p2pnet view P2P:- The US Copyright Group uglies have comeup with a new, innovative way of cashing in on file sharing.
Sue everyone in sight!
Starting with Time Warner.
“Copyright law has long been a farce”, p2pnet posted recently, going on, “But over in LaLa Land, it’s become a complete mockery with coterie of copyright trolls running amok.
“The sue ‘em all campaign launched by Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s RIAA failed miserably, serving only to alienate millions of actual and potential customers, at the same time widely publicising file sharing.
“But nothing loath, a pack of venal lawyers … have come up with their own version.”
Acting as the unofficial PR agent for the group, “EXCLUSIVE”, trumpeted the Hollywood Reporter, also in caps, we said, going on >>>
In what may be a sign of things to come, more than 20,000 individual movie torrent downloaders have been sued in the past few weeks in Washington D.C. federal court for copyright infringement. A handful of cases have already settled, and those that haven’t are creating some havoc for major ISPs.
The lawsuits were filed by an enterprising D.C.-based venture, the US Copyright Group, on behalf of an ad hoc coalition of independent film producers and with the encouragement of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. So far, five lawsuits have been filed against tens of thousands of alleged infringers of the films “Steam Experiment,” “Far Cry,” “Uncross the Stars,” “Gray Man” and “Call of the Wild 3D.” Here’s an example of one of the lawsuits — over Uwe Boll’s “Far Cry.”
Another lawsuit targeting 30,000 more torrent downloaders on five more films is forthcoming, we’re told, and all this could be a test run that opens up the floodgates to massive litigation against the millions of individuals who use BitTorrent to download movies.
And on its site, “By reviewing our site you have decided to take the first step down an efficient, no-hassle and no-cost path to recovering losses due to illegal downloading and stopping film piracy” says the US Copyright Group. “You are about to join fellow film industry leaders, producers and copyright owners in recovering reasonable cash settlements from the unlawful downloading of your copyrighted film.”
Not only but also, “We are here to recover losses for copyright holders and to stop film piracy. We are here to SAVE CINEMA.”
Now “Unlike the similar music-industry lawsuit campaign, which spread its lawsuits out over years”, represented by Copyright Group gnomes, who came up with the idea and sold it to the likes of the makers of Hurt Locker, “the filmmakers hit ISPs around the country with subpoenas for hundreds of customers at a time, demanding Time Warner Cable comb through its records to identify past users by IP address”, says Privacy Digest, continuing >>>
Court filings suggest that none of the broadband providers is happy about servicing the mass subpoenas, but Time Warner Cable is fighting them in court, arguing that serious law enforcement requests for information could fall by the wayside if the company is forced into becoming the research arm of the independent film producers.
“Given its current staffing, it would take TWC nearly three months of full-time work by TWC’s subpoena compliance group, and TWC would not be able to respond to any other request, emergency or otherwise, from law enforcement during this period,” the company said in a court filing. “TWC has a six-month retention period for its IP lookup logs, and by the time TWC could turn to law enforcement requests, many of these requests could not be answered.”
Time Warner says it can only reasonably forward the names of 28 account holders per month. Given that there are about a thousand IP addresses linked to Time Warner, that process could take years to learn the identities of the account holders, the filmmakers complain.
The filmmakers [read Copyright Group] are now threatening to sue Time Warner for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement by fighting the demands for subscriber information in court. The U.S. Copyright Group cites the Supreme Court’s 2005 Grokster decision, in which the justices cleared the way for lawsuits targeting companies that induce or encourage file sharing piracy.
Adds Privacy Digest:
“Comcast has tentatively agreed to forward the account holders’ names, but reserved the right to object. CableVisions Systems, according to court records, is working on a “resolution” to the same issue faced by Time Warner Cable.
“All targeted ISPs were given until May 31 to file a motion to object to disclosing account holders’ names.”
Rumours that the Copyright Group are partnered with Britain’s ACS:LAw should probably be discounted.
p2pnet – Lawyers target 50,000 ‘movie downloaders’, March 31, 2010
Hollywood Reporter – ‘Hurt Locker’ producers about to sue an army of pirates, May 11, 2010
Privacy Digest – Time Warner Cable Resists Mass BitTorrent Lawsuit, May 27, 2010
Hurt Locker – Hurt Locker in new file share farce, May 12, 2010
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.