Articles Posted in Discovery

Chicago, Illinois – The Seventh Circuit ruled in the ongoing intellectual property litigation between Plaintiff Lightspeed Media Corp. and Defendants Anthony Smith et al.

Attorneys for Lightspeed Media Corp. have filed numerous lawsuits nationwide in an apparent attempt to extract quick settlements from individual users who would rather avoid litigating their pornography consumption in open court. After pushback from Defendants and their internet service providers, as well as the imposition of sanctions by the Central District of California in a similar case, the attorneys began to voluntarily dismiss some of the cases.

The litigation against Defendant Smith was one such dismissed lawsuit. After the dismissal, Smith filed a motion for attorney’s fees. The Southern District of Illinois found that the Lightspeed lawsuit had been frivolous, baseless, and “smacked of bullying pretense,” and imposed sanctions of $261,025.11, jointly and severally, against three lawyers for Lightspeed: Paul Hansmeier, John Steele, and Paul Duffy.

Much legal wrangling ensued. While pleading to the court an inability to pay the sanctions, Steele withdrew over $300,000 from an account that he shared with his wife. Hansmeier withdrew a similar amount from one of his accounts. Each of these transfers was apparently an attempt to conceal the funds from the court and Smith. Other actions, also apparent attempts to conceal the funds, were also taken by the attorneys. Following these actions, Hansmeier filed for bankruptcy and Duffy passed away.

The Seventh Circuit was asked to consider the appropriateness of the sanction against the three attorneys. It declined to hear the matter as to Duffy, stating that because he was deceased he was “beyond [their] jurisdiction.” The appeals court dismissed the appeal as to Hansmeier, noting that, in a liquidation proceeding under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, “only the trustee [of the bankruptcy estate] has standing to prosecute or defend a claim belonging to the estate.”

After a review of multiple instances of discovery misconduct, the appellate court held that the district court had acted within its discretion in imposing a discovery sanction against Steele for what it called a “pattern of vexatious and obstructive conduct” and “obviously egregious behavior.”

The appellate court then turned to the matter of the contempt sanction against Steele. Steele argued that the sanction was in fact criminal in nature, not civil. Thus, he contended, the district court had failed to abide by the enhanced procedural safeguards required for such a sanction.

The Seventh Circuit agreed. It held that, while “civil contempt may be imposed if proven by clear and convincing evidence, and without the full criminal procedural process,” imposing criminal contempt required more. Specifically, it required that the contemnor be “afforded the protections that the Constitution requires of such criminal proceedings.”

The appellate court also held that the fine, as ordered by the district court, was not “designed either to compel the contemnor into compliance with an existing court order or to compensate the complainant for losses sustained as a result of the contumacy,” as was appropriate for a finding of civil contempt. Instead, the sanctions that had been levied against Steele were punitive in nature, and “meant to vindicate the authority of the court.” Thus, they were properly deemed criminal sanctions.

Concluding that the procedures required under the Constitution for criminal contempt had not been applied, the Seventh Circuit vacated the contempt sanction.

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Indianapolis, IndianaMagistrate Judge Mark Dinsmore of the Southern District of Indiana denied Defendants’ motion to limit discovery in the patent infringement litigation between Knauf Insulation, LLC et al. and Johns Manville Corp. et al. Judge Dinsmore also recently denied Defendants’ motion to bifurcate the trial.

This federal litigation alleges infringement of U.S. Patents Nos. 8,114,210; 8,940,089; D631,670; 9,039,827 and 9,040,652, which Plaintiffs Knauf Insulation, LLC, Knauf Insulation GmbH and Knauf Insulation SPRL contend were infringed by Defendants Johns Manville Corporation and Johns Manville, Inc.

This court order addresses Defendants’ motion, filed by patent attorneys for Defendants, for limitations on electronic discovery. Specifically, Defendants asked the court to implement a date cutoff of January 1, 2007 for all electronically stored discovery and to limit the number of e-mail custodians from which Defendants must produce e-mail. Defendants asserted that these restrictions would reduce its discovery-related expenses by approximately $49,400.

The request to limit the time was denied. The court noted that there was a high likelihood that relevant evidence that was not available from any other source would be found in Defendants’ materials prior to 2007. Further, the cost of obtaining that evidence was not excessive in light of the amount in controversy in the litigation. Consequently, the court held that Defendants had not met their burden of showing that the cost of the proposed discovery to Defendants outweighed the benefit to Plaintiffs.

Defendants also requested that the court limit electronic discovery to 10 of Defendants’ 38 e-mail custodians. Patent lawyers for Defendants argued that such a limitation would result in a savings of $18,000 and would also facilitate the predictive coding process.

The court was again unpersuaded. It noted that, while discovery couldn’t guarantee that 100% of responsive material would be produced, eliminating material held by 28 of Defendants’ 38 e-mail custodians from the scope of discovery would “guarantee a zero percent recall for the 28 custodians not chosen.” After asking itself the question, “how many relevant responsive documents are too many to voluntarily walk away from?,” the court concluded that it had insufficient evidence to weight the benefit of the e-mails that would be produced as a result of including the 28 custodians that Defendants proposed be omitted from discovery. Moreover, it opined that in high-value litigation such as this lawsuit, the burden of the additional $18,000 expense does not outweigh the potential benefit to Knauf of receiving those emails.

The court ordered Defendants to produce discovery from all 38 e-mail custodians but also ordered that, should the search of the additional 28 custodians yield fewer than 500 responsive documents, Plaintiffs must reimburse Defendants $18,000 for the cost of loading the additional data from those 28 e-mail custodians.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – In the matter of Bell v. Find Tickets, LLC, the Southern District of Indiana quashed overbroad discovery requests and limited inquiries to those pertaining to the matter of personal jurisdiction.

Plaintiff Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana photographed the Indianapolis skyline in 2000 and copyrighted the work. In this copyright lawsuit, Bell, acting as his own copyright attorney, alleges that Defendant Find Tickets of Alpharetta, Georgia published the photo on a website without Bell’s permission.

As part of the litigation, Bell propounded multiple interrogatories to Defendant. Defendant asked the court to quash this discovery, characterizing it as “far exceed[ing] the scope of a reasonable jurisdictional inquiry.” Defendant also asked for a protective order prohibiting Bell from deposing Find Tickets’ officers.

Writing for the court, Magistrate Judge Mark Dinsmore noted that Defendant’s own affidavit had estimated that “less than 1% of Find Tickets [sic] income is from Indiana related sales.” Consequently, the court concluded that, while personal jurisdiction might eventually be found to be lacking, this small amount of business was sufficient as the required “colorable showing” that jurisdiction over Defendant might exist. Consequently, the court ruled that jurisdictional discovery would be permitted.

However, the court also found that the interrogatories that had been served had been too broad for the limited question of establishing whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction over Defendant was proper. Judge Dinsmore ordered that the interrogatories be limited to inquiries that would support that “Defendant had extensive and pervasive contact with Indiana (general jurisdiction) or that Defendant ‘purposely availed’ itself of the privilege of conducting business in Indiana and the alleged copyright infringement arose from Defendant’s conducting business in Indiana (specific jurisdiction).” The court revised Plaintiff Bell’s interrogatories to limit them to the relevant jurisdictional matters, pending a ruling on Defendant’s separate motion to dismiss, and ordered that Defendant respond by December 1, 2015.

Defendant’s motion to quash the deposition of the owner of Find Tickets was also granted as the court found that such a deposition was unnecessary under the circumstances.

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Fort Wayne, IndianaMagistrate Judge Susan Collins ordered TapLogic, LLC to serve Agri-Labs with more-detailed preliminary non-infringement contentions (“PNICs”) in the ongoing patent litigation between TapLogic and Agri-Labs Holdings, LLC over TapLogic’s smart phone application “Ag PhD Soil Test.”

At issue in this patent litigation is U.S. Patent No. 8,286,857 (the “`857 Patent” or the “patent-in-Suit”), to which Agri-Labs claims ownership. The patent-in-suit, which was issued based upon an application filed by inventor Tony Wayne Covely, has been registered by the U.S. Patent Office. The `857 Patent generally relates to a system and method for performing soil analysis that uses smart phones, applications for smart phones, soil containers having unique identifiers, and global positioning (“GPS”).

In January, an Indiana patent attorney for Agri-Labs filed an intellectual property complaint in the Northern District of Indiana Fort Wayne Division alleging that TapLogic infringed on the ‘857 Patent. TapLogic counterclaimed. It asked the court for a declaratory judgment that it has not infringed Agri-Labs’ patent and that the claims of the patent are invalid. On July 1, 2015, the parties exchanged their respective contentions regarding infringement.

The instant order addresses Agri-Labs’ request that the court order TapLogic to provide a more detailed PNIC. Agri-Labs asserts that the PNICs it received were deficient, providing “nothing more than vague, conclusory language that simply mimics the language of the claims when identifying its theories of non-infringement.”

As is true for a party serving preliminary infringement contentions (“PICs”), a party serving PNICs must provide an infringement-claim chart for each accused product or process (the “accused instrumentality”). Each claim chart must contain the following contentions: (1) “each claim of each patent in suit that is allegedly infringed by the accused instrumentality;” (2) “[a] specific identification of where each limitation of the claim is found within each accused instrumentality, including . . . the identity of the structures, acts, or materials in the accused instrumentality that performs the claimed function”; and (3) “[w]hether each limitation of each asserted claim is literally present in the accused instrumentality or present under the doctrine of equivalents.”

The court noted that TapLogic’s PNICs merely recite the language of each claim and then deny that its Ag PhD Soil Test performs that function or includes that feature. As an example, one portion of Claim 1 was described as “scanning said unique identifier associated with said soil sample container containing said at least one soil sample with a handheld remote terminal, wherein said handheld remote terminal includes a handheld remote terminal sampling application.” In reply, Agri-Labs stated that its application “does NOT scan said unique identifier associated with said soil sample container containing said at least one soil sample with a handheld remote terminal, wherein said handheld remote terminal includes a handheld remote terminal sampling application.”

Consequently, the court agreed that TapLogic’s PNICs were inadequate because they lacked sufficient detail. It ordered TapLogic to serve Agri-Labs with detailed PNICs.

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Hammond, IndianaMagistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry of the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, ordered SVT, LLC d/b/a Ultra Foods (“SVT”) to produce a copyrighted training video to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) in ongoing gender-discrimination litigation.

In 2010, Tiffany Swagerty was rejected from a position as a night crew stocker at SVT’s Ultra Foods operation in Merrillville, Indiana. She complained to the EEOC contending that SVT’s hiring manager had told her that women that were not usually hired for night positions. The subsequent investigation by the EEOC corroborated Swagerty’s assertions. The EEOC later sued SVT for violations of Title VII seeking injunctive relief and, on behalf of Swagerty and other similarly rejected female applicants, monetary damages.

In this current opinion in the matter of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SVT, LLC d/b/a Ultra Foods, the court ruled on several discovery disputes between the parties. Among those issues was whether SVT must produce to the EEOC copies of a copyrighted “stocking video” or whether, in order to obtain a copy, the EEOC must bear a portion of the cost of the materials.

Specifically, as part of its discovery requests, the EEOC asked SVT to provide “all documents containing job descriptions for all stocker positions … including hiring criteria, requirements, and responsibilities created.” SVT objected to providing one piece of responsive material – a stocking DVD that was shown to overnight stockers during orientation – on copyright grounds. SVT stated that, while it had made “in-house copies” of the video, it would not be able to produce a copy of the materials to the EEOC and that it would cost $700 for the EEOC to order and purchase a set of the DVDs. Instead of providing the DVD, SVT offered to have counsel for the EEOC either share in the cost of the DVDs or, in the alternative, to view the DVDs at counsel for SVT’s office during the breaks of depositions. EEOC refused this offer and filed a motion to compel the production of the video.

The court was not persuaded that either of SVT’s proposals was sufficient. The court stated instead that SVT had offered an “unclear … explanation of when and how it obtained the original and/or copies of the DVDs, the nature and extent of any copyright that might exist, and what the costs … were expended for.” Consequently, the court granted the EEOC’s motion to compel, holding that SVT had “not met its burden of demonstrating that the cost of this discovery should be shifted” and ordered SVT to produce the copyrighted material to the EEOC without cost to the EEOC.

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Evansville, Indiana – In the matter of Berry Plastics Corp. v. Intertape Polymer Corp., Indiana patent attorneys for Berry Plastics Corporation (“Berry”) invoked the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege, asking the court to compel Intertape Polymer Corporation (“Intertape”) to produce documents and testimony it had withheld as privileged. Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr. of the Southern District of Indiana denied the request.

This Indiana patent lawsuit was filed in January 2010 and seeks a declaratory judgment. Plaintiff Berry of Evansville, Indiana requested a judgment that Patent No. 7,476,416, titled Process for Preparing Adhesive Using Planetary Extruder, was invalid and unenforceable due to inequitable conduct before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) by Intertape, a company located in Bradenton, Florida.

In this current order, Magistrate Judge Hussmann addresses Berry’s request to compel Intertape to produce documents and testimony that had been withheld as subject to attorney-client privilege. Indiana patent lawyers for Berry argued that this was proper because Intertape had engaged in inequitable conduct or defrauded the USPTO.

The Magistrate first emphasized that this ruling pertained only to discovery, as the question of whether Intertape had perpetrated a fraud upon the USPTO was one of the ultimate issues in the litigation. As such, that question of fact would be decided at trial by Chief Judge Richard L. Young.

The general rule in discovery is that a party to litigation is entitled to discover from his adversary “any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense.” An exception to the attorney-client privilege is made when the communication between the attorney and the client is made in furtherance of a crime or fraud. To successfully invoke this exception, Berry must offer evidence demonstrating that:

1) Intertape made a false representation as to a material fact;
2) Intertape made its false representation with intent to deceive;
3) the USPTO justifiably relied upon Intertape’s false representation; and
4) the USPTO suffered an injury as a consequence of its reliance on Intertape’s false representation.

In an attempt to prove that the elements of the crime-fraud exception applied, Berry offered “numerous allegations and … extensive evidence suggesting Intertape engaged in inequitable conduct or defrauded” the USPTO. Intertape responded to each allegation with “numerous defenses and extensive evidence suggesting its dealings with the USPTO were lawful and forthright.”

The Magistrate held for Intertape. Citing Federal Circuit precedent, which governs the application of the crime-fraud exception to privilege in patent cases, the court called the piercing of the attorney-client privilege an “extreme remedy.” The rule in such cases is that, if the court were to find Intertape’s explanation satisfactory, it must leave the privilege intact. After an analysis of the defenses proffered by Intertape, the court found that Intertape’s explanation for each of the allegations of fraud sufficient to avoid a piercing of the privilege.

Practice Tip: Magistrate judges are adjuncts to Article III district judges. They often dispose of pretrial matters such as motions, evidentiary hearings and pretrial conferences. However, their authority, and thus their role, in federal litigation is constrained by constitutional and statutory limits. Because the factual issue of whether Intertape committed fraud against the USPTO was one of the ultimate issues in the litigation, Magistrate Hussman expressly limited his ruling in this opinion to the discovery dispute before him. At trial, Chief Judge Young, in his role as the ultimate finder of fact, may determine that Intertape did, indeed, commit fraud.

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Washington, D.C. – The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a showing of good cause was sufficient to support parties’ requests to file documents under seal. The case was heard by Circuit Judges Sharon Prost, William C. Bryson and Kathleen O’Malley.

Courts have traditionally acknowledged a right of free access to patent information. Lately, however, judges have increasingly restricted the general public’s access to patent litigation. The Federal Circuit spoke to this in the matter of Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., which recently resulted in a new verdict for Apple, this time for $290 million.picture of the court.jpg

In the patent litigation that led to that verdict, the parties had agreed that certain documents were to be filed under seal. Judge Lucy H. Koh had rejected this agreement and instead had required that the parties provide “compelling reasons” for sealing documents. The parties appealed this ruling.

The Federal Circuit discussed the public-policy implications of shielding patent infringement trials from the public eye. It rejected the notion that general public interest in a trial involving patent litigation is sufficient to require that the briefs and evidence be made available to the public. Instead, the Federal Circuit held that the public’s interest must be more than mere curiosity where the information at issue was not central to the court’s decision on the merits of the case. It also held that the interests of the parties in maintaining the confidentiality of their information must be considered. The court wrote, “[w]hile protecting the public’s interest in access to the courts, we must remain mindful of the parties’ right to access those same courts upon terms which will not unduly harm their competitive interest.”

The Federal Circuit reversed the district court, holding that a showing of “compelling reasons” was not the correct standard to apply when determining if parties should be allowed to file documents under seal. Instead, under the law, only a showing of “good cause” is required.

Practice Tip: This case is unusual in that it reached the appeals court. Typically, when patent attorneys for the parties agree to keep information secret, most district court judges are willing to allow evidence and briefs to be filed under seal. It is perhaps due to the considerable public interest in this case that Judge Koh declared before the trial that “the whole trial is going to be open.”

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Indianapolis, IN – The Southern District of Indiana ruled in favor of Plaintiff Patrick Collins, Inc. by denying the motion of pro se Defendant John Doe No. 7 to quash or modify Plaintiff’s subpoena.

 In a lawsuit originally styled “Patrick Collins, Inc. v. John Does 1 – 13,” Patrick Collins, Inc. of Canoga Park, California (“Patrick Collins”), alleged direct and contributory infringement by 13 then-unidentified individuals including John Doe No. 7.  The suit was filed by copyright attorney Paul Nicoletti.

By motion, Dustin Hillman (“Hillman”), identifying himself only as “John Doe 7,” asked the court to quash or modify the subpoena seeking to compel his internet service provider to provide his real name to the Plaintiff, stating that “such actions violate right to privacy and the disclosure of such matters may result in wrongful or unjust incrimination.”

Hillman attached for the court’s review an article which concluded that a common approach for identifying users infringing copyright law using BitTorrent (via the Internet) was not conclusive.  He then asked the court to require Plaintiff to provide further information about its methods of identifying defendants and proof of the reliability of those methods.  “Hardly a day goes by,” said Hillman, “that the news does not contain a story where a computer system containing highly confidential data has been hacked, spoofed and infected by malware.”  He asked for the subpoena to be quashed or modified on these grounds.

The court was not persuaded.  It discussed those situations under FRCP 45(c)(3)(A) where a court must quash or modify a subpoena and then those situations under FRCP 45(c)(3)(B) where a court may quash or modify a subpoena.  Citing the Malibu Media litigation, a similar matter which we blogged about here, the court then noted that the burden of establishing the grounds to quash a subpoena is borne by the party seeking to quash it.  Hillman, it said, had made an argument denying liability based on the possibility that his IP address may have been used by someone else.  Such an objection was an argument on the merits of the case and was “irrelevant and premature” in the discovery phase of the litigation. 

Hillman also asked the court to require the Plaintiff to disclose its “shake down methods” of collection, how much it had collected from alleged copyright infringers, the percentage of cases settled without trial and the total costs incurred by the Plaintiff.  The court was not moved by this request, either, stating that no evidence of abusive settlement tactics had been presented to the court.

Hillman’s identity was deemed “relevant information that is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” and Hillman’s motion to quash or modify the subpoena was denied.  

Practice Tip: Patrick Collins, Inc. has filed quite a few suits, including another case naming over 1,000 John Doe defendants.  The company has been called a “copyright troll” on more than one occasion.  The actions of companies such as Patrick Collins and Malibu Media have been called “extortionate” and, in at least one case, a class action suit has been filed against these “trolls.” 

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Fort Wayne, IN – Copyright attorney Paul Nicoletti filed a lawsuit on behalf of Malibu Media in the Northern District of Indiana alleging copyright infringement of the pornographic movie “Romantic Memories.” It alleges the infringement occurred by downloading it using the Internet file sharing “bittorrent” protocol. The suit was against 14 as-yet-unnamed Indiana Defendants, John Does 1-14. “Romantic Memories” had been coded with a “Unique Hash Number,” and upon investigation, 14 Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses were identified. Upon receiving permission from the court, Plaintiff served third party subpoenas on two Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) to discover the names and other contact information of each Defendant.

Defendant John Doe No. 12, acting pro se, filed a Motion to Dismiss or Sever for Misjoinder and to Quash Plaintiff’s Subpoena. The court rejected the Motion to Dismiss on a technicality, noting that under local rules motions must be filed separately, and denied the Motions for Severance and to Quash.

Doe No. 12’s Motion to Quash under Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(a) argued that there was no evidence that any improper use of his IP address would be sufficient to support an assertion that he was responsible for such misuse. The Court acknowledged that Doe No. 12 had standing to object to the subpoena on the grounds that it would implicate his privacy interest. However, it went on to reject his argument as a mere denial of liability and not relevant to a Motion to Quash. Doe No. 12 further asserted that the subpoena should be quashed as a burden on his ISP. The court found that argument unpersuasive as 1) the subpoena would not burden Doe No. 12 personally and 2) Rule 45 only requires a court to quash a subpoena when it subjects a person to an undue burden. Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(3)(A)(iv). Further, the court held that no exception for privilege was applicable, as courts have consistently held that “there is no expectation of privacy in Internet subscriber information because it has already been exposed to a third party, the Internet Service Provider.”

Doe No.12’s Motion to Sever under either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 or 21 argued, that there was no single transaction or series of transactions as is required for permissive joinder. Courts across the country are split regarding whether joining anonymous defendants alleged to have participated in a single BitTorrent “swarm” in a single suit is appropriate. The court here allowed joinder as the Plaintiff alleged a set of facts sufficient to support a finding that the separate actions were part of the same series of transactions, noting that the file sharing protocol required each participant to send and receive portions of the work in order to download and view the entire work. The second requirement for joinder under Rule 20, a “common question of law or fact,” was sufficiently pled by the Plaintiff’s assertion, without exception, of the same counts of copyright infringement against all Defendants. Discretionary severance under Rule 21 was also denied as unnecessarily cumbersome at this stage of the litigation.

Finally, the court issued a warning to plaintiffs in situations such as these, stating that “the litigation strategy Plaintiff has employed in this case has a history of becoming abusive and potentially giving rise to sanctions under Rule 11.” The court further cautioned plaintiffs against improperly leveraging a defendant’s reluctance to have his identity revealed to coerce a settlement.

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Indianapolis IN – Copyright lawyers for CP Productions, Inc. of Phoenix, AZ filed a copyright infringement declaratory judgment suit in alleging John Doe, an alleged serial infringer known at this time only by an IP address, infringed the copyrighted work “GH Hustlers – Maryjane’s Second Visit” which has been registered by the US Copyright Office.

In the complaint filed by attorneys for CP Productions, John Doe and other un-named parties are believed to have infringed a copyrighted video belonging to CP Productions. CP Productions is a producer of adult entertainment and seeks judgment against John Doe and others for the alleged serial infringement of the video “GH Hustlers–Maryjane’s Second Visit” to which the Plaintiff owns the copyright. John Doe and the joint tortfeasers are not known by name but rather, through their IP address and attorneys for CP Productions will be filing a Motion for Leave to Take Discovery in order to ascertain the actual identities of the Defendants from their ISPs. CP Productions is seeking judgment from counts including copyright infringement, civil conspiracy, and contributory infringement. CP Productions claims to have observed John Doe’s infringing multiple copyrighted content through agents the Plaintiff has employed using the BitTorrent protocol because the Plaintiff employs P2P netword forensic software to provide real time monitoring of the BitTorrent swarm that distributes the video. This software allowed CP Productions to log John Doe and the joint tortfeasers unlawful activities. CP Productions further alleges that John Doe and the joint tortfeasers intentionally downloaded a torrent file particular to the Plaintiff’s video, purposefully uploaded the torrent into their BitTorrent clients and entered a BitTorrent swarm particular to the Plaintiff’s video and reproduced and distributed the copyrighted video among themselves and third parties thereby becoming both and uploader and downloader of the video. By doing so, CP Productions claims that this “ever growing swarm will jointly contribute to the complete download of the Video for all individuals that enter the swarm at any given moment.” CP Productions believes that this lawsuit is the only practical means by which to combat BitTorrent based infringement. Because the damage claimed by CP Prodcutions includes economic and reputation losses, to which Plaintiff asserts will continue, the Complaint sets out demand for actual or statutory damages allowed under the Copyright Law, compensatory damages for the counts of civil conspiracy and contributory infringement, and an order or impoundment for all copies of Plaintiff’s works, photographs or other materials in the Defendant’s possession or control.

Practice Tip: The BitTorrent protocol is a decentralized method that allows users to distribute data via the Internet, and has become an extremely popular method for unlawful copying, reproducing and distributing files in violation of the copyright laws. Where this market was once consumed by music copyright violations, the adult entertainment industry has seen an increase in litigation against infringers using BitTorrent-based technology. Although no concrete rules govern jurisdiction of the Internet, Indiana’s long arm statute (Indiana Rule of Trial Procedure 4.4) permit personal jurisdiction of Defendants if they either downloaded or uploaded the copyrighted material.

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