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California Judge Denies Discovery In Bittorrent Case 100

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the open-wifi-defense-in-action dept.
New submitter PhxBeau writes with news of a particularly sane judge in a copyright case. Quoting TorrentFreak: "In yet another mass lawsuit against alleged file-sharers, a California court has said that while it's sympathetic towards the plight of the copyright holder, it will not assist in the identification of BitTorrent users. It's a shame technology that enables infringement has outpaced technology that prevents it, the judge wrote, but added that his court won't work with copyright holders who pursue settlement programs with no intention to litigate." The core issue is that an IP does not identify more than the bill-payer — the good cause standard therefore is not met because the actual infringer is not identified.
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California Judge Denies Discovery In Bittorrent Case

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  • Huh? What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:10PM (#39599843)

    The core issue is that an IP does not identify more than the bill payer -- the good cause standard therefore is not met because the actual infringer is not identified.

    That would depend on the terms of service. If your broadband provider holds you responsible for the users you permit on to your connection, then a part of that responsibility would seem to be knowing who is using your connection and when. If the TOS allow you to give connections away to third parties anonymously (like the coffee shop I'm sitting in now does), then I'd agree with the above statement.

    I wish they (the court) would have emphasized the denial based upon the use of the courts as an empty threat and/or means of discovery for the subsequent pursuit of a private settlement. In other words, once you approach the court to do your dirty work, you've got to use them to mediate the settlement*. If you want to settle privately, hire your own detective agency. P>*Which gets you reasonable and uniform penalties and makes settlements a matter of public record.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:14PM (#39599915)

    One case is civil, the other is criminal. Hence the double standard.

  • Re:Huh? What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:25PM (#39600063)

    I wish they (the court) would have emphasized the denial based upon the use of the courts as an empty threat and/or means of discovery for the subsequent pursuit of a private settlement. In other words, once you approach the court to do your dirty work, you've got to use them to mediate the settlement*. If you want to settle privately, hire your own detective agency. P>*Which gets you reasonable and uniform penalties and makes settlements a matter of public record.

    Well, the judge did exactly that in a surprisingly explicit way. From the article:

    “The court recognizes that plaintiff is aggrieved by the apparent infringement and is sympathetic toward its argument that lawsuits like this one are the only way for it to find and stop infringers. However, the court will not assist a plaintiff who seems to have no desire to actually litigate but instead seems to be using the courts to pursue an extrajudicial business plan against possible infringers (and innocent others caught up in the ISP net).

    “Plaintiff seeks to enlist the aid of the court to obtain information through the litigation discovery process so that it can pursue a non-judicial remedy that focuses on extracting ‘settlement’ payments from persons who may or may not be infringers. This the court is not willing to do,” Judge Lloyd concludes.

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