The U.S. Copyright Group, through Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver, has sued individuals for downloading movies online.
The law firm represented the producers of several big films, including Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker." They sued thousands of copyright defendants for using BitTorrent to download copyrighted materials and demanded settlements.
In response, attorney Graham Syfert set up a series of self-help forms designed to assist those who were being sued. The self-help forms were sold for $19.99 and included a do-it-yourself legal defense for those sued for copyright infringement.
The U.S. Copyright Group is now suing Syfert and demanding sanctions, alleging that his forms are assisting in the filing of "frivolous" and "procedurally defective" motions.
The motions are designed to quash subpoenas and dismiss lawsuits against alleged BitTorrent users. The U.S. Copyright Group argues that each motion is costing them $5,000 to oppose and demands sanctions because the motions are illegitimate and were improperly served, The ABA Journal reports.
Syfert calls the accusations "completely insane" and has fired back at The U.S. Copyright Group and Dunlap. Syfert has filed for sanctions against Dunlap for filing their motion for sanctions. Sanctions for everyone!
Syfert says that if The U.S. Copyright Group's motion was successful, it would be that LegalZoom, Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw would all be on the hook for the misuse of their publications.
According to TorrentFreak it's all rather humorous and ironic:
The U.S. Copyright Group "feels that Syfert is obstructing their money-making scheme, and ironically accuses Syfert of running his own money-making scheme with his self-help documents." The U.S. Copyright Group's motion includes a profanity-laced e-mail from Syfert telling the law firm it can hire him for $200,000, or it can "lay off me taking advantage of the poorest chum that attracted you sharks in the first place."
It's a ping pong match that looks to go on for quite some time.