“More than 100,000 People Have Been Sued for Sharing Movies in Past Year”

by Walter Olson on February 8, 2011

So far it’s mostly smaller and adult producers filing the suits. Will the broader film industry wind up going down the much-lawyered record-label route? [Hollywood Reporter THR, Esq.] Related: “Lessons from the Texas Downloading Dismissal – Why Due Process Matters” [Paul Alan Levy, CL&P]

{ 1 comment }

1 Matt 02.08.11 at 3:45 pm

“We’re creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel,” says Weaver.

Mr. Weaver is correct, albeit not in a way he suspects. P2P litigation reaches for the low hanging fruit in two ways: (1) it targets users unsophisticated enough to, for example, use Bittorrent without protocol encryption or a regularly updated peer block list and (2) it targets the viewers of films like “Far Cry”. The result: low-caliber law firms pick off low-caliber copyright infringers for a few years until everyone switches to more sophisticated systems and finds ways to mask file checksums, etc. Copyright infringement is not meaningfully reduced, credible attempts to monetize alternative distribution are stillborn in some cases, and a small group of lawyers gets to play meter maids at $200 per hour until that vein of business runs dry. The “revenue stream” runs to the law firms, not copyright holders, and the “alternative distribution channel” is just form complaints distributed to an alternative set of cubicles.

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