Originally Posted by John Eppstein
Once again, these cases are not being brought by "trolls", they are being brought by legitimate legal firms representing copyright holders.
To date the only real copyright troll - in the sense that the patent troll firms are patent trolls - is Righthaven.
You don't appear to understand the meaning of the term "troll" in this application.
A "troll" is a firm that buys up IP with no other intention than sitting on it and suing any other entity that attempts to use it or anything similar.
These specialist legal firms are not buying up anything, they are simply acting as legal counsel for rights holders who are using their IP in the course of a legitimate business. It's no different than an attorney specializing in divorce loaw ot music business law.
It's not "trolling".
Originally Posted by chrisso
He took the line (in quotes) from the topic title.
It seemed to me he was saying legitimate copyright enforcement activities had occurred, but had not been widely reported on the net. NOt really surprising as the net is dominated by tech positive, copyright negative loud mouths.
The ABC Australia tech blog has published three opinion pieces sympathetic to piracy this year, and not one putting the opposing view.
Originally Posted by Don Hills
I understand perfectly. In turn, I trust you will understand why I choose to ignore your interpretation and wait for Terry to explain what he meant. I doubt he would use the term "copyright trolls" to refer to legitimate copyright enforcement activities.
I believe John offers an accurate definition of a true IP troll: one who acquires IP at some point downstream (as opposed to one who acquires IP through bankrolling the creation or production of the IP) with the primary intent to profit off that IP through the threat of litigation. A famous 2006 Slate article
suggests that Bridgeport Music is one such company. From what I've read, it appears that Righthaven also falls in this camp.
I personally wouldn't apply the label "troll" to other companies that have been labelled as such by the EFF
and others ( Fight Copyright Trolls
). These appear to be mostly independent filmmakers and porn producers suing individuals for P2P infringement. As I said earlier, I don't necessarily agree with their tactics if the intent is to strong-arm people into quick settlements. From a broader perspective, they certainly aren't doing any PR
favors for creators at a time when it's already difficult to enforce copyright online. But most of these lawsuits appear to be initiated by those closely related to the production of the works at issue.
As for the court opinions that haven't gotten much attention. Most of these are procedural, involving issues of jurisdiction or joinder. The tech-friendly blogs are quick to report when courts are skeptical of the lawsuits and sever defendants or quash subpoenas, but not so quick when courts allow the claims to move forward. Readers of these blogs get the implication that these suits are universally perceived as bad and wrong.
There's one in particular that I have yet to see reported on that seems even more surprising. Achte/Nuente v. Palmer
- a federal court in Florida on October 6th was faced with a request for default judgment against a defendant accused of downloading Uwe Boll's "Far Cry". The court granted default judgment with statutory damages of $30,000 (plus attorney fees).
Remember, the Tenenbaum and Thomas-Rasset awards were declared unconstitutional
, for being obviously unreasonable according to the judges, after jury trials that resulted in damages of $22,500/work and $62,500/work respectively. The judge in Thomas-Rasset said that for P2P cases, the Constitution only allows a maximum award of $2,250/work. Here, the judge awarded damages of $30,000/work based solely on the plaintiff's complaint (i.e., no jury trial).
Like I said, I just find the result interesting, considering the other cases, and the fact that I haven't seen it reported anywhere else makes it more interesting.