In recent years hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent users who allegedly shared films without the consent of copyright holders have been dragged to court in the US.
The aim of the copyright holders, or copyright trolls, is never to take any of the cases to trial.
Instead they want alleged infringers to pay a substantial cash settlement to make legal action go away. Some equal this scheme to extortion, but the copyright holders say they are merely protecting their work.
One of the most active law firms engaged in these mass-BitTorrent lawsuits, Prenda Law, is the topic of today’s article.
Prenda has filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of adult entertainment companies and is frequently accused of harassment-like practices once they obtain the identities of account holders. For example, the firm is known to call accused BitTorrent pirates at their homes, urging them to pay up.
While we have no problem with copyright holders protecting their content, outfits like Prenda cross the line of what is acceptable.
So, when we learned that the law firm is using one of our articles to threaten and scare Internet account holders we were not happy, to say the least. As might be expected from Prenda the letter in question references the most outrageous judgments, but without proper context.
Prenda’s letter (pdf)
Needless to say we had to respond. Here’s what we have done.
We redirected the URL referenced by Prenda to a page with information about these mass-BitTorrent lawsuits.
So, instead of being scared by an article about a $1.5 million judgment, Internet bill payers can inform themselves about the steps they can take to respond to the settlement letter.
The page in question explains that increasingly judges are condemning the practices of copyright trolls, and that many mass lawsuits have been thrown out. Just recently a judge designated Prenda’s ways as a “bad faith effort,” and dismissed one of their mass-BitTorrent lawsuits.
In addition to some much-needed balance we also included links to attorneys who are familiar with these lawsuits, plus links to other useful resources. Hopefully, this will enable a few of the victims to respond properly and resolve the matter without having to pay up.
Even if just one person reads it, it was totally worth the effort.
The original news article is still available and can be accessed here for the time being.