Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants


Attorneys for the U.S. Copyright Group [http://www.savecinema.org/] 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 Call of the Wild [http://torrentfreak.com/lawyer-offers-self-help-to-sued-bittorrent-users-100829/], 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 [http://torrentfreak.com/hurt-locker-sue-lawyer-who-helped-bittorrent-defendants-101124/]. "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 [http://store.payloadz.com/details/842325-Other-Files-Documents-and-Forms-Pro-Se-Basic-Motion-to-Quash-Package-On-Sale-Discount-.html], which is still a great deal. Believe me, you can't get most lawyers to pick up their phone for twenty bucks.


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Sniper Team 4

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Apr 28, 2010
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So...this man is getting sued because he's teaching people how to defend themselves in court? Do I have that right? What the hell? It's amazing we don't see more stories about lawyers getting gunned down in the street instead of Walmart employees.
 

Athinira

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Jan 25, 2010
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This is humor indeed.

I'm looking forward to seeing a judge dismiss this case and tell the law firm to get real. Even if that doesn't happen, they don't have a snowballs chance in hell to win that case.
 

mjc0961

YOU'RE a pie chart.
Nov 30, 2009
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Wow. The U.S. Copyright Group is looking like a group full of douchebags, or at least the law firm representing them is.
 

RobCoxxy

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Feb 22, 2009
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So (in ridiculous terms), lawyers are lawyering a lawyer for his effective lawyering?
 

Agiel7

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Sep 5, 2008
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I think the really big deal here is that there's people willingly illegally downloading the Far Cry movie, though I suppose one most be infinitely more off their rockers if they actually bought it.
 
Dec 14, 2009
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The UK law student laughs at the American legal system! It's super effective!

Seriously, the lawsuit culture in America is ridiculous...
 

archvile93

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Sep 2, 2009
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So it's illegal to sell people the means to defend themselves? This lawsuit is just a immature revenge attempt and should be thrown out.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Sued for giving good, low cost legal advice to people who are effectively being bullied by large corporations who's cases acan be shakey at best? They are angry that these people can actually defend themselves in court and NOT have a totally unfair trail, laughably one of the conditions for a legal ruling.

They are not doing themselves any favors. Copyright law is a bad joke both in the US and the UK. These types of cases deter no-one. All it does it anger people, turn them against the companies and show up the glaring inadiquacies in the legal system.

It's impossible to get a fair ruling when a gaint mega-corporation is comming down on an individual in this way, infact a few US judges have thrown cases out on these grounds. An IP adress is FAR from proof of wrongdoing and useless for identifying the actual user (many people have hi-jacked connections, both remotly and localy)
 

TMAN10112

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Jul 4, 2008
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okay, let me get this straight.

A lawyer who is selling self-help documents (which show people how to defend themselves in court, rather than hiring a expensive attorney), is being sued by a group of lawyers who are angry that the people who took advantage of his advice don't need to pay them thousands of dollars for something they can now do themselves.

....am I getting this right?
 

Uber Waddles

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May 13, 2010
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You can get sued... for defending yourself/others against a lawsuit?

What. The. Fuck. Is. The. World. Coming. To.

If this doesnt get thrown out, Im losing faith in the legal system all together. I mean, its utter RUBISH that they even let the documents for this get drawn up.

Theres more important court matters. Family matters, murderers, drug dealers, etc. And they want to waste the courts time, countless dollars (on both sides of the issue), and tax payers money to SUE over DEFENCE AGAINST LAWSUITS? Things like that boil my blood.
 

dancinginfernal

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Sep 5, 2009
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RobCoxxy said:
So (in ridiculous terms), lawyers are lawyering a lawyer for his effective lawyering?
Well said.

Also, that was extremely confusing. But that's ^ what I got out of it.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A damn good start.
 

Verlander

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Apr 22, 2010
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Won't succeed, he's not doing anything wrong. The most they can do is get him to change the documents slightly, and even that's a long shot. They might as well sue every university/college for teaching people about law
 

Celtic_Kerr

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May 21, 2010
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RobCoxxy said:
So (in ridiculous terms), lawyers are lawyering a lawyer for his effective lawyering?
He's not really lawyering so much as giving a $20 self help course on how to defend yourself in court.
 

tkioz

Fussy Fiddler
May 7, 2009
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So in effect a bunch of dick lawyers are suing another lawyer because he educated people about their legal rights? Okay if you can read this and still claim with a straight face that the American justice system doesn't need a total overhaul you're fucking crazy.
 

Xanthious

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Dec 25, 2008
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I hope this matter gets thrown out and the copyright lawyers get sanctioned for this garbage. Copyright lawyers like these bottom feeders are the scum of the Earth and rely on fear tactics and the ignorance of others to sustain themselves. If anything he should send those papers to all of the people being sued by these clowns and really make it a waste of their time.
 

One of Many

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Feb 3, 2010
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Sir John the Net Knight said:
What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A damn good start.
You round up the lawyers, I'll get the cement shoes ready.