Court Says BitTorrent Users Connected To The Same Swarm Are Not Involved In Any 'Conspiracy'

from the good-ruling dept

Almost exactly a year ago, we saw yet another trick come out of the copyright troll's bag. To justify the increasingly failed attempts to sue a ton of people in a single lawsuit, there was a claim that all of the people connected to a single BitTorrent swarm represented a conspiracy to infringe on copyrights together. As we said at the time, this seemed like an incredibly weak argument, and it appears that at least one court agrees. A judge in Illinois has rejected that argument pretty soundly:
Moreover, it appears that the claims of civil conspiracy themselves are unfounded, because the plaintiffs have not pleaded the existence of an agreement among the alleged conspirators... Additionally, based on what has been pleaded, it does not appear plausible that plaintiffs could plead the existence of a conspiracy. Consequently, the court finds that the complaints’ allegations of civil conspiracy are only unjustified attempts to bolster the obtaining of irrelevant discovery about non-parties.
The court also notes (as many more are doing) that it's quite clear that this lawsuit was filed not to litigate the actual issues, but to uncover the identities of those they identified to try to threaten them into "negotiating a settlement."

It's good to see both of these things. Courts recognizing that these arguments are huge stretches of legal theory just to justify a bogus joinder argument is a huge step forward. On top of that, the fact that more and more judges seem well aware of the true intention of copyright trolls in using the court system as a part of their business model, rather than for a legitimate judicial reason, means that fewer and fewer courts will be willing to accept such an abuse of the court system.
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Filed Under: conspiracy, copyright, copyright trolls, joinder


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2012 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    Yes! Finally, someone who gets it!

    Also, downloading a file from the internet is a conspiracy between the downloader, the uploader, the electric company, the internet service provider, the domain registrar, ICANN, and the producers of all the computers, keyboards, mice, routers, and cables involved.

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