On December 21, 2011, Pacific Century International Ltd., a film production company, filed another lawsuit in federal court in Chicago against 31 John Doe defendants alleging the defendants violated the federal Copyright Act and engaged in a civil conspiracy by downloading a film using a Bit Torrent file. A copy of the federal lawsuit complaint can be viewed here Complaint – Pacific Century International LTD v Does 1-31 No. 11-cv-9064.
The entertainment industry is aggressively pursuing claims of copyright infringement against individuals who allegedly download photographs, videos and music through the Internet. DeBlasio Law Group, LLC (www.deblasiolawgroup.com)has represented individuals sued in federal and state court who have been accused of illegally downloading copyrighted content from the Internet.
Lawsuits have been filed 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 plaintiff film producer only names John Does as defendants in the lawsuit and identifies them by their Internet Protocol addresses (“IP address”). Often, the producer alleges that the defendants have acted in concert via a Bit Torrent 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 photograph, film or music.
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.