LAS VEGAS — NBC’s MyNews3 on Wednesday night aired a feature on "copyright trolls," attorneys filing mass lawsuits against individuals suspected of illegally downloading adult content in an effort to scare up quick settlements.
News correspondent Mackenzie Warren noted in her report that while most of the big online piracy cases revolve around the theft of movies and music, settlements are more likely to be reached when people are faced with charges of stealing adult content.
"When a copyright troll accuses someone of stealing porn they're often ashamed, so much that in some cases they'll pay up, even when they're not guilty," Warren said.
"Copyright trolls use special software to identify IP addresses they suspect of stealing copyrighted materials," Warren continued. "Then they file mass lawsuits against thousands of "john doe's" threatening to sue, unless the defendant agrees to settle for a few thousand dollars."
Copyright attorney Marc Randazza was interviewed for the story and provided a colorful perspective on the "copyright troll" profession.
“When a cop arrests someone they call them a ‘pig.’ They want to call me a 'troll' because I’m going after them for stealing? I’ll gladly take the title,” Randazza said. "It’s a really old message that I would’ve hoped everyone would have learned by kindergarten: don’t steal.”