This Ain't Avatar. It's Another Round of Federal Suits Against BitTorrent Porn Downloaders.

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If all that Na'vi sex in Avatar somehow wasn't enough for you, well -- you'd better be ready to pay for more.
Just under a month ago, we mentioned Denton lawyer Evan Stone's crusade against illegal porn downloaders, filing hundreds upon hundreds of "John Doe" suits right here in Northern District Court on behalf of adult film producers, against folks identified only by their IP addresses. So long as the judge was willing to order Internet providers to ID their customers, Stone would go ahead and send these folks a friendly letter, reminding them they're being sued in federal court for downloading Debbie Does Dallas or Der Gute Onkel, and suggesting they pay up, put this whole mess behind them, and avoid a messy, public fight in court.

Stone told us most folks have found his argument persuasive and paid up right away. While Stone says it's about copyright enforcement where nobody minds stealing, some angry commenters had other words for the operation. "Blackmail," for one. "Extortion," for another.

Late last week, Larry Flynt Productions -- already a Stone client -- kept the party rolling with 319 suits against scofflaws who've been taking liberties with Barely Legal #100, and two separate filings over the last couple days have named 4,226 illegal downloaders of LFP's This Ain't Avatar XXX 3D.

On TorrentFreak, they're watching this "profitable pay-up-or-else scheme" more skeptically, but LFP president Michael Klein tells Unfair Park this morning that porn producers are finally circling the wagons to protect their industry. "Between the BitTorrent and the tube sites that contain illegal content, they've put a lot of people out of business, and others have lowered their revenues," Klein says. "It's putting a big crimp on the industry."

Jump for more from Klein on how the industry's organized itself to face the torrent scourge. The full This Ain't Avatar suit follows as well.

Klein declined to say just how many studios have been involved in talks about who to sue when, and over what films, but a Content Protection Retreat in Tucson this week lists 32 production companies and enforcement groups on its site. A group calling itself the Copyright Defense Agency lists Stone's lawsuits in Dallas on its "news" page.

Klein says LFP and other studios have been organizing over the last year or so, beginning by sending DMCA notices to tube sites, and by going after illegal torrenters in Europe. Klein says, of course, they don't look at the suits as a money-making venture on their own -- it's about the long-term viability of the industry. "From our group of studios, this is just the start of more of an organized effort to combat piracy," he says. "If you don't do anything, you're just gonna watch your business whittle away."

"This Ain't Avatar" Suit: LFP vs John Does 1-1,106

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