The Haps

Just saw this story here.

Jane is in her 70s, a retired widow who spends her days doing volunteer work in the East Bay and fussing over her grandchildren. She also downloads porn illegally over BitTorrent.

That, at least, is the claim in an April lawsuit against her and dozens of other Jane and John Does by a Chicago law firm that's been busily filing similar cases around the country.

It's also made a habit of strongly suggesting that these "digital pirates" settle out of court for several thousand dollars. Letters to defendants helpfully remind them the amount is below what they'd probably pay in attorney's fees and that settling would avoid publicly linking their names to pornography.

This particular Jane (who didn't want her real name used for that very reason) said she's never downloaded porn and doesn't know what a BitTorrent is. She can't afford an attorney to make her case, but she's not about to settle either.

"It smacks of extortion," she said.