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P2P settlement lawyers lied, committed fraud says new lawsuit

Dec 01, 2010, 09:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nate Anderson)

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"Sending settlement letters to accused Internet movie pirates has become big business in the US this year, but a new class action lawsuit seeks to put the brakes on one of the main "settlement fraud and extortion" outfits: the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver.

"Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver (DGW) is a Virginia law firm that set up shop last year as the "US Copyright Group," and it has sued the people behind 16,000 IP addresses for sharing indie films on file-sharing networks. Those accused are given the chance to settle for $1,500 or $2,500 before being sued by name, though to date no such named lawsuits have been filed.

"Dmitrity Shirokov was one of those charged with sharing the video game-inspired film Far Cry, and he responded late last week to DGW's settlement letter with a lawsuit of his own. It charges DGW with racketeering, copyright misuse, unjust enrichment, and fraud, and it demands that a judge stop the "scheme" and force DGW to reimburse everyone who has settled in the case so far. In addition, Shirokov wants punitive damages."

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