The troll versus the elf sounds like the title of a cheap B-movie, but it’s actually a harsh reality.
Over the past weeks Elf-Man LLC, the company that produced the movie with the same name, has sued over 200 alleged BitTorrent users in Colorado and Oregon.
The lawsuits are typical troll affairs in which the copyright holder asks the court to reveal the identities behind IP-addresses previously monitored sharing. These account holders then receive a letter asking them to settle the case for a few thousand dollars each, or else.
Not everyone is charmed by this practice and “Elf-Man” himself is one of them. Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuna, the star of the film, has spoken out against the troll action on Twitter.
“My representation has spoken to them.. I’m not backing it at all.. Has NOTHING to do w/ me!! It’s all them..,” Acuna writes.
Despite Acuna’s lack of involvement he is prominently featured in the legal paperwork.
“Plaintiff Elf-Man produced a novel family oriented comedy motion picture staring Jason Acuña as an Elf left by Santa to help a family come together and learn about Christmas,” the complaints start.
The copyright holder then goes on to claim that many people justify piracy because they believe movie producers and the big stars are already wealthy, forgetting the lower wage employees.
The Elf-Man lawsuits are not an isolated incident. In recent weeks several independent movie studios have joined the parade of adult movie outfits and jumped on the BitTorrent lawsuit bandwagon.
The “new” film titles for which BitTorrent users are targeted include Zambezia, The Ledge, Division III: Football’s Finest, Maximum Conviction, Night of the Templar After the Wizard, 6 Degrees of Hell, The Divide, and Evidence.
The lawyers and the production companies of these film are looking forward to hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements. Whether the actors or any of the other low-wage employees will see any of it remains to be seen.