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Piracy The Courts

Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate 158

An anonymous reader writes "Florida District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Malibu Media against an alleged BitTorrent pirate. Though Malibu Media explained how they geolocated the download site and verified that the IP address was residential rather than a public wifi hotspot, the judge reasoned that the 'Plaintiff has not shown how this geolocation software can establish the identity of the Defendant....Even if this IP address is located within a residence, the geolocation software cannot identify who has access to that residence's computer and who would actually be using it to infringe Plaintiff's copyright.' Judge Ungaro's ruling is not the first of its kind, but it could signal a growing legal trend whereby copyright lawsuits can no longer just hinge on the acquisition of an IP address."


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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @09:16PM (#46570329)

    i know it's passe to read the article, but if you had, you wouldn't have even posted..

    Malibu Media, which runs the site "x-art," files civil complaints in courts around the country. Each complaint accuses an anonymous Internet user of illegally downloading and sharing one or more of Malibu's movies. But the complaint goes further: Malibu attaches a list of other movies and files that Malibu accuses the user of copying illegally. Some of them have titles that are far more lewd and embarrassing than the titles of Malibu's own movies. But Malibu doesn't own the copyright in those other movies, and can't actually sue over them. There's no legitimate reason to attach that list of other titles to a complaint, because complaints in federal court are not the place for laying out evidence. They're just to initiate a case and let the other side know what the case is about. But adding some really embarrassing titles to a complaint and filing it on a public court docket ups the embarrassment factor and discourages innocent people from standing up for themselves in court. (It's not clear what those extra titles would add to a court case, anyway - most judges would bar them from being read to a jury.)

  • Re:car analogy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @10:08PM (#46570597)

    See it's like someone identifying your car in a crime. Doesn't prove you ere driving.

    They didn't identify your car in the crime --- they identified a car that had your license plate on it. Someone else with a nearby/similar vehicle may have been "borrowing" your plate (with or without permission)

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @10:10PM (#46570611)

    You don't understand how torrents work then. Quite a few years ago a group of college students got the RIAA to send take down notices to a campus printer, router and several other pieces of electronics. IP addresses mean absolutely nothing unless you control the entire network from end to end.

  • Re:First (Score:4, Informative)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @03:24AM (#46571807)

    You do realise many routers on the market now offer virtual WiFi hotspots with QoS right? I mean out of the box mine came with the option of having an all singing all dancing SSID and another called Guest which will flow like molasses but none the less allow party goers to pull up wikipedia when drunk and arguing about pointless stuff.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein