Following the filing
from the EFF, Public Citizen and the ACLU questioning US Copyright Group's (really law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver) decision
to lump together thousands upon thousands of copyright infringement lawsuits into a single lawsuit, it sounds like the judge in the case is quite skeptical
of the strategy. She's demanding that US Copyright Group explain in writing why she shouldn't throw out all but one of the John Doe defendants for "misjoinder."
A brief entry in the official court docket lays out the order. "MINUTE ORDER requiring Plaintiff to show cause in writing no later than June 21, 2010 why Doe Defendants 2 through 2000 should not be dismissed for misjoinder under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20," wrote the judge in The Steam Experiment case. The same order was repeated in a separate case targeting 4,577 users alleged to have shared the film Far Cry.
Considering that USCG has been making the argument that ISPs who don't hand over the names of the accused are guilty of inducing infringement
, I can't wait to see the legal response. In the meantime, though, it's good that the judge appears to be aware that this strategy is highly questionable.