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Debbie Does Dallas and Other Porn Titles Fuel Over 500 New BitTorrent/ED2K Lawsuits
September 1, 2010
Thomas Mennecke
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In the US, there are two major BitTorrent file-sharing lawsuits occurring – the group of lawsuits associated with the US Copyright Group, and the group of lawsuits related to Lucas Entertainment. You can add a third and fourth player to that list, as over 500 new John Doe lawsuits have been filed in the last couple of days.

The first group of John Doe lawsuits was filed on August 27 by Titan Media, a gay erotica producer. In the lawsuit, 19 John Does are accused of sharing a variety of media produced by Titan. Unlike many other lawsuits occurring in the US, those accused of sharing Titan’s copyright work allegedly took place on eDonkey2000 – not BitTorrent. This marks a significant shift from the usual strategy of sticking to BitTorrent users.

The next batch is VCX Ltd., Inc. versus 113 John Does, also filed on August 27. The alleged file-sharers are claimed to have shared Debbie Does Dallas via BitTorrent. It’s interesting to note that the attorney who filed the complaint, Mr. Evan Stone, is the same individual who filed the lawsuits on behalf of Lucas Entertainment. From the complaint:

"Defendants collectively participated, via the internet, in the unlawful reproduction and distribution of Plaintiff’s copyrighted motion picture, "Debbie Does Dallas," by means of file transfer technology called, BitTorrent. Defendants initiated their infringing conduct by first logging into the public BitTorrent website www.fulldls.com, (or a related site) known for its large index of copyrighted movies, television shows, software and adult videos."

The last batch, filed on August 18, is again from Titan Media, against a more substantial 244 John Does. In this complaint, much like the one filed on the 27th, alleges the John Does used eDoneky2000 to share a variety of Titan’s work.

The copyright complaints are designed much like the USCG or Lucas Entertainment’s lawsuits – and will likely cause a similar uproar during the upcoming discovery processes. Since eDonkey2000 is thrown into the mix this time, we’re wondering what impact that will have on the issue of joinder. As you’ll recall, the USCG was able to successfully argue that because of the nature of BitTorrent (one seed being the originator of a file, and propagating from there) all of the defendant’s actions are related. eDonkey2000 works similar to BitTorrent in many respects, but a well-formed argument could probably knock holes in this theory.

This is not the first time Titan Media has sued John Does. But this is the first time we’ve seen such an old porn title listed in a BitTorrent lawsuit.

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