Suggestion: When Trying To Quash A Subpoena To Reveal Your Identity... Don't Use Your Real Name

from the just-a-suggestion dept

There have been plenty of cases where a person or company gets a subpoena to try to identify an anonymous online person -- such as in various file sharing cases. It's also not uncommon for those anonymous internet people to fight the subpoena, and it's quite possible to do so anonymously. Apparently, no one informed that to one guy who decided to fight a subpoena by Worldwide Film Entertainment over an alleged attempt to file share the movie The Gray Man. Apparently, in filing the challenge, the guy used his real name and address:
Comcast notified its subscriber in this case, one Mr. Simko, of Worldwide Film Entertainment's efforts to learn Mr. Simko's identity.

And here's the part that makes this little vignette so charming: rather than challenge the plaintiff's efforts to unmask his identity, Mr. Simko filed a motion to quash the subpoena USING HIS REAL NAME.

The court denied the motion to quash. The basis for denying the motion is kind of an aside (the motion to quash phase was not the right time to challenge venue or knowledge of the infringement).

What's noteworthy about the case is Mr. Simko's decision to voluntarily waive his anonymity. Not only did he challenge the subpoena using his own name, he filed as an exhibit the letter he got from Comcast notifying him of the subpoena. Right there, in all caps and as plain as day were Simko's name and address for all to see.
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Filed Under: anonymity, subpoena


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  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 27 May 2010 @ 4:51am

    Dad's army

    Some of us in the UK will remember the classic lines:

    German Officer: Whats your name?

    Capt Mainwaring: Don't tell him Pike!

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