It’s always amusing when people who crusade against a purported evil are caught doing the very thing they’re so adamantly against. Politicians are the usual torch-bearers for such shenanigans, but that doesn’t mean others can’t get in on the “fun.” Just ask John Steele, an anti-piracy lawyer who was caught (again!) using another group’s writings without permission.
TorrentFreak accused Steele of “ripping off” passages from the Copyright Enforcement Group’s infringement FAQ, which the lawyer allegedly included nearly verbatim in his own settlement letters sans permission. The site also pointed out that the CEG, which said it would look into Steele’s apparent misuse of their material, is no stranger to this sort of behavior from its peers. Previously, the group’s website design was mimicked by anti-piracy organization the U.S. Copyright Group.
The USCG, operated by the Washington, D.C.-based Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver law firm – made headlines over the past two years thanks mainly to its efforts against those accused of illegally downloading movies “The Hurt Locker” and “Far Cry.”
This isn’t the first time Steele has come under fire for allegedly lifting material and passing it as his own. Last October the attorney was caught mirroring USCG writings in his own legal documents, though nothing of note came from it; the USCG lawyer who Steele had borrowed from told news site Ars Technica that he was in fact “flattered.”
Steele has become synonymous with P2P file-sharing cases over the past few months, though not necessarily for his success. On two separate occasions (in March and May) the lawyer was shut down for pursuits related to porn piracy.