Ars Technica's Nate Anderson follows up on his excellent work
analyzing the practices of ACS:Law, the UK law firm that uses "legal blackmail" (as the House of Lords termed it) to shake down accused copyright infringers on behalf of the porn industry; now Nate gives us a rundown of ACS:Law's US equivalents -- the handful of lawyers who are set to send legal threats to tens of thousands of accused downloaders this year, offering them a "settlement" if they simply cough up thousands of dollars rather than asking a court to rule on the evidence. So far this year, there have been more than 24,000 lawsuits filed against "John Doe" downloaders in order to get names and addresses for these shakedown letters -- that's not a business model, it's a denial of service attack on the judicial branch.
West Virginia's federal court doesn't see many copyright cases. In fact, the new P2P lawsuits appear to be the first copyright cases in West Virginia since 2008, when the recording industry brought a few cases against individuals in the state.
US anti-P2P law firms sue more in 2010 than RIAA ever did
The new cases--seven in total--were filed by the Adult Copyright Company. (Its tagline: "Hardcore protection.")
Who is the Adult Copyright Company? It's Kenneth Ford, a West Virginia lawyer who understands the hard times the porn industry has suffered. "There is an entire generation of viewers who think that it is perfectly acceptable to steal adult content," he site says. "It's time to make people pay for the content they steal."
The content that people are stealing includes Juicy White Anal Booty 4 (118 Does) and Relax, He's My Stepdad 2 (245 Does), and Ford has filed some pretty impressive numbers; his seven cases have targeted 5,469 file-swappers in a mere matter of weeks.
Warner Bros has sued talent agency Innovative Artists for running an internal-use Google Drive folder that let its clients and staff review movies in the course of their duties. They say the company ripped “screeners” (DVDs sent for review purposes) and put them on the server, whence they leaked onto torrent sites.
AT&T’s secret “Hemisphere” product is a database of calls and call-records on all its customers, tracking their location, movements, and interactions — this data was then sold in secret to American police forces for investigating crimes big and small (even Medicare fraud), on the condition that they never reveal the program’s existence.
I still love Twitter and hope it finds a way forward. But it looks like all the potential suitors have passed on buying it, and job cuts are in the offing. Twitter Inc., having failed to sell itself, is planning to fire about 8 percent of its workforce as the struggling social-media company prepares to […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]