TorrentFreak has the latest word on the John Wiley & Sons peer-to-peer piracy lawsuit. A judge has entered a default judgment against one BitTorrent sharer of WordPress for Dummies in the amount of $7,000—$5,000 for for copyright violation, plus $2,000 for counterfeiting Wiley’s trademarks. (The sharer failed to respond to the lawsuit, hence the judgment was by default.) This is a far cry from the maximum statutory damage of $150,000 Wiley had requested, but over twice as much as the average settlement amount.

Wiley mainly launched the suit as a way to get the contact information for hundreds of sharers so it could approach them with settlement offers—usually around $3,000 per person. The courts have been pretty friendly toward these requests, allowing the company to subpoena ISPs for the necessary information. Torrentfreak notes that, as many defendants as Wiley named in its suits, it could have made over a million dollars in settlement fees.

The interesting thing to me is that, unlike a lot of swarm copyright suits, this one seems to have passed below the radar of a lot of those who are normally quick to protest. Are people more accepting of a nonfiction book publisher’s right to sue than a record label or porn company’s? It makes you wonder.

(Found via Galleycat.)


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