I started to take a look at the ZEMBEZIA FILM (Pty.) Ltd. Cases recently filed in the Western District of Washington. The cases are for the children’s movie “Adventures in Zambezia.“ Copyrightclerk post on this. Link to IMDB page on the movie.
As I have seen how the porn copyright trolls have adapted their cases, these Zembezia cases are of the old-school variety with a slight change. Notice I said “cases,” not a single case.
For this group of BitTorrent activity, the Does/Public IP addresses/Cases were split up to ‘manageable’ sizes and all within the jurisdiction of the Western District of WA.
Here is the break down
Five cases – 2:13-cv-00308 (66 Does), 2:13-cv-00309 (66 Does), 2:13-cv-00310 (66 Does), 2:13-cv-00311 (66 Does), & 2:13-cv-00312 (70 Does)
All the activity in cases 308, 309, 310, 311, & 312 are for SHA1 hash number: F7C32B57BF398EB7808746225C98C9EF228E7AF9.
The BitTorrent activity for all of these cases took place during 7 Oct 2012 – 7 Jan 2013.
Specific case date range.
- 2:13-cv-00308 – 7 Oct 12 – 17 Oct 12 – 66 Does
- 2:13-cv-00309 – 17 Oct 12 – 2 Nov 12 – 66 Does
- 2:13-cv-00310 – 3 Nov 12 – 26 Nov 12 – 66 Does
- 2:13-cv-00311 – 27 Nov 12 – 14 Dec 12 – 66 Does
- 2:13-cv-00312 – 15 Dec 12 – 7 Jan 13 – 70 Does
All of the public IP addresses appear to be within the Western District of WA jurisdiction. It does appear all of these cases were referred to Judge Robert S Lasnik. So hopefully a Doe defender out there will make it clear to the court that all these cases are related.
So what appears to have happened is Plaintiff/Troll monitored BitTorrent activity for 90 days for this hash file. A total of 334 Western District of WA public IP addresses were extracted from the monitoring. NOTE: It is highly unlikely ONLY these WA public IP addresses were taking part in this BT activity. The 334 public IP address were filtered for this jurisdiction.
So why split them up? For a couple of reasons –
- This reduces the chance that one judge can kill the case. But as these were all referred to Judge Lasnik, that didn’t work. Too Bad!
- By keeping the Does numbers under 100, they probably think the cases will not gain as much attention either. Too bad again!
These cases are clearly related – same SHA1 hash file and the dates of infringement link up perfectly. I would love to hear the BS excuse the local Troll will tell the court if asked, “Why did you split them up?” Did the Troll violate any rules by not telling the court they were related??? :) I expect they will say they did it for judicial efficiency and to not burden the court… Blah Blah Blah.
Here is what they state in section 7 of the complaints (Page 2 “JOINDER”).
By participating in the swarm, each Defendant participated in the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences as at least the other defendants in the same swarm.
If they make the mistake of telling the court they are not related, I will be surprised at the stupidity. I have only done a very limited review of the public IP addresses and have found one IP address that shows up in three of these cases at different dates. With that blunder, the Plaintiff/Troll just told the judge that they are in fact related. Now there is the possibility that the public IP address was assigned to different ISP subscribers, but I think that is a far reach. What do you say Mr. Troll???
24 Apr 13 Update. Thank you Doe for pointing out additional repeated IP addresses in these cases.
Linking all the Does back together makes the management that more difficult for the Troll. It is not the Does fault the management is so difficult – Plaintiff brought these cases knowing full well how hard it would be to simply manage 66 Doe defendants. It also makes it very clear to the court that Plaintiff/Troll is trying to game the system.
I would also look into what WA statutes could be used to require a bond to be filed by the Plaintiff.
Please feel free to take a look at all the public IP address and tell me if you find any other IP addresses of interest. I don’t know this Troll (Richard J. Symmes, Frontier Law Group), but I really doubt these cases are going to be actually going anywhere beyond the settlement stage. I know there has been other activity on these cases, so please post whatever you have. Thanks!