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Porn Industry Sues the Blind

Porn Industry Sues the Blind

He’s one of thousands in the lawsuit campaign against file-sharers, but he seems to be an unlikely candidate. He’s legally blind and too busy with his personal life to secure his WiFi connection. Unfortunately for him, he’s also unable to afford to fight the case and might be forced to settle anyway.

For years, we here at ZeroPaid have been saying over and over again that an IP address doesn’t necessarily connect to a guilty party of any alleged wrong-doing online. This is for a number of reasons which does include the possibility of WiFi hacking.

It’s very likely that was the case in this instance.

According to Seattle Weekly, a blind man is amongst the thousands targeted in a mass BitTorrent lawsuit because he allegedly downloaded a porn movie. If you think this is odd that a blind person would be downloading porn movies, the accused would definitely agree. From the article:

He stood accused of having illegally downloaded a copyrighted film five months earlier, at precisely 6:03 a.m. on the morning of January 27. The name of the Imperial Enterprises movie he purportedly purloined wasn’t mentioned until four pages later. Though printed in tiny italic font in a court filing, it practically leapt off the page: Tokyo Cougar Creampies.

Yet when Mrs. Doe set eyes on that ignominious title, she couldn’t help but crack a smile at the absurdity of the situation. Her husband is legally blind, with vision roughly 1/100th of that of a person with normal sight. He is physically incapable of watching any film, this particular porno included.

“To be honest, it’s a little ridiculous,” Doe 2,057 says with a rueful chuckle. “My movie-watching ability is nonexistent. My kids watch movies, but they are 4 and 6, so they don’t watch porn either. Well, hopefully they don’t.”

This is just, yet, another case of how a mass lawsuit campaign can go wrong. For those that have followed these stories for years, this case might remind them of how the RIAA sued dead people for copyright infringement. There might also be the reminder of the case where the RIAA sued a family that didn’t even own a computer. As long as rights-holders erroneously believe that an IP address always links to the person downloading copyright infringing material, false accusations will always be a running theme of any lawsuit campaign or three strikes law. Rights holders might as well open up a phone book, point to random people and say, “sue” because that tactic is just as accurate.

Sadly, with the case of the blind person today, he very likely won’t have a choice but to settle due to financial constraints. Going before a judge would cost thousands – and if he lost, hundreds of thousands.

How could this have happened? The suspicion amongst the accused is WiFi hacking. They apparently live in a densely populated area. Being unable to find time to secure their connection, their network was open to hacking.

I think that as long as these lawsuit campaigns continue, we’ll keep getting stories like this. There are rights holders out there that constantly want to sue file-sharers into non-existence, but they often have a habit of not caring who the intended target is in the end. Sometimes, the target is completely innocent of any wrong doing. When the target is innocent, it really sends the message that rights holders are simply suing completely random people.

[Via /.]

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Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded freezenet.ca and still contributes to ZeroPaid. Twitter | Google Plus


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