BitTorrent Defense Lawyer Joins Copyright Trolls

DC attorney Mike Meier was initially well-known as a defense attorney for BitTorrent users, but in recent months he's made an interesting career move. Perhaps recognizing that more money could be made with a slight shift in focus, Meier has joined the "other" side, suing hundreds of BitTorrent users on behalf of copyright holders.

When the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits were starting to crop up in the United States last year, attorney Mike Meier was quick to promote himself as a defense lawyer.

The DC attorney was proudly listed on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s list of lawyers who can help out people targeted in infringement cases, and in the press he scoffed at copyright holders and their “extortion” practices.

Not anymore though.

Those who take a look at Meier’s website today will see that he’s shifted the focus of his business 180 degrees. As first spotted by Sophisticated Jane Doe, the attorney is now teaming up with several copyright trolls to shake down BitTorrent users.

The redesign of his website is quite revealing.


Meier’s website before the transformation


Meier’s website after the transformation

Thus far Meier has sued more than 1,000 BitTorrent users, which he proudly boasts on his site. But at the speed he’s filing suits it wouldn’t be a surprise if his list of targets doubles before the end of the year.

In all honesty, as an attorney Meier is just doing his job. There are no regulations that prohibit him from making the move. But, from someone who previously said that copyright trolls are “basically extorting money”, it is unexpected to say the least.

“In my opinion, they are bill collectors for the movie industry,” he said in an interview with PilotOnline.com. “They’re basically extorting money.”

In another interview, before the career switch, Meier also had his doubts about the evidence collecting practices in these mass-BitTorrent lawsuits.

“There are multiple reasons why the law firms may have tracked down the wrong person. For example, someone may have downloaded a movie through a Wi-Fi network used by many people, or a minor child may have used the parents’ computer. Finally, there is the human or computer error factor, maybe the user was actually out-of-town when the alleged download occurred,” he said.

We assume that his take on the situation has changed somewhat, now that he’s getting a piece of every settlement that’s “extorted” from falsely accused people. But everything has its price, doesn’t it?

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