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BitTorrent Downloads and Copyright Infringement

BitTorrent Downloads and Copyright Infringement

Balancing the privacy rights of individual John Doe defendants with the right to pursue copyright infringement claims of Strike 3

Digital piracy on peer-to-peer networks can have serious financial consequences for copyright holders. As the member of Congress said:

Under U.S. law, stealing intellectual property means stealing. It hurts artists, the music industry, the film industry and others involved in creative work. It is unfortunate that software called “file sharing” is being used to help create a generation of Americans who do not see harm, just as they enable friends to share recipes. [1]

As digital pirates increasingly use bittorrent and other peer-to-peer networks to share media, copyright holders are pressing the courts for help. To counter losses from peer-to-peer file sharing, copyright holders have filed lawsuits against infringers in federal courts across the country. See, e.g., BMG Rights Mgmt. (US) LLC Vs. Cox Commons, Inc.., 881 F3D 293, 298-99 (4th Sir. 2018); Killer Joe Nevada, LLC v. Does 1-20, 807 F3D 908, 910 (8th Sir. 2015); Dallas Buyers’ Club, LLC v. Madsen, 2015 US Dist. * 1 (WDWash. November 2, 2015) at Lexis 148445 (alleging that bittorrent users infringed on the movie was “one of 13 practically identical cases filed”. Dallas Buyers’ Club).

These suits are not without controversy: many have “copyright trolls” who buy copyrights for adult images and sue unknown bittorrent users for illegally downloading pornographic images. [2]

Peer-to-peer networking includes “decentralized infrastructure so that every participant in the network. . . Acts as a supplier and consumer of information resources. ” [3] In other words, “peers” download content from peers, while at the same time leaving their own folders of digital content for others to download. One type of peer-to-peer networking involves the BitTorrent protocol, in which a file is split into smaller pieces and then reassembled after the download is complete. With BitTorrent, “Every user downloads and uploads many different parts of the file. [4] Peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent “are ideally suited for sharing large files, and this feature has led to adaptation by those seeking access to pirated media, including music, movies and television shows.” [5]

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BitTorrent is a system designed to quickly distribute large files over the Internet. Instead of downloading a movie-like file from a single source, BitTorrent users can connect to other BitTorrent users’ computers at the same time, downloading and uploading file fragments from other users. To use a bittorrent to download a movie, the user must obtain a “torrent” file from a torrent website for the movie. The torrent file contains instructions for identifying the Internet addresses of other BitTorrent users who have the movie and downloading the movie from those users. After a user downloads all parts of the movie from other BitTorrent users, the movie is automatically reassembled, ready to play on the recipient’s device.

Strike 3 tracks forensic researchers into pressing bittorrent and uploading and downloading hash files containing its copyrighted adult film works. Using specially designed software and tools, researchers can determine when an IP address is used to download all hash files for the entire movie. Researchers will continue to monitor that IP address for months or years (usually more than 20) until the number of tracked downloads prompts Strike 3 to take legal action.

When John Doe’s IP address is named in the complaint, John Doe is not intelligent until he / she receives a letter from his / her Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, etc.). ) Informing John Doe about a subpoena ordered by the ISP to disclose John Doe’s name and address to Strike 3. Therefore, Strike 3 has to sue for allegedly downloading pornographic material, even though it has nothing to do with the original. John Doe – against some other person who has access to John Doe’s Wi-Fi – is the internet user who actually downloaded the images of Strike 3.

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It refers to privacy issues and the potential for harm to the reputation of being associated with an innocent or valuable claim of an innocent John Doe. The courts therefore insist on anonymity and defensive orders to protect John Doe’s privacy, while allowing Strike 3 to obtain the information necessary to prosecute his case.

John Doe found that with the right to pursue defendants’ privacy interests anonymously infringing on its intellectual property rights, many courts have found that the introduction of limited defensive orders creates the right balance between the interests of Strike 3 and the misrepresentation of individual defendants and the attack on privacy issues. . See, e.g. Money Film LLC v. Do subscribers assigned IP address 50.166.88.98, 98 f. Sup 3D 693, 696 (DNJ 2015) (Granting expedited innovation, but ordering the Internet subscriber to provide a copy of the order and a copy of the subpona received from the plaintiff upon receipt of the Internet to the Internet Service Provider. The court grants the Internet subscriber twenty-one (21) days to go to the alternative, and the court orders that the ISP respondent’s information not be provided until the next twenty-one (21) day deadline or to secure any move or order; Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Do., 2019 US District. At Lexis 168379, * 7 (DNJ September 30, 2019) (refuses to give defensive order but allows plaintiff to proceed anonymously); Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Do., 330 FRD 552, 556-57 (D. Min. 2019) (enlisting a comprehensive, multifaceted protective order to assist in protecting privacy interests and limiting the risks of embarrassment and misidentification); Malibu Media, LLC v. Do., 2013 U.S. District. * 2 (DNJ August 19, 2013) limiting the scope of the Lexis 189452 (Pre-Rule 26 (f) Conference Subpona to subscriber name and address); Voltage Pictures v. Do., 2013 U.S. District. Lexis 155356, at * 9-10 (DNJ May 31, 2013) (requesting only the name, address and media access control address associated with a specific IP address to give leave to serve subpona).

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[1] Privacy and Piracy: The Paradox of Illegal File Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry: Hearing Before S. Com. On government affairs, 108th Congress. 10-14 (2003) (Statement by Sen. Levine); See also id. At 1-2 (Sen Boxer’s statement) (emphasizing that “downloading copyrighted work is plagiarism” and “a real problem”).

[2] Glacier Films (USA), Inc. v. Turchin, 896 F3D 1033, 1035 (9th Sir. 2018).

[3] Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc. V. Fung, 710 F3D 1020, 1024 (9th Sir. 2013).

[4] Fung, 710 F3D at 1027.

[5] ID. At 1025; Metro-Goldwin-Meyer Studios Inc. V. Groxter, Ltd., 545 US 913,919-20 (2005).