[7/22/2011 UPDATE: As services such as PACER, RECAP The Law, and RFC Express have become widely available, tracking cases and viewing filings online have become available for everyone to do. Thus, I am no longer uploading case documents to the bittorrent networks.]
It has been disturbing to me that a number of websites have been misreporting the success rates of motions to quash in copyright violation cases. I’ve seen more than a few make references to “David versus Goliath” when it comes to the massive copyright enforcement law firms trying to make examples of one or more attorneys who assist their clients in filing motions to quash subpoenas served on their internet service providers. These web sites talk about the successes achieved in “clogging” the court system with filings, with the intent that the court will be unable to function — and they put all the blame on the plaintiff lawfirms who have been filing complaints naming hundreds and often thousands of defendants at a time.
I decided to correct the record and share my understanding how MOTIONS TO QUASH have not been working. After receiving around fifty pieces of hate mail being called all sorts of names, one level-headed reader asked if I would be willing to “prove it” by showing that people have not been achieving success with their motion filings.
When I suggested sharing with them the very case dockets for the Hurt Locker lawsuit and the Far Cry lawsuit, one very brilliant 2600 user suggested that I upload a torrent with the case dockets and the individual filings. Since there is nothing illegal about making proper use of a torrent, and since the filings I’d be putting together are public documents and are already available online on various web sites, I thought, “why not?”
So, I put together and seeded a torrent containing most of the 143 pleadings of the Far Cry lawsuit and almost all of the pleadings in the Hurt Locker lawsuit (surprisingly there were far fewer of them), and I published them on bittorrent sites such as KickAssTorrents.com, BTJunkie.com, Monova.com, and MiniNova.com (now one of the “legitimate” sources of bittorrent downloads). I even made mention of which pleadings included the motions for sanctions against attorney Graham Syfert, a Jacksonville attorney who sold self-help forms and I included the new class action lawsuit in Massachusetts where the copyright enforcement plaintiff and the originator of so many thousands of internet users evening woes is named as a defendant in a very awe inspiring lawsuit that caused a jaw-dropping effect when I read their complaint.
All this can be found in the following torrent links:
There is something ironic about a “legal” torrent which is indeed legal both in its contents and in its legality. I cannot help but to smile thinking about how a torrent listing pleadings from well-known copyright infringement lawsuits is being seeded over the internet by torrent, and it is listed on sites known for containing illegal copyright-infringing torrents. There is justice in the world.
1 thought on “The irony of sharing pleadings of current copyright infringement cases… by torrent.”
The motions to quash have been unsuccessful because, in order to file them without disclosing the same personally identifying information sought by the subpoena, you have to hire an attorney which will cost you between 80% and 400% of what the “settlement” offer is.
Otherwise, you can file the motion with your name attached and hope that the motion to impound/redact is allowed (it hasn’t been). I suspect the low success rate is based mostly on the calculation that you have very little to lose, and a lot to gain, from filing a motion to quash, so most people decide to DIY on the cheap.
Finally, the notice that defendants get tells them they can file the motion to quash, but when they do, the court says they have to argue about the burden to the ISP, not to themselves. Essentially, the court expects the notice recipient to argue for third party intervenor status in a case where he is already named as a Doe defendant. It’s nuts.