3 Porn BitTorrent Suits Squeezed in Texas

Feb 15, 2011 3:00 PM PST
DALLAS — Another federal judge has decided to scrutinize BitTorrent cases in Texas.

U.S. Judge Royal Furgeson is considering appointing attorneys to represent the John Does in a number of mass copyright litigation cases, three of which involve adult entertainment companies.

Furgeson last week said that after further consideration he wants the Does represented by counsel before discovery motions.

In his order, Furgeson noted the Does in these cases are unlikely to have any idea a lawsuit has been filed or that the plaintiff is seeking their identity. Appointing an attorney for limited purposes is one way to ensure that the Does receive the same constitutional protections that apply to all litigation defendants.

The three adult company BitTorrent suits involve Serious Bidness, which is suing 109 for "Kayla Kleevage"; Adult Source Media which sued 247 for "Hot for Teachers"; and BrokeAmateurs.com, which is suing 168 for several scenes.

"[B]ecause the defendants' identities have yet to be ascertained, the Does cannot represent their interests before this court," he ruled in each case.

Furgeson has ordered in each case that the plaintiff explain, by Feb. 28, why the court should not appoint attorneys to represent the Does in responding to the plaintiff's request for permission to send out subpoenas for the Does' identities.

In some of the cases, the court vacated earlier rulings authorizing such subpoenas, which means the Does' service providers are no longer required to respond to subpoenas they may have already received.

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