Judge Tells John Steele To Stop Mass Suing Anonymous People For File Sharing

from the time-to-shift-courts dept

Divorce-lawyer-turned-mass-P2P-lawsuit-filer John Steele hasn’t had much luck with his legal strategy (though, he has been able to shake some cash out of people who settle too quickly), getting shot down a few times for his fishing expedition. Apparently he filed another such suit earlier this month, only to realize that it had been assigned to the same judge who’s been slamming him — and Steele quickly tried to drop the case entirely. The judge, Milton Shadur, wasn’t going to let Steele off the hook without yet another scolding, as highlighted by Ars Technica. Judge Shadur made it clear, yet again, that he does not appreciate Steele’s legal efforts here, and does not want to see any more such cases. He does point out that Steele is free to “pursue the normal path of suing an identifiable (and identified) defendant or defendants” rather than the mass dragnet. Of course, this won’t stop Steele, but it does seem likely that he’ll just drop any cases assigned to Judge Shadur. Of course, if more judges follow Judge Shadur’s lead, hopefully he’ll quickly run out of courts to file these questionable lawsuits.

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Comments on “Judge Tells John Steele To Stop Mass Suing Anonymous People For File Sharing”

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That Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

These Judges really need to get up with technology in the world today.

There I fixed that for you.
The Judges are going on the claims of the lawyers that they will bring these alleged criminals to justice if they get the names associated with the accounts.
What is really happening is they are trying, often successfully, to scare the account holders into accepting a settlement to avoid the public shaming of being associated with “porn”.
People remember the accusations, never the outcome.
When your pushed into a corner of having to defend yourself halfway across the country against charges of watching a movie that would make Larry Flynnt vomit, if you see the easy out you take it.
While some of the account holders might be able to provide details leading to the actual infringer,most of these firms do not bother to do that far.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:


I’m shocked that these severe “scoldings” aren’t stopping the pursuit of frivolous infringement lawsuits.

Perhaps we should lobby for a law where the perpetrators of these fishing expeditions are instead given a “scalding”. One switched vowel, and the disincentive to sue innocent people would free the court’s time for more important work.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:


I think the problem here, and if you actually read the story before lashing out in defense of your opinion you will see that I am right, is that these lawyers are not trying to prevent people from “being stripped of their rights.” What is actually going on is fraudulent lawsuits and blackmail.

As stated in the article, Mr. Steele is free to “pursue the normal path of suing an identifiable (and identified) defendant or defendants.” Maybe you just missed this but it is a important part of the story.

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