In the latest in a long line of SDNY opinions on copyright infringement cases brought against anonymous users of the BitTorrent file-sharing service, Judge Baer dismissed without prejudice the suits against all but the first identified John Doe defendant in the case on the grounds that they were improperly joined. Judge Baer lamented that the same “swarm” technology that has allowed for joinder of these defendants in many cases has created a plague on the federal courts: “It is this swarm that Plaintiffs have relied on in grouping Doe defendants together in a common suit. Ironically, there are swarms on both sides, for copyright locusts have descended on the federal courts, exacting low-cost settlements from embarrassed John Does and then moving on to the next District.” Judge Baer lists 30 separate BitTorrent actions against anonymous defendants that have been brought in federal court, which he describes as a “but a sample,” turning the federal courts into “cogs in a plaintiff’s copyright-enforcement business model.”
Continue Reading Judge Baer Severs John Doe Defendants in Latest BitTorrent Copyright Case