The United States Copyright Group (USCG) had been ordered by Judge Rosemary Collyer to limit their Far Cry file sharing case to only those defendants over which the District Court of Washington DC had jurisdiction. On Monday the USCG followed through on that request, dropping the number of defendants down to only the 140 who reside in the District of Columbia, from the original 4,577.
While it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the legal saga for the 4,437 John Doe defendants who reside outside of Washington DC, it does mean at least a brief reprieve while the USCG regroups before attempts to sue the alleged file sharers in their home jurisdictions.
“This is certainly a reassuring decision for file sharing defendants in parallel cases around the country although they remain vulnerable to file sharing suits brought in their home states,“ Doe defense attorney Stewart Kellar told TorrentFreak.
The USCG lawyers now have quite a task ahead of them if they want to continue to pursue the rest of the defendants, who reside across dozens of states. Not only will the workload be much more immense, but the expenses associated with filing the cases among several district courts are going to quickly add up to a point where it may no longer be viable to pursue the cases.
This isn’t just good news for those involved in the Far Cry case, but it may also spur the same decision for the tens of thousands of other defendants currently facing charges in the Hurt Locker case, as well as in the several porn file sharing cases currently underway.
Hopefully we’re seeing the beginning of the end in these mass antipiracy lawsuits. In addition to their newly increased workload, the USCG still has to deal with the class action lawsuit recently filed against them on behalf of the Far Cry defendants. That 96-page long complaint alleges that the USCG is guilty of 25 counts including fraudulent omissions, mail fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, racketeering court, fraud on the Copyright Office, and consumer protection violations. Maybe the courts are finally realizing that the USCG is not as righteous as they claim, and are beginning to treat them as such.