The US Copyright Group has brought copyright infringement claims against some 20,000 identified and unidentified Bittorrent users primarily for illegally distributing any of 5 different movies; Call of the Wild 3D, Uncross the Stars, Steam Experiment, Far Cry, or Gray Man. The Copyright Group has already forced a number of accused Bittorrent users to settle out of court (usually for a sum slightly under what it would cost the accused to litigate the claim, thus forcing many who are named as defendants in this action to unfairly give up their right to defend themselves in court).
If you have been made the target of the US Copyright Group’s overreaching mass lawsuit against Bittorrent users, contact a copyright infringement lawyer specializing in intellectual property issues, or call 866.936.7447.
The US Copyright Group makes the claim that;
“The effect of this technology makes every downloader also an uploader of the illegally transferred file(s)… this means that every ‘node’ or peer user who has a copy of the infringing copyrighted material on a torrent network must necessarily also be a source of download for that infringing file.”
Zeropaid noted that so far there have been five copyright infringement lawsuits filed in federal court in Washington D.C. and that already a handful of alleged infringers have settled out of court.
In a move that draws obvious parallels to the mass RIAA lawsuit against LimeWire and LimeWire users, the Copyright Group also plans to target an additional 30,000 more alleged Bittorrent users in the near future.
The EFF has taken up a strong stance against the US Copyright Group in defending the alleged Bittorrent downloaders. The EFF writes;
“If this story is correct, it’s the latest evidence that copyright law has become unmoored from its foundations… Copyright should help creators get adequately compensated for their efforts. Copyright should not line the pockets of copyright trolls intent on shaking down individuals for fast settlements a thousand at a time”
There is number of problems with the US Copyright Group’s attack on Bittorrent users;
University of Washington researches conducted a study in which they received more than 200 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down notices, without actually having downloaded or uploaded any data whatsoever… the study goes on to assert that, “Further, we were able to remotely generate complaints for nonsense devices including several printers and a (non-NAT) wireless access point. Our results demonstrate several simple techniques that a malicious user could use to frame arbitrary network endpoints.”
This means that persons (and apparently printers) can be (and likely have been) named as defendants by the US Copyright Group strictly based on an IP Addresses and have no relation to actual Bittorrenting activities. We can take this line of reasoning a bit further, Bittorrent users who use a Bittorrent service but who are not actually downloading or uploading (and therefore not taking any part in copyright infringement by aiding in distribution of a copyrighted work) are still being named as defendants by the US Copyright Group strictly because they have (unused) nodes on a Bittorrent network.
One Internet Service Provider has already turned over personal information of accused IP Addresses;
What should be alarming to common internet users, persons concerned with internet privacy, and bittorrent users alike is that one Internet Service Provider (ISP) has turned over to the US Copyright Group the personal information of 71 people, 8 of whom have already settled out of court.