Monday, April 08, 2013

Court sua sponte severs as to Doe defendants in Ohio cases, Safety Point v Does 1-14 et al

In a group of Cleveland, Ohio, cases, Safety Point Products v. Does 1-14, and three other cases, District Judge James S. Gwin of the Northern District of Ohio has sua sponte severed as to all John Does, on the grounds that "participation" in a BitTorrent "swarm" is too imprecise a factor to justify joinder under the Federal Rules and the Court was "unconvinced that Plaintiff has even pleaded a prima facie case of copyright infringement", as well as on the alternative ground that permitting joinder "violates a sense of fairness".

The Court further ruled that, even apart from the joinder question, it "would hesitate to subpoena the ISPs without further information regarding Defendants’ alleged conduct."

Opinion and Order, District Judge James S. Gwin, April 4, 2013

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