Saturday, March 17, 2012

Should a judge allow 23,000 "John Doe" subpeona's?

Originally published 05/10/2011 on

David Kravets of the Threat Level blog reports that a federal judge is allowing U.S. Copyright Group to file 23,000 "John Doe" subpeonas with ISP's around the country. The number is only likely to grow as they continue to have people go to torrent sites and monitor the IP addresses of people downloading "The Expendables."

It's wrong to steal movies, but the granting of these "John Doe" subpeonas is controversial. It shouldn't be, but it is. Granting the subpeonas ignores jurisdiction - it's very unlikely that most of the 'suspects' are in the area covered by the courts jurisdiction and it treats ignores the fact that they have very little relationship with each other. They are not part of an organized conspiracy to steal intellectual property.

U.S. Copyright Group and other IP enforcement mills, on the other hand, are in the business of finding ways to make the most money possible filing suits for copyright infringement. Getting all of the infringers under one judge means lots of profit. Having to file in the actual jurisdictions would decrease profit. Lawyers profit margins are not good reason to trample defendants rights.