A P2P court battle is revealing the problem of having to defend yourself against the movie industry in the land of the fee [free? Ed.].
Last year US Copyright Group filed a federal lawsuit against 4,577 anonymous Internet users accused of sharing the film Far Cry through BitTorrent. The whole process was pretty rubbish and federal judge Rosemary Collyer forced the US Copyright Group to drop most of its lawsuit targets in December 2010.
But the case continued with a single named defendant Adrienne Neal of Washington, DC.
Neal was served with court papers four days after Christmas, and her response was demanded by January 19. When she did not reply US Copyright Group lawyers then had the court clerk declare Neal to be in default, and last month they asked the judge to fine Neal $30,000 plus more than $3,000 in attorney fees.
Neal has replied with a long letter to the judge which has been allowed into the legal process.
According to Ars Technica it appears that Neal, who claims that she cannot afford a lawyer and had no idea she was supposed to respond.
Neal claims total innocence, telling the court she is open to a complete forensic inspection of her computer. She has never used or downloaded a BitTorrent client and had not even heard of the Hurt Locker flick.
Neal said she was furious at the “false accusations that have caused much pain and suffering in my household recently”.
She said that she was not a person who breaks the law and has never even received a ticket.
She claims her jobs as a certified Human Resources Professional who works for an art education nonprofit which introduces persons with disabilities to the arts and her role as a classically trained singer means she has high high moral and ethical standings.
“I’m very sympathetic to the actual victims of copyright infringements; I know many of them! These are individuals who deserve their cases being heard in your court more so than the efforts of the plaintiff,” she said.
She makes a case that she would not nick someone’s work over the Internet, as she knew how having their own works infringed had hurt her own colleagues.
She said that she refused to answer the initial [settlement] letter from the plaintiff’s representation, as she thought it was a scam.
Neal added that she could not afford to employ an attorney’s services as she was was preparing to get married and I’m paying my way through grad school.
She certainly could not afford to “settle” with the plaintiff’s representation for false accusations without causing me to take resources away from my impending wedding or education aspirations.
Lastly she was expecting to receive a summons for court appearance where she would be allowed to show her innocence.