Companies that make adult films are filing hundreds of lawsuits against New Jersey residents accused of downloading their pornography illegally.

Malibu Media, Strike Three and other “high-end” porno film companies are suing individuals who supposedly use BitTorrent, a communication platform used for peer to peer sharing of large amounts of data, in order to download adult videos without paying for them.

Leslie Farber, a Montclair attorney who is representing several Jersey residents who have been slapped with these types of lawsuits, said if there is actual copyright infringement it is wrong and civil suits can be filed.

“But I think the motivation of some companies is more about creating an additional revenue stream through litigation rather than really protecting their copyrights," she said.

Some adult film companies have hired an organization to track down who is illegally downloading their videos. They trace the files through an IP address leading back to the file sharer's internet service provider.

She said the company will then file a lawsuit against "John Doe" with an IP address and ask the courts for permission to send a subpoena to the service provider requesting the person’s name and address.

Farber said the adult film companies will usually demand $750 for each video that has been illegally downloaded.

“That’s usually a starting point for negotiation, but they usually will settle for something lower than that," she said.

She said these companies will insist they’re only trying to protect their copyrights but “in my opinion it’s more of a shakedown and they’re using the courts to improperly do that — and some judges have recognized that.”

Patrick Cerillo, an attorney who files lawsuits for Malibu Media in the Garden State, was contacted multiple times for comment but he did not answer calls.

Farber said what’s happening is improper because the people who are slapped with this type of lawsuit may not have done anything wrong.

“Most of these people have Wi-Fi somewhere in the household, apartment or private home. They can be hacked very easily. Sometimes they’re not password protected. There could be a neighbor that was given permission to use it.”

She said it’s also possible for the organization that hunts down the IP address to get that address wrong.

She noted what usually happens is people are stuck either settling for thousands of dollars, or spending thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend themselves.

More From WOBM: