Home >> Linux >> Judges Begin Ruling Against Some Porn Purveyors’ Use of Copyright Lawsuits

Judges Begin Ruling Against Some Porn Purveyors’ Use of Copyright Lawsuits

Slashdot reader pgmrdlm quotes Bloomberg:

Pornography producers and sellers account for the lion’s share of copyright-infringement lawsuits in the U.S. — and judges may have seen enough. The courts are cracking down on porn vendors that file thousands of lawsuits against people for downloading and trading racy films on home computers, using tactics a judge called a “high tech shakedown.” [Alternate link here.] In one case, two men were jailed in a scheme that netted $6 million in settlements.

The pornography companies have “a business model that seeks to profit from litigation and threats of litigation rather than profiting from creative works,” said Mitch Stoltz, a senior attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco group that has waged a campaign against companies it thinks abuse the copyright system.

Two companies that make and sell porn are responsible for almost half of the 3,404 copyright lawsuits filed in the U.S. in the first seven months of this year, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Law’s Tommy Shen… The companies say they are protecting their movies from piracy and infringement under U.S. copyright law, as major movie studios have done for decades, and suggest that the content of their films is the reason for the wrath of the judges. But some of the tactics used in their infringement suits to identify targets and force settlements have critics — and some jurists — up in arms and may require congressional actions to fix.

The suits don’t initially name names. They identify the Internet Protocol addresses using peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent to download or distribute the movies and then file suits against âoeJohn Doesâ and ask the courts to order internet service providers, like Verizon Communications Inc. or Comcast Corp., to identify the account subscribers. Those people are then contacted by the porn company lawyers.

One lawyer notes that the lawsuits target users in wealthier areas, reports Bloomberg, which adds that in December one district judge even refused to grant the request for identities, ruling that the porn company “treats this court not as a citadel of justice, but as an ATM.”

And last month a federal judge cited that ruling when refusing to enter a judgment in another case.


Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*