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944 BitTorrent Lawsuits Dismissed - For Now
August 10, 2010
Thomas Mennecke
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There's an interesting development going on with the US Copyright Group (USCG) vs The People lawsuits. In the two earliest cases filed way back in January of this year, G2 Entertainment (Uncross the Stars) and World Wide Entertainment (The Gray Man), have dismissed their cases - without prejudice. The following verbiage appeared in motions filed by these companies:

"Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i), Plaintiff hereby gives notice of dismissal without prejudice, with such notice being made before any opposing party served either an answer or a motion for summary judgment."

G2 Entertainment currently has, or had, 195 unnamed defendants in its legal efforts to thwart the sharing of Uncross the Stars. This is the fewest number of defendants in any of the USCG cases.

WorldWide Film Entertainment had 749 defendants, the third lowest number of defendants in all of the USCG lawsuits. Only the Call of the Wild lawsuit has fewer, with 358 unnamed defendants.

So, the big question is, why are these two cases being dismissed? Both of these cases are the oldest out of all the USCG lawsuits, and also represent a very small number of the total lawsuits; the total currently hovers around 14,000 defendants. There are three possibilities we can think of in our non-law school legal analysis:

1) More lawsuits are on the way, and the USCG is attempting to consolidate their resources and focus on the bigger workload, and return for the kill at a later date, or

2) They are being overwhelmed with procedure, potentially looking at defeat, and similar to reason 1, looking to consolidate and focus on the bigger fish while saving some face, or

3) They have profited enough from the defendant responses they have received and don't expect to receive more settlement money from them and so it's time to dismiss the cases that they may have had no intention of completing anyway.

We suspect that reason 1 is more likely, at least for now. It's important to note that these cases are being dismissed without prejudice, which means the USCG can bring these cases back whenever they feel the time is right. We've emailed the USCG for clarification on this move, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Update: Check out The Hollywood Reporter's latest regarding this. According to the USCG, it's merely time to move on to individual lawsuits...

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