Defendants, ISPs: D.C. Court Doesn’t Have Jurisdiction in P2P John Doe Case

August 30, 2010 -

As a court case in the District of Columbia court against 14,000 "john doe" defendants filed by the US Copyright Group over file sharing movies continues, increasingly defendants and ISPs are saying that the court has no jurisdiction over them.

One John Doe defendant in the D.C. case sent a letter to the court saying that he has never traded files, nor lived, used an ISP, or worked in the D.C area and that adding him as a defendant is improper because he has nothing in common with the "co-defendants." Here's what he wrote to the court:

"There is a lack of personal jurisdiction over John Doe in the District of Columbia," he writes, "He has never lived, worked, or used any Internet service in the District of Columbia."

"Adding John Doe as a defendant in this matter would be improper because John Doe has nothing in common with his prospective co-defendants."

"Jurisdiction and joinder" are important points because the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued these very points before the presiding judge, , who declined its request saying that it was not the proper time to make that argument. Nevertheless, defendants and ISPs are making those arguments and they are not waiting to do it at the judge's discretion. In fact, one ISP isn't arguing within that court's jurisdiction at all.

 

South Dakota ISP Midcontinent Communications was not happy that a subpoena demanding that it look up the names and addresses of several dozen users for a P2P lawsuit over the film The Hurt Locker.

Instead of replying to the DC District Court, Midcontinent's lawyers went to South Dakota's federal court and argued that the DC court had no jurisdiction over the company. The company's lawyers simply argued that if US Copyright Group wanted the information, it would need to file its request with a court in the Eighth Circuit, where Midcontinent does its business:

"Since the information requested is in Midcontinent's office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a subpoena to retrieve that information would have to come from this Court, not a District of Columbia court," says the filing.

Midcontinent also said that the subpoena came via fax and not by mail or messenger, and that it had contained no promise to pay the company's $350+ in costs to do the lookups.

At the end of the day John Doe filings with the court and ISPs that do not do business in the D.C. area may be compelled to fight against US Copyright Groups efforts. It will be interesting to see what other courts have to say about this as it relates to ISPs, and if this is a path for "John Does" to go to deal with this blind, blanket legal action.

Sourced: Ars Technica


 
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Papa MidnightIn case anyone is interested, there is a clause written into Section 10 of Windows 10's EULA that provides for a Class Action Waiver, and restricts the user to Binding Arbitration.07/29/2015 - 11:15am
TechnogeekNo, that folder is what gets used for the upgrade process. I already had the upgrade go through on my notebook.07/29/2015 - 10:35am
Andrew EisenMatt - And AGAIN, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published? How is it not accountable to its readership (which, AGAIN, is primarily game industry folk, not gamers)?07/29/2015 - 10:10am
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TechnogeekAlso, it's the upgrade that's available for installation now. You might need to forcibly initiate the Windows Update process before it'll start downloading, though. (If there's a C:\$Windows.~BT folder on your computer, then you're in luck.)07/29/2015 - 8:46am
TechnogeekAdmittedly there's more room to push for an advertiser boycott when you get into opinion content versus pure news, but keep in mind that reviews are opinion content as well.07/29/2015 - 8:46am
TechnogeekMatts: There's a difference between "this person regularly says extremely terrible stuff" and "I don't like the phrasing used in this one specific editorial".07/29/2015 - 8:45am
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james_fudgehttps://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows1007/29/2015 - 8:30am
PHX Corp@Wilson, I'm still waiting for My upgrade notice aswell07/29/2015 - 7:57am
MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
 

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