US law firm accuses blind man of stealing porn

In yet another case of speculative invoicing gone mad, a US law firm has accused a blind man of illegally downloading pornographic films.

Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver have taken on the model pioneered by shamed UK outfit ACS:Law sending up to 100,000 letters to Internet users accusing them of P2P porn piracy based on shaky IP address evidence forced out of ISPs by court orders.

There's significant evidence to suggest that the details used are erroneous in many cases, and there's no way to prove that the person who pays the connection bill is the porn-pilfering perpetrator, but bottom-feeding law companies have discovered that threatening often innocent people with an embarrassing and expensive trip through the legal system is enough to get them to cough up large sums of cash to make the whole sordid mess go away.

The consquence of this scatter-gun approach is that innocent people often get caught in the crossfire. Tales of grey-haired grannies being hauled before the courts have emerged before now, but the latest in a long line of misplaced legal might really caught our imagination.

According to the Miami New Times, one of thousands of people named in a recent law suit, and known only as John Doe 2057, found himself in receipt of a letter from the law firm accusing him of downloading five movies of questionable content.

The man's wife had to read the letter to him because he is legally blind.

"To be honest, it's a little ridiculous," Doe 2057 said at the time. "My movie-watching ability is non-existent. My kids watch movies, but they are four and six, so they don't watch porn either. Well, hopefully they don't."

The accused man says his Wi-Fi network was probably hijacked by someone else in his apartment building after his wife set it up in a hurry without setting the security properly.

But like many others, he may crumble under the pressure of speculative invoicing which has been the source of pain and misery to thousands.

"The sad part about this entire porn thing is it will cost more to go to a judge," Doe says. "At the end of the day, I'll probably settle and pay the fee to make this go away."

Unfortunately, a large proportion of the 3,544 other people named in the suit will also follow the same path, which is easy money for the predatory scumbags behind these schemes.

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