USCG v. The People
This page provides resources to assist those sued by the U.S. Copyright Group
aka SaveCinema.org aka the lawfirm of Dunlap Grubb & Weaver
Starting in the Spring of 2010, a Washington D.C. law firm calling itself the "U.S. Copyright Group" (USCG) launched a series of predatory lawsuits naming thousands of alleged BitTorrent users. The lawsuits claim copyright infringement specifically that those sued illegally downloaded independent movies such as "Far Cry" and "The Hurt Locker." The lawsuits follow the model of those filed by the RIAA starting in 2003. They begin by suing unnamed John Does, then seek to subpoena the ISPs of users in order to obtain their identities and sue the individuals themselves.
Once the user's identity is known, USCG's strategy appears to be to threaten a judgment of up to $150,000 per downloaded movie -- the maximum penalty allowable by law in copyright suits and a very unlikely judgment in cases arising from a single noncommercial infringement -- in order to pressure the alleged infringers to settle quickly for $1,500 to $2,500 per person.
EFF has been concerned about the lawsuits since the initial strategies chosen by the firm ignored key legal safeguards for protecting individuals' rights. Because of this concern EFF along with the ACLU and Public Citizen filed amicus briefs raising the legal issues of joinder personal jurisdiction and USCG's failure to comply with the First Amendment tests for requiring ISPs to identify anonymous customers.
- List of Attorneys
- Frequently Asked Questions for Subpoena Targets
- Parental Liability for Copyright Infringement by Minor Children: A memo helping parents figure out whether they have legal liability when the filesharing is done by their children.
- Memo Re Discharge of Copyright Judgments in Bankruptcy: A memo discussing the possibility of filing bankruptcy in response to a filesharing lawsuit.
- Court-Directed Notice