Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This case is similar to Lightspeed Media Corp. v. John Does 1-160, State Case No. 2011-034345-0000-01 / Local Case No. 2011-34345-CA-01 except it is in Wisconsin.  I would hesitate to guess that it is an individual suit against one John Doe.  The article is unclear.

Previous copyright trolls are now becoming "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" trolls by filing pure bills of discovery and alleging that hacked passwords are being used.  They have not addressed their biggest problem under the Computer Fraud and Abuse act... Intent.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

See for Why I released The Motion to Quash for Free

I just posted up at, and it is not a blog, and I don't expect it to be widely read in the future.  It details my reasons for releasing the forms, without payment, from here on out.  Basically, everyone should contact an attorney and the innocent should have that attorney fight.  The forms are available for free at

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Criminal Lawyer Jacksonville

The purpose of this blog post is simply to introduce my new domain name, Criminal Lawyer Jacksonville.

Friday, February 18, 2011

BitTorrent receives attention at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing | Indie Pro Pub

BitTorrent receives attention at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing | Indie Pro Pub

This is an interesting tidbit regarding Bittorrent users and use of DNS blocking, or rather, deleting the DNS records of offending websites.

Would they also be able to block IP addresses? No. This would not work like they want. The senators would be good to pass a different legislation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sued for illegal downloads? Mass Bittorrent Litigation: An overview of the procedures and issues

Graham Syfert is the author of Self-Help forms for mass bittorrent litigation suits such as Maverick Entertainment, Voltage Pictures, Lightspeed, all versusa number of John Does.  The forms are available through his website.


This guide is designed to be a primer on the procedure and an overview of the issues in current bittorrent litigation cases.  It is designed to inform the average defendant of the available options for their defense, or settlement, of bittorrent litigation.  This is not legal advice.   It is merely a discussion of the pros and cons of settling or defending a lawsuit brought by an illegal download of a movie on bittorrent.  Everyone's case is different.  Hire an attorney.
This article is current as of the date that it was written and will not be updated.

I received a letter from my ISP stating that I can file a motion to quash a subpoena, what can I do? 
This means, that somewhere, wherever the lawsuit happens to be filed, the people who are suing you for allegedly downloading a movie are trying to reveal your identity.  Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) does not have records of your internet traffic, but can, given certain information (your IP address), figure out what internet subscriber created the traffic.   Where did they get your IP address?  It is likely that a security company with a cyber security division was monitoring bittorrent traffic associated with the download of that particular movie.
A motion to quash is a legal court pleading which asks the court not to reveal your identity to the Plaintiff.  As of the date of this writing, the author can think of only two scenerios where a motion to quash might be successful:  Witness protection program, or potential violent harm that might come as a result of the ISP revealing that information.  Neither of these two are very likely scenerios to come about.  Motions to quash do however, create more work for the people suing you, and therefore it will take more effort to reveal your identity.  The issue that this presets in both hiring an attorney and trying to defend yourself is that you might make yourself a bigger target.  If you have questions as to what makes you a bigger target, consult an attorney in your area as laws differ from state to state.

The lawsuit was filed in Washington D.C., Illinois, Texas, West Virginia, or some other state that I don't live in.  Why?
It is more than likely that the lawsuit was filed before your identity was revealed.  Most courts have not yet decided on one sticky issue.  Essentially, rules are in place in the Federal Court system as well as most state court systems which have to do with where a person can be sued.  In general, it is almost always appropriate to sue a person WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED.  This does not mean that an opposing person needs to sue you in the closest courthouse, but they do need to be in the right judicial district.  
So, how are they suing you so far away?  First, it is likely that the case was a John Doe case.  Once your identity has been revealed, you SHOULD be dismissed from the case. This will not stop the Planitiffs attorney from telling you that YOU have been sued in court, but if they are in the wrong state, chances are JOHN DOE was sued as a place holder for your name, and when your name is identified, in one way or another, that case should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.  If the case is not dismissed automatically, an attorney in that area can file a motion to dismiss on your behalf unless you are defending yourself. 
If you wish to fight, and have made up your mind that you will not settle under any circumstances, you should hire an attorney in the LOCATION WHERE THE SUBPOENA WAS FILED, and have him petition for dismissal in that location.  Then, wait for the Plaintiff's attorney (see common law firm names below) to sue you in YOUR LOCATION and hire an attorney in your state.

I received a demand letter for $_______ from __________(insert law firm name here), what can I do? 
Law firms included in this list are John Steele of Steele Hansmeier PLLC, Nicholas Kurtz of Dunlap Grubb and Weaver, the USCG or US Copyright Group, and many others.  If the letter claims that you downloaded a movie, and is looking for money from you for doing so, then your identity has already been revealed and so a motion to quash will not protect your identity. It seems simple enough. They already have your information.  They wanted your address to send you this letter, and they got it one way or another.

To Settle or to Fight  
For the question "Am I innocent?" you should consult with an attorney before jumping to conclusions.  Some states may may hold you accountable for the actions of a minor child under your supervision, but this is rare theory of liability.
If you are innocent, and did not download a movie or have any knowledge of the act, the good news is, you are probably not liable.  The bad news is that it will cost you time and money to prove otherwise.   One potential joy after hiring an attorney and taking the matter to trial is that you may recover what you paid in attorneys fees.     
If you decide to settle, make sure you keep accurate records.  If your IP address changed in the middle of a bittorrent download, it is possible that you might be sued twice or receive multiple demand letters.   Of course, with deciding to settle a case, you should again, always contact an attorney. 
Deciding to settle or deciding to fight is why people hire an attorney.  However, for those of you who answered yes to "Am I innocent?" after consulting with an attorney, you should contact that attorney immediately and tell him you want to fight.  You may be entitled to attorneys fees if you win at trial.
To Settle or to Fight  (Issues besides innocence)
Lawsuits such as those began by LFP, Larry Flynt Publishing ( Hustler ) and other lawsuits involving Pornography present a bigger issue.  How many people who like to end up being known as the guy sued for downloading pornographic material?   This, of course, is a great benefit to the Plaintiff's attorneys trying to get money from the cable subscriber.  Not only is there the threat of a lawsuit hanging over their head, but potential embarassment as well.  
Plaintiff's attorneys will give you bare facts in their letters to scare you into settling out the case.  Information is great, but understanding is better.  You can arm yourself with stacks of case law, and even get good at writing legal documents.  No matter how much you know, a lawyer will always be more comfortable than you in the court room.

Sued for illegal downloads? Mass Bittorrent Litigation: An overview of the procedures and issues. -

Friday, February 4, 2011

Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense Lawyer

Graham Syfert is pleased to announce, the Grand Opening of a Foreclosure Defense lawyer law firm in Jacksonville's Five Points.

You can reach Graham Syfert at

Also announced, is the new Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense Blog.  It will contain information on the foreclosure process in Florida as well as Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, and Clay Counties.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Graham Syfert on This Week in Law

Check out Episode 93 - Here's Graham with almost no sleep from doing late night client work.

US Copyright Group Drops Cases Against Thousands of BitTorrent Users

US Copyright Group Drops Cases Against Thousands of BitTorrent Users

The US Copyright Group (USCG) campaign to turn piracy into profit is starting to fall apart. Today, the anti-piracy lawyers dropped 97% of the alleged BitTorrent file-sharers from the Far Cry case because of a lack of jurisdiction. This setback seriously limits the profitability of the law firm's business model, and is a clear victory for thousands of people who were pressured to pay expensive settlements.
torrentfreakSince the beginning of this year the United States Copyright Group (USCG) has sued tens of thousands of BitTorrent users who allegedly shared films without the consent of copyright holders.
One of the copyright holders who teamed up with USCG are Achte/Neunte, the makers of the movie Far Cry. This case originally had 4,577 defendants, all of whom were accused of distributing the film via BitTorrent.
However, three weeks ago District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered USCG to limit their case only to those defendants who the Court has jurisdiction over, and in an amended complaint filed today the anti-piracy lawyers have done just that.
Of the thousands of defendants, only 140 remain in the latest complaint. The remaining 4,437 were dropped from the case without prejudice. The new complaint specifically states that the remaining defendants reside in the District of Columbia, where the case was filed.
“The named Defendant resides in this District. Although the true identity of each remaining Doe Defendant is unknown to the Plaintiff at this time, on information and belief, each remaining Doe Defendant may be found in this District and/or a substantial part of the acts of infringement complained of herein occurred in this District,” the lawyers write.
These recent developments are welcome news to the thousands of people who have been pressured to pay thousands of dollars in settlements over the past months, including those in the Hurt Locker case. As it now stands, all people being chased by USCG outside of the Court’s jurisdiction can have their case dropped.
“This is certainly a reassuring decision for file sharing defendants in parallel cases around the country although they remain vulnerable to file sharing suits brought in their home states,” Stewart Kellar, a California attorney representing several defendants in the Far Cry Case, told TorrentFreak in a comment.
It has to be noted, however, that the cases have been dropped without prejudice, which effectively means that USCG can file suit against defendants again at a later stage if they so choose.
That said, having to file cases in dozens of states will significantly increase the workload for USCG’s lawyers, not to mention escalating costs. The question now is whether or not the scheme will remain financially viable.
Right now there is little doubt that what first seemed to be a relatively effective and profitable way to turn piracy into a healthy revenue stream, is rapidly turning into a nightmare for the anti-piracy lawyers and their partners.
Article from: TorrentFreak.

Class Action Targets Law Firm Pursuing Thousands of Alleged Movie Pirates

Class Action Targets Law Firm Pursuing Thousands of Alleged Movie Pirates

Last year, the U.S. Copyright Group made waves by joining thousands of anonymous defendants together in a handful of lawsuits. Representing producers of such films as The Hurt Locker and Far Cry, the enterprising Washington-based law firm claimed the defendants were infringing its clients' copyrights on BitTorrent and sought to first identify the alleged pirates, and then to either extract settlements or pursue them in court further.
Now the legal campaign has triggered interesting side battles. Last week, a class action lawsuit was filed against the USCG (aka Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver).
The plaintiff, Dmitriy Shirokov, claims that he and 4,576 other individuals have been subject to "settlement fraud and extortion" on the part of the USCG.
According to the 96-page complaint filed in Massachusetts District Court, the defendant is routinely demanding $1,500 from each identified file-sharer, which increases to $2,500 if not settled promptly. The proposed class action asserts that these demands are made with "deceptive threats of impending (and even more expensive) litigation" despite USCG not having any genuine intention to pursue the thousands of claims further.
USCG tells us the claims are coming soon.
The proposed plaintiffs also allege there are flaws in the copyright registration of Far Cry. Specifically, it's alleged that the registration was obtained under "false pretenses" and that the claims against the accused pirates came before the application of the copyright registration. The allegation, if valid, could impact the amount of damages that defendants have to pay producers down the line.
The class action is probably a long shot, but shows how the USCG is increasingly fighting more assertive defendants and an avalanche of paperwork.
Also last week, the USCG requested sanctions against a lawyer, Graham Syfert, who is selling form motions to quash to anybody accused of pirating Hurt Locker. 
For $19.99, customers have access to a do-it-yourself legal defense, including paperwork and instructions. In papers to the court, the USCG claims these form motions are "frivolous" and "procedurally defective." Nevertheless, it is causing the USCG trouble. The firm claims to spend $5,000 for the time and expense opposing each one.

Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants

Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants
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 LockerFar 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.

10,243 BitTorrent Defendants Added This Week

10,243 BitTorrent Defendants Added This Week

Thu, Jan 13 2011 01:30pm PST
WASHINGTON — It's been a busy week for porn BitTorrent case filings.
Since Monday, 10,243 John Doe defendants have been fingered for using BitTorrent programs to download adult videos owned by Axel Braun Productions, Elegant Angel, West Coast Productions and Lightspeed Media Corp.
With the exception of Axel Braun Productions' suit, all of the other lawsuits don't specify movie titles but make available serial numbers associated with the movies. Axel Braun Productions is suing his defendants for poaching "Batman XXX: A Porn Parody."
Here's a breakdown of the suits: West Coast Productions has filed two suits, one with 5,829 defendants and another with 1,434; Elegant Angel filed suit against 156; Axel Braun Productions against 2,823; and Lightspeed Media has targeted one Doe.
Some of the suits recently dropped by U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in W. Virginia have been reconstituted in nearby District of Columbia.
Elegant Angel, Axel Braun Productions and West Coast Productions all had suits in W. Virginia originally filed by Kenneth Ford of Adult Copyright Co. Those suits are now handled by Ellis Bennett of Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver in Leesburg, Va.
Lightspeed Media's suit was filed in Chicago by attorney John Steele.