It is now April 23rd, 2017, almost eight (8) years since I wrote my last post on the CashmanIP blog. These past eight years, our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC has written over 200+ articles on the topic of copyright trolling, and how to expose and fight against their scheme. We have represented literally hundreds (the number has likely reached into the thousands at this point) of defendants accused of copyright infringement in federal courts across the U.S.
Our goal was to defend ‘pirates’ against, well, ‘pirates.’ There is no justification to rationalize the ‘theft’ of copyrighted materials (unless you believe the growing meme that ‘copying is not stealing‘). However, with the copyright trolling problem, malicious companies who create questionable content anticipate (and sometimes encourage) the illegal dissemination of that content via the peer-to-peer / bittorrent networks. They hire companies to track the bittorrent networks and lawyers to file copyright infringement lawsuits scaring accused downloaders with $150,000 statutory damages. Their intention is not to fight the case on the merits (which is a misuse of the court’s resources), but rather, to extort or solicit a multi-thousand dollar settlement from each defendant who clicked on a bittorrent link.
The reason I call the plaintiff attorneys / copyright trolls ‘pirates’ is because their extortion scheme takes advantage of an imbalance in the access to information (and access to the federal courts). These copyright troll ‘pirates’ file hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of “John Doe” lawsuits in multiple federal courts, using the same boilerplate filings for each and every case. An accused defendant, however, has no knowledge or ability to fight or defend in a federal court, so they are forced to hire an attorney (someone like me) to defend them both in-and-out of the court. The costs are so much greater for the accused ‘John Doe’ defendant (many of whom are falsely accused and did not do the download, or cannot afford to pay an attorney to defend them), and because of this, they are taken advantage of by the copyright holders / copyright trolls who filed the lawsuits. This is why I call the copyright trolls ‘pirates’ as well.
I called that blog the “TorrentLawyer” blog, and it can be found on https://www.torrentlawyer.com.