Move over, US Copyright Group—the pornographers are going to show you how they do it (in several senses). Over the last two weeks, one lawyer with an AOL e-mail address, working out of a Martinsburg, West Virginia office, has managed to file more than 16,700 new lawsuits against file-swappers with a taste for Batman and booty. The cases follow the familiar pattern and wouldn't be notable except for the fact that they make lawyer Kenneth J. Ford the current copyright litigation champion of the entire US in 2010.
Ford's law practice has done well since he went into the porn protection biz earlier this year, setting up shop under the name Adult Copyright Company. He filed several lawsuits during the summer for films like Juicy White Anal Booty 4, but it's only this autumn that his business has really come into its own.
On October 29, Ford helped Axel Braun Productions sue 7,098 anonymous online Does for sharing the film Batman XXX: A Porn Parody. According to the legal complaint, the film features "adult actresses engaging in various intense sexual acts" and was distributed via BitTorrent by the 7,098 IP addresses in question.
On November 4, Ford stepped up his game again, drafting a complaint on behalf of porn producer West Coast Productions against a whopping 9,729 people—the most we have ever seen in a single one of these P2P complaints. (The film in question, according to Slyck, is called Teen Anal Nightmare 2.)
That's nearly 17,000 people in under two weeks. In contrast, it took the RIAA five years to go after 18,000 individuals.
It's also more aggressive than US Copyright Group, which helped to develop the for-profit P2P litigation model in the US earlier this year but has only sued around 16,000 people so far.
At a "content protection retreat" a few weeks ago, the pornography industry announced its plan to "significantly reduce digital piracy of adult content and to effectively drive those who engage in adult content piracy completely underground by January 2012." Although several studios take issue with Ford's approach, it's clear that plenty have no problem with it.
Once it has the names behind these IP addresses, Adult Copyright Company will send out settlement letters. The accused will be able to settle online, using a credit card, and they had better do so quick. As Ford warns, in all caps, "THE MORE EFFORT WE EXPEND, INCLUDING NAMING YOU INDIVIDUALLY IN A LAWSUIT, THE MORE WE MUST RECOVER TO MAKE OUR CLIENT WHOLE."
If a case does proceed to trial, Ford says that he has "THE RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES TO FILE CLAIMS AGAINST INFRINGERS, SEEKING THE MAXIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES AVAILABLE UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW." For willful infringers, that's $150,000 per infringement. Holy damage award, Batman!
Source: ars technica