. In fact, the percentage is likely to RISE over time, as the knowledge of these suits rises.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Sam Hill, 11 Oct 2010 @ 5:25pm

    Did you get a letter?

    Did you get a letter? Thousands just went out.

    The news is reporting that this year about 50,000 already got one across all ISPs (Cox included).

    I am sure some of this info may help others.
    Please add to this post if you have more info to help

    What do you do Next?

    Step 1 Research the web
    ======================

    Here are some links with many more links inside them

    http://support.cox.com/sdccommon/asp/contentredirect.asp?sprt_cid=c8bc8c1a-2a73-4755-875f-15 5a1e35d440

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20006528-261.html

    http://www.facebook.com/group.p hp?gid=134341123246967&v=wall

    Step 2 Decide if Hiring a Lawyer is cheaper than just paying an out of court agreement IF You ever get one.
    ================================

    In most cases the cost to hire a lawyer to defend this will cost more.

    A. Hire a Lawyer
    =========================
    Typical retainers for Copyright law is 1 to 2 thousand


    B. Defend your self on your own at first till you get served
    web forms are only $10
    ============================

    Remember at this stage they do not know who you are so you have not been sued yet. The idea is to block the giving out of your name at first with this kit.
    If they ever do sue you are can then hire a lawyer or just pay the out of court settlement.

    Here is the link

    http://torrentfreak.com/lawyer-offers-self-help-to-sued-bittorrent-users-100829/

    http://s tore.payloadz.com/details/842325-Other-Files-Documents-and-Forms-Pro-Se-Basic-Motion-to-Quash-Packag e-On-Sale-Discount-.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2010 @ 6:08pm

    This looks like a job for... Anonymous! Maybe we'll even get another epic database leak. :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: First they came for...

    LoL

    What precedents?, there will be no litigation or it won't be profitable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2010 @ 9:18pm

    Shake it babe! shake it!

    This is like those parents that shake their babies to death.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Mike42 (profile), 12 Oct 2010 @ 6:42am

    A matter of time

    All we have to do is wait until several members of Congress recieve letters. THEN it will be important.
    You people who recieve letters right now? You don't matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Prediction:

    Also fun: common wireless encryption (WEP, etc) isn't going to be enough to stop this behavior, but may be enough to "prove" that it must've been the wifi owner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Prediction:

    That is positively evil. Congrats :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    isaac the k, 12 Oct 2010 @ 1:02pm

    you know...

    what someone really should do is send out settlement letters to all the IP snooping groups.
    After all, if they are downloading, they are also offering uploading connection and most assuredly have copyrighted materia on their computers.

    All you need to do is target business IPs associated with those few companies and spam them with settlement letters threatening to subpoena their machines for hundreds of different copyrighted works and millions of dollars!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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