If you thought you had seen the end of daft lawsuits, where lawyers try to sue thousands of people so that they can intimidate them into lucrative out of court settlements, think again.
More than 23,000 file sharers will likely get notified they are being sued for downloading the Expendables, in the single largest illegal-BitTorrent-downloading case in US history.
For those which came in late, the Expendables was a Sylvester Stallone flick which was probably not worth downloading, let alone paying to see at the movies. However, it is now going to be part of one of the usual legal fiascos that such cases generate.
For some reason a federal judge in the case has agreed to allow the US Copyright Group to subpoena internet service providers, to find out the identity of everybody who had illegally downloaded the movie.
Judges had been seeing reason in this matter lately. Some copyright lawyers were told to sling their hook. There is also case law which says that IP addresses are not the same as identification.
It also opens the way for the US Copyright Group to extort money from those who it thinks downloaded the movie. All it takes is a solicitor’s letter demanding that the victim pay $3000 or be taken to court where they will be sued for $150,000. The majority of those threatened will pay up rather than waste money on lawyers – and the US Copyright group is quids in.
The film earnt $266,159,621 at the box office and is set to make $69,000,000 using this particular racket. Still, it means the movie studios don’t have to make good movies to make a pile of dosh.
Currently the US legal system has not completely woken up to the movie industry’s antics.
Some enlightened Judges have told the copyright trolls to go forth and multiply, but there are about 140,000 BitTorrent downloaders being targeted in lawsuits across the country.
There are lawyers who are getting embarrassed that the piss poor US legal system is being dragged even further into the mire by computer generated writ machines, which are being funded by taxpayers and clogging up the federal court system.