Porn BitTorrent Litigation Getting Trickier, Lawyer Says

Oct 14, 2011 3:30 PM PST

RALEIGH, N.C. — More porn BitTorrent defendants are using cut-and-paste defense kits, slowing down the wheels of justice and causing added expenses in litigation, according to an attorney suing John Does in a K-Beech Video copyright infringement case.

James C. White, who represents K-Beech, told a federal judge this week that the adult studio has received hundreds of similar motions from Does to sever or quash or both in similar litigations across the country.

"The cut-and-paste motions have been put on torrent websites and other websites containing instructions on how to complete these and are being downloaded by the Doe defendants and their counsel in these matters," he said. "These motions are expensive to defend against. 

"Indeed, many such motions intentionally raise issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter before the court or matter which no court has ever held justify the motion."

As a result, White said, plaintiffs "spend substantial resources arguing against irrelevancies and abstractions" and that mass lawsuits are warranted because not all the IP addresses they filed suit against are actually targets worth pursuing.

White, who filed a declaration with the federal court in Raleigh, N.C., to oppose motions to quash or modify subpoenas in a case involving 39 K-Beech Does, went on to say that the porn BitTorrent litigation model currently used with mass defendants drives early settlements consistently. 

"From statistics suing thousands of people nationally, plaintiff knows that in any given joined suit 35-55 percent of the Doe defendants will settle very early in the litigation," he said, noting that plaintiffs typically lose 10-15 percent of the Doe identities it subpoenas due to ISP data failure or deletion issues.

White, in his address to the court, noted that in many cases porn BitTorrent plaintiffs choose not to go after some Doe defendants. White noted that in one case, a Doe defendant turned out to be a police department running a covert investigation.

"Many John Doe defendants are destitute," White said. "Several of the John Doe defendants have died prior to being identified. Several John Does have been public or political figures who plaintiff did not to choose to sue."

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