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Crime The Internet

Troll Complaint Dismissed; Subscriber Not Necessarily Infringer 189

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The courts are finally starting to get it, that the subscriber to an internet access account which has been used for a copyright infringement is not necessarily the infringer. In AF Holdings v. Rogers, a case in the Southern District of California, the Chief Judge of the Court has granted a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim where the only evidence the plaintiff has against defendant is that defendant appears to have been the subscriber to the internet access account in question. In his 7-page opinion (PDF), Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz noted that 'just because an IP address is registered to an individual does not mean that he or she is guilty of infringement when that IP address is used to commit infringing activity.'"
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Troll Complaint Dismissed; Subscriber Not Necessarily Infringer

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  • This is big (Score:5, Informative)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) <`ray' `at' `'> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:29PM (#42972355) Homepage Journal
    This ruling is huge.

    Ever since I first got involved in fighting the RIAA's litigation campaign, and blogging about it, in 2005 [that's almost 8 years ago] I've been arguing that it is not a sufficient basis to bring a lawsuit against someone that an internet access account for which he or she pays the bill was used by someone for a copyright infringement. Even though I, and lots of other lawyers, and lots of other techies, and lots of other people from all walks of life knew this, I have never -- until this ruling -- seen a JUDGE dismiss a complaint because of this.

    If those of you who are saying this is "not a big deal" or "was expected" know of any prior decisions like this, please show them to me. Otherwise, STFU about it not being big. After about 10 years and hundreds of thousands of frivolous lawsuits, finally a judge has pointed out that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

    It is one of the most newsworthy copyright posts I have ever seen on Slashdot.
  • Re:Not yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) <`ray' `at' `'> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:31PM (#42972379) Homepage Journal
    BTW, after this ruling, the plaintiff withdrew the entire case. Probably hoping to find a less intelligent judge somewhere else.
  • Re:This is big (Score:5, Informative)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) <`ray' `at' `'> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @06:46PM (#42973391) Homepage Journal
    Moby, the thing is you're supposed to have done an investigation BEFORE bringing a federal lawsuit. When a lawyer signs his name to the complaint he's affirming that he's done that and has EVIDENCE that the DEFENDANT committed a copyright infringement.

    In the federal rules there's no procedure for bringing a lawsuit against someone to give yourself the ability to conduct an "Investigation" with all the coercive powers of a court at your disposal.

    This judge just called the plaintiff's lawyer's bluff, which is why the lawyer put his tail between his legs and ran.

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