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Electronic Frontier Foundation Piracy The Courts Your Rights Online

Over 40,000 John Doe Copyright Troll Cases Dismissed 52

Requiem18th writes "From the EFF site: Thousands of unnamed 'John Does' in P2P file sharing lawsuits filed in California, Washington DC, Texas, and West Virginia have been severed, effectively dismissing over 40,000 defendants. The plaintiffs in these cases must now re-file against almost all of the Does individually rather than suing them en masse."

Despite the dismissal, EFF has received reports that some Does are still receiving notices from their ISPs informing them that their identities are being sought in relation to these cases. If you get one, contact the EFF immediately.

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Over 40,000 John Doe Copyright Troll Cases Dismissed

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  • Safe torrents? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can someone please tell me what kind of torrents are safe to download and what are not?

    • Re:Safe torrents? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25, 2011 @11:29PM (#35320560)
      Also in Illinois! I got named as one of 300 John Does for a porn torrent I got from [] a while ago. It's not the companies who are trying to go out of their way to chase alleged P2Pers, but rather the lawyers are making a business out of this and the lawyers are the ones who approach companies to do this.

      Luckily earlier this month the case was dismissed for all 300 Does involved, so my ISP will thankfully not be releasing my information to the plaintiff's lawyer, John Steele... he is one of the "bad" kind of lawyers.

      If you are named on one of these John Doe subpoenas, contact one of the lawyers on this list from the EFF []. I contacted five different lawyers, one offered pro bono and another looked up my case in advance and sent me documents from the court showing it had been dismissed. Another lawyer referred me to the pro bono one, and another lawyer told me $180 an hour. I don't think the fifth lawyer replied. Overall, results were good.
    • If you looking to avoid fake files, I would say get from reputed Private Trackers (You might have to pay or get a referral to get into one though). But if you are looking to hide from MAFIAA, I would say use a VPN from some foreign country (one that has good privacy protection laws, and does not disclose your name without a warrant from a judge from the same country (and more obscure the country is the better)).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      All torrents are safe to download. It's only when you upload the files that the torrents describe, that you become vulnerable.

    • Re:Safe torrents? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @02:51AM (#35321756) Journal

      Can someone please tell me what kind of torrents are safe to download and what are not?

      Check the laws of your country? Or get a help from a lawyer friend if you are not sure?

      I generally don't use stuff like bittorrent, unless the stuff is legal for me to upload. Because that's what you are doing when you "torrent" - you are uploading/distributing stuff.

      In many countries there is a big difference between downloading and uploading or distribution.

      • I think it is possible (although not recommended and usualy frowned upon) to download something from a torrent only, and not upload anything.
    • Freeware, F/OSS ones, and creative commons ones, mostly.

      However, if you are asking what illegal/unauthorized torrents are safe to download then the answer really is none.

      • But of course first you need to define safe - safe with regards to legality or illegality, and/or likelihood of getting caught, or safe with regards to malware, etc? You gotta admit, "what is safe"? in of itself with nothing else is quite an ambiguous question.
  • XLS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's pretty ironic that the EFF website offers case information in an .xls file. Where's the ODF love??

    • Re:XLS? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TriezGamer ( 861238 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @05:09AM (#35322296)

      It seems pretty obvious to me. Why use a format that a clueless user coming to the site cannot open, if another format serves the same purpose? EFF needs all the support it can get. As much as I dislike closed formats, it's not going to benefit anyone to present information to the public in a way that many of them can't read it.

      • You'd still think they'd offer both formats, with one of those "What is this?" links, like you often see with ogg downloads.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Doesn't OpenOffice (and, I presume, LibreOffice, and KCalc, etc.) open xls files without problem? If they included non-working macros or something, I could see the problem. Otherwise...

  • Is there any other kind?
  • ok, grab the excel case list and look at the files claimed, they could shame some into paying....


    • and of the top two downloaded porn files?

      #1 Teen Anal Nightmare 2
      #2 Batman XXX: A Porn Parody

      • by Anonymous Coward

        #1 Teen Anal Nightmare 2

        Wow. Sodomizing terrified teenagers is a popular fantasy, nowadays? Japan's contribution to the world is starting to show...

        • #1 Teen Anal Nightmare 2

          Wow. Sodomizing terrified teenagers is a popular fantasy, nowadays? Japan's contribution to the world is starting to show...

          "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." Justice Potter Stewart

      • #3 Slashdot and CmdrTaco: A Porn Nightmare

      • I thought Teen Anal Nightmare 4 was much better. It was the first one they filmed of course (under its original title Starfish Whores), and then after they did 5 and 6, they went back to the beginning of the saga.

  • Here's an html-ized from from calc: spreadsheet-dismissed-110224.htm
  • Is there a penalty for filing trolling civil suits and trolling patents?

    Please tell me they're paying more than just the filing costs for abusing the legal system.
    • There is, it's just that it has to be pretty clear that the standard is pretty high, you don't get disbarred just for representing a client that's full of it or trying to utilize legal loopholes or overreaching. It has to be pretty substantial. I mean just look how long it took to get Jack Thompson disbarred.

    • It would come at the hands of the state Bar for the attorney filing the cases. Mileage there may vary, as generally it's going to come down to whether their behaviour was ethical or not--i.e., did they know for fact (in this instance) that the suit had no merit/was improperly brought/joined improperly, and continue anyway, or did they misuse subpoenas, and so on, and carry on with the action anyway? Just being procedurally wrong generally isn't going to do much.

      As far as taking them, or the company they
  • Now how about sanctions and damages for obviously corrupt and bogus litigation?
  • I feel sorry for a guy who's real name is John Doe. He gets blamed for everything!
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @05:32AM (#35322368) Homepage Journal

    I know times are hard, but please donate to the EFF. Even $5. They send you an awesome bumper sticker and/or t-shirt.

  • Again.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If people didn't pirate, things wouldn't be like this. Funny how it's all the RIAA and MPAA's fault, but people won't take responsibility for them taking something for free instead of paying for it.

    "Now how about sanctions and damages for obviously corrupt and bogus litigation?"

    How about people pay for stuff that isn't theirs to take? If you don't like the price of something, don't buy it, complain to the company about the price. Gives you no right to NOT pay for it, though.

    • Using the word piracy for data sharing is like using the word faggot for homosexuality. It is innacurate and only designed to stir up emotions. Note how if you replace each instance of "piracy" and "take" in the parent with the word "sharing" suddenly no one cares anymore? "If people didn't share, things wouldn't be like this" "people won't take responsibility for them sharing something for free". Now go and look up the words. Sharing fits better. You could also go in the other direction and simply call it
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        Your justifications don't work. I'll agree that it isn't theft, but that doesn't mean it isn't a crime.

        OTOH, the MPAA & RIAA are so corrupt, and have so corrupted the laws and courts, that I really wouldn't care if you killed them. But please don't use that silly justification of "I was only moving bits around" ever again.

    • Again...
      If it was just about copyright infringement and not about control, why not just use the laws that exist instead of tacking on new stuff?
      ? How do you know people aren't being responsible, or that you aren't miscategorizing people [especially by assuming that opposing RIAA == supporting piracy, erroneous on many levels]?

      How is it possibvle that trhis isn't a troll at worst, flamebait at best?

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