Class action lawsuit challenges Bittorent lawsuit factory’s business model

Well this is interesting. One of the bittorrent copyright defendants who has been victimized targeted by the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, a/k/a the US Copyright Group, has filed a class action lawsuit against the law firm. The complaint [download], filed yesterday (November 24), is 96 pages long, includes 456 paragraphs of allegations, and contains 25 claims for relief. The claims include extortion under the Hobbs Act, common law extortion, conspiracy, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and a slew of fraud claims. Mounting a defense to this gargantuan effort is certainly going to cut into the profit margin that the US Copyright Group should expect from its dubious business model.

5 thoughts on “Class action lawsuit challenges Bittorent lawsuit factory’s business model

  1. Michael Donnelly

    Evan, check paragraph 217 of the complaint. ;) Very amusing, given the title of the possibly-fraudently-registered movie.

  2. Cashman Law Firm.com

    I read all 96 pages with a fine tooth comb, and then I e-mailed them offering our firm's help in any way we can. The Cashman Law Firm, PLLC is representing a number of the clients which would likely be part of this class law suit, and I believe the complaint was well researched, and well cited. A lot of work went into this complaint, and I have a strong belief that this law suit could be the one that stops the opponent attorneys in their tracks.

    Perhaps we can get some good case law from this to apply to the other torrent / illegal movie downloading cases.

    Rob Cashman, Attorney
    Cashman Law Firm, PLLC
    Website: http://federalcrimes.cashmanlawfirm.com
    Blog: http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com
    E-mail: rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com

  3. robshaver

    OFF TOPIC: The major TV networks are blocking their Internet media from specific devices such as Logitech's Review with GoogleTV and the Boxee Box. Isn't that restraint of trade and evidence of collusion?

  4. missprism

    Authors' copyright claims are valuable assets that publishers, who are merely author's licensees, don't necessarily have the right to exercise on the authors' behalf, much less foreclose on those authors, by contracting without their consent with law firms such as this (often with no notice or disclosure to authors of any of the facts, risks, liabilities, or details of the litigation, which in many contracts are heavily charged to authors). Why would anyone waive their $150,000 statutory damages per infringement claim for a mere $1,500, regardless of the specific use made of their work or profits gleaned by the infringer, that have, as yet, been totally unaccounted for? (And for the cost, approximately, of a small limited use text permission!) No one can ballpark the value of a claim in advance of all of the facts, this way! It's on its face legal incompetence, or, as this complaint alleges, a legal extortion racket—an effort to steal original copyright owners' right to sue from them. At best this firm isn't selling legal services. It's selling information about infringements going on, online. Publishers often have only limited authority to sue in the name of an author. Particularly in media the publisher was not primarily licensed to operate in. Many grants of "subsidiary" or "ancillary" rights are self-servingly inserted into contracts by publishers and are of dubious force. They might well apply to any product the publisher is selling in that market, or to restrain the author from doing anything competitive with the publisher's product in other markets, but they do not necessary confer some all purpose grant of agency authority or privilege to litigate any and all copyright claims relating in any and all ways to a work on behalf of its author.

Comments are closed.