US Copyright Group may not refile dropped Far Cry cases
When thousands of John Doe defendants accused of illegally sharing the film Far Cry had the cases against them dropped by Judge Rosemary Collyer because the District Court of Washington DC did not have jurisdiction, the US Copyright Group (USCG) seemed adamant about refilling the cases in the proper courts across the US within the week. Now, however, prosecuting attorney Thomas Dunlap seems to have softened his stance, and has yet to refile a single case.
Dunlap discussed the matter with CNET via email this week, and was reluctant to speculate on the timeline for refilling the cases.
“We are not refiling against all of them at once. We are filing a few at a time initially in various jurisdictions. The cases outside of DC, Virginia and Maryland are in the hands of [other law firms] so I cannot predict how soon they will be filed,” Dunlap wrote. “Because the copyright statute of limitations is three years we plan to pursue the list over the course of the next year in waves.”
But representatives for the defendants say that it is unlikely that Dunlap’s firm has the financial and human resources that it’s going to take to refile the cases within their proper jurisdictions.
“I’m telling clients to wait and see,” said Robert Talbot, a University of San Francisco professor who has represented over 20 of the Doe defendants.. “Dunlap has told us in the past he would refile. But doing that will cost a great deal more money. It looks like their business model must change dramatically. It’s going to be difficult and I can’t figure out how they are going to do it economically.”
It is going to be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor, and may not be worth it at all according to a report from nine entertainment trade groups, which was filed with the US Department of Commerce last Friday. Those groups, which included the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), admit in the report that mass copyright infringement lawsuits, like the Far Cry cases, are not doing anything to curb piracy or generate revenue.
Considering those facts, the only reason Dunlap and company would have to refile the cases is their pride. The defendants, who already feel like they’ve been sufficiently harassed, will now have to wait out a three-year copyright statute of limitations until they are able to rest easy again.
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