BitTorrent Lawsuit and Copyright Infringement
By Matthew Crist – 18 May 2016
The peer to peer file sharing software “BitTorrent” is a brilliantly designed system that facilitates large data transfers over the internet. Unfortunately, BitTorrent has also become the centerpiece of thousands of lawsuits all over the US regarding copyright infringement – typically of pornography.
The owners of the copyrights are suing users of BitTorrent en masse, with Malibu Media alone filing thousands of suits.
These copyright holders tend to initiate suit against groups of people who are identified by their IP address to live within the Eastern District of Virginia or DC. The first a person may learn that he or she is a defendant in such a case is typically a letter from their internet service provider that a subpoena has been sent to the ISP requesting the John Doe defendant’s name, home address, and other information.
Responding to such a subpoena is a time sensitive matter because if it is unopposed, then the ISP may divulge private information to the plaintiff. In many cases, these defendants are not the actual person guilty of the copyright infringement, but are merely the victims of circumstances. From hacked router passwords to a group of neighbors sharing one connection, there are a multitude of possible scenarios that may lead to the wrong person being named by the copyright plaintiff.
If you have received a notification that you are a defendant in a BitTorrent lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia or the DC District Court give us a call at 703-739-4200 for a free 30 minute consultation – all information we receive will remain strictly confidential.