The Law Firm of Blair B. Chintella

Attorney Blair B. Chintella has been defending clients in copyright "troll" cases for years.

    What is a copyright "troll" lawsuit?

  • A "troll" lawsuit refers to when a plaintiff sues multiple "John Does" in order to obtain their Internet account information and pressure them into settling. These lawsuits are negatively referred to as "troll" lawsuits because they use economies of scale to extract as many settlements as possible while only having to pay one filing fee.
  • How do I know if I've been sued in a troll lawsuit?

  • If you received a letter from your Internet service provider notifying you that your Internet account information has been subpoenaed.
  • How was my IP addresses supposedly detected?

  • A copyright holder will hire a technology company to collect the IP addresses allegedly associated with downloading copyrighted content. All Internet service providers assign an IP address to their customers' modem or router. Computers have an "internal" IP address, but only a modem or router's IP address is visible from the Internet.
  • How does the plaintiff know that the IP address belongs to me?

  • ISPs maintain a log (for a period of time) of what IP addresses that they assign to their customers. Most ISPs use "dynamic" IP addresses, which means that the same group of IP addresses are reassigned to an ISP's customers. A plaintiff will subpoena an ISP's logs. Most (but not all) people are notified of the subpoena from their ISP.
  • Is it possible to prevent my information from being released?

  • Depending on where your case is filed, it may or may not be possible to challenge the subpoena. Our firm is familiar with the numerous cases filed across the country and can advise you on the best course of action. Please contact us before the objection deadline listed on the letter from your ISP. It is very important that you don't try to negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff's lawyers directly.
  • What happens if my information is released?

  • In most cases, you will receive a letter demanding a settlement. These letters can be misleading and/or intimidating. We can advise you of your options at this stage.
  • Where did all these troll lawsuits come from?

  • "Troll" lawsuits are simply a newer form of lawsuit targeting online file-sharing. Historically, lawsuits targeting online piracy were brought against companies such as Napster. Due to how newer file-sharing protocols (such as BitTorrent) operate, studios now pursue individuals rather than the company that created the technology.
  • Additional Links:

  • In 2010, the federal government announced a new strategy to combat online infringement.
  • The federal government has recently started seizing domain names in an effort to combat intellectual property theft.
  • Unsecured wireless network causes problems.

Subscribe to the Subpoena Defense Listserv (lawyers only)