Prolific Pirate Bay User Agrees to Pay $2,900 to Movie Outfits
Every year, thousands of people are sued in the United States for allegedly sharing pirated video, mostly through BitTorrent.
These efforts share a familiar pattern. After the film companies acquire a subpoena to obtain the personal details of an alleged pirate, they contact this person with a settlement request.
In 2017, movie companies used this strategy to identify the then 72-year-old Mr. Harding from Hawaii, whose Internet connection was used to share more than 1,000 torrents.
The film companies reached out to the man and offered a hefty $3,900 settlement, which would increase to $4,900 if he failed to respond in time. However, Mr. Harding denied downloading the files, describing the pay-up-or-else demand as “absolutely absurd.”
The accusations eventually made the local press and after a careful review of the matter movie company attorney Kerry Culpepper decided to dismiss the case against the elderly man.
However, that didn’t mean that the downloads were completely disregarded. After digging into the matter, the movie companies learned that, while the offending IP-address was linked to Mr. Harding, the home in question was used by someone else.
The movie companies ‘ UN4 Productions ‘ and ‘Millennium Funding’ eventually found out that the resident or tenant in question was Mr. Graham. This prompted the rightsholders to file a new federal lawsuit, targeting this man, who they believed was the true ‘pirate.’
This time the accusations were indeed lodged against a prolific downloader. In a declaration submitted to the court Mr. Graham, who is in his fifties, admits that he regularly used The Pirate Bay to download files.
“Since approximately 2016, I have been downloading torrent files of motion pictures from websites of the Pirate Bay at my residence. I believed that it was acceptable to do so because the websites are completely open with their objective to share files,” he states.
According to the declaration, Mr. Graham often downloaded so many files that he doesn’t remember the names of many torrents. As such, he is not confident that he downloaded the movies “Boyka: Undisputed IV” and “Mechanic: Resurrection,” which are listed in the complaint.
The account holder of the Internet connection, who was initially accused, was not aware of this activity. Mr. Graham, meanwhile, apologized to the rightsholders and agreed not to use The Pirate Bay going forward.
“I agree to stop using the Pirate Bay,” Mr. Graham writes.
While the man denies liability, he does admit to downloading copyrighted movies through The Pirate Bay and in a consent judgment, submitted to the court, he agrees to a $2,900 settlement to cover costs, fees, and damages.
In addition, the stipulated consent judgment includes a permanent injunction prohibiting Mr. Graham from infringing the copyrights of the two movie companies going forward.
A copy of the stipulated consent judgment is available here (pdf).
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