Defendants, ISPs: D.C. Court Doesn’t Have Jurisdiction in P2P John Doe Case

August 30, 2010 -

As a court case in the District of Columbia court against 14,000 "john doe" defendants filed by the US Copyright Group over file sharing movies continues, increasingly defendants and ISPs are saying that the court has no jurisdiction over them.

One John Doe defendant in the D.C. case sent a letter to the court saying that he has never traded files, nor lived, used an ISP, or worked in the D.C area and that adding him as a defendant is improper because he has nothing in common with the "co-defendants." Here's what he wrote to the court:

"There is a lack of personal jurisdiction over John Doe in the District of Columbia," he writes, "He has never lived, worked, or used any Internet service in the District of Columbia."

"Adding John Doe as a defendant in this matter would be improper because John Doe has nothing in common with his prospective co-defendants."

"Jurisdiction and joinder" are important points because the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued these very points before the presiding judge, , who declined its request saying that it was not the proper time to make that argument. Nevertheless, defendants and ISPs are making those arguments and they are not waiting to do it at the judge's discretion. In fact, one ISP isn't arguing within that court's jurisdiction at all.

 

South Dakota ISP Midcontinent Communications was not happy that a subpoena demanding that it look up the names and addresses of several dozen users for a P2P lawsuit over the film The Hurt Locker.

Instead of replying to the DC District Court, Midcontinent's lawyers went to South Dakota's federal court and argued that the DC court had no jurisdiction over the company. The company's lawyers simply argued that if US Copyright Group wanted the information, it would need to file its request with a court in the Eighth Circuit, where Midcontinent does its business:

"Since the information requested is in Midcontinent's office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a subpoena to retrieve that information would have to come from this Court, not a District of Columbia court," says the filing.

Midcontinent also said that the subpoena came via fax and not by mail or messenger, and that it had contained no promise to pay the company's $350+ in costs to do the lookups.

At the end of the day John Doe filings with the court and ISPs that do not do business in the D.C. area may be compelled to fight against US Copyright Groups efforts. It will be interesting to see what other courts have to say about this as it relates to ISPs, and if this is a path for "John Does" to go to deal with this blind, blanket legal action.

Sourced: Ars Technica


 
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Goth_SkunkAnd just to be clear, that remark is firmly tongue-in-cheek, while also echoing statements made by those critical of GamerGate.06/30/2015 - 4:43pm
Goth_SkunkA fair point Andrew, and you are a very reasonable feminist. Though I would suggest that if you don't wish to be associated with the toxic elements present in feminism, I recommend disassociating yourself from them. Maybe call yourself something else? :^)06/30/2015 - 4:42pm
Andrew EisenGoth - By the by, you know how GamerGate doesn't like being painted with a broad brush? Well, I hate to speak for anyone but myself but I'm pretty confident in saying we feminists don't care for it much either.06/30/2015 - 4:10pm
Andrew EisenWell of course. Being a feminist doesn't mean rape can never be depicted in fiction.06/30/2015 - 4:03pm
InfophileIn fiction, it depends on the context. It's very easy to get "wrong," but there are cases where feminists have approved of how it's been shown (eg. the scene with Honor Harrington in the new compilation comic)06/30/2015 - 4:02pm
Andrew EisenThat would be an interesting alternate film though. Ray became a Ghostbuster to get rid of the spooks that had been sexually assaulting him.06/30/2015 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenHe's not powerless against ghosts. That's very firmly established by that point in the movie.06/30/2015 - 3:57pm
Andrew EisenSo, if in the new movie, McCarthy or one of the other Ghostbusters has a dream where a pretty ghost goes down on her, I don't predict outrage (other than from those silly random no-name numbnuts on Twitter).06/30/2015 - 3:56pm
Goth_SkunkDream or not, it's still a scene that depicts a victim powerless to stop his attacker from engaging in an act of sex upon him. Even if he enjoys himself, it's technically rape. Hypothetically, he could feel traumatized afterwards.06/30/2015 - 3:55pm
Andrew EisenWell, he could always, you know, grab a proton pack and bust that rapey ghost! But again, it's still pretty clearly a dream.06/30/2015 - 3:53pm
ZippyDSMleeSo what dose GG stand for if its not been taken over my bigots??06/30/2015 - 3:52pm
Goth_SkunkI am assuming he's powerless to stop it, yes. I have no reason to believe a ghost would find itself in any way obligated to obey laws of corporeal beings. And it's not just about consent, but also about the means to stop the person engaging the sex.06/30/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenRape in real life? Absolutely (though "tizzy" isn't the right word). In fiction? Depends on how it's used.06/30/2015 - 3:50pm
Infophile"...it's rape. And that tends to send feminists into a tizzy." You say that as if rape isn't something to get into a tizzy about.06/30/2015 - 3:48pm
Andrew EisenBesides, it's pretty clearly a dream. Ray and the ghost are in some unknown bedroom. Then it cuts to Ray and the other guys in the firehouse beds with Ray rolling over in his sleep and falling off the bed. Looks like Egon is having a weird dream too.06/30/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenYou're assuming he's powerless to stop it. Maybe saying "no" or something would have stopped the ghost. Anyway, so, in your opinion, sex (oral or otherwise) is rape unless there's explicit consent?06/30/2015 - 3:44pm
Goth_SkunkBut, to be completely fair, that fact never dawned on me until 15 minutes ago.06/30/2015 - 3:43pm
Goth_SkunkAbsolutely. He doesn't consent, and is powerless to stop it because his attacker isn't corporeal. The fact that he's enjoying himself does not change the fact that it's technically rape.06/30/2015 - 3:42pm
Andrew EisenAlways came off as a dream to me.06/30/2015 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenThat scene really reads to you like Stantz was being raped?06/30/2015 - 3:39pm
 

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