Lawyers in BitTorrent copyright trolling cases under scrutiny

  • Article by: DAN BROWNING , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2013 - 6:00 AM

Federal judges question whether copyright lawsuits with Minnesota ties constitute a fraud on the courts.

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alanam8Mar. 10, 1311:46 PM

well well well - a bunch of lawyers whose single contribution to society appeared to be "make work" cases like these, may turn out to have actually been involved in "make fraud." disbar and prosecute.

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beaver88Mar. 11, 13 1:49 AM

Lawyers should be barred from soliciting, or creating new clients. It's like your financial guy working on commission, not mine. I don't want to hate on all lawyers but they most definitely do far more harm than good to the world.

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mohawk1953Mar. 11, 13 4:01 AM

just a different type of ambulance chaser...

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edinawaterMar. 11, 13 6:56 AM

Congress really needs to re-evaluate copyright altogether. It is grossly out of balance. Congress has the power to grant copyrights for "limited times" to encourage the creation of artistic works. Once the limited time expires the works are supposed to enter the public domain for everyone to enjoy free of charge and free of restrictions. When copyright was first created it lasted 14 years--a very reasonable timeframe. Today it lasts 70 years past the author's death. No copyrights have expired in my lifetime.

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edinawaterMar. 11, 13 7:02 AM

This case is an example of someone abusing the law. Even if the allegations were true, the actual harm the defendants caused could be measured in the tens of dollars, yet the penalties applied in such cases are so enormous they would bankrupt most people. The lawyers send out notices demanding a few thousand dollars. If the defendant is completely innocent it will cost an order of magnitude more to go to court and defend themselves. If the defendant is not very well represented they will lose and go bankrupt. Facing that, many defendants pay up to make the issue go away. So the lawyers get thousands of dollars in settlements for an hour of work while innocent people are robbed blind.

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mmediaMar. 11, 13 7:06 AM

It's a scam.

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jbpaperMar. 11, 13 7:32 AM

I'm not looking at porn, I'm doing research.

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innocentdoe8Mar. 11, 13 8:35 AM

To be clear, these copyright trolls have not "won" ANY cases in court except for default judgements. The article quotes them as saying they usually win cases but they must mean they "win" the subpoenas against the service providers to obtain their "customer list" of people who are the subscribers associated with the IP address. They have NEVER actually taken anyone to full trial, when a John Doe does fight back (which is happening more and more frequently) then the troll "voluntarily dismisses" the case (because they know their evidence is very weak). I was one such Doe, accused and sent a summons. I was forced to either hire a defense attorney or pay the "settlement". Being innocent, I decided I would rather pay an honest attorney to represent me than fuel this scam and as soon as my attorney filed my response....the troll dismissed my case. Of course, because if it had gone any further they would have had to pay ME. It is such a blatant scam and unbelievable that the courts have allowed it to gone on as long as it has.

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swmnguyMar. 11, 1311:34 AM

From the story, it looks like a fake company is suing large internet customers; primarily corporations and educational facilities; claiming theft of pornography. If ever contested, these litigants drop their claims. More often, however, those sued simply write a check; perhaps to avoid embarrassing publicity about allegations of pornography.

This stinks of an extortion ring.

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davehougMar. 11, 1312:52 PM

This is the same scam that "The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices" told me about. Radio listeners were asked to send money and get back a list of all their diseases. The list included syphillis so nobody complained, not wanting spouse & friends to know and not wanting to fight in open court.

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