EFF Asks Judges to Quash Subpoenas in Movie-Downloading Lawsuits

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EFF Asks Judges to Quash Subpoenas in Movie-Downloading Lawsuits

Washington, D.C. – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked judges in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to quash subpoenas issued in predatory lawsuits aimed at movie downloaders, arguing in friend-of-the court briefs that the cases, which together target several thousand BitTorrent users, flout legal safeguards for protecting individuals’ rights. Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation joined EFF on the briefs filed Wednesday.

The lawsuits are the brainchild of a Washington, D.C., law firm calling itself the “U.S. Copyright Group” (USCG). USCG investigators have identified IP addresses they allege are associated with the unauthorized downloading of independent films, including “Far Cry” and “The Hurt Locker.” To date, USCG has filed seven “John Doe” lawsuits in D.C., implicating well over 14,000 individuals, and has issued subpoenas to ISPs seeking the names and addresses of the subscribers associated with those IP addresses. Several ISPs have complied, but Time Warner Cable moved to quash the three subpoenas it received, arguing that USCG is abusing the discovery process.

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