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Over 40,000 John Doe Copyright Troll Cases Dismissed

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the sometimes-the-good-guys-win dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 52

Requiem18th writes "From the EFF site: Thousands of unnamed 'John Does' in P2P file sharing lawsuits filed in California, Washington DC, Texas, and West Virginia have been severed, effectively dismissing over 40,000 defendants. The plaintiffs in these cases must now re-file against almost all of the Does individually rather than suing them en masse."

Despite the dismissal, EFF has received reports that some Does are still receiving notices from their ISPs informing them that their identities are being sought in relation to these cases. If you get one, contact the EFF immediately.

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52 comments

Safe torrents? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320432)

Can someone please tell me what kind of torrents are safe to download and what are not?

Re:Safe torrents? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320560)

Also in Illinois! I got named as one of 300 John Does for a porn torrent I got from http://www.puretna.com/ [puretna.com] a while ago. It's not the companies who are trying to go out of their way to chase alleged P2Pers, but rather the lawyers are making a business out of this and the lawyers are the ones who approach companies to do this.

Luckily earlier this month the case was dismissed for all 300 Does involved, so my ISP will thankfully not be releasing my information to the plaintiff's lawyer, John Steele... he is one of the "bad" kind of lawyers.

If you are named on one of these John Doe subpoenas, contact one of the lawyers on this list from the EFF [eff.org]. I contacted five different lawyers, one offered pro bono and another looked up my case in advance and sent me documents from the court showing it had been dismissed. Another lawyer referred me to the pro bono one, and another lawyer told me $180 an hour. I don't think the fifth lawyer replied. Overall, results were good.

Re:Safe torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320746)

I'm the same AC. I don't know if I really downloaded that torrent from that company, but all the people on the subpoena supposedly got it from puretna, which I may have used on occasion.

Re:Safe torrents? (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320664)

If you looking to avoid fake files, I would say get from reputed Private Trackers (You might have to pay or get a referral to get into one though). But if you are looking to hide from MAFIAA, I would say use a VPN from some foreign country (one that has good privacy protection laws, and does not disclose your name without a warrant from a judge from the same country (and more obscure the country is the better)).

Re:Safe torrents? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320690)

Seriously?

Uh ones where you are not doing something illegal for a start would be a good bet...

Your chances of getting caught are almost nil. However, why not just oh I dont know .... BUY your media?

Not to sound stupid and all but seriously?

I know there is *some* stuff out there you can not get otherwise. But I would bet cold hard cash many are getting stuff they can buy fairly easily. We sure are a cheap lot...

Re:Safe torrents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321014)

However, why not just oh I dont know .... BUY your media?

That's fine for 640x480 but what if you want high def? Un-DRMed high def media isn't for sale.

Re:Safe torrents? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322502)

Un-DRMed standard def media isn't for sale either, last I checked. It's just trivially easy to break DVD protection so it might as well be - although I think SlySoft has a BluRay product as well (back when I ripped my entire DVD collection, their AnyDVD offering made it almost too easy)

Re:Safe torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323300)

DVDs often don't work on my computers or DVD play. They won't give me refunds....

Re:Safe torrents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320702)

Only terrorists and pedophiles download torrents.

Re:Safe torrents? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320788)

Only terrorists and pedophiles download torrents.

... and Linux Users

Re:Safe torrents? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321026)

You misspelled "Terrorists"

Re:Safe torrents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35322706)

...and paedophiles

Re:Safe torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320838)

Perhaps you might try avoiding media produced by countries who are Berne Convention Signatories.

Re:Safe torrents? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321456)

It's funny that US officials like to follow the Bern Convention but not Geneva one.

Re:Safe torrents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321180)

All torrents are safe to download. It's only when you upload the files that the torrents describe, that you become vulnerable.

Re:Safe torrents? (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321756)

Can someone please tell me what kind of torrents are safe to download and what are not?

Check the laws of your country? Or get a help from a lawyer friend if you are not sure?

I generally don't use stuff like bittorrent, unless the stuff is legal for me to upload. Because that's what you are doing when you "torrent" - you are uploading/distributing stuff.

In many countries there is a big difference between downloading and uploading or distribution.

Re:Safe torrents? (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35336396)

I think it is possible (although not recommended and usualy frowned upon) to download something from a torrent only, and not upload anything.

Re:Safe torrents? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322418)

Freeware, F/OSS ones, and creative commons ones, mostly.

However, if you are asking what illegal/unauthorized torrents are safe to download then the answer really is none.

Re:Safe torrents? (2)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35328116)

But of course first you need to define safe - safe with regards to legality or illegality, and/or likelihood of getting caught, or safe with regards to malware, etc? You gotta admit, "what is safe"? in of itself with nothing else is quite an ambiguous question.

Re:Safe torrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35322630)

Yes I can vouch for this. Torrents are safe here. Download from: weGotYourAss.FBI.gov. Best torrents.

You might want this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320454)

And get an attorney who wants to make big money.

XLS? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320458)

It's pretty ironic that the EFF website offers case information in an .xls file. Where's the ODF love??

Re:XLS? (3, Insightful)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322296)

It seems pretty obvious to me. Why use a format that a clueless user coming to the site cannot open, if another format serves the same purpose? EFF needs all the support it can get. As much as I dislike closed formats, it's not going to benefit anyone to present information to the public in a way that many of them can't read it.

Re:XLS? (1)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322978)

You'd still think they'd offer both formats, with one of those "What is this?" links, like you often see with ogg downloads.

Re:XLS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323120)

So instead of moaning to the converted here, why don't you do something about it and contact them yourself?

Re:XLS? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35325538)

Doesn't OpenOffice (and, I presume, LibreOffice, and KCalc, etc.) open xls files without problem? If they included non-working macros or something, I could see the problem. Otherwise...

ouch... (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320526)

ok, grab the excel case list and look at the files claimed, they could shame some into paying....

really.

Re:ouch... (2)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320536)

and of the top two downloaded porn files?

#1 Teen Anal Nightmare 2
#2 Batman XXX: A Porn Parody

Re:ouch... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321766)

#1 Teen Anal Nightmare 2

Wow. Sodomizing terrified teenagers is a popular fantasy, nowadays? Japan's contribution to the world is starting to show...

Re:ouch... (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322034)

#1 Teen Anal Nightmare 2

Wow. Sodomizing terrified teenagers is a popular fantasy, nowadays? Japan's contribution to the world is starting to show...

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." Justice Potter Stewart

Re:ouch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326508)

I'm not making the same leap of logic that you have. What's your point?

I don't know... (1)

Paul1969 (1976328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35328474)

I thought Teen Anal Nightmare 4 was much better. It was the first one they filmed of course (under its original title Starfish Whores), and then after they did 5 and 6, they went back to the beginning of the saga.

Interesting Porn titles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320530)

I have not downloaded porn in a while and looks like I have missed lot of interestingly named ones. "Batman XXX: A Porn Parody", "This Ain’t Avatar XXX"

Spreadsheet html'ed (1)

jayemcee (605967) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320550)

Here's an html-ized from from calc: spreadsheet-dismissed-110224.htm

What's the penalty for trolling? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320972)

Is there a penalty for filing trolling civil suits and trolling patents?

Please tell me they're paying more than just the filing costs for abusing the legal system.

Re:What's the penalty for trolling? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321522)

There is, it's just that it has to be pretty clear that the standard is pretty high, you don't get disbarred just for representing a client that's full of it or trying to utilize legal loopholes or overreaching. It has to be pretty substantial. I mean just look how long it took to get Jack Thompson disbarred.

Re:What's the penalty for trolling? (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321554)

It would come at the hands of the state Bar for the attorney filing the cases. Mileage there may vary, as generally it's going to come down to whether their behaviour was ethical or not--i.e., did they know for fact (in this instance) that the suit had no merit/was improperly brought/joined improperly, and continue anyway, or did they misuse subpoenas, and so on, and carry on with the action anyway? Just being procedurally wrong generally isn't going to do much.

As far as taking them, or the company they attorney represents to court, better luck with the latter than the former. I'm guessing that suing an attorney for doing the job, to the best of their knowledge and ability, that they were hired to do (which s/he would have an obligation to do, generally put) doesn't seem like it'd fly very far. And being that for now, the cases have been dismissed without verdict, I would think recourse against the company would be hard to come by.

Standard disclaimer: IANAL. Particularly on my first points above, I may be off; your mileage may vary. If I am off, please feel free to correct me.

40,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321592)

Over 40,000 John Doe Copyright Troll Cases Dismissed

It's over NINE THOUSAAAND!

John Doe gets blamed for everything. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322260)

I feel sorry for a guy who's real name is John Doe. He gets blamed for everything!

Obligatory (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35322368)

I know times are hard, but please donate to the EFF. Even $5. They send you an awesome bumper sticker and/or t-shirt.

Again.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323160)

If people didn't pirate, things wouldn't be like this. Funny how it's all the RIAA and MPAA's fault, but people won't take responsibility for them taking something for free instead of paying for it.

"Now how about sanctions and damages for obviously corrupt and bogus litigation?"

How about people pay for stuff that isn't theirs to take? If you don't like the price of something, don't buy it, complain to the company about the price. Gives you no right to NOT pay for it, though.

Re:Again.... (0)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323362)

Using the word piracy for data sharing is like using the word faggot for homosexuality. It is innacurate and only designed to stir up emotions. Note how if you replace each instance of "piracy" and "take" in the parent with the word "sharing" suddenly no one cares anymore? "If people didn't share, things wouldn't be like this" "people won't take responsibility for them sharing something for free". Now go and look up the words. Sharing fits better. You could also go in the other direction and simply call it "child rape", it might take a while for the term to catch on but it will make the data sharers look really bad after it does.

I never took anything that wasn't mine. I arranged some magnetic bits on my hard disk in a certain way, but I didn't steal the hard disk, and the magnetic bits are mine to arrange in any way I see fit. The best way to check if something has been stolen is to see if something is missing. Well is anyone missing any music/games/movies/tv shows? Nope it looks like the studios still have their hard drives and removable media. All the bits are still arranged in the way that they have chosen to arrange them. Good, case closed, nothing stolen.

Oh damn, it sucks to write a huge reply and then realise that you are replying to an anonymous coward who probably doesn't even care about the issue and just wanted to cause someone to waste their time replying. Score 1 for troll, score 0 for internetuser1248.

Re:Again.... (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326610)

Your justifications don't work. I'll agree that it isn't theft, but that doesn't mean it isn't a crime.

OTOH, the MPAA & RIAA are so corrupt, and have so corrupted the laws and courts, that I really wouldn't care if you killed them. But please don't use that silly justification of "I was only moving bits around" ever again.

Re:Again.... (0)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35328126)

Again...
If it was just about copyright infringement and not about control, why not just use the laws that exist instead of tacking on new stuff?
? How do you know people aren't being responsible, or that you aren't miscategorizing people [especially by assuming that opposing RIAA == supporting piracy, erroneous on many levels]?

How is it possibvle that trhis isn't a troll at worst, flamebait at best?
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