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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Judge kills massive P2P porn lawsuit, kneecaps copyright troll

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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Judge kills massive P2P porn lawsuit, kneecaps copyright troll
« on: December 18, 2010, 08:22:24 pm »

Only 10 days after a federal judge in Washington, DC sharply limited the US Copyright Group's mass file-sharing lawsuits there, a federal judge in West Virginia has come down even harder on another set of mass lawsuits. Ken Ford, the lawyer behind the Adult Copyright Company, has just had his business model chopped off at the knees; not only did Judge John Preston Bailey dismiss every defendant but one in Ford's mass lawsuits, he also demanded that each case be filed separately and that Ford only submit IP addresses likely to map to West Virginia Internet users.

From his base in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Ford has rapidly eclipsed his mentors at the US Copyright Group. Between September 24 and November 11 of this year, Ford filed nine mass lawsuits against more than 22,000 alleged file-swappers, each accused of sharing pornographic films with titles like Teen Babysitters and Teen Anal Nightmare 2 and Batman XXX: A Porn Parody. Ford's initial lawsuits were releatively small, but he had enough confidence in his method by late October that he began filing against 7,000 and then 9,000 individuals at once.

The judge overseeing these cases has had enough. In a series of orders today that cover all seven of Ford's initial September cases, the judge "severed" every defendant but one. If Ford wants to proceed against all these people, he can do so individually and pay the $350 per case filing fee. (For the cases severed yesterday, this would amount to $1.8 million in filing fees alone.)

Ford has brought every single open copyright case in W. Virginia's Northern District
The judge noted that it's simply not proper to "join" this many defendants who did not participate in the same transaction and did not work together. The mere allegation that the defendants used the same P2P software and infringed the same movie does not mean they can be can be joined into a single lawsuit. Everyone being targeted might well have a totally different defense, and the judge approvingly cites a 2004 ruling against the music industry.

Comcast subscriber John Doe 1 could be an innocent parent whose internet access was abused by her minor child, while John Doe 2 might share a computer with a roommate who infringed Plaintiffs’ works. John Does 3 through 203 could be thieves, just as Plaintiffs believe, inexcusably pilfering Plaintiffs’ property and depriving them, and their artists, of the royalties they are rightly owed.

In addition, Ford may only refile individual cases against those living in West Virginia, rather than using one district court to do IP lookups on people all over the US. Time Warner Cable (again) objected to this practice, and the judge concurred, pointing out that geolocation tools on the Web can often identify the basic location used by an IP address. Even without geolocation, Ford should know that some ISPs don't even offer service in West Virginia and therefore can't possibly have their IP addresses map to West Virginia subscribers.

"This would amount to $1.8 million in filing fees alone"

Those sort of costs should slow things down a bit.  :gum:

WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Judge kills massive P2P porn lawsuit, kneecaps copyright troll

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