When Copyright Trolls Attack
On 2010, the U.S. Copyright Group quietly targeted tens of thousands BitTorrent users for legal action in federal court in Washington DC. The defendants, who started off as unnamed "John Does", were accused of having downloaded independent films such as "Far Cry," "Steam Experiment," and "The Hurt Locker" without authorization. The organization went on to sue thousands of defendants at a time, hoping to extract quick and easy settlements. By the end of the year, U.S. Copyright Group had been joined by similar companies that sued people all over the United States for allegedly downloading porn and for reproducing newspaper articles in blogs. In less than two years, copyright trolls have sued almost 200,000 people.
Who are the copyright trolls? What should you do if you are a content owner approached by copyright trolls? What should you do if you are one of the 200,000 people being sued? And what is being done about this new and disturbing business model?
Charles Lee Mudd Jr. has operated his own law firm since 2001. In the last nine years, the firm has grown to become an internationally recognized diversified practice providing representation to a clientele comprised of local, national, and international individuals and business organizations.
Prior to starting his own firm, Charles worked for Cummings & Lockwood, a full-service, mid-sized law firm, in its Stamford, Connecticut office practicing in its commercial litigation and emerging technologies groups. His tenure at Cummings & Lockwood followed a one-year clerkship with a United States District Court Judge in Bridgeport, Connecticut and a two-year clerkship with the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Indiana.
For more than ten years, Charles has been significantly involved in Internet and technology-related transactional matters and litigation throughout the United States at both the trial and appellate levels. Most recently, he filed a writ for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court seeking resolution of the Circuit conflict on the appropriate standard for determining personal jurisdiction in Internet related litigation.
Charles currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois where he teaches privacy and technology courses and guest lectures. He also guest lectures at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.
Apart from practicing law, Charles has been an active member of the legal community. He currently serves as Secretary for the Intellectual Property Section of the Illinois State Bar Association and as a member of the Utah State Bar’s Cyberlaw Section. He has recently become a member of the Organization Committee for the newly-formed Cyberlaw Bar Association.
Charles was admitted to the Indiana State Bar in 1997, the Illinois State Bar in 1998, the Connecticut State Bar in 2000, and the Utah State Bar in 2007. He remains an active member of each of these state bars. Charles is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States as well as the Sixth and Seventh Circuits of the United States Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to the trial bar of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois. He is also admitted to the bars of the Northern District of Indiana, Central District of Illinois, Northern District of Florida, the District of Colorado, and the District of Utah.