Monday, June 18, 2012

Judge McMahon severs, dismisses, & quashes in Digital Sins v Does 1-245

In Digital Sins v. Does 1-245, a bittorrent downloading case pending in Manhattan, District Judge Colleen McMahon has issued a decision dismissing and severing all claims except the claim against John Doe #1, and quashing all related subpoenas. Among other things, Judge McMahon noted:

The only economy that litigating these cases as a single action would achieve is an economy to plaintiff- the economy of not having to pay a separate filing fee for each action brought. However, the desire to avoid paying statutorily mandated filing fees affords no basis for joinder. In these BitTorrent cases, where numerous courts have already chronicled abusive litigation practices - again, I refer to the reader to Magistrate Judge Brown's Report and Recommendation - forcing plaintiff to bring separate actions against separate infringers, and to pay a filing fee for each action, is the single best way to forestall further abuse. This is particularly important because the nature of the alleged copyright infringement - the downloading of an admittedly pornographic movie - has the potential for forcing coercive settlements, due to the potential for embarrassing the defendants, who face the possibility that plaintiffs thus-far-unsubstantiated and perhaps erroneous allegation will be made public.
May 5, 2012, Decision of Judge Colleen McMahon, dismissing, severing, quashing

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