On October 7, 2011, Boy Racer, Inc., an film production company, filed a lawsuit in state court in Miami, Florida seeking only the identities of 625 John Doe defendants who allegedly infringed its copyrights in a film using through a BitTorrent file. A copy of the Miami lawsuit complaint can be viewed here Complaint – Boy Racer, Inc. v. Does 1-625, Miami Circuit Court. This litigation strategy appears to be a precursor to the filing of a federal copyright lawsuit that may be filed in the near future once the identities are disclosed by the Internet service providers who supplied Internet service to the John Doe Defendants, such as Comcast.
The music and film industry is aggressively pursuing claims of copyright infringement against individuals who allegedly download music, films and videos through the Internet. DeBlasio Law Group, LLC has represented individuals who have been sued in federal court for allegedly illegally downloading films and video content from the Internet.
Film producers have been filing copyright infringement lawsuits across the United States against individuals seeking statutory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs under the federal copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq. and pursuant to common law claims such as civil conspiracy.
In most cases, the film producer only names John Does as defendants in the lawsuit and identifies them by their Internet Protocol addresses (“IP address”). Often, the video producer alleges that the defendants have acted in concert via a BitTorrent file sharing protocol.
After filing suit, the film producer typically asks the federal court for permission to conduct expedited discovery to allow it to issue subpoenas to the actual Internet service providers that issued the IP addresses (such as Comcast or AT&T). This allows the film producer to obtain the identities of the individuals that allegedly downloaded the adult photograph or film. But with the strategy employed in cases such as the lawsuit filed in Miami, the film producer is using the courts to identify the individuals before it files a separate lawsuit for copyright infringement.
For privacy reasons, individuals named as defendants in these lawsuits must act quickly and take steps designed to prevent the disclosure of their identities in the federal lawsuit. For obvious reasons, the disclosure of their identities in connection with such allegations could harm personal and professional relationships.
Antonio DeBlasio has extensive experience in Intellectual Property litigation, involving claims of copyright infringement and trademark infringement. In his career, Mr. DeBlasio has represented one of the world’s largest music licensing organizations in copyright infringement matters, as well as one of the most popular manufacturers of plush toys in trademark infringement cases. For more information on protecting your rights, please contact the firm at www.deblasiolawgroup.com.