Los Angeles – Nearly 100,000 Americans have been sued for
suspected copyright infringement on file-sharing networks over the past year,
according to details of a study published by TorrentFreak. The majority are
alleged to have utilized the BitTorrent file-sharing network, although a few
hundred users of eDonkey were also targeted.
The 99,924 defendants were
sued as part of a total of just 80 lawsuits, which seek the identities of the many
"John Doe" defendants from their various Internet service providers.
TorrentFreak notes that 68 of these cases are
still active, affecting 70,914 defendants, and that nearly all of the
recently-filed cases target alleged downloaders of adult content.
Also included in the list of defendants are many who allegedly downloaded feature films like "The Hurt Locker."
The lawsuits have rarely come to trial; plaintiffs instead typically offer to settle their copyright claims for several thousand dollars — less than the cost of a legal defense.