On 2010, the U.S. Copyright Group quietly targeted tens of thousands BitTorrent users for legal action in federal court in Washington DC. The defendants, who started off as unnamed "John Does", were accused of having downloaded independent films such as "Far Cry," "Steam Experiment," and "The Hurt Locker" without authorization. The organization went on to sue thousands of defendants at a time, hoping to extract quick and easy settlements. By the end of the year, U.S. Copyright Group had been joined by similar companies that sued people all over the United States for allegedly downloading porn and for reproducing newspaper articles in blogs. In less than two years, copyright trolls have sued almost 200,000 people.
Who are the copyright trolls? What should you do if you are a content owner approached by copyright trolls? What should you do if you are one of the 200,000 people being sued? And what is being done about this new and disturbing business model?
9th–13th March 2012