It really really stinks but people are getting sued all over the country in federal AND state courts. The federal ones are the only ones that you can search, but I got sued in state court and ended up settling for $7500 with US Copyright Group. I could have gotten out for $3500 with the letter I got but I went ahead and agred to the $7500 settlement since my attorney wanted $10,000 on retainer just to file an answer. Take my advice: settle early, and try to do it yourself. Call the law firm and tell them you have an unsecured router, and offer them $1000 less than what they ask for and see if they will take it. You might be pleasantly surprised, and if they won’t agree, you arent out ANY MONEY. The copyright defense lawyers are just as bad as the ones doing the suing. This site definitely has it right: www.legalcopyrightreform.com I wish i’d seen it 6 months ago before i rolled the dice and blew the whole thing off. I keep reading “don’t feed the trolls, don’t settle”, but the people shooting that off arent going to be there to pay my attorney when I get sued. it is easy to just say “don’t pay” but they don’t have to deal with the conseuqences. I am all for this coalition group’s stance–they need to revise the whole copyright act!!!
Because my bullshit detector is very sensitive, it overheated immediately. And when I followed the link in this comment I found a cynical and predatory assault on common sense.
Half-truths have been always worse than pure lies. An unsuspecting visitor may be deceived by the lashing of trolls in the first paragraphs: it plays nicely along the feelings of copyright trolls’ victims. But little by little one can discover really strange ideas.
The worst and most dangerous part of this site is its main message: settle early. Anyone in his/her clear mind wouldn’t come up with such an insane conclusion after just an hour of research.
Some lies on this site do not even pass a laugh test:
If you get named and personally sued . . . well you didn’t take this advice. Call a lawyer and deal with it. There are at least 100 cases where downloaders got sued individually and didn’t respond to the lawsuit and had $30,000 judgments AND attorneys fees charged to them. Now those trolls are taking houses, cars, bank accounts etc. . . .
We are a group of retired and practicing lawyers, law school professors, legal analysts, and concerned citizens who all share a common bond and goal: To promote and help facilitate the widespread and much-needed reform of the U.S. Copyright Act.
Really? Lawyers lashing lawyers for being paid for their job? Lawyers giving an advice to deal with trolls without retaining an attorney? Law school professors who can’t spell and have a terrible writing style? Unbelievable impudence.
The site cynically links to the Public Knowledge donation page to create an impression of legitimacy. I asked the guys from PK about www.legalcopyrightreform.com and as expected, they never heard about it.
As I suspected, this “group” is actually a single guy named Malloch O’Brennan (the name may be fake), who has resorted to Google sites with the worst possible theme in stock.
Here is the legalcopyrightreform.com WHOIS info
registrant-street1: 1200 24th St NW
By the way the address in the registry is the address of an underground parking garage under the Fairmont hotel.
This guy is spreading his lies all over the blogosphere: I saw posts similar to the one I mentioned above on TechDirt, ArsTechnica and TorrentFreak discussion boards. Different names — same sick agenda. This comment is from the ArsTechnica discussion board:
Wow these English blokes sure started a trend here in the States. Unfortunately for us, the attorneys doing this crap here are actually suing people, and there is a whole network of plaintiffs attorneys representing the studios and targeting individual downloaders in their home states. On June 9th, a Massachusetts judge awarded a judgment in that Far Cry case of $30,000 plus attorneys fees for downloading the movie. On July 5th another $30,000 award against a downloader of the Steam Experiment movie in Virginia (Eastern District), which is the max under the Copyright Act. I read there have been several hundred filed across the country and not just in Federal Court.
With these results, the troll attorneys are going to be all over these cases to go after all the people who didn’t settle. It is just pathetic that these thousands of people who refuse to settle in the “pay up or else” scheme are actually going to spend the rest of their lives paying off these judgments or have to declare bankruptcy.
Update: I was happy to find out that TorrentFreak community flagged a similar fear-mongering comment from this guy (this time as “JohnDoe2033”) recently, so I can’t quote it.
So now when you have had a chance to browse his site, what do you think?
9/26/11: legalcopyrightreform.com now points nowhere. The Google site is still there though: https://sites.google.com/site/legalcopyrightreform/
9/28/11: There is another site, slightly different: https://sites.google.com/site/lglcr1 There is a suspicion that Kenneth Ford is behind this scam. Good news: google search on “legalcopyrightreform.com” or “Legal Coalition for Copyright Reform” yields this article as #1 result :)