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Comcast Required to Reveal the Name of Accused BitTorrent Pirate

Accused BitTorrent Pirate

The ongoing practice of suing BitTorrent users for piracy has significantly burdened U.S. courts, largely due to the efforts of Strike 3 Holdings.

In a recent case, an accused Comcast subscriber attempted to halt a lawsuit, but the Colorado court ruled against the defendant, affirming that the plaintiffs are not copyright trolls.

Strike 3 Holdings’ Impact on Federal Courts

Strike 3 Holdings has established a prominent presence in U.S. federal courts over time.

The adult entertainment company set a record last year by filing an unprecedented number of lawsuits against alleged BitTorrent pirates. In 2023, they continue this momentum, with dozens of lawsuits being filed each week. While many of these cases are settled privately, some receive little media attention.

Rare Trial Attempts and Settlement Objectives

Although accused internet subscribers occasionally object, very few of these cases proceed to trial. Some argue that the primary objective of these lawsuits is to secure settlement payments and default judgments rather than pursuing trials based on the merits of the claims.

Motion to Quash Filed by John Doe Defendant

A “John Doe” defendant, whose IP address became the target of a recent complaint, took a decisive step by submitting a motion to quash an order to shield their identity from disclosure by Comcast.

In a compelling argument put forth by Doe’s attorney, it was emphasized that considering the extensive number of John Does being sued by Strike 3, the plaintiff likely harbored no genuine intention to proceed with trials in the numerous copyright infringement cases filed.

Instead, the attorney alleged that Strike 3 aimed to derive profits from settlements with financially constrained individual defendants and obtain default judgments against those who lacked the means or confidence to mount a robust defense throughout a full-fledged copyright infringement trial.

Armed with these persuasive contentions and others, the defendant endeavored to bring the lawsuit to an abrupt halt. Regrettably, as history has shown in similar cases, the Colorado federal court dismissed the defendant’s request.

According to U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty, the distinguished overseer of all Strike 3 cases within the district, subpoenas seeking the identification of internet subscribers can only be invalidated if a valid privilege claim or a privacy concern is clearly implicated. Unfortunately for the defendant, neither of these conditions is applicable in this particular instance.

Reliability of Evidence and Discovery Process

The defendant raised concerns about the accuracy of the evidence and its ability to properly identify infringers.

For instance, the defendant pointed out that open Wi-Fi networks could be accessed by neighbors or other individuals.

Judge Hegarty acknowledged this argument but considered it premature to quash the subpoena based on these grounds. He advised the defendant to address these concerns during the adjudication of the case’s merits.

Dismissing the Copyright Troll Accusation

The court refuted the assertion that Strike 3 Holdings is a copyright troll, highlighting that no particular defendant in their cases had experienced coercive settlement tactics.

Judge Hegarty emphasized that the court had consistently found Strike 3 to be a legitimate producer of adult films whose copyrighted works were being infringed.

Experienced Torrent Users Shake Their Heads

Experienced torrent users see cases like this, shake their heads, and the first question they ask is, “Why weren’t you using a VPN to protect your identity?”

Many people not familiar with copyright laws don’t understand that it’s illegal to download copyright protected works from the Internet.

Your identifying IP Address is like a phone number and it ties directly back to your Internet account which is demonstrated in this legal case.

Yeah, for a couple of bucks per month this person and countless others could have protected themselves from these ridiculous legal nightmares.


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A VPN is important for anyone who downloads or streams content through the Internet because many times it’s impossible to know whether something is protected by copyright or not.  A simple mistake can land you in serious trouble.

Common sense tells us that most movies and TV shows are protected but who would think adult movies  would fit this criteria?  Anything can be copyrighted and the owner can legally sue anyone who accesses it without paying.

Balancing Privacy Concerns and Protective Orders

Under the spotlight, the motion to quash brought forth by the Doe defendant shed light on their deep-seated apprehensions regarding the potential consequences of exposing their identity. The defendant firmly believed that such disclosure would unleash a torrent of undue embarrassment, unwarranted stigma, damage to their character and reputation, and even jeopardize their current employment status.

Recognizing the gravity of these concerns, Judge Hegarty acknowledged their significance. However, the existence of a protective order option allowing defendants in these cases to proceed anonymously rendered insufficient grounds to quash the subpoena and prematurely terminate the case.

Consequently, Judge Hegarty concluded, “The Court finds that Defendant has not met his or her burden of showing that the subpoena served on Comcast must be quashed. Therefore, the Court denies Defendant John Doe’s Motion to Quash.”

While the unsurprising nature of this outcome echoes previous failed attempts in Colorado’s federal court, it remains vital to emphasize the continuous progression of such cases through the judicial system.

Given the consistent appearance of all Strike 3 cases on Judge Hegarty’s desk in Colorado, this ruling strongly indicates the arduous nature of submitting a successful motion to quash within this district.

This story was first published on TorrentFreak.

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1 thought on “Comcast Required to Reveal the Name of Accused BitTorrent Pirate”

  1. Benjamin Merlino Jr

    Hey Troy First off thanks for the great job with Troypoint. You have survived when many have not. I currently use a vpn for protection 24/7. My question is could you post a url for a Strix update and any other url that has recently updated.

    Thx Bemer53

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