Copyright law is in a bit of a mess at the moment. It’s used by giant corporations like Samsung and Apple to lock others out of their strong selling markets and by trolls to try and scam money from people and companies. One such troll however, is going further than most, by demanding that WordPress – the CMS maker – hand over all details on everyone that has ever visited two anti-copyright troll websites: FightCopyrightTrolls and DieTrollDie.
Lets just make it clear. PrendaLaw, the copyright-troll group in question, is demanding that WordPress give the IP address and time of visit, of every single person that’s visited both of those two sites since 1st January 2011. Not only is that an insane amount of information, but it’s an incredibly invasion of privacy for visitors.
These sites also don’t do anything illegal. They keep the public up to date on some of the worst copyright-law abusers out there and offer advice on how to deal with them. However they’ve been involved in legal wranglings with Prenda Law for a few months – a good rundown can be found here – and it’s all set to come to a head next Monday, where someone at Prenda Law could end up going to jail for defrauding the court.
Perhaps in a last ditch defence, or an aggressive good bye, Prenda is accusing the two anti-troll websites with defamation and is demanding the IPs so it can target the owners and most unusually, those that comment on the site, with legal action.
DieTrollDie admins are hoping that WordPress won’t comply with the demand, since Prenda has no need to see the details of everyone that’s ever visited the site. It’s alleged by some that this is simply an attempt by Prenda to bury its opposition in paperwork.
“As there is a possibility that a release could occur, the public IP address (date/time stamp) could fall into the hands of Prenda,” DTD warned in a statement (via TorrentFreak). “I would expect that they would then try to cross-reference the IP address with their list of alleged BitTorrent infringement IP addresses.”
“If you have ever gone to this site or Fightcopyrighttrolls.com since 1 January 2011, you may want to contact WordPress and tell them you want them to refuse this overly broad request and at least wait until the issue of the case being removed to the Federal court is answered, before releasing ANY information,” it concludes.
KitGuru Says: Hopefully this result of this court case will see a copyright troll go down hard, setting a nice example for anyone else that wants to abuse the court system for their own gains