upnorth

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An Illinois man in his 70s, sued for pirating "The Hitman's Bodyguard," has been hitting back at his accusers. The man turned the tables, accusing the movie company of "intimidating" people through "sham litigation." While the court didn't let the case continue, it promises to re-evaluate its own overall treatment of these piracy cases.

For more than a decade, alleged file-sharers around the world have been pressured to pay significant settlement fees. These so-called ‘copyright-trolling’ efforts are pretty straightforward. Copyright holders obtain a list of ‘pirating’ IP-addresses and then request a subpoena from the court, compelling ISPs to hand over the associated customer data. This scheme can be rather lucrative. With minimal effort, rightsholders can obtain hundreds or thousands of dollars per defendant. These cases generally don’t go to trial. On the contrary, the copyright holders often drop cases when a defendant pushes back. This was also the case when Bodyguard Productions, known for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, sued Ernesto Mendoza. The defendant, who is in his 70s and suffering from end-stage renal disease, denied that he downloaded the film and fought back. The alleged pirate turned the tables with a list of counterclaims, accusing the rightsholder of running a “business model that cannot and should not be authorized by the courts.” These type of lawsuits equate to a “sue then settle” or “cut and run,” scheme that is meant to “intimidate defendants into paying them money out of fear,” the defense argued. In response, Bodyguard Productions appeared to “run,” as it swiftly filed for voluntary dismissal. However, Mendoza and his lawyer didn’t want to let the case go without being compensated for the legal fees they had already incurred.
 

Raiden

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While I am against anyone pirating anything, I have to agree that the various studios are running wild with these litigation's. For one, there is no set price/penalty. For example, someone could get sued by the studio to pay lets say $10.00 per movie, the next time someone will have to pay $1000.00 per movie, it's the wild west and the studios come up with what ever price they want. I find it hard to fathom especially since they charge like $20.00 for a blu ray? They need to come up with a set penalty and stick with it, not come up with some random value that you see fit at the time.

It would be interesting to see a comparison on how much have they spent creating the various copy protections, litigation's, lobbying various governments/politicians, etc... vs how much they lose to these things. They need to assess it case by case, not threaten everyone. Clearly if you back off after someone pushes back, you aren't all that serious and clearly are just doing it to pocket extra money.
 

shmu26

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While I am against anyone pirating anything, I have to agree that the various studios are running wild with these litigation's. For one, there is no set price/penalty. For example, someone could get sued by the studio to pay lets say $10.00 per movie, the next time someone will have to pay $1000.00 per movie, it's the wild west and the studios come up with what ever price they want. I find it hard to fathom especially since they charge like $20.00 for a blu ray? They need to come up with a set penalty and stick with it, not come up with some random value that you see fit at the time.

It would be interesting to see a comparison on how much have they spent creating the various copy protections, litigation's, lobbying various governments/politicians, etc... vs how much they lose to these things. They need to assess it case by case, not threaten everyone. Clearly if you back off after someone pushes back, you aren't all that serious and clearly are just doing it to pocket extra money.
The defendant obviously had a good lawyer, who made the copyright holder realize that it would be a high-profile case, and would generate a lot of bad press and consumer rage against the company. It could be the company was in the right, but didn't want to trash their public image.
 

upnorth

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The defendant obviously had a good lawyer, who made the copyright holder realize that it would be a high-profile case, and would generate a lot of bad press and consumer rage against the company. It could be the company was in the right, but didn't want to trash their public image.
I would almost agree that the defendant had a good lawyer if it wasn't that they never won. Not even the company.
After hearing both sides, Illinois District Court Judge Robert Dow decided to dismiss the case, ordering both parties to pay their own fees.
 

Raiden

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The defendant obviously had a good lawyer, who made the copyright holder realize that it would be a high-profile case, and would generate a lot of bad press and consumer rage against the company. It could be the company was in the right, but didn't want to trash their public image.
Oh don't get me wrong, I am in no way trying to say whether this particular person is telling the truth or lying, like you said he could very well just have a really good lawyer (which now every other lawyer will use this argument), my only argument was to simply say that the studio's aren't totally innocent either. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some truth to the matter, from the studio's perspective.;)

One could argue that the general public aren't overly fond of the studios already, based on past history.;)
 

upnorth

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Having a good lawyer does not mean you'll earn a cent in the courts... Sometimes it means you'll force the other party to give up litigation against you.
Win doesn't always mean you'll earn a single cent aswell. In this case non of both parties gave up. It was the Judge that dismissed the whole thing.
 
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shmu26

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"Bodyguard Productions appeared to “run,” as it swiftly filed for voluntary dismissal."
Translation: The company tried to cancel the case, but the man who was sued didn't let them. He wanted his lawyer's fees to be paid...

"However, Mendoza and his lawyer didn’t want to let the case go without being compensated for the legal fees they had already incurred. "
That's when the court dismissed the case.
 
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