Friday, October 14, 2005

"Jane Doe" Motion to Quash Subpoena Denied From the Bench by Judge Sweet

Jane Doe's motion to quash subpoena in Loud v. Does, a peer to peer file sharing case against a number of "John Doe" defendants, was denied, from the bench (i.e. immediately), by Manhattan Federal Court judge Robert W. Sweet on October 12th.

The judge concluded that plaintiffs' alleging "continuing infringement" from the date of the complaint is sufficient.

The judge stayed the effect of the order for ten (10) days, to enable the movant to file an appeal, and an emergency motion for a stay, with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Judge's "Memo Endorsed" Order (Handwritten order written on face of moving papers) dated October 12, 2005

A full set of the motion papers is set forth under "Loud v. Does" at

The lawyers for defendant "Jane Doe", a person whose IP address was allegedly used by someone setting up a p2p filesharing account, are Ray Beckerman, Morlan Ty Rogers, and Daniel A. Singer of Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP

The motion was argued by Mr. Rogers. Mr. Beckerman had this to say about the outcome: "It is most unfortunate that the Court concluded that merely making a vague and conclusory allegation that defendant has committed a continuing infringement since the day of the complaint, without any substantiation of the allegation, is a sufficient basis for upholding these subpoenas. We find this result to be inconsistent with the rules for pleading copyright infringement, and, if we are requested by our client to do so, will file an appeal."


Anonymous said...

So, is this a big deal or not? I'm not a lawyer, but I've seen many news stories of decisions overturned on appeal. At least according to the defense it would appear this was a bad ruling.

Also, how serious is this in terms of omens for the other cases?

raybeckerman said...

We consider it an unfortunate, incorrect ruling, which is contrary to well settled principles. It is not binding on any other court. We do not expect other judges to rule the same way, as there was no legal authority to support it, and much authority to refute it.

Anonymous said...

That's kind of what I gathered, but as I noted, I'm not a lawyer :)

So, is there time for an appeal before Doe's identity will be revealed? Or is that where a "stay" (or something similar) would come in?

I'm really interested in hearing more about the details on this, so if you're looking for material to add to your blog in posts (and if you have the time), please feel free to elaborate...

Anonymous said...

Am i missing something? I thought the plaintiff had to provide specifics/evidence of the infringement before they can get any kind of motion.

raybeckerman said...

Client is considering whether to appeal. There is a 10-day stay, and if we appeal we would make a motion for a stay pending the appeal.

No you are not missing something. We think the judge either misunderstood the law, or misunderstood the facts. RIAA counsel had no details of any actual infringement.

Anonymous said...

"Bill O'Reilly", the tv show, has been carrying on about judges being accountable for their decisions.

It's sad that we now have to question the credibility of a judge.