London, U.K. – The Guardian newspaper of London recently reported on the rash of BitTorrent lawsuits that have been filed in the United States. The Guardian reports on the claims of a blogger named TorrentFreak who has been vigorously tracking the BitTorrent lawsuits. Notably, TorrentFreak tracks that over 200,000 “John Does” have been named as defendants in BitTorrent-related copyright infringement lawsuits. According to these reports, a majority of the suits involve online music sharing.
TorrentFreak describes the BitTorrent-related copyright infringement lawsuits as “pay-up-or-else schemes” and describes the economics behind the suits. She notes “Copyright holders have embraced this new revenue stream by the dozen and new lawsuits are being filed every week.” The reports note that after the identity of the “John Doe” is disclosed through discovery on Internet Service Providers, the copyright holders contact the person and offer to settle for $2,500. Because most John Does prefer to pay the $2,500 rather than face legal costs and possible $150,000 fine, none of the cases have gone to trial.
Practice Tip: Indiana Intellectual Property Law News has been closely following the Bittorrent litigation recently Indiana, all of which so far involve adult entertainment file sharing, rather than music. Our reports are available here:
Another Update to Hard Drive v. 21 Indiana John Does: Attorney Files Motion to Dismiss, Court May Strike Anonymous Letters (July 28, 2011)
Update to Hard Drive Productions BitTorrent Copyright Infringement Case: John Doe Letters Ask Court Not to Allow Discovery (June 30, 2011)
Boy Racer, Inc. Sues 23 Indiana John Does for Copyright Infringement of an Adult Video Via BitTorrent
(June 14, 2011)
First Time Videos LLC Sues 18 Indiana John Does for Copyright Infringement of an Adult Video via BitTorrent (June 14, 2011)
Hard Drive Productions, Inc. Sues 21 Indiana John Does for Copyright Infringement of Adult Entertainment Video Via BitTorrent (May 20, 2011)