HOWTO avoid a copyright shakedown legal threat: be famous, a politician, a cop, a soldier or a corpse

TorrentFreak looks at the sleazy mass lawsuits brought against alleged BitTorrent users by pornographers and compiles a list of the criteria that lawyers use for deciding who to let off the hook. Your best strategy for avoiding one of these suits is to be a politician, a cop, a soldier or a corpse

Besides undercover cops, the adult entertainment company also has a policy of dismissing their cases against military personnel stationed oversees, according to the lawyer. The dead and famous are not settlement material either.

“Several of the John Doe Defendants have died prior to being identified. Several John Does have been public or political figures who Plaintiff did not choose to sue,” White writes.

Although it’s no surprise that dead people are not the easiest group to settle with, it’s unclear why politicians and public figures have to be excluded. This group generally speaking can afford to pay a settlement fee, and as the settlements are undisclosed the press would never find out. It’s also possible, however, they may just put up an embarrassing and potentially expensive fight.


  1. It’s also possible, however, they may just put up an embarrassing and potentially expensive fight.

    *dingdingding* Think they got it spot on right there. These mass shakedowns don’t really hold up well under judicial scrutiny. Having someone who could pay for the lawyers to fight back would be exactly what they fear. They just look for low-hanging fruit to prey upon.

    It reminds me of those scammers that send bills to thousands of business, because all they need are a few unobservant accounting departments to make it worth their while.

    1. Potentially expensive, and potentially directly harmful to their business model.

      They can actually affect copyright law.  I mean, that’s not a subtle thing that politicians can do, they’re directly responsible for passing legislation that makes a huge difference for intellectual property, what information your IP gathers from you…

      It doesn’t take much negative interaction with these laws to drive people toward an increased respect for personal privacy.  Particularly politicians, I’d think.

  2. Piss off enough politicians and laws change. There is a reason why people have been joking about seeding torrents with the ip addresses of big name politicians, and their family members, since these shakedowns started.

  3. So he is admitting in court documents he is not applying the law equally.
    He is also pointing out that politicians have been caught bittorrenting, I think we should find out whom.  I think those that are voting for draconian copyright laws and shoving people off of the net on mere accusations need to have their own hypocrisy on display for the world to see.

    While I doubt the methods used to gather the IP addresses in question, the fact that some people are getting a pass because of their position should call into question so very much.

    1. As noted above, politicians probably get a pass because they can directly affect the ability of the lawyers to make money off of these suits. In addition, you probably wouldn’t get most politicians or celebrities to settle, even for small sums, because of the possibility of the settlement becoming public at a later date. 

  4. I’d been wondering  why Teddy Roosevelt’s zombie never had to go t0 court over this sort of thing.

  5. There is another possibility. Rather than the pornographers just passively avoiding politicians and public figures for fear of an expensive fight,  it may be that they have some kind of agreement.  The politicians would rather not have their porn predilections exposed just as much as the pornographers would rather not have lawmakers question, or change, the legality of their activities.  I would not be surprised if there were some kind of backroom deal between them, essentially putting the politicians in their pockets: if the politician agrees not to question their behavior, they agree not to expose the politician.

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