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from www.jsonline.com – If you’re downloading porn on file sharing software in Wisconsin, you’ve got more than law enforcement watching your bit stream.
Law enforcement monitors internet traffic for the trading of known and suspected child pornography. But makers of old-school pornographic “movies,” have been employing similar techniques to track unauthorized downloads of their copyrighted films, works like “Dangerous Game,” “Then They Were Three,” and “”Sneak N Peek.” Instead of criminal charges, they file civil claims of copyright infringement.
Such plaintiffs are called copyright trolls, and one of the busiest has landed in Wisconsin.
Malibu Media, a California film company, has filed at least nine suits against “John Doe” internet addresses in Germantown, Oconomowoc, Nashotah, Hartland, New Berlin, Waukesha and MIlwaukee. The film company’s lawyer is Mary Schulz of Geneva, IL.
Each southeastern Wisconsin IP address supposedly downloaded a dozen or more Malibu Media films. The lawsuits seek injunctions against continued infringement, deletion of the copyrighted works on the defendants’ computers, $150,000 per infringed video and attorney fees.
The cases are usually meant to result in a quick settlement from a computer IP address user who may be embarrased about the porn films. One California judge compared the practice to an extortion scheme.
Malibu Media has reportedly filed more than 350 such suits around the country, against some 15,000 John Does. It’s so pervasive that a law firm in California has developed a speciality defending the John Does.