Yet Another Judge Slams Copyright Trolls; Warns That Courts Should Not Be Used To ‘Bludgeon’ People Into Settling | Techdirt

Yet Another Judge Slams Copyright Trolls; Warns That Courts Should Not Be Used To ‘Bludgeon’ People Into Settling

from the down-they-go dept

Reminiscent of the Righthaven cases, where once judges realized what was really happening they quickly started dumping them, it seems that we’re reaching the tipping point with porn companies playing the copyright trolling game as well. More and more of the attempts to seek expedited discovery are getting rejected in sternly worded rulings from judges who recognize that the sole purpose of the lawsuit isn’t to go to trial, but to get expedited discovery in order to shake people down for cash. The latest such ruling in an increasingly long line comes out of the Eastern District of NY, where judge Gary Brown issued a nice smackdown on copyright trolls. The judge first notes the ridiculousness of relying on IP addresses to identify the individuals, citing a bunch of cases, before noting that an IP address simply does not indicate the “true identity” of the defendant.

In sum, although the complaints state that IP addresses are assigned to “devices” and thus by discovering the individual associated with that IP address will reveal “defendants’ true identity,” this is unlikely to be the case. Most, if not all, of the IP addresses will actually reflect a wireless router or other networking device, meaning that while the ISPs will provide the name of its subscriber, the alleged infringer could be the subscriber, a member of his or her family, an employee, invitee, neighbor or interloper

There are a number of issues specific to the claims of the plaintiff, K-Beech in this case, including its failure to register the copyrights in question, and a weak attempt at lumping in a trademark claim after this came to light. However, what becomes clear pretty quickly is that the judge isn’t buying any of this, and sees that it’s really just an attempt to use the courts to shake people down. It starts off with the discovery request going far beyond what’s necessary to take a case to trial:

However, not all the information sought is required to advance the claim. For example, in addition to names and addresses, plaintiffs seek both the home telephone numbers and email addresses of the putative John Does… information which is clearly not required to proceed with this action. In particular, obtaining the home telephone numbers seems calculated to further plaintiffs’ settlement strategies, discussed above, rather than advancing their claims by allowing them to effect service.

But the larger point is that the court recognizes these kinds of copyright trolling lawsuits as “abusive litigation tactics.” While the court notes that it can and should encourage settlements, it also notes that the rules say those settlements should be “just” and it’s not clear that’s what’s happening here:

Our federal court system provides litigants with some of the finest tools available to assist in resolving disputes; the courts should not, however, permit those tools to be used as a bludgeon.

The court then goes on to agree with many other courts in noting that lumping a bunch of defendants together in the same lawsuit is improper joinder, and agrees to only allow discovery on the very first IP address named in each of the lawsuits being considered.


On the whole, there isn’t that much different about this ruling from a bunch of other recent rulings, but it’s another one to add to the pile, and it gets clearer and clearer every day that the courts are now aware of how trolls are abusing the system, and less and less likely to allow such abuse.

Yet Another Judge Slams Copyright Trolls; Warns That Courts Should Not Be Used To ‘Bludgeon’ People Into Settling | Techdirt.

, , , , , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Off the charts...

Thoughtfully Prepping

My Scribblings about Prepping and Survivalism

Mongos Blognet

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere," said Albert Einstein.

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

∙ tenderheartmusings ∙

we were born naked onto the page of existence; with nothing but the pen of our soul to write ourselves into eternal ecstasy ~ DreamingBear Baraka Kanaan

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

Good Time Stories

Inspiring and Heartwarming Stories

musings from a musical mind

60's flowerchild,herbalist,dreamer, seeker of truth


The Diary of a Retiree


Your Stories, My Stories, Our Stories


A fine site


Finishing Lifes Race Strong

Deep Shit Media

Alternative Sovereign Communications

38 Years

Perspective from the middle ages of life


A great site

Chastisement 2014

He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork

Direct From The Street - Stuff We And People Share

Photos, Videos, Articles - Business, Social Media, Marketing, Entertainment, Fashion, Sports, Life


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 366 other followers

%d bloggers like this: