Thursday, December 22, 2011

In New Sensations v Does 1-1474 Court Orders Dismissal Where Plaintiff Cannot Show Jurisdiction & Venue

Hat tip to Law Office of Judith C Dorenstein, Esq., from whom I learned of this decision.

In New Sensations v. Does 1-1474 (San Francisco, CA), the Court has ordered the plaintiff to dismiss as to all defendants over whom it can not show that the Court has jurisdiction, and that the venue is proper.

The Court observed that

all of the available information suggests that this Court does not have personal jurisdiction over at least a large number of Doe Defendants named in this action[,]
observing that the general location of each "John Doe" defendant is readily available by checking each's respective IP address on one of many publicly available web sites, and the Court's own preliminary examination of some random defendants suggested that many of them had been wrongly sued in California. The court went on:
given the ease by which the Court located presumptive geographic data for a random selection of IP Addresses in this case, the Court is troubled that Plaintiff has made no attempt to identify those Doe Defendants for whom it has a good faith belief reside in California

Order directing plaintiff to dismiss as to John Doe defendants for whom it cannot make sufficient showing of jurisdiction and venue

[Ed. note] I have been saying, since 2005, that the Courts should not be allowing the John Doe cases to proceed without factual showings of both jurisdiction and venue. See, e.g. Suggestion #2 in my article, which appeared in the ABA Judges Journal "Large Recording Companies v. The Defenseless". I am pleased to see that some judges are applying this basic legal principle. -R.B.]

Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player Bookmark and Share


SJD said...

Jurisdiction and venue question is the easiest part of the battle with copyright trolls. I often find myself exclaiming "jurisdiction is improper in this case!"... only to realize how stupid I sound: if there is a proper jurisdiction for extortion to begin with.

I realize more and more that a lot of resources (and billable hours) are nearly wasted on less problematic features of these cases, such as jurisdiction and joinder. What should be addressed ASAP is flawed super-secret IP addresses collection methods that cause unacceptable collateral damage (up to 15% in my estimation).

raybeckerman said...

Dear SJD:

If by 15% you mean 15% of the targeted individuals are innocent, I would estimate the number to be much larger... more than 50% for sure.

The procedural problems should not be overlooked. If a person is sued thousands of miles from home, their ability to defend themselves, not great to begin with, is reduced dramatically.

If you were sued in your hometown, you'd probably have some lawyer you can consult with, who could either help you, or find you a lawyer who can. And if you wanted to represent yourself, you could go to the courthouse and do that.

But if you were sued a few thousand miles from home, you might not be able to find any lawyer at all to talk to, and if you wanted to represent yourself you would not be able to get yourself to the courthouse.

SJD said...

I completely agree that these issues shouldn't be overlooked. I'm usually not such black and white as I appeared in the initial comment: certainly victories on procedural grounds are still victories. I was just upset that more important (IMO) things - questionable evidence and the real nature of these lawsuits (extortion) are rarely articulated in court filings.

Happy New Year, I'm happy I discovered this blog.