Comcast has asked an Illinois District Court to quash subpoenas obtained by copyright holders that want to learn the identities of individuals who allegedly download their materials from BitTorrent websites.
In mass piracy lawsuits there has always been a clear path on how things work. The copyright holder obtains the IPs of those who download their movies, music or books and take the information to a judge.
The judge then orders the Internet service provider (ISP) in question to hand over the identities that hide behind the IPs.
However, Comcast appears to have had enough of all the subpoenas and has told the judge that copyright holders actually use the information they provide to convince the defendants to accept settlements, TorrentFreak reports
The companies mentioned in Comcast’s memorandum are AF Holdings, LLC, Pacific Century International, Sunlust Pictures and First Time Videos.
“Plaintiffs should not be allowed to profit from unfair litigation tactics whereby they use the offices of the Court as an inexpensive means to gain Doe defendants’ personal information and coerce ‘settlements’ from them,” the court document reads
“It is evident in these cases – and the multitude of cases filed by plaintiffs and other pornographers represented by their counsel – that plaintiffs have no interest in actually litigating their claims against the Doe defendants, but simply seek to use the Court and its subpoena powers to obtain sufficient information to shake down the Doe defendants.”
Furthermore, the ISP believes that each of these lawsuits targets too many defendants, some of which don’t even reside in the district in which the court action has been initiated.
As expected, the copyright holders have already come forward to state their disapproval, accusing Comcast of preventing them from protecting their works.
It will remain to be seen if the judge agrees with the ISP or the copyright holders, but with its actions Comcast joins the list of companies that object when it comes to handing over the identities of their subscribers.