Court Dismisses Negligence Claim in Porn File-Sharing Case

July 13, 2012 -

Porn publisher Liberty Media is trying out a new tactic in fighting against illegal downloads of its adult films: suing Wi-Fi network owners with negligence. The tactic, which it tested in the Southern District Court of New York (LIBERTY MEDIA HOLDINGS, LLC, v. CARY TABORA and SCHUYLER WHETSTONE) failed miserably.

The thrust of the lawsuit is that defendant Schuyler Whetsone illegally downloaded the adult film Corbin Fisher’s Down on the Farm using BitTorrent via co-defendant Cary Tabora's Internet connection / Wi-Fi enabled network. Liberty Media claims that the two were engaged in what it calls "a scheme to illegally pirate [the Movie] by using advanced internet file-sharing technology called BitTorrent" and that Tabora "declined to put a stop to Whetstone’s piracy despite having had the ability to have done so."

It goes on to claim that the defendants were engaged in "direct and contributory copyright infringement" and claims Tabora was engaged in acts of "negligence" for not put a stop to it on the Wi-Fi network. Tabora asked the court to dismiss the case. The EFF also filed an amicus brief in the case warning the court that siding with Liberty Media would set a dangerous precedent.

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis. A. Kaplan agreed. From his decision:

"The right that Liberty seeks to vindicate by its state law negligence claim – the imposition of liability on one who knowingly contributes to a direct infringement by another – already is protected by the Copyright Act under the doctrine of contributory infringement."

He goes on to say a lot more about how Liberty Media was looking for a remedy that runs afoul of protections provided in the Copyright Act. I won't bore you with the details, but you can read the entire decision here. Judge Kaplan closes his decision by ultimately tossing the case out:

"For the foregoing reasons, Tabora’s motion to dismiss the complaint [DI 14] is granted in all respects. Liberty may move, not later than July 25, 2012, for leave to amend the direct and contributory infringement claims to assert registration of a claim to copyright to the motion picture that allegedly was infringed."

Source Techdirt

"Close up of a womans mouth wide open with bright red lipstick on her lips" photo © 2012 RTimages / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.


Comments

Re: Court Dismisses Negligence Claim in Porn File-Sharing Case

Awww, no nipple?  frown

 
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