US Copyright Group Suing BitTorrent Downloaders
A Federal Judge has given the U.S. Copyright Group the green light to subpoena ISPs in an effort to determine the identies of 23,000 BitTorrent users who illegally downloaded the movie "The Expendables". Once the identities are uncovered, those people will likely receive notification they are being sued by the U.S. Copyright Group.
According to the "Biggest BitTorrent Downloading Case in U.S. History Targets 23,000 Defendants" article on Wired.com, most BitTorrent illegal download cases settle for around $3,000 cash (each). The U.S. Copyright Act allows for damages up to $150,000 though, and in this recent action taken by the U.S. Copyright Group they are seeking maximum damages.
But can an IP address be enough information to correctly tie a crime to a person? Just recently we saw an example where the wrong person was accused of downloading child pornography. Law enforcement agents broke down the door of a Buffalo, NY man thinking he was the perpetrator. In reality, the person responsible was hijacking the WiFi signal from the Buffalo, NY man's home.
Lessons learned? Password protect your wireless router. And if you're using BitTorrent to download illegal copies of movies, the U.S. Copyright Group is taking notice and cracking down.