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The Courts

California Judge Denies Discovery In Bittorrent Case 100

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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  • Thank you. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:59PM (#39599719)

    his court won't work with copyright holders who pursue settlement programs

    And this is how it should be.

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:00PM (#39599731)

    It sounds almost as if you're shilling for the plaintiff, defending their misfortune by using the worst of all arguments to criticize the judge's decision.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:23PM (#39600023)

    Look at it this way: If I download pirated material while using Starbucks's free wi-fi, Starbucks is the one who gets accused for copyright infringement.

    Which is why the other part of the judgment is equally important: The court should not be locating the deep pockets just so that the plaintiff can take the settlement private. Once the court has been asked to participate, they should have the right to look at their own work product (the validity of an identity in this case) and block a subsequent private action based on it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:23PM (#39600031)

    Notice how he said that he wouldn't support it in pursuit of settlements with no intent to litigate.

    That's not a double standard, if they intended to actually pursue these individuals with a real discovery phase where a warrant is obtained to search those individuals' computers to identify the real infringer, then it sounds like he would have found differently.

    If criminal (not civil) activity is taking place, the bill payer can be a good first step toward identifying the perpetrator. Those individuals would also be afforded a court provided attorney so they don't end up hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole just to make a copyright troll go away.

  • by metalmaster ( 1005171 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:24PM (#39600039)
    I think the naysayers here are emphasizing the wrong point. According to the summary(cause no one RTFA) This judge wont assist the copyright holders who insist on settlement programs. These guys arent going after Joe Schmoe. They're stuffing mailboxes in Everytown, USA and hoping scared people just settle. Its a racket
  • Re:Thank you. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:38PM (#39600245)

    ...with no intention to litigate.

    Do keep in mind that if there is actual intent and effort to prosecute, the judge would cooperate. He is merely stating that these evidence-free shakedowns are not part of his job and he will not waste his time assisting them.

    Better than many possible judgements, maybe it will deter some of the intimidation ploys.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton