Friday, January 18, 2013

Plaintiff's discovery motion denied in Third Degree v John Does 1-110: "infringer might be someone other than subscriber"

In Third Degree Films v. John Does 1-110, a Newark, New Jersey, case, the Court has denied the plaintiff's motion for discovery, on the ground that the plaintiff had not submitted a discovery plan which takes into account the Court's concerns about ensnaring, and burdening, innocent people:
Plaintiff fails to define John Does 1-110 in its complaint other than to state that “[e]ach Defendant is known to Plaintiff only by an IP address.” (Comp. ¶ 2.) In some instances, the IP subscriber and the John Doe defendant may not be the same individual. Indeed, the infringer might be someone other than the subscriber; for instance, someone in the subscriber’s household, a visitor to the subscriber’s home or even someone in the vicinity that gains access to the network. See VPR Internationale v. Does 1-1017, No. 11-2068, 2011 WL 8179128 (C.D.Ill. Apr. 29, 2011). As a result, Plaintiff’s sought after discovery has the potential to ensnare numerous innocent internet users into the litigation placing a burden on them that outweighs Plaintiff’s need for discovery as framed.

Granting Plaintiff’s motion has the potential to permit Plaintiff to obtain detailed personal information of innocent individuals. This could subject an innocent individual to an unjustified burden.

Order denying discovery

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Ray Beckerman, PC

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