Website Claims Lawyers Are Getting Rich On Copyright Suits
Making the case that numerous lawyers are turning anti-piracy into a business -- by locating illegal file sharers and offering to settle their cases for around $2,000 -- the website TorrentFreak.com tells the story of Mayra Gonzalez, who claims that because of a confusing file name, she inadvertently downloaded a gay porn film rather than an album by Japanese pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto. Gonzalez says she has written to the court to explain what has occurred and to San Francisco-based anti-piracy attorney Gill Sperlein, who represents a number of adult-film producers, and who is suing her for $150,000. Sperlein has reportedly offered to settle the case for $1,875. He contends that Gonzalez's letter is an admission of guilt and that he therefore intends to file a motion for summary judgment. Gonzalez says she doesn't know what to do -- she is unemployed and can't afford a lawyer. Commented TorrentFreak "Desperate and uncertain, settling the case is suddenly one of the 'best' options she has left, even though she never intentionally downloaded the file she's accused of. This would be the same conclusion many other defendants reached before her, and one that does not necessarily represent justice." Sperlein sees his role differently. His website advertises "Our record for pursuing and settling precedent setting cases have [sic] made us a leader in media asset protection."