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Quote of the Day: Judge Sanctions Porn Troll Principals in Star Trek-reference Filled Opinion

· May 6, 2013

Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system.  They’ve discovered the nexus of antiquated copyright laws, paralyzing social stigma, and unaffordable defense costs. And they exploit this anomaly by accusing individuals of illegally downloading a single pornographic video. Then they offer to settle—for a sum calculated to be just below the cost of a bare-bones defense. For these individuals, resistance is futile; most reluctantly pay rather than have their names associated with illegally downloading porn.  So now, copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists, allow starving attorneys in this electronic-media era to plunder the citizenry.

— U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II, introducing a Star Trek reference-filled order, sanctioning the principals of the “Prenda Law” organization in relation to alleged fraud, identity theft, and copyright trolling. (Extensive coverage of the Prenda Law group is available via law blog Popehat and Techdirt.)

Intellectual Property

The Internet enables the free exchange of ideas and content that, in turn, promote creativity, commerce, and innovation. However, a balanced approach to copyright, trademarks, and patents is critical to this creative and entrepreneurial spirit the Internet has fostered. Consequently, it is our belief that the intellectual property system should encourage innovation, while not impeding new business models and open-source developments.