Well a Doe passed on this Arizona case to me and I said I would take a look at it. I honestly expected the same old Troll trash. It is still Troll trash, but Troll Beth Ann Hutchens (Hutchens Law Firm, PLLC) has a mind to put her personal touch to it.
From the Hutchens Law Firm Web site:
Beth Hutchens is a solo practitioner in Phoenix, Arizona. She is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in the state of Arizona. Her areas of practice are intellectual property transactions and estate planning and probate.
Beth prides herself on not being a garden variety attorney. You can count on her to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and she takes a collaborative approach to problem solving. She is forthcoming, direct, and takes a no-nonsense approach to representing her clients. Hutchens Law Offices is not for everybody, but Contact us for a free telephone consultation and find out if we are for you.
First off, the case title is huge (Third World Media, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Plaintiff, vs. Arizona Members of Swarm of May 13, 2011 through July 12, 2011, Sharing Hash File 763E1BC277D2705C4B651957D0BECF3A7E872D86; and DOES 1 through 26, Defendants.). I brevity isn’t her strong point.
The next thing that caught my attention was under the list of the specific complaints: (1) Direct Copyright Infringement, (2) Contributory Copyright Infringement, (3) Civil Conspiracy, and (4) Negligence.
The “Negligence,” complaint stood out to me. Here is the cut/paste from the complaint section dealing with it. Looks like the Troll is trying to cover all bases with this complaint.
15. Upon information and belief, Defendants accessed, or controlled access, to the Internet connection used in performing the unauthorized copying and sharing of Plaintiff’s Motion Picture described above.
16. Upon information and belief, Defendants failed to adequately secure their Internet access, whether accessible only through their computer when physically connected to an Internet router, or accessible to many computers by use of a wireless router, and failed to prevent its use for this unlawful purpose.
17. Reasonable Internet users take steps to secure their Internet access accounts to prevent the use of such accounts for nefarious and illegal purposes. As such, Defendants’ failure to secure their Internet access accounts, and thereby prevent such illegal uses thereof, constitutes a breach of the ordinary care that reasonable persons exercise in using an Internet access account.
18. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants’ failure to secure their Internet access allowed for the copying and sharing of Plaintiff’s Motion Picture by use of the BitTorrent protocol on Defendants’ respective Internet connections, and interfering with Plaintiff’s exclusive rights in the copyrighted work.
19. Upon information and belief, by virtue of this unsecured access, Defendants negligently allowed the use of their Internet access accounts to perform the above-described copying and sharing of Plaintiff’s copyrighted Motion Picture.
20. Upon information and belief, had Defendants taken reasonable care in securing access to their Internet connections, such infringements as those described above would not have occurred by the use of their Internet access accounts.
21. Upon information and belief, Defendants’ negligent actions allowed others to unlawfully copy and share Plaintiff’s copyrighted Motion Picture, proximately causing financial harm to Plaintiff and unlawfully interfering with Plaintiff’s exclusive rights in the Motion Picture.
So if someone abuses your Internet connection, you are to fault and owe the copyright owner thousands of dollars? I don’t think so. What a load of crap.
The next thing that is different about this complaint is the body of it listed out the 26 Does defendants by IP address and time they were observed downloading/sharing the movie (Tokyo Cream Puffs 8). Usually this is done via an attachment. It still does not show when the identified “Public IP Address” stopped sharing the movie. This would be key to showing what IP addresses are properly joined.
The Troll even made the claim that Doe #1 was first time they observed the movie file and possibly the one who seeded the movie file. This is the first time I have seen this claim.
As Doe 1 was the first one detected as having distributed the Motion Picture, Doe 1 is, on information and belief, the initial propagator of the 763 Hash in the Bit Torrent swarm of May 13, 2011.
The only exhibit for the complaint was the copyright application for the movie, filed on 12 May 11. As the copyright application has not been approved, it may limit any damages they are entitled to.
The judge has granted the subpoena and the AZ Does will start to hear from the Troll shortly – if not already. More to come on this one…
Take care everyone and have a safe holiday. Drink an Arrogant Bastard Ale for me. 😉
“Some ships are designed to sink… others require our attention.”