New York Business Lawyers

Live from New York It’s Social Media Friday-Net Porn Lawsuit Spree 2 point 0

by / Friday, 31 December 2010 / Published in Technology & eCommerce

Social Media for LawyersAs the year 2010 comes to a close, it seems fitting to report on the new wave of the new wave of copyright lawsuits targeting users of a key platform of the soon to be history decade.  So in recent porn thievery lawsuit news, the mass defendant approach to joinder shows no signs of abating–porn companies are doubling down on lawsuits targeting hundreds of John and Jane Does using Bittorent to procure copyrighted porn movies.  Moreover, as with the previous iterations, this lawsuit seeks to gain the identities of the Doe’s from the ISP’s.  Finally, with any porn suit, the names of the infringed works are just as entertaining as edifying, with “Girlfriend Lost a Bet” and “Iraq Care Package” among them.

An interesting twist on the new complaint’s theory is the notion that Bittorent users are actually engaged in a conspiracy of sorts to unlawfully download the subject movies.  While this appears to be a calculated attempt to evade the tactics employed by EFF and its ilk to get the case tossed, it does in some ways accurately characterize what peer to peer sharing is actually about.  Indeed, file sharing over Bottorrent involves a highly efficient sharing and passing around of packet data between peers (hence any Bittorent peer is simultaneously receiving and sending data in a swarm).  One could argue that such activity is tantamount to a real world conspiracy.  Hence, the suit posits the Doe’s “engaged in a coordinated effort with the other Defendants to reproduce and distribute Plaintiff’s copyrighted works.

However, for faceless, nameless IP addresses pushing packet data to other faceless, nameless IP addresses to rise to the level of a coordinated effort akin to conspiracy, is a more than a “stretch.” Adapting the Plaintiff’s theory will have profound ramifications for peer to peer technologies in the coming decade (RICO style claims for peer to peer anyone?)

You can read the complaint here: MCGIP, LLC v. Does 1-1,164, No. 10-7675 (N.D.Ill., 2010)

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