A man who thought that he could make a bob or two threatening Bittorrent users with copyright cases should have checked the law before he started.
Tarik Hashmi, of the Transnational Law Group, filed dozens of cases on behalf of porn studios in Florida. The rational was that most people would pay up rather than go to court for downloading porn.
However, the problem for Hashmi is that the US Justice system is a little picky about who it lets into to its courts. You can’t just write up a writ and start threatening people unless you are a highly trained ambulance chaser.
Now, according to Torrent Freak, dozens of cases brought by Hashmi have suddenly been halted by District Court Judge Hinkle and may be soon dismissed entirely because the man is practicing law without a license.
Judge Hinkle said that Hashmi is not licensed to practice law in Florida, even though he lives there. As a result he is able to respond to the allegations, but can’t demand settlements from the thousands of defendants.
If Hashmi proves to be unqualified, which seems likely, then all cases are likely to be dismissed.
No doubt there will be another laywer that will step into Hashmi’s shoes and he will probably be properly licensed.