A 'pioneering' firm of copyright trolls has been defeated in a fraud, abuse and extortion case in the US, reports TorrentFreak. The suit followed this 'copyright troll' law firm's actions in teaming up with various movie studios, to bring mass-piracy suits against BitTorrent users in the US. Now the previously pursued pirates have won their counter-suit and the firm has been ordered to pay out nearly $40,000 including attorney fees.
Far Cry, not Trumpton
Following Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver's persecution of alleged movie pirates (in 2010) the firm got sued by a group spearheaded by a Mr Dmitriy Shirokov. The class-action lawsuit sought "relief based on 25 counts including extortion, fraudulent omissions, mail fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, racketeering, fraud upon the court, fraud on the Copyright Office, copyright misuse and unjust enrichment," says TorentFreak. However the case was denied a class-action so ended up just being about Mr Shirokov's experience.
Shirokov took three years to win his case against Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver. He said that the 'copyright troll' law firm had built their case, for the prosecution of tens of thousands of BitTorrent 'Far Cry' movie (IMDB 3.2/10) downloaders, on poor evidence and a "false copyright registration". In their defence the copyright troll law firm fared pretty badly as they couldn't present critical pieces of evidence supporting their actions as it has been lost in a computer crash…
The victory and compensation of almost $40,000 were hard fought for but ultimately much lower in value than what was sought. However the law firm representing Shirokov said that this was an important accomplishment which should deter similar copyright troll cases being instigated in Massachusetts. It may help in the rest of the US too. TorrentFreak notes that Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver are currently not dabbling in any similar copyright cases at this time.