First off, I am just asking for "input/feedback" and not legal advice. I have some resources to find an attorney to use (and I will use them), but I like to be educated on stuff and I know many here are very smart about many different things. I am worried that I already know a fair amount about this topic and fear I won't ask enough questions, be blind to the option right in front of me, over think things, and therefore make a terrible mistake in judgement. I am willing to bet somebody will read this and point me to a resource I don't know about or a case I can review. That is kind of what I am looking for. Again, not asking for legal advice. OK that is out of the way.
Basically all my Internet records have been subpoenaed. I mean everything. All my IP logs.
The case is civil. I am not named in it. And to this point I have not been charged with any crime.
Wow I can't believe I just had to write those sentences ..........
I will explain in detail below the fold, but even if you don't know anything about this topic, and I try not to be over-the-top here, what I will outline should scare the living hell out of everybody here, anybody online.
Now I should note I am a tech nerd/geek. I have followed what is happening to me works out of the corner of my eye when it happens to other people for years and years. The end result is rarely positive.
Heck I have donated money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFT) that actually deals with stuff like this (I am in contact with them -- just not heard back). I never thought in a millions years I'd get pulled into the middle of it. Become an actor in the play.
As best as I can tell one lawyer has filed two cases in Cook County (Illinois) and one in my county of St. Clair (Illinois), where I live. In all three cases the same process is being used.
The Plaintiff in all three cases seems to be a "shell" company set-up only to file a lawsuit. The Defendant in each case has never been verified to actually be a "real" human. In the lawsuit this is what is claimed:
That allegation is then used to subpoena hundreds if not thousands of IP addresses and their logs (my Internet activity).
Once the Plaintiff has this information the law suit is dropped against the Defendant and they come after anybody they can for copyright infringement, or in the instances of theses law suits, downloading copyrighted porn. It is at this point I make a little joke. Who downloads porn illegally on the Internet in 2013? I mean I sure didn't.
There is even a term for this type of lawsuit, called "Copyright Trolling."
This is also the area where I have followed what has happened in other cases like this. Once they have your information they come after you for payment, like the Mob used to do for protection, and if you don't pay up, they just sue you into the ground.
I kid you not I talked to my family lawyer today (yes I have one of those) and he said if they get my info and come after me the best thing to do would be to declare bankruptcy and tell the lawyers to go fuck themselves. Ponder that for a few.
Here is where I could use some help and/or input!
And maybe also the time to point out I am not "rich" but I have some money stashed away and if push comes to shove my parents have pretty deep pockets I could lean on. I intend to fight this 24/7. (1) I didn't do what they will eventually say/suggest and (2) Just cause it is BS.
My gut is I should approach this on two fronts.
The first is to attempt to stop the subpoena in the court case. That is what the two lawyers I have spoken to all lead with. Given. The second, and neither lawyer I talked to mentioned this, is to also notify my Internet Provider that if they are not going to fight for me, to keep my information private (as they say in their Terms & Conditions of Service), I will bring them into this.
The best I can tell from my research these law suits are "fishing expeditions." Get as many IP logs as they can. Hope they uncover some copyright infringement, then go after those people. I would think my ISP would fight this.
If my ISP won't fight this, just hand over records of dozens, hundreds, thousands of people that are not guilty of anything, maybe we will all come back and sue them. I hate I just wrote that. Sue somebody, but alas that seems like an option here.
Well that is about all I got. But I do have one direct favor to ask if I may.
Anybody here have access to LexisNexis?
I can go to the St. Clair Courthouse and get all the files in the case here. But the two in Cook County, well they don't seem to be online, and I'd rather not have to fly/drive up to Chicago and get them. Plus the cases in Cook County are further along then the one in my County.
Welcome to 2013 everybody ...............