Attack of the copyright trolls

Online, torrents of failed movies linger mysteriously, waiting to net downloaders in shakedown settlements which seem to have little to do with preventing piracy. John Biggs covers the details of a copyright trolls' legal and wildly profitable scam. [TechCrunch] Previously.


  1. Had that happen to me once.  They can’t prove squat.  Gave em the tall man for their trouble.

  2. This is just one more way to redistribute income upward, from the poor and middle class to wealthy corporations and stockholders.

  3. And welcome TechCrunch to like 2 years ago when this was covered previously.
    Of course now with Prenda getting so much attention in the news people are suddenly surprised ‘ZOMG Copyright Trolls!?’  Talking about trolls is now trendy, except for the around 300,000+ people targeted in the US alone who know first hand how this works.

    Hi I’m TAC, your friendly neighborhood Doe having been cited in 3 defamation lawsuits filed by one of the largest porn trolling outfits out there.  I’ve been involved in helping educate people about these cases for a long time.  You might have seen my name here on BB, Cory has picked up a couple of leads I submitted about the trolls and 6 Strikes in the US.  I comment on these things on little places like Boingboing, ArsTechnica, Techdirt, TorrentFreak, Popehat, Forbes and the 2 little blogs I like to call home –  Run by the lovely Sophisticated Jane Doe (SJD)  Run by the master of the torpedo DieTrollDie (DTD).

    For years SJD and DTD have been running a clearing house of information about the flaws in these cases and educating targeted Does about the truth to these cases.  2 small blogs standing up for the Does, demystifying the court system, calling out the lies the trolls tell you, and documenting every underhanded thing. 
    FCT was one of the first places where people found out that not everyone on the EFF defense list was worth contacting.  It seems pointless to send people seeking help to a firm currently involved in mass John Doe cases.  It seemed pointless to pay thousands to defend yourself when the lawyer told you it is best just to settle, guilty or not.

    The worst movies can now be blockbusters, getting cash out of people (who might have no knowledge of the wrongdoing at all) because the lawyer tells them they can be forced to pay up to $150,000 in damages.  Of course they still claim the $150,000 even in cases where those damages are precluded by the law.  So spend thousands trying to defend yourself, where the troll will most likely drop you from the case after harassing you for months and your out the cash, or give them a payoff to go away and leave you alone.

    So what if the studio getting paid was the source of the file on the network.  So what if they misrepresent the case to the courts.  So what if no one gets a day in court.  So what if people get harassed for months and months to settle the case (even after the case was closed, and they are just using the thousand names they have to demand payments.).  So what if the evidence in most cases is just an IP address, your name is on the bill you must be responsible!  So what if allowing them to be awarded $150,000 is triple what the movie ever earned.  So what if the movie had never actually ever been for sale, they deserve $150,000 and millions in secret settlements.

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