Not a welcome development. If contingency lawyers can make money doing this it will probably make the RIAA suits seem like an ineffective joke. Look at the havok they wreaked with the asbestos litigation. Anyone know the details behind Guardaley IT's technology?
By Eriq Gardner
EXCLUSIVE: In what may be a sign of things to come, more than 20,000 individual movie torrent downloaders have been sued in the past few weeks in Washington D.C. federal court for copyright infringement. A handful of cases have already settled, and those that haven't are creating some havoc for major ISPs.
The lawsuits were filed by an enterprising D.C.-based venture, the US Copyright Group, on behalf of an ad hoc coalition of independent film producers and with the encouragement of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. So far, five lawsuits have been filed against tens of thousands of alleged infringers of the films "Steam Experiment," "Far Cry," "Uncross the Stars," "Gray Man" and "Call of the Wild 3D." Here's an example of one of the lawsuits -- over Uwe Boll's "Far Cry."
Another lawsuit targeting 30,000 more torrent downloaders on five more films is forthcoming, we're told, and all this could be a test run that opens up the floodgates to massive litigation against the millions of individuals who use BitTorrent to download movies.
The genesis of this legal campaign occurred in Germany when lawyers from the US Copyright Group were introduced to a new proprietary technology by German-based Guardaley IT that allows for real-time monitoring of movie downloads on torrents. According to Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer at the firm, the program captures IP addresses based on the time stamp that a download has occurred and then checks against a spreadsheet to make sure the downloading content is the copyright protected film and not a misnamed film or trailer.
Source: Hollywood Reporter