As anti-piracy efforts continue, so too does the number of people sued by movie studios and record labels. A chart which purports to count the number of U.S. residents named as “John Does” in illicit file-sharing lawsuits is closing it on a new milestone. And with PROTECT IP not completely off the table, the number may continue to rise.
A series of graphs which chart P2P file-sharing litigation in the U.S. was updated last week. Over 199,000 people have been sued since January 2010 according to the anonymous author’s research. The number represents a total; around 145,000 people remain defendants. Overall, a relatively small percentage of Does have been dismissed. The tally does not represent cases to see the inside of a court room.
The compiled information painted a different picture just a few months ago. In February, 100,000 BitTorrent users had been sued. That number has doubled in just six months.
Of the 326 total suits filed in the covered time frame, just 46 provided actual identities. The other 280 were launched sans named defendants. Righthaven alone reportedly filed an impressive 276 “troll suits” since last March. The copyright protection group was recently admonished by a judge recently for its overreaching efforts. Website Buzzfeed also hit the organization with a class-action countersuit which alleged “extortion litigation” was the actual name of the game. An unofficial compendium of Righthaven’s legal actions speculates that it has earned $350,000 to date.
Anti-piracy groups have been on a roll lately. The MPAA and several ISPs banded together last month to form a “Copyright Alert System.” The agreement means e-mail warnings will be sent to suspected copyright infringers. More severe consequences are prepared for repeat offenders. A judge in England said British ISP BT needs to block usenet index site newzbin2 from its customers’ address bars – a major victory for the MPA, which filed the initial injunction in June. (via TorrentFreak)