US Copyright Group has a compiled a list of 23,322 IP addresses of BitTorrent users suspected of illegally downloading copies of Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables, and US District Judge Robert Wilkins has approved a motion for discovery on their respective ISPs to determine their identity.
The US Copyright Group appears to be gearing up for what could be the largest illegal-BitTorrent-downloading case in history with news that it has a list of 23,322 IP addresses already approved for discovery by US District Judge Robert Wilkins for the District of Columbia.
They’re all accused of illegally downloading copies of Sylvester Stallone’s Expendable, and plans to sue BitTorrent users have been in the works since last January.
Judge Wilkins first approved the USCG’s request for discovery on the ISP’s of the suspected IP addresses back in March, but at the the time the list was a rather meager 6,500. The fact that it now stands at 23,322 and counting proves the earnestness of the USCG in seeing this effort through, but questions about the validity of the lawsuit remain.
For it’s also targeted more than 20,000 BitTorrent users in a separate lawsuit on behalf of a few independent movies with so far little success.
Last September US District Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered the USCG to reduce the list of defendants to only those “whom it reasonably believes the Court has personal jurisdiction,” brushing aside a request for “Permissive Joinder of Parties” which says that people may be joined into a single lawsuit if a defendant has a “right to relief” from the “same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions” that they were jointly part of.
The USCG has been arguing that each BitTorrent user, by being part of a swarm, is part of the same “transaction” responsible for sharing copyrighted material.
In this case a number of the defendants also reside outside the court’s jurisdiction, but so far Judge Wilkins hasn’t ruled on jurisdictional issues such as this.
Another point of concern is US District Judge Harold A. Baker’s ruling to deny VPR Internationale, a Canada-based adult entertainment company, for expedited discovery in the case of 1,017 people accused of illegal downloading.
In that case VPR’s request was rebuffed on the grounds that it’s likely that some aren’t infringers at all, citing the case of a raid by Federal agents on the home of a man suspected of downloading child pornography only to discover that the neighbor was the one responsible.
In any case, some BitTorrent users could be in for a long, hot summer.
And perhaps a larger question is what Sylvester Stallone thinks about all of this? If the USCG really does target 23,322 people, some of whom likely went to see it in theaters, isn’t he concerned about a negative publicity blowback?
See if your IP address is listed……