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The general theme of these cases is that IP-addresses are accused of “stealing” copyrighted work. The trolls then request a subpoena from the court so they can ask the corresponding ISPs to reveal the identities of account holders. They then contact the defendants with a settlement offer for a few thousand dollars, telling them that they will be named in the lawsuit if they refuse to pay up.While some judges are now refusing these cases, there are still plenty who sign off on them. Possibly related, the copyright trolls aren’t getting more friendly. A letter sent by the “Anti-Piracy Law Group,” the latest incarnation of Prenda Law, contains a striking example of a new low.The letter is part of the LW Systems v. Christopher Hubbard case and was sent after the defendant ignored the first settlement offer. In common with many of these cases it deals with pretty embarrassing pornographic content, but the defendant is also warned that family members and even the neighbors will be informed about the alleged perverse download habits (emphasis added).“The purpose of this step is to gather evidence about who used your Internet account to steal from our client. The list of possible suspects includes you, members of your household, your neighbors (if you maintain an open wi-fi connection) and anyone who might have visited your house. In the coming days we will contact these individuals to investigate whether they have any knowledge of the acts described in my client’s prior letter,” the letter reads.The Anti-Piracy Law Group makes it sound like they are doing the defendant a favor, and state that they want to inform the others to ensure that they’re suing the right person. However, SJD points out that fellow copyright troll Steve “Lightspeed” Jones may have given away the true motivation a few years ago.“People aren’t embarrassed when their neighbors find out they downloaded a few songs, but illegally trading midget, tranny, facials, and teen porn content? There is some news worth keeping from the wife, kids, parents, and neighbors. Please feel free to continue to compare this to the RIAA..,” he wrote in 2010.
Extortion (also called shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offence of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.