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Old 17 Nov 2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Chicago "Pirate Slayer" Going After Porn Downloaders

John Steele is dubbed the 'Pirate Slayer' by the adult entertainment industry, and for good reason. He is the man behind seven lawsuits, with more on the way, that targets thousands of individuals accused of downloading pirated porn.

The controversial approach has been described in the past as "legal blackmail", but has recently become popular in the United States following the infamous "The Hurt Locker" lawsuits. Suing porn downloaders has the added advantage of embarrassment, meaning many will choose to settle quickly in order to prevent people from finding out just exactly what they may have been downloading (even if they were sure they did not download it). With these kinds of lawsuits, only a quick settlement leads to profit for the suing law firm - a trial is not what they seek, and in the case of porn downloads, nobody actually wants a trial.

But critics say the process is fundamentally unfair. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Corynne McSherry also adds that there's the added issue of sexual preference being an issue. "Some of it is gay and lesbian porn, and not everybody is out about their preferences," said McSherry.

Steel feels that whatever issues that these lawsuit brings up, they are still important in the fight to save the adult entertainment industry from the threat of piracy. "... if we are just to sit back and let the little guy steal, there won't be any industry left," Steel warned.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,6593930.story
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