Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Evidence That Copyright Trolls Should Lose a Finger For Every Sanction Issued By A Court

From September 11, 2013 TechDirt:
A few months back, people realized that one of Malibu Media's tactics was to send a now infamous "Exhibit C" court filing to the subscribers they were accusing of infringing on their copyrights. The problem? The movies in Exhibit C -- which tended to be hard core porn films -- had no connectionto Malibu Media. They didn't hold the copyright on them at all, and certainly had no standing to sue over them. Basically, Malibu would file this list of other movies the person may or may not have been sharing, with really offensive names, knowing that if the names became public it would likely be quite embarrassing for the recipients of the threat letters. It seemed pretty clear that the idea was to intimidate people into paying up.
The article goes on to explain that the EFF filed an amicus brief on this, and the court sanctioned Malibu Media for what is essentially a "settle out of court or we'll embarrass you more" tactic.  While I don't have much sympathy for people who are genuinely engaged in copyright violation, and even less for those watching some of the movies listed in these filings, those are still well up from lawyers who rely on intimidation to get quick settlements for copyrights that they do not even own.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act needs serious reform -- serious enough that lawyers engaged in tactics like these (and Righthaven) should have to worry about jail time, not just fines.

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