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Almost 40 percent of all U.S. copyright lawsuits for 2014 have been filed by one porn company
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The biggest filer of copyright lawsuits in the United States is Malibu Media, a company founded by a husband and wife who make online pornography; the New Yorker reports that Malibu Media has filed about 38 percent of all suits so far in 2014.

In 2006, Colette Pelissier and her then-boyfriend (now husband) Brigham Field started producing adult films. By 2009, the couple was using "gorgeous models" from around the world to make movies for their website. Subscribers had to pay $40 a month for unlimited access, but the pair soon discovered, using an outside company, that 300,000 people were watching pirated copies of their films.

That's when Pelissier and Field began to file lawsuits against suspected digital thieves, identifying them by IP addresses (which, the New Yorker points, out can be a problem, since those can be shared and ensnare the wrong person). Soon, they were making thousands of dollars by filing what amounted to a third of all U.S. copyright litigation last year. Some of the defendants included elderly women, including one who wrote, "Please be advised that I am 90 years old and have no idea how to download anything."

Most cases settle on confidential terms, with the defendants agreeing to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $30,000. Some lawyers believe these suits are meant to embarrass people into settling. "If you're filing three lawsuits per day, that very much looks like an abusive model," Ben Depoorter, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, told The New Yorker. "Some judges may say this looks like a business model. On the other hand, infringement is infringement."

- - Catherine Garcia
 
 
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