Several porn companies use copyright trolling to sue people

BitTorrent has been a popular system for individuals who want to download digital content for many years. Quite a few people use BitTorrent believe it is an impenetrable system that effectively prevents them from any legal or ethical ramifications for their actions. It is popular for many kinds of downloads, especially those that people don't want to pay for, such as adult content.

However, the ability of companies to track BitTorrent activity has increased in recent years. As a result, there has been a notable increase in the number of BitTorrent lawsuits brought by content creators and producers against individuals downloading digital content. Any company, from a big movie studio like Disney to a music label like Sony Music Group, could take action against those who infringe on their copyright protection by downloading works of art without paying for the content.

However, in recent months, it has been two companies responsible for the production of pornography, Strike 3 Studios and Malibu Media, that have been taking the most assertive action on downloads through the BitTorrent network. These pornography companies have begun engaging in a practice known as copyright trolling to enforce their rights against individuals downloading their video content online.

What exactly is copyright trolling?

Most of the time, when people use the verb "trolling" online, they refer to individuals who intentionally upset other people online. Trolls post content with the intention of making other people feel angry, sad or hurt. Copyright trolling, on the other hand, is a way for companies to take legal action against downloaders.

Companies that hold copyrights can identify IP addresses associated with both individuals who download protected content and individuals who upload it to provide it for other people to download. They can then ask the court to allow them to take legal action against the holder of the IP address.

When the courts grant that authority, it is then possible for these companies to obtain records that can connect an IP address to a specific individual.

Anyone using BitTorrent to share adult content could be at risk

People like to think of BitTorrent as safe because each individual only shares a tiny portion of a file, in most cases, as this sharing process eliminates the direct user-to-user relationship that resulted in so many legal issues for users on platforms like Napster or LimeWire.

Together, Strike 3 Studios and Malibu Media have brought upward of a thousand lawsuits against IP addresses and the individuals associated with them in the first six months of 2019. While it is possible to defend against these civil suits, individuals must take them seriously or risk the financial consequences of losing. Anyone named as a John Doe associated with an IP address could find themselves facing serious financial penalties.

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