Believe it or not, a law firm--White Berberian--has come forward to offer its services to all those accused of illegal file sharing by U.S. Copyright Group (aka Dunlap Grubb & Weaver). The latter party is currently representing Hollywood film studios, and is filing lawsuits against more than 50,000 individuals who shared movies on peer-to-peer networks. Although "The Hurt Locker" has been in the spotlight for several weeks, the U.S. Copyright Group is also defending studios behind "Call of the Wild 3D" and Uwe Boll's "Far Cry."
However the service provided to the accused file sharers appears somewhat standard and honest. For $249, the firm will help negotiate a settlement on behalf of the accused. The firm insists that accused file sharers should consult with its attorneys regarding their rights and risk exposure. There's even a guarantee of a refund if the firm can't negotiate a settlement better than what the Plaintiff originally offered.
The fee doesn't cover any "litigation-related activities."
Thousands have already received a settlement offer from U.S. Copyright Group. Typically violators receive a notice from their ISP stating that the law firm has requested their information. The notice is followed-up by a letter from the actual firm stating that someone was sharing a movie from their IP address, and that a payment of $1,500 would end the matter immediately. Those who don't take the initial offer are then charged $2,500. If accused file-sharers want to fight it out in court, it could cost up to $150,000 in fines.
For this reason, White Berberian is soliciting its legal services. But as mentioned before, there are no guarantees. "We always endeavor to achieve a successful result, but we can make no guarantee or warranty as to the outcome of a particular legal controversy or issue," the firm said.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is also helping accused file-sharers by pointing them to legal representatives.