2018 Set to Be a Record Breaking Year for Piracy Lawsuits

We’re just six months into 2018 and the number of piracy lawsuits that were filed so far in the US has already exceeded that of 2017.

TorrentFreak, a blog dedicated to torrenting and file sharing, collected data from court records and found that more than 1,700 separate lawsuits were filed so far this year, compared to 1,019 file-sharing cases that were filed last year.

The second quarter of 2018 appears to have been a particularly busy time with 1,011 new cases between April and June, setting a new record that exceeds the previous record of 902 new cases, which dates back to the first quarter of 2015.

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What’s interesting about the findings is that although the numbers are big, the majority of the suits were filed by two players – Malibu Media and Strike 3 Holdings – both hailing from the adult industry. The former is the country’s most litigious plaintiff, the latter is a newcomer to the scene. Together, those two firms accounted for 1657 fillings.

In fact, the only non-adult copyright holder that filed cases was Bodyguard Productions Inc., which threw in a few dozen complaints against illegal downloaders of The Hitman’s Bodyguard movie.

The majority of these cases list a single defendant: John Doe. John Doe is the name used to refer to an unidentified person or party in a legal action when the identity of the accused is being withheld officially.

TorrentFreak notes that “While it’s a significant change [in reference to the steep rise in the number of suits], the outcome of these lawsuits doesn’t change. The ultimate goal still appears to be to identify the account holder of the suspected IP-address and settle the case out of court for a few hundred or thousands dollars. And judging from the influx of cases this year, this scheme is still rather lucrative.”

IP addresses are one of the main ways that law enforcement agencies and cybercriminals use to trace people’s whereabouts. Many people are actually turning to VPNs to obfuscate their IP. VPNs, or virtual private networks, use their global server networks to reroute traffic and hide users’ IPs. What’s more, they add an extra layer of security to your online activities by encrypting your data.

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