2012 is bound to bring some new and interesting developments for the Copyright Troll’s business model. In 2010 the cases started with mass John Does, multiple different titles (in the same case), and Does from different jurisdictions. In 2011, the Trolls adapted their cases to try and avoid the various motions and amicus briefs from the Troll fighters. I wanted to make sure all the Does (old, new, and those yet to be tied to case) are aware that it is due to their efforts. Depending on your situation, please continue to do something to fight this unethical business practice. Please post what you are seeing from the Trolls and if possible file motions to challenge the Trolls.
Yes, not all the motions will be granted and the Trolls may get your personal information from the ISPs. Just remember that the only information they have at first is the “Public” IP address associated with your ISP. This is extremely weak evidence. That is why they send out the scare letters and telephone calls to get you to settle fast or at least call them. Talking to the Trolls is an extremely bad idea in my opinion. They are not going to listen to why you didn’t do it. They don’t care. They know that if they keep up the pressure, some of the reluctant Does will settle. For those who don’t settle, most of the cases were eventually dropped. As we have begun to make advances in the courts, the Trolls are adapting as expected.
At the end of 2011, we have seen some cases where non-settling Does have been named in an amended complaint. Now don’t just pull out your credit card and feed the Troll because you get named. Bottom line: If you didn’t do it and there is nothing to prove you did, the Troll still only has very weak evidence. It will be interesting to see what the Trolls do when a Doe gets an attorney and responds to their summons with a flat, “I didn’t do it” and “bring it on.”
I will state this very clearly everyone (to include the copyright content owners & the Trolls). Don’t illegally download/share copyright protected media. It is wrong. Saying that, I will tell you that the extorting practices of the Trolls (with the full support of the copyright owners) is just as wrong.
The old saying of “Two wrongs do not make a right,” is applicable. The Trolls know this and their actions make it clear they are not trying to correct any wrong, just trying to get as much money as possible from the Does. They will make some very weak claims of reclaiming lost revenue and that the cases are preventing new instances of copyright infringement. The copyright owners involved with this love the cash that is coming to them. They don’t have to do anything except apply for a copyright for their content. The Troll will cover all initial costs up front and then split the settlements. Going to trial is another matter, as the risk of losing on weak evidence and the loss of settlement profits is a great possibility. Losing to a Doe and having to pay his legal fees isn’t something they want. It will also expose the details of their evidence collections methods and the technicians who do this. Their loss will also be posted to the Blogs and spread far and wide. There are many of us out there who are more knowledgeable than the Trolls on the technical aspects of computers/networks and the Internet. Any information we can get will be analyzed and weaknesses will be attacked. 😉
“Some ships are designed to sink… others require our assistance.”