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Litigation related to Copyright Infirngement Cases Involving Feature Films on the Rise

This Seattle copyright attorney was on the local news yesterday talking about illegal downloading of feature films, the increase of lawsuits in the area and potential consequences. For the full story check out the Komo 4 News website. Here is the full text:

SEATTLE — Washington state has become a hotbed for illegal downloading, but the culprits are quickly finding out that what they thought was a free movie could end up costing them thousands of dollars.

Hollywood is coming to Seattle, but not to make a movie. Rather, studios representatives are in town to track down people who’ve illegally downloaded their products.

Many movie fans think that’s a good idea, because filmmakers deserve to be paid for their work.

“Well, that’s what artists do. Artists need to be paid for what they do for a living and you’re not there to just give it away,” one moviegoer said.

That includes artists who worked on an animated feature called “Zambezia.” The movie doesn’t officially come out until March, but that hasn’t stopped people from illegally downloading pirated versions.

“A lot of it is coming from something called bit torrent, where people download individual pieces from different users and create what’s known as the swarm,” said Seattle attorney Richard Symmes, who’s leading the charge against the downloaders.

Washington’s tech savvy population is now a copyright litigation hotbed, and a studio is coming to town to track down those who have illegally downloaded its movies.

Symmes said the move isn’t about greed, but about the studios being fairly compensated so they can pay their employees by the employment law to follow.

A private company has managed to get the IP addresses of the local offenders, and local Internet providers are now being subpoenaed to get the names of those subscribers.

Symmes said anyone who has illegally downloaded movies could be in for a court battle.

“It would probably be more expensive to go ahead and fight this rather than take a nominal settlement and just make this go away,” he said.

Symmes expects the IP list to grow as other film studios join in.

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Richard J. Symmes, Esq
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