It appears as if Los Angeles porn studio Third World Media has had enough when it comes to web surfers downloading its content illegally. Third World has recently filed a lawsuit against 1,568 libido-driven downloaders across the country. The accusation centers around what the studio claims were illegal sharing activities via peer-to-peer networks of one of its prized releases.
TWM has not released any actual names of the accused at this time. Instead, all are listed as John Doe. That does not mean that the studio does not plan to obtain official names of the accused, however. To do so, they will have to subpoena records from the Internet service providers of the downloaders.
TWM included a lengthy document spanning 64 pages that lists detailed information on the 1,568 offenders. Among the data included in the document were details on the dates and times of the file downloads, the names of the Internet service providers involved, as well as the specific IP addresses belonging to the defendants. The downloads appear to have taken place this year between the months of March and July.
The suit filed by Third World is likely to be a costly one, as the 1,568 offenders are located across the United States and come from a wide variety of ISPs. Educational service providers involved come from such places as the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Central Florida, and the University of California at Riverside. Even two of the more prestigious universities in the United States were involved, as Dartmouth College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were listed in the suit's documents. Major Internet service providers listed in the suit include AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, while regional ones such as Alaska Communications Systems Group, Cablespeed Maryland, and others have also been named.
This particular suit filed by TWM looks to be the continuation of a trend. Two weeks prior, the studio filed a similar complaint at a United States District Court in West Virginia against 1,243 downloaders accused of illegally sharing another one of its films. The studio also claims that these suits are just the tip of the iceberg, and many more are on the way.
While some independent film studios have filed suits against illegal downloaders in the past, as was the case recently with the film “The Hurt Locker,” the suits by TWM carry much more of a negative stigma. Since the downloads involved content considered by the majority of society to be taboo, being named in such a suit brings embarrassing consequences.
For this reason, Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, feels that the lawsuits by TWM are more about money and less about actual copyright infringement. As people do not want to go to court but are also averse to having their names pop up in unsavory news, many of the accused might be inclined to simply pay Third World Media to “go away.” Thus, while the suits brought by TWM may cost them some cash up front, they may come out on top in the long run.
For more, visit http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20019972-261.html?tag=mncol
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