Mass US copyright lawsuits to reach 100,000 mark

Summary:With a total of 99,924 lawsuits already presented to alleged file sharers, the total number of piracy cases are set to reach the 100,000 mark in a matter of weeks.

In the coming weeks, it is expected that the US mass lawsuits against file sharers will reach the 100,000 mark.

According to some reports, a total of 99,924 lawsuits have been initiated by copyright holders against infringers, alleged to have downloaded or shared files, particularly adult content.

Google recently started plugging the copyright holes by censoring auto-complete results for keywords relating to infringement. However, this has a wider effect on the nature of peer-to-peer itself as a legitimate means of sharing large files, with even results relating to Ubuntu being blocked.

When search engines and websites receive a DMCA notice, they are required to remove or omit certain results or pages which link to copyrighted material.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation estimates 75,000 people are being sued for downloading porn through peer-to-peer networks. In response to this, the EFF submitted documents to "protect the rights of each and every defendant" by attempting to quash the subpoenas, calling out the predatory nature of the "copyright trolls who game the system".

As younger users are prolific file sharers, one has to wonder how many of these are students, at university or at least under the age of 25. But the nature of these bandwagon-type lawsuits act indiscriminately against alleged file sharers shows a dangerous precedent, especially against younger people without the finance to settle cases presented before them.

Are copyright holders acting in a predatory fashion? Or are they simply claiming compensation for their work? It's the age old question like 'which came first, the chicken or the egg?'. The egg, actually.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Legal


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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