EFF Offers Aid to USCG John Doe Defendants

August 10, 2010 -

Has the U.S. Copyright Group got you down because you might be a John Doe named in some blanket lawsuit concerning illegal movie downloads? Well buck up little camper, because the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to help you.

The EFF has published "U.S. Copyright Group v. the People," a collection of resources to assist the thousands of individuals accused of online copyright infringement by the Washington, D.C.-based law firm, the U.S. Copyright Group (USCG).

As you are probably already aware, the USCG filed "John Doe" lawsuits on behalf of seven filmmakers against more than 14,000 anonymous defendants for "unauthorized downloads of films including Far Cry and The Hurt Locker. The group is threatening thousands of defendants with a judgment of up to $150,000 per downloaded movie in the hopes that they will settle out of court for a mere $1,500 - $2,500 per person.

 

"The people targeted in these mass lawsuits need good information about this situation and their options," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "USCG vs. the People provides answers to the many of the questions faced by anyone who learns their identity is being sought in connection with USCG's campaign or receives an intimidating letter from USCG. It also includes a list of attorneys who are interested in assisting."

EFF's new webpage, www.eff.org/uscg has important information for those that have been or will be subpoenaed, including detailed explanations of the claims the USCG might make, discussions of possible responses that would be helpful for defendants, and a number of resources to help people find legal counsel and assistance.

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Re: EFF Offers Aid to USCG John Doe Defendants

 Well, to be fair $1,500-$2,500 does seem reasonable. I mean a lot of minor crimes have fines attached to them that often go in the hundreds and thousands; should pirating be any different? My disgust with most of these copyright cases is stuff like the $150,000 per download... That is just horribly absurd in how incredibly disproportionate it is to the crime. At those kinds of penalties, a person's life can be utterly ruined with just a single download of a $15 movie... Something in the neighborhood of $2,000 on the other hand, depending on various situations seems like it would generally only be a set back and not ruin you. 

Still don't like the idea of these companies going out and suing people, but I do like to hear something that sounds more sensible when it comes to the fines. 

 
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Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
 

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