Another copyright troll throws in the towel

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation comes the heartening news that yet another "copyright troll" has given up on the shakedown tactic of using cheap John Doe lawsuits to compel ISPs to surrender details of their customers so that lawyers can threaten to sue them unless they turn over a few hundred bucks to make the whole thing go away.
Late last week, Mick Haig Productions dismissed its case against 670 "John Does," claiming they had infringed the company's copyrighted materials on a file-sharing service. The notice of dismissal came after EFF and Public Citizen argued that Mick Haig should not be allowed to send subpoenas for the Does' identifying information, because it had sued hundreds of people in one case, in the wrong jurisdiction and without meeting the constitutional standard for obtaining identifying information.

"Copyright owners have a right to protect their works, but they can't use shoddy and unfair tactics to do so," said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. "When adult film companies launch these cases, there is the added pressure of embarrassment associated with pornography, which can convince those ensnared in the suits to quickly pay what's demanded of them, whether or not they have legitimate defenses. That's why it's so important to make sure the process is fair."

Mick Haig Productions dropped the case just 48 hours after EFF and PC demanded that it withdraw subpoenas Mick Haig's lawyer apparently issued while the question of whether the court should allow the subpoenas at all was still under consideration by the court.

Copyright Troll Gives Up in Porn-Downloading Case


  1. The first paragraph quoted is some level-5 grammar yoga, seemingly designed to avoid using the word “quash.”

  2. Whoa! Not so fast. Too soon to call victory. Several people I know have been recently hit by threat letters from the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) doing exactly the same thing as this.

    It seems like, if one company is giving up, another one is taking over.

  3. I’ve mentioned this before. I worked at a law firm who was contracted to “troll”. They sent letters to any business they wanted demanding physical proof of Windows Licenses. If they could not produce proof or proof that the legitimate license they did have was purchased from a licensed dealer then they had to pay a “fine” and also purchase new licensed software. This law firms only premise was if the company could not produce a license then the product was counterfeit. I quit. You can blame the new troll tactics; they are modeled after The Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) and Software & Information Industry Association (“SIIA”)practices who can, at any time, demand to perform an audit of your system. Read the attached Software Audit Blog.

  4. IANAL, but my impression is that they are simply dropping the suits before a ruling is made not because they are admitting defeat but as a way of preventing the court from creating a precedent. I would not be surprised if they simply resumed this practice after some time has passed.

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