Judge Not Impressed By Reverse Class Action Attempt In Mass P2P File Sharing Case

from the fishing-expedition dept

We recently wrote about an attempt by one of the growing number of mass P2P pre-settlement lawsuit lawyers, John Steele, to file a reverse of defendant class action lawsuit to try to get around the issue of misjoinder in combining a bunch of totally unrelated individuals in a single lawsuit. Typically, of course, class action lawsuits involve a class as the “plaintiff” not the defendant. It’s not unheard of to have a defendant class action, but it is rare. Either way, the judge doesn’t seem to be buying it. In a recent hearing the judge noted that the whole thing felt like a fishing expedition, and barred the court from issuing any subpoenas until an adversarial hearing was held. It’s unclear who will represent the still anonymous “class,” but hopefully the judge takes a note from another court and brings in experts like Public Citizen and the EFF.

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Comments on “Judge Not Impressed By Reverse Class Action Attempt In Mass P2P File Sharing Case”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Another win for the good guys

i think the judges know those are shakedowns, but are giving the plaintiff the benefit of doubt, from what im reading about this case its clear that the judge is shifting the burden of proof on the plaintiff.

IMHO this is very good this should be a solid case and could be used as precedent in the future.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:


One letter. One number.

How could something so small result in so many poorly formed thoughts and badly written comments?

You throw the word “lawsuit” in there and it’s like somebody hosed down the comment thread with troll pheremone. I’ll be back later to see how many metaphors and catchphrases are being mindlessly dry-humped to death.

JustMe (profile) says:

Capitalist Lion Tamer

Hi there. Were you perhaps responding to a different thread?

There were exactly four (4) comments submitted before your post so I’d hardly call that ‘so many’ and I wouldn’t classify that as ‘hosed down.’ Also, there aren’t any poorly-formed thoughts or badly-written comments, except perhaps for the one posted by you.

If I’m off base here let me know, or perhaps Mike’s comment response system posted this to the wrong thread (which hasn’t happened for a number of years).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Capitalist Lion Tamer

…. shhhh….. wait for it….
its still early for the astroturfers to crawl out of their cage…

if we sit here quietly we might even seen the rarest of creatures… the lawyer… Steele sometimes comes down from his ivory tower and comments on these cases.

It was fun blowing him out of the water last time, and I look forward to it again.

Just sit back, and wait… I can feel the revving up their keyboards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Chicken and the egg problem here: You cannot legally prove violation (get a conviction or judgement against) without knowing who you are going after. ISPs work hard to shield their users, making it incredibly difficult to even get information to go forward with a lawsuit.

I actually hope the plaintiff loses this suit, because it will be just another reason why there need to be clear rules to stop end users from being able to hide behind ISPs and service providers.

Sean T Henry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I agree with you in the respect that I hope the plaintiff loses, but we only agree because you misread who the plaintiff is. The defendants are the “class” and I’m thinking that you thought they were the plaintiff.

“it will be just another reason why there need to be clear rules to stop end users from being able to hide behind ISPs and service providers.”

You also have this wrong it shows why there is a need for more rules to protect users information at the ISP level.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Funny with all of the cases they have done, gotten the information for the number of convictions is… 0?

And they claim they can prove the person using an IP address is the violator, ignoring the factual evidence that this information can be spoofed easily.

Rather than take these people to court to defend their precious IP, they offer them settlements to avoid having their methods exposed to the light of day. Because they want to do you the favor of not connecting your name to porn, based merely on some numbers on a spreadsheet.

But then you probably believe that every copy destroys a physical item, that no one shares anything for free, and they are making money and should be forced to pay hundreds of thousands.

And I hope the plaintiff loses as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

can any of the information (“evidence”) they collect from the ISP be used to identify the infringing user?

the only thing an ISP will be able to give up is the account owner. unless there is a camera monitoring who is sitting in front of the PC, this information is useless.

there is absolutely no way to identify who committed the crime without a confession.


there are too many ways for this information to be faked/spoofed/whatever.

Why should any of this burden be on the account owner? …An account owner that may be a 80 year old woman who doesn’t even own a computer.


The industry must adapt or die.

They do not have a right to make a buck. They can only try.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

because the lawyers seek to create the standard that if it is your account, anything done on it is your fault no matter if it was done with your knowledge or without.

If someone steals your car and robs a bank, it is never expected that you should face charges of robbing the bank. They will investigate to make sure you truly are uninvolved, but they will not walk up and demand you repay the amount stolen from the bank to avoid being charged, mostly because they would be laughed out of court.

These lawyers want everyone to presume that every IP address is like a Social Security Number, uniquely assigned to a person for life and always points to only that person.
This is the problem with identity theft, the person victimized is left to deal with a system that assumes they did it because that number can not possibly be used by someone else.

In the case of Uwe Bolle and the rest of the stable of USCG clients, they are trying to claim losses because of downloading, not because Uwe makes horrible films no one wants to see. They see this as a golden way to make a bunch of money they feel entitled to, and turn loser of a movie into a win.

One wonders what is worse, your name associated with porn or a Uwe film. Both are pretty embarrassing.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

> ISPs work hard to shield their users, making
> it incredibly difficult to even get information
> to go forward with a lawsuit.

That’s how most companies behave with respect to their clients and customers. Why should Big Copy be given an end-run around confidentiality laws that no other industry has?

Oh, I forgot. Copyright! The word that trumps everything these days.

Anonymous Coward says:


Listen to what Steele says

Steele, however, says that the EFF has an agenda with its role in porn BitTorrent suits that’s not very transparent.

“They have a moneymaking business that is operated by attorneys, and many [porn BitTorrent] defendants end up choosing one of the attorneys involved in EFF suits,” he said. “I know for a fact that one of the attorneys has lined up 40 defendants, and he is earning hand over fist in legal fees.”

Link here: http://www.xbiz.com/news/legal/131798

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I have a moneymaking business that is operated by an attorney, and many [porn BitTorrent] defendants end up choosing to ignore my shakedown letters after reading about the EFF suits,” he said. “I know for a fact that one of the attorneys has lined up 40 defendants, and he is earning hand over fist in legal fees, and I am terrified they will counter-sue me and I’ll have to cover their legal costs for my shakedown attempts.”

There I fixed it for him.

xbiz truly is amazing, they report only the sunshine and puppys version of the events and provide coverage for most of the propaganda the extortion mills churn out trying to terrify people into settling.

It is always a crazed judge stopping them after the EFF fills their head with lies to help the pirates. It never is “well my case was built with tissue paper and some elmers glue and somehow they tore through what I wanted the law to be and explained how the law really works”.

Oh Mr Steele… wouldn’t you rather have a nice cheating spouse case right about now instead of trying to find that 1 magic thing that ACS:Law, USCG, Stone, LMH, and the others haven’t been able to find to make these cases work?

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