Dozens of lawsuits against thousands of people at one go, are proof of copyright trolling, as the media calls it. But some judges quickly became aware of these techniques, and are not in the mood to put up with them. The latest case is Massachusetts’ federal Judge Leo Sorokin.
The case involves several publishers of pornographic material who decided to sue thousands of people for downloading their copyrighted movies. One of these publishers is Patrick Collins Inc., which filed against 11.570 John Does. The problem is that the company has failed to name any of those defendants.
“Not only have Plaintiffs failed to articulate a discovery plan that would lead to identifying the infringers they have sued, but the Plaintiffs cannot even articulate the specific information they need or require in order to identify the infringers,” reads the judge’s decision.
When Judge Leo Sorokin asked the plaintiffs’ attorney with what kind information can he help, the attorney replied:
“I don’t think there is a specific set of information we need… I’d like to keep this as least burdensome as possible and as least costly as possible. Opening communications between me and the Does or me and the subscribers is, I think, the best course of action.”
In other words, the company’s legal representative asked the judge for the subscribers’ names, but not with intentions of moving forward with the legal procedures.
Judge Sorokin points out that “the history of this litigation” proves a “lack of interest in actually litigating” the case against any specific defendant.
“The Plaintiffs have repeatedly said one thing and done another,” Sorokin wrote.
“The Plaintiffs’ counsel has also repeatedly said to the undersigned, and to other judicial officers of this Court, that he intends to litigate the claims he has brought. Yet to date, counsel has sued well in excess of one thousand Doe Defendants in this District, and as far as the Court is aware, he has never served a Complaint upon a single individual defendant.”
As such, Judge Sorokin gave the company an ultimatum: November 16 will be their last chance to provide with information on why this lawsuit was filed at all.