Meet the US copyright lawyers planning a denial-of-service attack on the US courts

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.

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.

US anti-P2P law firms sue more in 2010 than RIAA ever did