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Porno troll told to go back under bridge

Copyright case ruling means IP address isn't a person
Wed Mar 26 2014, 13:37
Image of a horrible online troll at a computer

A UNITED STATES JUDGE has ruled that an IP address cannot be tied to a person, despite the best efforts of copyright trolls.

Torrentfreak reports that Florida US District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro recently held a hearing in a lawsuit from an outfit called Malibu Media.

Malibu Media is, as a Google search will tell you, a firm that has been accused of copyright trolling. The Electronic Frontier Foundation dedicates a page to Malibu Media, where it calls the firm a "copyright troll" that uses "public humiliation tactics".

Judge Ungaro was asked to consider a Malibu Media motion for discovery against an IP address that it claimed identified someone it wanted to subpoena for alleged Bittorrent content sharing.

She asked the firm to explain how an IP address could be used to identify a person, but was not convinced by its response.

"Plaintiff has shown that the geolocation software can provide a location for an infringing IP address; however, Plaintiff has not shown how this geolocation software can establish the identity of the Defendant," Ungaro wrote in her ruling.

"There is nothing that links the IP address location to the identity of the person actually downloading and viewing Plaintiff's videos, and establishing whether that person lives in this district... Even if this IP address is located within a residence, the geolocation software cannot identify who has access to that residence's computer and who would actually be using it to infringe Plaintiff's copyright".

The court therefore decided to dismiss the case.

Malibu Media takes up a lot of court time according to observers, and the Pietz law firm reckons that it has been involved in over 1,000 such cases in California alone.

We have extended an invitation for comment to Malibu Media. µ

 

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