Defendant’s motion to strike out TCYK’s Claim for Bittorrent downloading denied, Judge ruled for the Claim to proceed to be argued in Court, and summoned Defendant to file their defence.
TCYK LLC brought claims against a wide array of individuals for infringing their copyrights by downloading their motion picture, The Company You Keep. The Defendant of the first case brought to Court, Michael Coyle of Lawdit Solicitors, filed an Application to strike out the Claim out of court, and deemed TCYK’s activities as “speculative invoicing”. The Judge however ended up questioning Mr Coyle on their invoicing.
As part of the Application to strike out the Claimant’s Claim out, Lawdit Solicitors submitted a Statement of Costs for £12,387. However, as the Judge pointed out, Lawdit Solicitors openly advertise their legal services for copyright infringement cases for the sum of £90. Michael Coyle explained that the firm has been funding their efforts against TCYK LLC from donations, yet they were still looking to ‘double dip’. After further questions, the Judge enquired if Mr. Coyle’s client was going to pay the £12,387 cost if the application got was denied. To this, Mr. Coyle failed to answer.
As much as one must appreciate the charitable legal work, be that volunteering or the use solicit of donations to cover costs, we would even should not look past the fact that Lawdit Solicitors are representing pirates, who illegally download content – more simplistically or more simply put, steal films. Nevertheless, one might find it rather ironic that their method of invoicing is being questioned in Court. It is also alarming, that while the service is publically advertised for £90, they are claiming £12,387 in fees. One might therefore wonder if the donations Lawdit has obtained would be handed over to their clients in any assessment of costs should they lose.
We must applaud Lawdit Solicitors for their clever business model. They raise money from donations, only ask for £90 from their clients, however yet claim £12,387 from their opponent. Should they lose, the cost will not be charged to the client – even though there is no legal agreement between Lawdit and their clients in this matter, as Mr. Coyle stated in Court. We would not, however, go as far as to call their invoicing methods speculative, although they are questionable at best.