US copyright extortion group

Copy wrongLawyers and law firms that have gone before them  are legion, ‘them’ being  copyright scavengers,  the first being the corporate music industry’s RIAA.

However, preeminent among these extortionists  (for the moment, anyway)  is/are Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver  (guiding philosophy pay now instead of going through an actual trial) to the extent the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a page to, “assist those sued by the U.S. Copyright Group aka aka the lawfirm of Dunlap Grubb & Weaver.”

SaveCinema  would be more appropriately named: “put money in the pockets of Dunlap Grabb & Weaver because rather than a  noble scheme  to rescue the ‘devastated’ multi-billion Hollywood movie industry, here’s what you see when you go to the webpage »»»

Please Login Using Your Defendant Record ID
  Defendant Record ID
All Major Credit Cards Accepted

If you have received a settlement offer without a Defendant Record ID (DRI), please e-mail your IP address (contained in the subpoena to your ISP or the letter from an attorney) to to obtain your Defendant Record ID. Please note, most IP addresses are dynamic and change every 6 to 24 hours, as such the IP address in the subpoena or settlement offer will usually be different than the current IP address associated with your computer.

Acera processes payments and will automatically forward your request to the proper attorney, based upon the IP address you provide.

Says Mike Masnick in Tech Dirt »»»

Most of US Copyright Group’s lawsuits haven’t been going too well — including the decision to completely drop the case for Nu Image, the producers of The Expendables. USCG’s other “high profile” case, however, involves the movie The Hurt Locker, and it continues to move forward.
While judges in other cases have been rejecting these mass “fishing trip” lawsuits, knowing full well that they’re being used to shake down people to “settle” despite being outside the court’s jurisdiction, it appears that USCG got “lucky” with the Hurt Locker case, in that the case was handed to Beryl Howell.


Howell, of course, was an RIAA lobbyist not long before becoming a judge, which …

… certainly calls into question her impartiality in such a case — especially when her rulings seem to contradict just about every other judge who has received one of these mass lawsuits.

In this case, brought on behalf of producers Voltage Pictures, by US Copyright Group (really DC law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver), 24,583 people were sued based on IP addresses. And while most courts have cut out those outside of their jurisdiction, Judge Howell seems to have no problem with USCG getting subpoenas sent all over the country. And, with so many people sued on such flimsy evidence, it’s no surprise that many receiving notice from their ISPs of the subpoena are shocked and insist they have nothing to do with it.

In some cases, their claims are pretty compelling — such as the case in which the notice was returned… because the recipient was dead.

Ars Technica’s Nate Anderson has been collecting responses from people who insist they have no clue why they’re being sued. Of course, as TorrentFreak points out, in such cases, it’s probably a really bad idea to write to the court directly protesting your innocence, because that publicly reveals who you are — something that USCG might not have known previously. Even worse, in this case, rather than recognize the ridiculousness of suing 24,583 people based solely on flimsy IP addresses,
Howell is saying that these responses are meaningless until a trial actually begins — by which point many of these same people will realize that it’s probably cheaper to settle up than pay to have to defend themselves. The sampling of letters, however, certainly suggests a fair amount of collateral damage from filing lawsuits on such weak evidence. While some may insist that (1) some of these people are lying or (2) they can just prove their innocence in court, I would suggest that you’re not recognizing just how traumatic it can be to get sued, especially if you’re not that familiar with the law and, indeed, have no clue why you’re getting sued. It’s exactly this situation that USCG and Voltage Pictures were counting on with this process, so kudos to Judge Beryl Howell for making the lives of a bunch of innocent people a living hell ….
… in the  fine tradition of the spurious RIAA  sue ’em all  lawsuits

Jon Newton — myblogdammit

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