Copyright trolling is something we’ve covered extensively in the past. That’s because these cases, whether it’s a pornography trying to use the fear of public shame to extort money out of random citizens or a newspaper attempting to shut down discussion of its articles, have the potential to define how we use the Internet and what we use it for. That and also a lot of them are really funny for how little they understand the Internet and how it works.
Increasingly the legal tide has been turning against these cases. As judges review the evidence and take a look at the overall evidence, they tend to rule that there’s no validity to the claim. But enough people still are scared enough of going to court, and willing to pay a few thousands bucks to do it, that these cases still happen.
But not if our new hero, Jennifer Barker, has her way:
Yesterday, [Kenneth] Henry [Barker's legal counsel] filed a federal lawsuit on Barker’s behalf in Louisville, targeting five pornographers who seek to “extort money from individuals they claim have downloaded pornography from the Internet.” The suit further seeks class action status on behalf of “individuals throughout the United States who have been subjected to the unlawful extortion attempts of the Defendants herein.” Henry estimates that this class exceeds 200,000 people.
This isn’t the only court case arguing this — apparently Uwe Boll is in court with a random dude because he refuses to see that nobody would voluntarily watch, let alone download, Far Cry.
But the key thing is that this case is in court. Barker may or may not succeed, although there’s frankly enough legal reporting that Henry can make a compelling case, and he’ll have no shortage of volunteer experts to testify. The point is, though, that this is the beginning of the end. Once it becomes clear that bullying people for money using porn will get your ass sued, these lawsuits will stop. And the Internet will be a better place.
Thanks, Jennifer Barker. We appreciate it.
image courtesy sea turtle on Flickr