Anti-Piracy Lawyer Caught Copying Content

Paul Lilly

Brace yourself for this one, it might come as a shock to the system. Ready for it? It turns out that copyright lawyers might not qualify as role models for how the ones they're suing should conduct themselves. Okay, so maybe you're not astonished to learn that copyright lawyers may lack a little something in the morals department, but what is surprising is how blatant at least one high profile lawyer holds a double standard for copyright law.

According to TorrentFreak , anti-piracy lawyer John Steele throws stones from inside a glass house. TorrentFreak says Steele is "without a doubt one of the most active proponents of the pay-up-or-else settle scheme in the United States" having filed more than 80 mass lawsuits in less than a year, all aimed at BitTorrent users. In all those settlement letters, however, Steele and his partner took to copying content from the Copyright Enforcement Group without the group's permission.

"In the settlement letters that Steele sends to alleged copyright infringers there's a frequently asked questions section. Contrary to what one might expect, these questions were not written by Steele himself," TorrentFreak explains.

TorrentFreak claims it did its due diligence in contacting CEG to find out whether or not Steele had permission and was told he doesn't. Furthermore, CEG told TorrentFreak it's considering taking steps to prevent Steele from continuing to copy its work.

Steele isn't the only one to have played both sides. TorrentFreak says that one of CEG's competitors, the U.S. Copyright Group, stole content from its website by copying the design and code.

"Only when we called them out on it did they remove all 'infringing' content," TorrentFreak says.

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