771 New Porn BitTorrent Defendants in Past Week
LOS ANGELES — In the past week 17 more porn BitTorrent lawsuits were filed in federal courts throughout the U.S.
All told, 771 John Doe defendants in the past seven days were sued by Elegant Angel, Third Degree Films, CP Productions, First Time Videos, Hard Drive Productions, Pacific Century International, Sunlust Pictures, AF Holdings and 808 Holdings.
With the largest number of defendants, Sunlust Pictures sued 345 in four suits in federal courts in Illinois, Texas and Florida; First Time Videos came in second with three suits in the same states targeting 176; and Hard Drive Productions sued 113 in Texas and Illinois.
Pacific Century notched three suits fingering 65 in Texas and Illinois; Sean Cody's 808 Holdings sued a collective of 20 in California; CP Productions sued 38 in Washington; AF Holdings filed against 31 in Florida; and Elegant Angel and Third Degree Films fired off single suits against two in Washington.
Each of the suits ask federal judges to order ISPs to disclose user identities of the unnamed John Doe defendants and claim infringement damages of up to the statutory maximum of $150,000 per Doe.
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A federal judge in New York has consolidated six cases into one recently. The cases involve suits by Third Degree (two suits), Digital Sin, Devil's Film, Zero Tolerance and Elegant Angel against more than 800 defendants.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest consolidated the cases and “additional cases may also be 'deemed related' and transferred [to Forrest] in the near term.”
Forrest also issued an order that the studios cease all discovery-related activity until further notified by the court. A status conference on the consolidation is scheduled for Monday.
In other news, AF Holdings has dismissed nearly all Doe defendants in AF Holdings vs. Does 1-1,140.
But the dismissal with prejudice comes after the studio received the defendants' names from ISP subpoenas. The studio did so, according to court papers, because it "strikes a favorable balance between preserving court resources and safeguarding its intellectual property rights."
AF Holdings didn't say in court papers whether it would still demand settlements, which typically average out to about $3,500 per Doe, from the revealed defendants.
XBIZ publishes a weekly report each Thursday on porn BitTorrent filings in the U.S.