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Porn distributor Corbin Fisher sues BitTorrent swarms

Posted at 22 April 2011 19:23 CEST by Justin_Massoud

Adult entertainment company Corbin Fisher has been actively pursuing pirates, though not without some sympathy: pay up pre-trial, say the lawyers, and you’ll never even see the inside of a courtroom.

A new case finds the company suing two different BitTorrent groups, ostensibly leveling charges against some unnamed individuals who may not have actually pirated the file themselves.

On Wednesday, Corbin Fisher’s parent Liberty Media Holdings, LLC targeted two different swarms (.pdf #1 and .pdf #2) and a combined 25 John Does for the illegal distribution and reproduction of its film “Amateur College Men Down on the Farm” according to court documents acquired by Slyck.

The complaints maintain the bulk of the misdeeds were carried out in Ohio, and confirm that while the true names of the alleged perpetrators are yet unknown the company plans to subpoena their ISPs.

That is where things tend to get tricky: receiving a mailing address for a defendant may help, but if the computer utilized for illicit activities is shared by multiple users narrowing down just who is at fault could prove difficult.

Furthermore, as Slyck notes, naming individual John Does in cases already accusing a swarm of computers not only seems redundant, but compounds the difficulty assigning blame: a computer may have been connected to the swarm, but does that mean its owner actually downloaded, viewed or distributed the material illegally?

These types of cases are difficult to build (assigning real names to take the place of countless “John Does” is just one step), costly to litigate and don’t always go as planned. As a result, some companies (Corbin Fisher included) offer amnesty to those violators who come forth proactively, admit their “crimes” and pay up. It’s an out-of-court settlement before anyone is technically taken to court, and sidesteps all the messy legal work.

Of course, that’s not to say the amnesty deal is flawless; people could falsely confess to the crime and/or email stories about talking unicorns. (Via Slyck)

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There are 3 comments

trust2112
MyCE Member
Posted on: 22 Apr 11 19:42
    "Adult entertainment company Corbin Fisher has been actively pursuing pirates, though not without some sympathy: pay up pre-trial, say the lawyers, and you’ll never even see the inside of a courtroom."

    Seriously, could some lawyer help on this one? How is that not tampering with a witness? Pay me now, or I'll sue you into oblivion. Someone needs to sue these companies into oblivion. And what about my ISP just handing over info without my consent, shouldn't my data be kept out of these companies hands unless they have a court order? Lastly, how do they actually track who has what?
    Do they just take a pic, then chase down my ip address? Suppose I start to download something, then get a guilty conscience and delete before it is finished or before it is watchable? Should these also be legal considerations that companies and courts could face?
    Justin_Massoud
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 22 Apr 11 20:57
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by trust2112
      Seriously, could some lawyer help on this one? How is that not tampering with a witness?
      Well, I'm no lawyer, but the people who these amnesty offers are being extended to aren't witnesses. Sometimes, they aren't even named defendants.
      EMM386
      MyCE Rookie
      Posted on: 24 Apr 11 02:26
        Is Corbin Fisher only actively pursuing John Does? There are also a lot of Jane Does in Ohio

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