Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants

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Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants

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Attorneys for the U.S. Copyright Group have filed a lawsuit against a lawyer who sold "self-help" documents to people who had been sued by the USCG, demanding that he pay the costs involved in dealing with the people who used the documents he sold.

Try to stick with me here, because this one gets weird. Back in August, an attorney by the name of Graham Syfert began selling documents that would allow defendants in lawsuits filed by the U.S. Copyright Group to respond in court without having to fork over the huge piles of money needed to hire an attorney. The USCG sued "thousands" of BitTorrent users who had downloaded films like The Hurt Locker, Far Cry and Call of the Wild, demanding a settlement of $2500 to avoid the much more expensive proposition of going to court.

"One of the major problems that people encounter when trying to hire me on these cases, is that a settlement is approximately what an attorney would need to even begin a defense," Syfert said at the time. His package of paperwork, on the other hand, cost just ten bucks.

19 people have thus far taken advantage of Syfert's offer and submitted responses to the court using his package, not a huge amount by any measure but 19 more than Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver, the law firm behind the USCG lawsuits, wants to put up with. The firm threatened Syfert with sanctions soon after he began selling his forms and also said it would double its settlement requests for anyone who used them; Syfert dismissed the threats with a "tongue in cheek" email and that was that, until earlier this week.

On November 22, Syfert received another email from attorney Jeff Weaver informing him that he had made a formal request for sanctions against him on behalf of the production company behind The Hurt Locker, one of the driving forces behind the USCG lawsuits. Weaver is apparently claiming that the 19 cases filed using the self-help package have cost his firm $5000 and he wants Syfert to pay.

Syfert has countered with his own claim for sanctions against Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver. "This is completely insane," he told TorrentFreak. "If 19 cases costs them $5000 in attorney time, I wonder how many cases it'd take before their business model crumbles. That is unless they are going to actually work for a living."

It's interesting to note, as the site points out, that the USCG is "upset for a reason." While all motions to quash and motions for protective order have so far been denied regardless of how they were filed, the motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction have not. In other words, Syfert's package is allowing people to mount an effective defense against the claim and the USCG is faced with the very expensive possibility of having to re-file thousands of individual cases in order to get around it.

Syfert's package of forms, which includes a motion to quash, motion to dismiss, an affidavit in support of the motions and a motion for protective order, now sells for $19.95, which is still a great deal. Believe me, you can't get most lawyers to pick up their phone for twenty bucks.

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So...this man is getting sued because he's teaching people how to defend themselves in court? Do I have that right? What the hell? It's amazing we don't see more stories about lawyers getting gunned down in the street instead of Walmart employees.

This is humor indeed.

I'm looking forward to seeing a judge dismiss this case and tell the law firm to get real. Even if that doesn't happen, they don't have a snowballs chance in hell to win that case.

Wow. The U.S. Copyright Group is looking like a group full of douchebags, or at least the law firm representing them is.

So (in ridiculous terms), lawyers are lawyering a lawyer for his effective lawyering?

I think the really big deal here is that there's people willingly illegally downloading the Far Cry movie, though I suppose one most be infinitely more off their rockers if they actually bought it.

The UK law student laughs at the American legal system! It's super effective!

Seriously, the lawsuit culture in America is ridiculous...

So it's illegal to sell people the means to defend themselves? This lawsuit is just a immature revenge attempt and should be thrown out.

Sued for giving good, low cost legal advice to people who are effectively being bullied by large corporations who's cases acan be shakey at best? They are angry that these people can actually defend themselves in court and NOT have a totally unfair trail, laughably one of the conditions for a legal ruling.

They are not doing themselves any favors. Copyright law is a bad joke both in the US and the UK. These types of cases deter no-one. All it does it anger people, turn them against the companies and show up the glaring inadiquacies in the legal system.

It's impossible to get a fair ruling when a gaint mega-corporation is comming down on an individual in this way, infact a few US judges have thrown cases out on these grounds. An IP adress is FAR from proof of wrongdoing and useless for identifying the actual user (many people have hi-jacked connections, both remotly and localy)

okay, let me get this straight.

A lawyer who is selling self-help documents (which show people how to defend themselves in court, rather than hiring a expensive attorney), is being sued by a group of lawyers who are angry that the people who took advantage of his advice don't need to pay them thousands of dollars for something they can now do themselves.

....am I getting this right?

You can get sued... for defending yourself/others against a lawsuit?

What. The. Fuck. Is. The. World. Coming. To.

If this doesnt get thrown out, Im losing faith in the legal system all together. I mean, its utter RUBISH that they even let the documents for this get drawn up.

Theres more important court matters. Family matters, murderers, drug dealers, etc. And they want to waste the courts time, countless dollars (on both sides of the issue), and tax payers money to SUE over DEFENCE AGAINST LAWSUITS? Things like that boil my blood.

RobCoxxy:
So (in ridiculous terms), lawyers are lawyering a lawyer for his effective lawyering?

Well said.

Also, that was extremely confusing. But that's ^ what I got out of it.

What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A damn good start.

Won't succeed, he's not doing anything wrong. The most they can do is get him to change the documents slightly, and even that's a long shot. They might as well sue every university/college for teaching people about law

RobCoxxy:
So (in ridiculous terms), lawyers are lawyering a lawyer for his effective lawyering?

He's not really lawyering so much as giving a $20 self help course on how to defend yourself in court.

So in effect a bunch of dick lawyers are suing another lawyer because he educated people about their legal rights? Okay if you can read this and still claim with a straight face that the American justice system doesn't need a total overhaul you're fucking crazy.

I hope this matter gets thrown out and the copyright lawyers get sanctioned for this garbage. Copyright lawyers like these bottom feeders are the scum of the Earth and rely on fear tactics and the ignorance of others to sustain themselves. If anything he should send those papers to all of the people being sued by these clowns and really make it a waste of their time.

*Facepalm* (That's all I have to say on this)

Sir John the Net Knight:
What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A damn good start.

You round up the lawyers, I'll get the cement shoes ready.

Wait people download the Far Cry movie? they deserved to be punished!

Our ability to sue anybody and everybody for anything and everything has gotten far out of hand. Can they really do anything against him? I certainly hope not.

One of Many:

Sir John the Net Knight:
What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A damn good start.

You round up the lawyers, I'll get the cement shoes ready.

And if anyone objects to polluting existing oceans with lawyers, fuck it, IŽll dig you a new one.
Totally worth the effort.

Agiel7:
I think the really big deal here is that there's people willingly illegally downloading the Far Cry movie...

LOL! That actually IS disturbing...that was Uwe Boll again, wasnt it? And Till Schweiger...*gross*

OT: I find it pretty disgusting what the USCG/their lawyers are trying to do. Sue people for illegal downloads, ok...not my choice of action, not the amount of money I would sue for, but I guess its in their rights to do so. But actively trying to prevent people from defending themselves? Thats just a real bitch-move...

I think this is probably one of the best things I have ever heard. I mean I know the US is rumored to be sue happy but god dam this is just hilarious. Dont you guys have any way to just bash somebody over the head for trying to make ridiculous lawsuits like this. Its actually problems like this that make your legal system completely useless.

They know full well that their lawsuit is going to fail but they are going to try and drag it out to either bully the guy into stop selling his packages or try and bankrupt him. Its actually a very common practice that large lawfirms and companies use to get what they want.

Looks like someone's soap bubble going to burst... better call the police.

zombie711:
Wait people download the Far Cry movie? they deserved to be punished!

If the reviews are to be believed, they punished themselves by watching it.

OT: The most laughable part of this to me is that this lawyer is pretty much giving information to throw doubt into the Copyright lawyer's cases, which means they were built on shaky ground to begin with. This isn't justice, it's a scam, and this lawyer is being a bro by showing everyone the scam before they get hurt by it.

It's like having actual cons suing that one show I watched (forgot its name) where they show how con artists work.

MaxPowers666:
I think this is probably one of the best things I have ever heard. I mean I know the US is rumored to be sue happy but god dam this is just hilarious. Dont you guys have any way to just bash somebody over the head for trying to make ridiculous lawsuits like this. Its actually problems like this that make your legal system completely useless.

They know full well that their lawsuit is going to fail but they are going to try and drag it out to either bully the guy into stop selling his packages or try and bankrupt him. Its actually a very common practice that large lawfirms and companies use to get what they want.

You know what would be fucking hilarious? If he just submitted some sort of forms and got the case against him dropped with them.

This is ridiculous.

They are suing because they don't want people to have a viable defense against them.

I admire this man's balls and money making skills.

I also admire him for standing up to somewhat wrongheaded bullying tactics. Sending letters to people saying 'you owe us $2500 and we'll take you to court if you don't pay,' is going to do bugger all about piracy. It doesn't sound like a very viable method to start a court case by either, especially if the evidence they intend to file is as bad as their diplomacy.

Threatening the people at the end of the chain is utterly pointless, they should be tracking down the ones in charge of the sites, which of course they won't do because these people have enough money to defend themselves or are well out of the USCG's reach.

That a $10 mail order pack can foil a lawsuit says far more about the people filing the suit than the dude selling the pack. Which is a shame, I can't help but feel I'm rooting for the bad guys here.

This guy is awesome!

For too long complicated laws and rules have been held over people's heads. I hope this guy takes all their cases pro bono in the hopes of paupering the evil bastards.

What's next suing people who write law books or the internet as they teach people about the law and hence they can defend themselves, which costs opposing lawyers money.

Woah, he's like Atticus Finch.

I can't imagine how they think they can sue him for looking out for his clients best interests, without ripping them off.

"This is completely insane," he told TorrentFreak. "If 19 cases costs them $5000 in attorney time, I wonder how many cases it'd take before their business model crumbles. That is unless they are going to actually work for a living."

That sounds about right. He's dealing with crooks, they want to scare money out of people.

US law is either too confusing or just too 'tarded for me to understand.

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