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From Entertainment and Media - Film and Motion Picture

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Chicago Attorney Moves to Defend Clients Accused of Illegal File-Sharing in Improper Copyright Troll Cases

Thu, 10 Jan 2013 08:00:00 EST

          (Chicago, Ill.)---In response to a recent surge of often-frivolous BitTorrent lawsuits  used to force settlement payments out of potentially innocent defendants, the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Antonelli, Ltd. dba Antonelli Law recently launched a new practice area in Internet Service Provider (ISP) subpoena defense. Antonelli, experienced in copyright and computer litigation, works with his team of file-sharing attorneys to defend the rights of dozens of clients recently targeted in an onslaught of BitTorrent file-sharing lawsuits brought on by production companies looking to acquire extra revenue.

          Copyright cases have been flooding courtrooms across the U.S. during the past year ever since a rapidly increasing number of production companies have begun threatening to reveal the identities of computer users accused of downloading or sharing certain unauthorized media files through BitTorrent clients like LimeWire, Vuze, and websites including Pirate Bay. Some being sued by an entity called Guava LLC are accused of computer hacking. A computer user targeted in a lawsuit will receive a notice from their ISP in the mail demanding upfront payment of a settlement by a certain deadline, and if that payment is not received the defendant is threatened with a copyright infringement lawsuit and the publication of their identity. The defendants in these cases are initially identified only by their IP addresses, but if the case reaches court their name could be revealed. 

          Production companies of mainstream and adult-orientated media began launching these lawsuits against alleged unauthorized sharers of movies, videos, eBooks, and music as a tool to recoup financial losses. When someone is targeted in these cases, it means their Internet Protocol (IP) address has been identified for downloading copyrighted works. Many defendants in copyright infringement cases, however, are wrongly accused and have fallen victim to hackers who piggyback onto the IP addresses of unknowing computer users, or who use an open Wi-Fi router that allows unknown users to access an open IP address.

          'The incidence of BitTorrent lawsuits has blown up over the past year and these cases are flooding our federal courts,' Antonelli said. 'I've seen clients accused of downloading just one video to more than 25 downloads and they're often asked to pay up to $150,000 or more in damages.'

          He continued, 'I began receiving calls in 2011 from people receiving notices from their ISP stating their identity was being subpoenaed, and many of them didn't understand what was going on or why this was happening to them. Many innocent people receive these notices, and the Copyright Act needs to be changed to address consumers downloading internet files rather than large scale for-profit piracy infringers. Until then, we're here to fight for their rights.'

          Antonelli and his copyright defense team helps to defend the wrongly accused against these improper copyright infringement claims by moving to dismiss cases or quash subpoenas in an effort to put a stop to this epidemic of frivolous lawsuits.

          For the latest information regarding copyright law, visit the Antonelli Law Firm's blog, 'Torrent Defenders,' at torrent-defenders.com.
 
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About the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Antonelli, Ltd.
Since 2007, the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Antonelli, Ltd. dba Antonelli Law has focused on business law, education fraud and copyright law, providing a comprehensive solution to a diverse client base of business owners, consumers and professionals. Prior to forming his own firm, Antonelli worked for several law firms, including litigation boutiques in Chicago's Loop and a full service firm in McHenry County. His litigation experience includes hotly-contested issues in business law, insurance, and consumer fraud, and is well-known for his work representing hundreds of students defrauded by improperly accredited educational institutions. Antonelli is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association Education Law Section Council, and an adviser to the Illinois Board of Higher Education Advisory Council for Private Business and Vocational Schools (PBVS).  His practice includes both state and federal court. For more information, visit www.antonelli-law.com.
 
 


Source: WebWire



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