March 8, 2016 me_charity

First copyright infringement lawsuit in Louisiana

On February 22, Dallas Buyers Club LLC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Doe-174.64.14.54. The unknown defendant from Louisiana allegedly illegally downloaded and distributed the movie Dallas Buyers Club through peer-to-peer network BitTorrent; and this kind of lawsuit is the first of its kind filed in the Middle District of Louisiana.

According to attorney Pierre V. Miller II who’s representing the plaintiff, a number of this type of lawsuit has been filed in other jurisdictions in the U.S. but he’s aware that it’s the first one filed in the Middle District of Louisiana. Miller says “There is a huge problem with people stealing copyrighted material, including motion pictures.” He also added that more lawsuits will be filed.

The lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge claims that the movie, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, was illegally reproduced and distributed numerous times all over the world with “many confirmed instances of infringing activity traced to Louisiana.”

It reads “As noted by Senator Levin in Congressional hearings on peer-to-peer Internet piracy, ‘In the world of copyright law, taking someone’s intellectual property is a serious offense, punishable by large fines.’ ‘In the real world, violations of copyright law over the Internet are so widespread and easy to accomplish that many participants seem to consider it equivalent to jaywalking—illegal but no big deal. But it is a big deal.'”

“The enforcement of intellectual property rights and in particular the fight against counterfeiting and piracy are critical issues of importance to the citizens of Louisiana and the United States.”

Although the plaintiff has not identified the defendant’s name despite its best efforts, they traced the defendant’s approximate location at the time of the download through geolocation technology and it was somewhere within the Middle District. It confirms that the defendant in the case is located within the Middle District of Louisiana, which includes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, and St. Helena parishes.

Still, identifying the name of the defendant could be done by ordering the internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications to hand over the account holder’s information. The ISP issued the defendant’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is used to determine an entity or the person’s identity. It is the next step of the whole process and could take about 30 to 45 days. As rights owner of the motion picture, the limited liability company is demanding jury trial, permanent injunction against the defendant, statutory damages, reasonable costs, and attorney fees according to the lawsuit.

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