Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Judge Oetken: "fact that a copyrighted work...downloaded from a certain IP address does not... mean that.. owner of that IP address was...infringer"

In Malibu Media v. Does 1-5 / 12cv2950 SDNY, District Judge J. Paul Oetken, in his decision granting leave to take discovery, made the following observation:

The fact that a copyrighted work was illegally downloaded from a certain IP address does not necessarily mean that the owner of that IP address was the infringer. See e.g., In re BitTorrent Adult Film Copyright Infringement Cases, 2012 WL 1570765, at *3 ("[T]he assumption that the person who pays for Internet access at a given location is the same individual
who allegedly downloaded a single sexually explicit film is tenuous, and one that has grown more so over time."). Indeed, the true infringer could just as easily be a third party who had access to the internet connection, such as a son or daughter, houseguest, neighbor, or customer of a business offering internet connection. There is real risk that defendants might be falsely identified and forced to defend themselves against unwarranted allegations.

June 1, 2012, Memorandum and Order

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Ray Beckerman, PC

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