Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement Shakedown Lawsuit

July 9, 2012 -

A class action lawsuit claims that the adult entertainment industry has found a new business model to earn money: threatening alleged illegal downloaders with an embarrassing and very public lawsuit if they do not settle out of court. The lead plaintiff in the case is Jennifer Barker. Her lawsuit names Patrick Collins Inc., Malibu Media, K-Beech, Third Degree Films, and London-based Raw Films. She claims that these porn distributors have "a new business model" which takes advantage of the court system to "extort" money from users of file-sharing sites who have never downloaded any of these companies' videos.

"In effect, the pornography purveyors have developed a new business model using the court system to extort money from individuals who are merely identified by IP address and with no proof whatsoever that they downloaded copyrighted materials from the Internet. By extorting settlements of $1,000-$5,000 the pornography purveyors have developed a model whereby they can unlawfully gain more money than they can by selling access to their pornographic videos."

The complaint goes on to say that once these companies obtain some sort of contact information they begin the process of threatening individuals and demanding a settlement amount of $1,000 - $5,000. They claim this is less than the cost of a lawsuit in most cases.

Barker claims that in May of this year a representative for the named porn distributors called her and accused her of illegally downloading videos from a porn site. She also claims that this representative lied about her being named a defendant in a lawsuit pending in Dade County, Fla. She goes on to say that this representative then told her that she needed to pay a settlement or "she would be identified publicly as having downloaded pornography and would be subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars as a judgment if the suit went forward because there were multiple downloads."

Barker also claims that she does not use file sharing software and that she has never downloaded any porn. Ultimately Barker refused to pay the settlement. Her lawsuit represents more than 200,000 people who were pressured into settling lawsuits filed by porn distributors who alleged copyright infringement.

Barker is seeking class certification and damages for RICO violations, fraud, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unjust enrichment.

This case is of particular interest to anyone that has ever been falsely accused of downloading movies, games, music, software etc. Assuming the plaintiff is telling the truth, it illustrates how innocent internet users are frequently misidentified and targeted by companies that have no idea what they are doing based on limited research and data that can often point to people who are not engaged in anything illegal.

Source: Courthouse News

"Lingerie model black hair fishnet stockings" photo © 2012 Bailey Image / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.


Comments

Re: Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement ...

"threatening alleged illegal downloaders with an embarrassing and very public lawsuit if they do not settle out of court."


... Why would anybody these days be ashamed of having downloaded porn?

Re: Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement ...

That was the best article on Gamepolitics ever. You guys should have more articles featuring nipples.

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Managing Editor at TheBestGameSiteEver.com

Re: Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement ...

Well, I'm glad I stopped by before that picture inevitably gets swapped.

Re: Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement ...

I'm complaining :P I hope the nipslip was just missed when using the photo. SFW imagery on GP, please?

Re: Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement ...

Nice photo.  I'm surprised you went with one that shows her nipples.  Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining.  This could be a nice new trend on GP.

Re: Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement ...

Maybe help bring it back to the "glory days" before JT got disbarred.

 
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