Thursday, May 31, 2012

TorrentFreak: Subpoenas withdrawn in John Wiley case, after Verizon resistance

According to this article in TorrentFreak, John Wiley & Sons has withdrawn a "John Doe" case after meeting with resistance from Verizon, and unspecified resistance from the Court.

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Magistrate judge severs in Patrick Collins v Does 1-11, orders discovery as to John Doe #1 only

In Patrick Collins, Inc. v. John Does 1-11, a bittorrent downloading case against individual John Does in Central Islip, New York, Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay, citing the decision in KBeech v. Does 1-37, has severed as to all defendants except John Doe #1, and granted discovery as to John Doe #1.

Report and recommendation severing as to John Does 2-11
Order granting discovery as to John Doe #1 only

[Ed. note. If plaintiff chooses to pursue its case against Does 2-11, it will have to pay an additional $350 filing fee for each case.- R.B.]

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) raises $1 million to finance album thru Kickstarter & Twitter

I would say the music business will never be the same after this.

Amanda Palmer, who has a lot of friends on Twitter, just raised over $1 million in backing for her album, directly from her fans, on a Kickstarter site, mostly through Twitter and other social media.

Her twitter account is @amandapalmer

Her Kickstarter page is here 

If you're over 18 or over, you can view this picture of Amanda celebrating

Congratulations, Amanda.

Congratulations, Kickstarter.

Congratulations to the music industry.

After this, who needs a big greedy record company?

All you need is a good twitter presence, and a lot of good fans.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oral argument scheduled for June 1st in Malibu Media v. Does 1-13

Oral argument of the motion to quash in Malibu Media v. Does 1-13 has been scheduled for June 1st.

Scheduling order

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Judge seals identity information disclosed by Verizon prior to subpoena return date in Malibu Media v Does 1-13

You may recall that recently it was revealed, in Malibu Media v. Does 1-13, that Verizon had turned over the identities of its subscribers to the plaintiff's counsel five (5) days PRIOR to the subpoena return date, and three (3) days prior to the Court's order staying enforcement of the subpoena, thus preventing the court from ruling on the pending motion to quash (PDF) prior to disclosure.

Plaintiff's lawyer, instead of immediately advising the Court, waited ten (10) days, and then calmly made what he called a "motion for clarification" asking for permission to go ahead and use the information.

The Court, far from granting him such permission, has instead explicitly denied him the right to use that information, and ordered him to turn the information over to the Court in an envelope to be sealed by the Court, and to destroy any and all copies in his possession:

Order sealing information voluntarily disclosed by Verizon prior to return date of subpoena and prior to ruling on motion to quash

Commentary & discussion:


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ABA Journal: Cert denied in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum

According to this report in the ABA Journal, Joel Tenenbaum's petition for certiorari has been denied, in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shocking development in Malibu Media v Does 1-13; Verizon answers subpoena BEFORE return date

In Malibu Media v. Does 1-13, a subpoena addressed to Verizon, calling for the identities and addresses of John Doe defendants, was returnable May 12th.

On May 10th the Court stayed enforcement of the subpoena, and directed plaintiff's counsel to immediately notify Verizon of the stay.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Verizon had responded to the subpoena FIVE (5) DAYS BEFORE THE SUBPOENA'S RETURN DATE, on May 7th.

Plaintiff's "motion for clarification"

[Ed. note. I find this astonishing and quite troubling. If I were the Court I would take serious measures against Verizon for responding to a subpoena prior to its return date, thus preventing judicial review of the subpoena. Verizon has some 'splainin' to do'. I'm also wondering why plaintiff's counsel took ten (10) days to notify the Court of Verizon's misconduct, but perhaps there was a valid reason for that. I don't know. - R.B.]

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Reuters: MP3Tunes files for bankruptcy

MP3Tunes Inc., the defendant in Capitol Records v. MP3Tunes Inc., has filed for bankruptcy, according to this report from Reuters.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Judge stays enforcement of subpoena in Malibu Media v Does 1-13

In Malibu Media v. Does 1-13, another BitTorrent downloading "John Doe" case, a defendant has moved to sever the actions, and to quash the subpoenas.

Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle has issued an order staying enforcement of the subpoenas pending a determination of the motion.

Motion for protective order, to sever, and/or to quash
Order staying enforcement of subpoenas

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Monday, May 07, 2012

Motion for discovery into John Doe identities denied in KBeech v. Does 1-37

In K-Beech, Inc. v. Does 1-37, and in 3 other similar BitTorrent downloading cases pending in the US District Court for the Eastern District, in Brooklyn, the plaintiffs' motions for expedited discovery have been denied, the cases against the various John Doe defendants severed, and the defendants' motions to quash were in most respects granted, in a report and recommendation by Magistrate Judge Gary Brown.
Some excerpts from the decision:

These actions are part of a nationwide blizzard of civil actions brought by purveyors of pornographic films alleging copyright infringement by individuals utilizing a computer protocol known as BitTorrent.....
The complaints assert that the defendants – identified only by IP address – were the individuals who downloaded the subject “work” and participated in the BitTorrent swarm. However, the 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. An IP address provides only the location at which one of any number of computer devices may be deployed, much like a telephone number can be used for any number of telephones...... Thus, it is no more likely that the subscriber to an IP address carried out a particular computer function – here the purported illegal downloading of a single pornographic film – than to say an individual who pays the telephone bill made a specific telephone call. Indeed, due to the increasingly popularity of wireless routers, it much less likely. While a decade ago, home wireless networks were nearly non-existent, 61% of US homes now have wireless access.5 Several of the ISPs at issue in this case provide a complimentary wireless router as part of Internet service. As a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals. See U.S. v. Latham, 2007 WL 4563459, at *4 (D.Nev. Dec. 18, 2007). Different family members, or even visitors, could have performed the alleged downloads. Unless the wireless router has been appropriately secured (and in some cases, even if it has been secured), neighbors or passersby could access the Internet using the IP address assigned to a particular subscriber and download the plaintiff’s film.
[A]lthough the complaints state that IP addresses are assigned to “devices” and thus by discovering the individual associated with that IP address will reveal “defendants’ true identity,” this is unlikely to be the case. Most, if not all, of the IP addresses will actually reflect a wireless router or other networking device, meaning that while the ISPs will provide the name of its subscriber, the alleged infringer could be the subscriber, a member of his or her family, an employee, invitee, neighbor or interloper.
Our federal court system provides litigants with some of the finest tools available to assist in resolving disputes; the courts should not, however, permit those tools to be used as a bludgeon. As one court advised Patrick Collins Inc. in an earlier case, “while the courts favor settlements, filing one mass action in order to identify hundreds of doe defendants through pre-service discovery and facilitate mass settlement, is not what the joinder rules were established for.” Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Does 1–3757, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128029, at *6–7 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 4, 2011). ..............................
In the four cases before this Court, plaintiffs have improperly avoided more than $25,000 in filing fees by employing its swarm joinder theory. Considering all the cases filed by just these three plaintiffs in this district, more than $100,000 in filing fees have been evaded. If the reported estimates that hundreds of thousands of such defendants have been sued nationwide, plaintiffs in similar actions may be evading millions of dollars in filing fees annually. Nationwide, these plaintiffs have availed themselves of the resources of the court system on a scale rarely seen. It seems improper that they should profit without paying statutorily required fees.
May 1, 2012, Decision of Magistrate Judge Gary Brown

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Tumblr sued for its users' copyright infringement in Perfect 10 v Tumblr

In Perfect 10 v. Tumbler, the photo sharing site Tumblr has been sued for copyright infringement.


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