The brainchild of a Washington, D.C., law firm calling itself the “U.S. Copyright Group” (USCG), these “John Doe” lawsuits were filed on behalf of seven filmmakers and implicate well over 14,000 anonymous individuals in alleged unauthorized downloading of independent films, including “Far Cry” and “The Hurt Locker.” Time Warner Cable moved to quash subpoenas issued in two of the suits that sought the identities of the Doe defendants, and EFF, the ACLU and Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in support of the motion. EFF was invited to appear at the hearing, and told the judge that USCG did not offer enough evidence of a relationship between the defendants to justify suing them together, and that the evidence that the plaintiffs themselves submitted suggested the court did not have jurisdiction for people who are located across the country. Indeed, TWC noted that its records showed it had no subscribers in the District of Columbia.
During the hearing, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said that while the plaintiffs had a right to pursue legitimate claims, she was also concerned that the defendants