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April 23, 2014

"‘The Dread Obodai’: Content Farmer From Hell"

Funny and alarming at the same time

Any website’s comments section — even our fancy new one — gets its share of scam artists, luring in clicks with promises of work-from-home schemes or miracle diets. They seem so easy to spot and resist, it’s a wonder how they can possibly work. The answer might be, as always, to innovate. Consider the case of Austin Obodai, an accused con artist who, before he was arrested, found a way to use the comments section to sue big Internet media companies for millions. According to prosecutors, Obodai came up with a novel method of exploiting intellectual-property law to invent a new type of fraud. You could call him a copyright troll — or, as Google's lawyers did, "the Dread Obodai."

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