A substantial portion of Shay Phillips, Ltd.'s practice focuses on intellectual property law. Within that area of law, Jonathan LA Phillips has developed a BitTorrent copyright litigation defense practice. The firm's zealous advocacy in BitTorrent litigation has produced successes in the past, including a Summary Judgment against Malibu Media, the most prolific copyright suit filer in recent history.
A recent Colorado PTG Nevada case was no different. Our Answer, coupled with counterclaims and affirmative defenses challenging the crux of the case and pointed discovery gleaned from handling many of these cases seemingly prompted a dismissal, with prejudice. That is PTG Nevada walked away from its suit.
PTG Nevada LLC dismisses case against our client
District of Colorado case number 16-cv-455 progressed like many other multi-Doe BitTorrent copyright cases. PTG Nevada sued a slew of John Does, asked for early discovery to correlate their IP Addresses to subscribers, got the discovery, and eventually the internet service provider told it who recieved the bills for internet service associated with those IP Addresses. However, as most people familiar with BitTorrent litigation know, judges have recognized that a subscriber assigned an IP Address may not be the infringer.
From there, if the typical model of BitTorrent copyright suits was followed, PTG Nevada must have reached out to settle with many of the Does without actually naming them in the lawsuit. As some judges have recognized, because they simply want to put the matter behind them, some people settle whether or not they infringed. Whether to settle and for what amount is always a question that a BitTorrent defendant must ask herself. It is a fact and situation specific inquiry that we help legions of people through at Shay Phillips.
Our efforts and PTG Nevada's dismissal
Our client, given the nature of this post, obviously did not settle. Instead, we filed an Answer to the Complaint, denying the allegations. However, we also filed counterclaims and affirmative defenses challenging whether the alleged facts were sufficient to claim copyright infringement. We also served discovery aimed at uncovering what evidence PTG Nevada actually possessed.
After doing so, PTG Nevada sought to dismiss the case against our client, with prejudice. It simply walked away from the suit - and we walked away from our counterclaims. While only PTG Nevada knows why it chose to walk away from our client, we believe that our zealous advocacy, informed by hundreds, if not thousands, of hours litigating (and settling) BitTorrent cases, resulted in this favorable outcome for our client.
What evidence shows copyright infringment in BitTorrent cases?
Over time, it evidence has been mounting that BitTorrent Plaintiffs might possess very little evidence of copyright infringement. The law requires Plaintiffs to prove unauthorized copying of constituent elements of a copyrighted work. Does evidence purporting to show a transfer of a few BitTorrent pieces without other evidence prove that? To the author's knowledge, that question has not been answered. The question was posed in Northern District of Illinois case number 13-6312. But there, we (along with co-counsel Erin K. Russell) successfully argued that Malibu Media, LLC failed to provide sufficient foundation and witnesses to allow the Court to even consider the PCAP evidence it claimed showed infringement.
For more information on BitTorrent lawsuits, please feel free to review the site, to contact us for a free consultation if you need help with a BitTorrent case, or to read Mr. Phillips article published by the Illinois State Bar Association regarding BitTorrent cases.