The “One Satisfaction” Rule: A New Approach to Curbing Copyright Trolls

Dan Booth

©2015. Published in Landslide, Vol. 7, No. 3, January/February 2015, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Mass lawsuits against alleged movie file-sharers are the new face of copyright litigation. Between January 2010 and June 2014, a handful of law firms and film companies brought suits against more than 150,000 individuals.1 In 2013, multi-defendant John Doe (MDJD) copyright lawsuits, almost nonexistent 10 years ago, were the majority of copyright filings in the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits, and in 19 of the 92 federal districts.2 One plaintiff alone, Malibu Media, brought 27 percent of all copyright cases filed in federal court in 2013, and more than 40 percent of those filed in the first six months of 2014.3

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