Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Time Warner Cable Resists Mass BitTorrent Lawsuit

David Kravets writes on Threat Level:

A consortium of independent film producers is hitting a stumbling block in its plan to simultaneously sue thousands of BitTorrent users for allegedly downloading pirated movies. Time Warner Cable is refusing to look up and turn over the identities of about a thousand of its customers targeted in the lawsuits, on the grounds that the effort would require three months of full-time work by its staff.

The brouhaha dates to March, when the U.S. Copyright Group launched its mass-litigation campaign, suing thousands of BitTorrent users by the IP addresses they used when feeding and seeding films like Steam Experiment, Far Cry, Uncross the Stars, Gray Man and Call of the Wild 3D. Unlike the similar music-industry lawsuit campaign, which spread its lawsuits out over years, the filmmakers hit ISPs around the country with subpoenas for hundreds of customers at a time, demanding Time Warner Cable comb through its records to identify past users by IP address.

Court filings suggest that none of the broadband providers is happy about servicing the mass subpoenas, but Time Warner Cable is fighting them in court, arguing that serious law enforcement requests for information could fall by the wayside if the company is forced into becoming the research arm of the independent film producers.

More here.


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