Hurt Locker Producers Now Understand The Copyright Troll Shakedown Better: Sue 2,514 More Defendants

from the follow-the-bounding-ball dept

Voltage Pictures, the maker of The Hurt Locker, was one of the first companies to bring ridiculous copyright trolling practices to the US, where they sue thousands of people based solely on a questionably-sourced IP address. In fact, last year, the company sued nearly 25,000 people in one shot for supposedly file sharing the movie. Of course, the goal is not to actually go to court on any of these cases. Instead, it's just about getting people to pay up -- and so these "companies" are adapting.. And, as TorrentFreak noes, it appears that Voltage Pictures, (with an assist from Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver -- the tiny DC law firm that started "US Copyright Group" to do these kinds of cases, but which has gone nowhere) hasn't learned not to do this any more. It's just suing another 2,514 people for sharing, pretty much guaranteeing that no kids ever want to work for them in the future. However, it's also learned a few other things -- including how to get around the fact that many ISPs are pushing back on these kinds of things. For example, while plenty of ISPs have fought back against these lawsuits, in this lawsuit, Voltage Pictures only sued users who were subscribers of Charter Communications. Charter has shown a willingness to hand over such data when asked. So one way to avoid having ISPs challenge you in court is to focus on the ISP least likely to challenge your notices. Also, the new lawsuit is filed in Florida, which seems to have become the breeding ground for these kinds of troll fights lately -- so apparently Voltage and Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver think that perhaps this case might last long enough for them to get enough names and get enough people to pay to make it worthwhile. It would be nice if the court were to kill off the subpoena and note that it appears to be an abuse of power again.

Filed Under: hurt locker, isp, shakedown
Companies: us copyright group

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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Apr 2012 @ 4:41pm

    Re: I bet a dollar...

    Costs of one of these cases.
    $350 to file for X thousand names. (X can be 1 or 20)
    $X per name for the reports from the ISP, these have limits to how much.
    $1 or less to send a threat/demand letter(s).
    $5 or less to make phonecalls to scare the shakey ones.

    Cost to settle, my timeline on USCG is off I am sure SJD can correct me if I am wrong, is around $3000.

    Using the ACS:UK model the lawfirm gets to keep 80% of recovery AFTER costs. Costs include a cut going to the "company" providing the IP captures, they do NOT work for a set fee.

    How many settlements do you need to reach profitability?

    They tell people even if you didn't do it your somehow still responsible.
    The Randazza Group was seeking $10,000 for people having open Wifi, for not having done enough to "secure" their connection. There is no law demanding this, and a court in Hawaii recently dismissed with prejudice that portion of a claim.

    They will get you to throw your children, neighbors, etc under the bus and still seek money from you.
    The USCG cases are slightly more clean than the porn shakedowns, threatening to publicly brand someone a pirate is disturbing but branding them a porn pirate is much more damaging. Steele's latest reinvention actually posted the names of the accused as pirates on their website, until someone submitted it in a court filing and suddenly that was gone.

    The damage to your brand from pursing these cases is large. Shaking down 70+ yr olds for porn or Uwe Bolle films they allegedly downloaded really does stick in peoples minds.

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