Movie Companies Sue Lawyer in Dispute Over Piracy Settlement Cash


Movie Companies Sue Lawyer in Dispute Over Piracy Settlement Cash

Movie companies behind The Expendables, Olympus Has Fallen, and The Hitman’s Bodyguard, have built a reputation for tracking down thousands of BitTorrent users in pursuit of cash settlements. In a rare case that could provide an even rarer glimpse behind the scenes of an industrial-scale settlement operation, the movie companies are now suing a lawyer who acted for them in a large number of settlement cases.

cashWhile opinions, definitions, and scope vary, it seems fairly clear that lawsuits targeting BitTorrent pirates do little to prevent mass piracy. A steady stream of suspected pirates continuously line up to become the next individuals to face potential legal action, regardless of how many that has happened to previously.

For companies whose movies are downloaded and shared illegally, solutions have been developed that allow them to monitor suspected pirates and track them back to their ISPs, before obtaining their identities and making a settlement offer to end the risk of a full-blown lawsuit. For many movie companies, this business model provides a stream of revenue from those perceived as unprepared to pay for their product.

Internet users targeted by lawyers working for those companies often view settlement demands of up to thousands of dollars as disproportionate to any actual damage suffered. Nevertheless, huge numbers of people have paid up over the years, with their cash often being handed to a law firm in the first instance. From there, payments typically wind their way back to the movie companies, with intermediaries also involved taking their cuts in what has become a global, industrial-scale settlement factory.

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