One of the defendants in the Far Cry P2P file sharing lawsuits has had enough of the US Copyright Group’s questionable tactics and has decided to fight back.
Dmitriy Shirokov filed a class action lawsuit on November 24th in the Massachusetts District Court against the USCG and the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver on behalf of himself and the 4,576 other “victims of settlements fraud and extortion”. The complaint is 96 pages long and alleges that the USCG is guilty of 25 counts including fraudulent omissions, mail fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, racketeering court, fraud on the Copyright Office, and consumer protection violations.
Noted prominently in the complaint are claims that the copyright for the Far Cry movie was not registered with the Copyright Office until after the film was released, which was also after the alleged file sharing defendants were accused of their crimes.
But the major focus of the class action suit seems to be on the settlement letters which routinely demand $1,500 from each identified file-sharer, which increases to $2,500 if not settled promptly.
“The Letters sent to the proposed Class are predicated on fraud—upon Plaintiff and the proposed Class, and upon the ISPs, the United States Copyright Office, and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia,” the complaint reads. “DGW and its fellow Defendants are directly involved in perpetrating, conspiring to commit, and/or aiding and abetting this massive scheme of fraud, extortion, abuse of process, fraud upon the court, copyright misuse, and misappropriation of funds.”
With antipiracy firms in the UK coming under fire by their Solicitors Regulation Authority for these same tactics, it shouldn’t be a surprise to the USCG and company that someone in the US has decided to stand up for the rights of themselves and other P2P defendants. It would be great to see Shirokov’s class action suit put a stop to such behavior once and for all, but now it’s up to the court to decide.