TCYK Sues Nine John Doe Defendants for Copyright Infringement of “The Company You Keep”

Hammond, Indiana — Copyright lawyers for TCYK LLC of Los Angeles, CA sued for copyright infringement in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that John Does 1-9, all allegedly located in Indiana, infringed the copyrighted work “The Company You Keep,” which has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office.

The movie stars Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LaBeouf, Anna Kendrick, Julie Christie and Nick Nolte.  It was directed by Robert Redford.  TCYK alleges that the infringing transfer and copying of this movie, which was released on DVD on August 13, 2013, was accomplished by Defendants using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol.  Specifically, the Doe Defendants are accused of deliberately participating in a peer-to-peer “swarm,” and illegally reproducing and/or distributing portions of the movie in digital form with other Defendants.  TCYK indicates in its complaint that it used geolocation technology to determine that the Doe Defendants were located in Indiana. 

The complaint lists a single count of copyright infringement.  Copyright attorneys for Plaintiff ask the court for permanent injunctions prohibiting infringement of Plaintiff’s movie; the destruction of all copies of infringing works in any Defendant’s control; judgment that Defendants have willfully infringed Plaintiff’s copyrighted work; judgment that Defendants have otherwise injured the business reputation and business of Plaintiffs; for actual damages or statutory damages; and for attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.

Practice Tip #1: The impact of distributing large files on servers and networks can be reduced by using BitTorrent.  Instead of downloading a file from a single server, the BitTorrent protocol allows users to join a “swarm” of hosts, each of which downloads and uploads data from the others simultaneously. 

Practice Tip #2: TCYK has filed dozens of lawsuits in federal courts claiming copyright infringement of “The Company You Keep”, including courts in Indiana, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.  It is estimated that thousands of defendants have been sued by TCYK on the allegation that they have infringed this copyrighted work.  TCYK is also featured in an interesting article on the growing practice of using the court system to monetize infringement committed by individual infringers. 

Practice Tip #3: It is curious that apparently neither the filing fee nor form AO 121 (Report on the Filing or Determination of an Action or Appeal Regarding a Copyright) was submitted to the court in conjunction with the filing of this complaint.

This case has been assigned to District Judge Robert Miller Jr. and Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry in the Northern District of Indiana, and assigned Case No. 2:13-cv-00320-RLM-PRC.


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