South Dakota ISP battles US Copyright Group in file sharing lawsuits

ISP Midcontinent Communications will not comply with a court subpoena from Washington DC regarding a BitTorrent copyright lawsuit unless ordered to do so by a local court.

The US Copyright Group, on behalf of movie studios and other copyright studios, has filed thousands of lawsuits against accused movie pirates.

The South Dakota ISP will not comply unless a local court order is acquired, and says the copyright group issuing the lawsuits specifies a general geographic area that is much too large — proving the DC court doesn’t have jurisdiction.

South Dakota ISP battles US Copyright Group in file sharing lawsuits

“Since the information requested is in Midcontinent’s office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a subpoena to retrieve that information would have to come from this Court, not a District of Columbia court,” according to the filing.

I fully believe it will only be a matter of time before Midcontinent Communications must comply and turn over information related to the file sharing.  ISPs have been reluctant to help trade groups punish and fine their subscribers, but most companies have adhered to court orders.

ISPs have found ways to rebel against the US Copyright Group and other similar trade groups by finding different loopholes and clauses that allow them to delay proceedings.  The ISPs don’t feel it’s their responsibility to have to clean up the mess the RIAA and MPAA hope to create with waves of subpoenas.

Another ISP, Time Warner, only processes a certain number of ISPs per month that it will turn over to copyright groups.

In a different effort to fight back against the US Copyright Group, a John Doe defendant claims he never has used a file sharing program — and isn’t even sure what the lawsuit is about.  With more than 14,000 targeted defendants related to movie piracy, it’s likely the US Copyright Group has picked a few innocent users, although it’s unknown how many others feel they have been unfairly targeted.

The US copyright Group is best known in its effort to sue Hurt Locker movie file sharers, which remains popular to pirate despite their efforts. These mass lawsuits continue to draw criticism from the general public and media.