Porn News

Update on the K-Beech, Patrick Collins Porn Piracy Lawsuit Fiasco

from www.pcworld.com – A judge in New York has shot down the attempt of three pornography studios to sue nearly 80 people for allegedly downloading movies on BitTorrent, with the judge slamming the studio’s efforts to file lawsuits against multiple anonymous defendants.

Magistrate Judge Gary Brown denied the studio requests to subpoena the names associated with 79 IP addresses, with Brown arguing that IP addresses aren’t enough evidence to pinpoint who actually downloaded a file from BitTorrent.

“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,” Brown wrote in his ruling, first noted by the Fight Copyright Trolls blog. “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.”

Brown, of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, allowed the lawsuits to move forward against only one defendant in each of four so-called John Doe lawsuits targeting anonymous Internet users.

Brown’s 26-page order, issued Tuesday, could be a turning point in a massive effort to sue BitTorrent users for copyright infringement, said Mitch Stoltz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group that has opposed the John Doe lawsuits.

Since mid-2010, movie studios and other content producers have sued more than 220,000 BitTorrent users for copyright infringement, Brown noted in his ruling, citing a U.S. News and World Report story.

Brown’s ruling was broader than BitTorrent decisions from most other judges, and could be a model for future court decisions, Stoltz said. There’s been a “huge split” among judges on whether to grant subpoena requests in these mass John Doe infringement lawsuits, although judges in California, Illinois and Washington, D.C., have taken similar stances to Brown’s, he said.

“Many [judges] will see this as confirmation,” Stoltz said of Brown’s ruling. “There absolutely is a trend toward shutting down this sort of abuse of discovery.”
User’s Identity Unproven

Brown took studios K-Beech [Kevin Beechum pictured], Malibu Media and Patrick Collins Inc. to task for their use of John Doe lawsuits seeking the identities of defendants by IP address. A number of people, including family members of the owner of the Internet account, visitors or free-riders on an open Wi-Fi network, could have access to an IP address and accomplished the alleged downloads, Brown wrote.

One defendant said he was at work during the time of the alleged download, Brown wrote. A second defendant said the plaintiffs targeted a closed account with an ISP. A third John, or Jane, Doe said she has “religious, moral, ethical and personal” objections to porn, but suggested the downloader may have accessed her unsecured Wi-Fi network.

The lawyer for a fourth John Doe said his client is “an octogenarian with neither the wherewithal nor the interest in using BitTorrent” to download porn, Brown wrote.

The judge’s decision will make it difficult for the studios to fight “rampant” online piracy, said Jason Kotzker, the lawyer for Malibu Media and Patrick Collins.

“If copyright holders are to be able to take any steps to fight piracy, they must start with evidence relating to an IP address,” Kotzker wrote in an e-mail. “The only way to know who was controlling the IP address at the time of infringement is by the court granting initial discovery.”

Many of the infringement cases are settled, with the infringers taking responsibility for their actions, Kotzker added.

But tens of thousands of BitTorrent users infringe his clients’ copyrights every month, he added. Without a way to identify them, “intellectual property has no value,” he said. “A right is no longer a right if it cannot be enforced. Should my clients just surrender and give up?”
Lawsuit Continues

K-Beech disagrees with the judge’s decision, said Frederic Abramson, a lawyer for the studio. K-Beech will move forward with its lawsuit against John Doe No. 1, he said.

Brown, in his ruling, also suggested the porn studios may be shaking down defendants for settlements by preying on the defendants’ fear that their names would be publicly connected with pornography.

One defendant offered a negotiator for studio K-Beech “unfettered access” to his computer in an effort to prove he did not download the movies, Brown wrote. K-Beech instead pushed for a settlement or for the lawsuit to move forward, Brown wrote.

“This suggests an approach that is highly inappropriate,” Brown said.

The EFF’s Stoltz agreed, saying the mass BitTorrent lawsuits attempt to force the owner of the IP address to “either pay up or finger someone else.”

“This is a business model that depends on them getting relatively small settlements in the several-thousand-dollar range from a large number of people,” Stoltz said. “If they’re not getting large numbers — if they have to go through a full court process with any appreciable fraction of the people they’re targeting — they’re not making any money.”

139 Views

Related Posts

WIA Profile: Holly Randall

Each month, XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.If you’re one of the many regular listeners to Holly…

Girlfriends Films Releases ‘Lesbian Stepdaughters 6’

Girlfriends Films Pairs Provocative MILFs and Captivating Newbies in New Release ‘Lesbian Stepdaughters 6’ Exclusively on Demand

Family of Emily Willis Launches GoFundMe for Medical Expenses

The family of adult star Emily Willis, who has been hospitalized since Feb. 4, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist with mounting expenses related to her medical treatment and recovery.

Bishop Black Stars in Bruce LaBruce’s Latest Explicit Art Film ‘The Visitor’

BERLIN — Acclaimed cult director and pornographer Bruce LaBruce’s new film, “The Visitor,” starring queer alt-porn actor and dancer Bishop Black, premiered Feb. 17 at the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale. The festival website described…

Ryan Reid Named Twistys Treat of the Month for March

Twistys on Friday named newly minted Brazzers contract star Ryan Reid their March 2024 Treat of the Month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.