It’s Impossible to Torrent Anonymously, Lawyer Says

Eleazar Coding

Retired Moderator
Oct 10, 2013
Jerusalem, Israel
Hollywood lawyer Carl Crowell has filed numerous lawsuits against online pirates in Oregon. He works on behalf of the makers of Dallas Buyers Club, among others, and has been active for years.
These cases never go to trial but are typically settled for a few thousand dollars. In a recent Interview with a local newspaper he justifies this approach.
“The media calls what I do a scam, a fraud,” Crowell says, while pointing at the losses his clients suffer from online piracy.
According to Crowell many of the defendants falsely assume that not responding to a lawsuit will make it go away, but he stresses that this is not the case.
“There are stories online that tell people the worst thing you can do is respond, but it’s not a problem that’s going to go away by being ignored,” he notes.
Indeed, there have been various examples of default judgments against pirates in these type of cases, with judges handing out damages as high as $30,000. This means that ignoring a lawsuit is certainly not wise.
While the lawyer has no sympathy for pirates, he doesn’t just sue people left and right. Crowell says he focuses on people who upload content persistently, seeding files for several months.
“If you just download and don’t upload, you don’t cross my radar. I’m interested in persistent involvement over several months,” he says.
The above sounds reasonable for someone from his side of the bench, but soon after the interview takes a surprise turn. According to Crowell, it is impossible for pirates to escape his crosshairs as online anonymity is a myth.
“There is no anonymity online. If you want to pirate content, you have to do so publicly,” Crowell says.
This statement conflicts with reality, as there are plenty of way for people to hide their IP-addresses. In fact, research shows that pirates tend to be very keen on their privacy.
For example, an academic survey revealed that 70 percent of The Pirate Bay users utilize a VPN service or proxy, or were interested in doing so in future.
Perhaps Crowell is misrepresenting reality on purpose as a scare tactic, or he simply doesn’t know better. Luckily for him, not all pirates are aware of it either, otherwise his business would be ruined.
Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak


New member
Jul 23, 2012
What I take from this is half truths.. Crowel is correct when he says that people cannot hide their IPs.. Its a fact.. The way people need to understand things is that the recipient may be spoofed but the source is never spoofed. We as users tend to look at things linear.
Imagine a maze.. you stumble through it hiding from others who are trying to find you.. This is how the law and we perceive the internet.. In actuality ISPS look at the internet from an upper floor looking down at the maze so they see everyone.. The problem here is that its not as easy as it sounds to figure out who is who. This is were Crowells case falls short. The ISPs are not always that ready to help divulge information either. So its expensive to prosecute pirates.
If anybody sticks to the notion that they aren't doing anything wrong.. lose that thinking right away.. Its legal to download anything thats not copy write. Its illegal to download anything without purchase permission from the owner or legal distributor.
As far as the comment its not a good idea to ignore it.. Yes and No. Its not a good idea to ignore anything. Its a very good idea to deny everything. Let them prove you did anything.. Say as little as possible and make them search for everything including your details.
90% of all lawyers who go after people are fishing with little evidence ...or little evidence that would hold up in court. The line of thinking is Im not aware of doing anything wrong what evidence do you have.. Don't answer questions ask them. Are you sure it couldn't be a mistake. Are you sure it was my computer, Are you sure it wasnt somebody stealing from me. Who cares what there answer is.. While I have never received a letter or maybe I have.. My response would be "I'm not aware of anything your talking about and if I went to a site by accident I apologize.. As for anything else you must be mistaken and the matter is closed.. Let the lawyer do his worst.. Chances are he wont. Only the gullable big mouths get themselves in trouble.