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The Courts Movies Piracy

P2P Litigation Crippled In DC District Court Ruling 114

Posted by timothy
from the civil-procedure dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a stunning defeat for the US Copyright Group, DC District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer is forcing copyright holders to sue only those over whom the DC court has personal jurisdiction. The USCG has sued in the DC court more than 4,500 people on behalf of a German producer that created the Far Cry movie. But the Judge is having none of that; in her ruling [Friday], Judge Collyer stated that only those who are in the DC court's jurisdiction can be sued — shrinking what could have been a windfall of defendant's cash to perhaps a mere trickle."
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P2P Litigation Crippled In DC District Court Ruling

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  • by Wingsy (761354) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:12AM (#34290936)
    In the tradition of having at least 1 off-topic post in any discussion, let me ask a question here. If I set my torrent client's upload bandwidth to zero I find that I still get reasonable download speeds but I upload nothing. I know the torrent crowd would like to hang me for that but doesn't that offer me protection from copyright infringement lawsuits?
  • by cenobyte40k (831687) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:42AM (#34291070)
    I understand that civil court does not have the same strict rules about how clear cut the case must be, but I have yet to see a case where the evidence didn't just show that it might be that IP, which might have been used by this address, which is primarily used by X person but likely many others and then is most cases fail to show me that the files in question where actually the data they say it was. (IE just because the file is called meninblack.mkv does not mean it's the movie Men in Black) I admit I am not a lawyer and that i have not read all the cases, but of the ones I have, have yet to see it any real evidence at all (Mostly just very poor understanding of the technology used the the advantage of lawyers to extort money)
  • Re:Except... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by laughingcoyote (762272) <barghesthowl.excite@com> on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:57AM (#34291138) Journal

    ...all that will happen is they will refile in the other districts where the offenders reside.

    While whoever marked you troll is probably on the money, a lot of people probably might wonder why this would be significant.

    It's hard to geolocate many IP addresses with any degree of precision, especially one you got months ago. And even if you can, it's not like they ever make their money back on these cases-even if they win, most of the defendants are going to go bankrupt. They won't make enough money in their life to pay the exorbitant judgment. Filing these in every district in the country, refiling the ones where you "missed", etc., is going to run up the legal bills very quickly. In the meantime, you're going to continue to annoy judges by clogging up their dockets with cases intended to "make an example" of Little Johnny or Grandma. And while an annoyed judge still must follow the law, they can certainly do as this judge did-choose to follow it very strictly indeed.

  • by kennykb (547805) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @10:46AM (#34291368)

    Well, it's at least a start. Now instead of having one case against defendants across the whole US, the lawyers have to refile in all 92 district courts, multiplying their expenses considerably. (Particularly since a lawyer who files pro hac vice in many of the districts must retain local counsel.) Moreover, the defendants will be sued in their home districts. They don't need to retain counsel and appear in DC to contest their cases. (If a distant court finds a way to assert personal jurisdiction, you're well advised either to prosecute an interlocutory appeal or settle, because the expense of simply making all the required appearances in the distant state will be ruinous.)

    This was also a mandatory first move on the defendants' part. Once you've filed any paperwork with the court without contesting its jurisdiction, you've lost your chance. If you've been sued in the wrong place, you get only one short opportunity to tell that to the judge. After that, you're deemed to have acquiesced on the point. That's unbelievably harsh against pro se defendants, who may not have even been able to find a lawyer (especially since the notice served against them states that they need fo find one in the distant state) by the time they're required to file an answer, but it's the law.

    So it's not a major victory, but it would have gone considerably worse for the defendants had the judge asserted personal jurisdiction against them.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:07AM (#34291482)
    The making available theory was set aside a few years back. In order for it to be infringement you not only have to make it available, but somebody has to actually download it. And not only that, the party filing the suit has to prove that somebody actually downloaded it without authorization.

    Meaning that whomever they've authorized to investigate can't download a copy and use that as evidence that the file was actually downloaded without authorization.
  • Re:End of the world! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:35PM (#34291946)
    Especially since she was appointed in 2003, which means she was appointed by George W. Bush.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:46PM (#34292682)

    If you want to be truly safe, stick to Rapidshare and... the old way. The other thing. That Which We Do Not Mention. Because it's also download-only.

    +5 Informative: Usenet :)

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