Antipiracy lawyers from porn, indie-film sectors unite

Is this a dynamic duo? The law firm suing alleged film pirates on behalf of indie filmmakers has teamed up with the makers of "Batman XXX, A Porn Parody."

Lawyers representing Axel Braun Productions, makers of 'Batman XXX, A Porn Parody,' will team with lawyers known for representing indie film studios. Axel Braun

The two camps that have waged copyright war this year on accused movie pirates --adult and independent filmmakers--are teaming up to fight illegal file sharing.

Kenneth Ford, one of the attorneys that made news this year by filing copyright lawsuits against tens of thousands of people , told CNET on Monday that he is now working with Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver . DGW is the Washington, D.C., law firm that sometimes operates as U.S. Copyright Group and represents nearly a dozen indie film studios, including the makers of the Academy Award winning war film, "The Hurt Locker."

"[DGW] has initiated new lawsuits today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of our clients against nearly 15,000 Doe defendants," Ford wrote CNET in an e-mail.

Among the porn producers DGW and Ford represent are Axel Braun, the maker of "Batman XXX, A Porn Parody."

We now have a legal tag-team grudge match. In one corner is DGW and Ford and in the other are some of the lawyers representing the accused and attorneys from watchdog groups as well as Internet service providers . Among the groups that have opposed the indie and porn studios on their antipiracy campaign are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Time Warner Cable.

This was bound to happen. Both Ford and DGW in earlier cases ran up against federal courts that didn't appear friendly to the idea of naming thousands of defendants, who live all across the country, in a single district court far from their homes. Thomas Dunlap, co-founder of DGW, told CNET last week that the plan now is to band a group of attorneys who practice in various parts of the country to file complaints in numerous federal districts. This apparently designed to make the issue of jurisdiction moot.

 

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