Many internet users who have downloaded copyrighted content from BitTorrent websites have found themselves being harassed by the rights holder, trying to convince them to accept a settlement and avoid court action. While this is not new, the methods utilized lately by a law firm can certainly be called innovative.
Prenda Law, a firm hired by adult entertainment companies has been relying on robocalls to inform people on the start of a lawsuit.
provides an example of such a call:
This is [the name of the called individual] with Prenda Law. With our clients offer to settle being expired now for more than 30 days it is pretty clear to them that you don’t plan to enter into a settlement agreement with them which is fine.
This call is to inform you that we are going to start the process of filing a lawsuit with your name in it. At first, you will receive time sensitive documents.
We have found that most people do have an attorney review them. If you would like to get an idea of what the complaint will look like just go to our website www.wefightpiracy.com. We do have some of our recent filings there. If you have any questions give us a call. We can be reached at 305-748-2102 and your reference number is [number].
highlights, such methods can raise a lot of controversy, mainly because their legality can be questioned.
For instance, in some states, robocalls are considered illegal. Furthermore, Prenda’s database, which contains the details of the suspected pirates, also stores information on individuals whose cases have been dismissed, in some cases even with prejudice.
Also, if a defendant hires an attorney, the plaintiff is not allowed to contact him directly.
According to the same source, the tactic could also be considered unethical as it violates, among others, the Illinois Registration and Disciplinary Commission’s Rules of Professional Conduct that clearly states:
The lawyer shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.