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200,000 U.S. BitTorrent Users Sued

By - Source: Torrent Freak | B 87 comments

More than 201,000 people in the United States have been sued over illegal file sharing activity using BitTorrent since the beginning of 2010, according to a post published by Torrent Freak.

More than 99 percent of the suits were directly targeted at BitTorrent, while 1237 are aimed at users that allegedly used eD2k. More than 55,000 cases have been settled over the 20 months, which leaves the number of pending suits at 145,417 at this time.

Torrent Freak highlighted the download frenzy surrounding Hurt Locker, which triggered a massive wave of copyright infringement lawsuits - 24,583 against BitTorrent users. The publication notes that the copyright infringement trend could be turning into a significant business opportunity - not just for the lawyers drafting and submitting the filings, but also for the copyright holders themselves - especially those who are willing to settle for a few thousand dollars out of court to escape the threat of a $150,000 fine for each copyrighted title in question. This could be providing a decent windfall for the entertainment industry.

If that is the case, the RIAA may want to rethink its decision to curb illegal file downloading from sources such as BitTorrent. The organization announced in July that it is working with Internet Service providers to monitor the download activity of their users in an effort that is called Copyright Alert System. If you download copyrighted material, your bandwidth will be throttled. The RIAA calls this a mitigation measure to stop online content theft.

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Top Comments
  • 44 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 9, 2011 8:24 PM
    I don't think the RIAA, a private corporation, should have access to see what I do online at all. They have no authority there and should not be able to pressure ISPs into doing their bidding. I think the government should stop them before it gets out of control.

    Or we could sue the RIAA for invasion of privacy.
  • 33 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:17 PM
    Welcome to the U.S. Where everyone is sued.

    The RIAA need to calm down and realize that they'll get very little from these cases
  • 26 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:27 PM
    America is just... screwed up. For a country that always talks about "freedom" and "rights". Their people seem to have very little of it.

    You see... China, a communist country wouldn't let the RIAA do what they want.

    America needs to stop bending over when someone has a whinge
Other Comments
    Display all 87 comments.
  • 33 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:17 PM
    Welcome to the U.S. Where everyone is sued.

    The RIAA need to calm down and realize that they'll get very little from these cases
  • 44 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 9, 2011 8:24 PM
    I don't think the RIAA, a private corporation, should have access to see what I do online at all. They have no authority there and should not be able to pressure ISPs into doing their bidding. I think the government should stop them before it gets out of control.

    Or we could sue the RIAA for invasion of privacy.
  • 25 Hide
    Parsian , August 9, 2011 8:26 PM
    US is F'ed.
  • 26 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:27 PM
    America is just... screwed up. For a country that always talks about "freedom" and "rights". Their people seem to have very little of it.

    You see... China, a communist country wouldn't let the RIAA do what they want.

    America needs to stop bending over when someone has a whinge
  • 21 Hide
    house70 , August 9, 2011 8:29 PM
    Whoa, that was a bad movie (not good-bad, but bad-bad).
    Taste aside, this whole RIAA thing suing people left and right is ridiculous.
  • 22 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:36 PM
    The whole suing people in general is just becoming stupid. All the tech companies are doing it.

    If I were a judge, I'd be banging my head on a wall every day.
  • 25 Hide
    dark_knight33 , August 9, 2011 8:39 PM
    SILVER565America is just... screwed up. For a country that always talks about "freedom" and "rights". Their people seem to have very little of it.You see... China, a communist country wouldn't let the RIAA do what they want.America needs to stop bending over when someone has a whinge


    Right, why does China need the RIAA? The "People's Gov't" already tells you what you can & can't watch, and what you can & can't download. Great Firewall of China, anyone?

    Communism isn't the problem, corruption is, and the unadulterated capitalism of the last 2 decades that has crushed the middle class, and put a crap load of the gov't under corporate control proves that the US isn't immune to the very same problem. E.g. FCC, Comcast, NBC deal, where one of the regulators took a very lucrative job at Comcast/NBC only weeks after voting to approve the merger. [Troll] If only the damn teabaggers would stop voting corporate yes men into the house of reps, crap like this would be prosecuted. [/Troll]
  • -2 Hide
    restatement3dofted , August 9, 2011 8:41 PM
    SILVER565Welcome to the U.S. Where everyone is sued.The RIAA need to calm down and realize that they'll get very little from these cases


    That's the point. If they actually get to a lawsuit, they'll almost certainly win, but it will involve huge amounts of time and money, and the chances that they'll actually get the full amount of the applicable fine is virtually nonexistent - an immediate $150,000+ debt would crush most people that are pirating stuff. However, if you can settle out of court for even a fraction of that, you still have the potential to recover a massive amount in the aggregate, without incurring a majority of the costs associated with actually litigating.
  • 5 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:42 PM
    Surely the RIAA would lose money by suing everyone?

    The average joe who downloads isn't made of gold.
  • 10 Hide
    mikem_90 , August 9, 2011 8:46 PM
    Quote:
    If that is the case, the RIAA may want to rethink its decision to curb illegal file downloading from sources such as BitTorrent.


    It won't. Their entire existence is derived from the fear they put into content creator's and studios heads that if they didn't go to insane extremes, no one would get a dime.

    No, they are just "opening new Revenue streams". By strong arming the US government and laying down tons of nasty invasive laws, they find ways for the government to enforce ways for them to extort money form people.

    The report they buried that said "Pirates buy the most media" doesn't help their case. They're suing their own customers.

    The demand is there for things customers want, but in order to keep their tight control over things they have to abuse the legal system and our rights. If they would find ways to offer people the things they want for reasonable prices, there would be FAR less piracy.

    How is it a loss of billions if a percentage of the people pirating something cannot even hope to afford the product? Outside the US in some countries the price of some of the things pirated are more than a years salary.

    Find ways to help service your customers! Don't force the government to mandate your bad business model!
  • 13 Hide
    mikem_90 , August 9, 2011 8:49 PM
    SILVER565Surely the RIAA would lose money by suing everyone? The average joe who downloads isn't made of gold.


    That is the point, they save money by bundling the lawsuits together and using it to force ISPs and others to give them the info, then offer to settle, turning it into a business opportunity.

    The courts were not there to be a way to make money, but a way to settle disputes. When it becomes a way to make money, its legitimacy is lost.
  • 15 Hide
    silver565 , August 9, 2011 8:50 PM
    America has a broken system. That is why it's in a crap situation.
  • 6 Hide
    TheCapulet , August 9, 2011 8:54 PM
    beenthereReality theater time. Those who pirate are going to pay and soon it will be a felony with mandatory prison time.

    Reality Dropkick Time. Those who impose on the God Given Rights outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America, such as the the 14th Amendment, will either find the righteous foot of the Supreme Court lodged in their asses, or enrage those who they rely on enough that they are tossed into obscurity and unimportance while the world moves on without them.

    Despite the faced of eroding freedom, the United States has had far more imposing civil liberty threats on the horizon in the last few hundred years than we do now. And there's just absolutely no way that the RIAA and MPAA can continue what they're doing on an individual level without due cause/due process of the law.
  • 21 Hide
    Azn Cracker , August 9, 2011 9:00 PM
    im sure most of the people won't even watch the movies if it isn't free.
  • 5 Hide
    kinggraves , August 9, 2011 9:03 PM
    These lawsuits may make them a quick amount of money, but if they managed to catch 200k people, how many are actually doing it, over a million? Are they going to just sit around and take this legalized extortion? The long term result of these suits will not be a revenue, but public outcry.

    Piracy may be wrong, but sueing people with a frightening number to get them to settle for less is wrong as well. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip and you can't take money from people who are already going broke from the recession. They can just not pay, go to prison, fill up our already overcrowded prison systems, then what? You can't stop over a million people, they lost the war on piracy from the moment they didn't understand it.
  • 24 Hide
    bak0n , August 9, 2011 9:14 PM
    If a terrorist attacked the RIAA, very few would be angered.
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