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View Diary: Legal Issue: I Could Use Some Kos Community Help (165 comments)

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  •  I Had Something Similar (63+ / 0-)

    Last year I received a notice from Comcast that my IP address had been listed in a lawsuit filed in state court far far away as someone who had "misappropriated plaintiff's copyrighted works, on information and belief." 50 seconds of research indicated that this suit was filed a porn copyright outfit whose whole mission is extortion of the type you describe.  These clowns had managed to convince a state court judge to grant discovery to it based upon its allegations that the alleged infringing IP owners lived in the state. Of course, I live about 1500 miles away from the state and, most importantly, and if I wanted to watch porn I am perfectly capable of paying fair market value for it LOL).  (The plaintiffs were careful not to file in federal court because the federal courts have been all over these troll lawsuits ever since DirecTV sued thousands of people claiming infringement by buying a legal product and routinely not only toss the suits out, but also award sanctions). The ominous sounding letter said that if I did not file an objection (which could be filed only in the state court 1500 miles away) my identity information would be disclosed to the trolls.  Who would no doubt then send me one of those "we will sue you if you don't pay X" types of demand letters.

    After careful evaluation, I decided not to file an objection.  The whole point of an objection would be to prevent disclosure of my identity, but you can't file an objection in court anonymously, so if I did object in court it would be moot. Moreover, if, after receiving my identity these yahoos did try to extort me, then I could take the matter to the federal court--and would, since no state-based court has any jurisdiction over me other than my home state's at present--and clean the plaintiff's clock.

    So far, however, I have heard nothing further, and doubt I ever will since I assume these trolls have bothered to look up who I was and realized that they would be bringing this type of threat/suit against a licensed lawyer.  But IMO unless you know that this lawsuit is pending in a place that has personal jurisdiction over you, I'd advise you to ignore the subpoena, because fighting it means you're just giving them the same information they would get from the subpoena but it would cost you money. Save the money for if, and when, they actually come after you.

    YMMV and IMNSHO.

    •  I think he can't ignore it, because the request (8+ / 0-)

      went to his ISP, which is how he found out about it, no?

      •  Well, that's only one of the confusing things (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, mungley, DvCM, worldlotus, kurt

        about this diary ... and an excellent reason to not seek any legal advice through DKos or other similar site.

        My initial reaction on reading this from the diary

        Basically all my Internet records have been subpoenaed. I mean everything. All my IP logs.
        was that the OP was running some sort of webserver.  After reading some of the back-and-forth, that's no longer so clear.

        If the OP is not running a server, then what records and IP logs are at issue?  That sounds more like records maintained by the ISP.

        Reading between the lines, it sounds like

        • the OP's ISP has been subpoena'ed  for records relating to many of its customers, including the OP
        • the ISP has notified the OP of the subpoena

        The next part isn't clear: has the ISP said that it will

        • comply with the subpoena;
        • will only contest the subpoena if requested by each customer (highly unlikely);
        • will permit individual customers to contest the subpoena as relates to them (also unlikely)?

        It is essential that the OP seek competent legal counsel immediately.

        We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

        by NoMoJoe on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:25:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Diarist needs to read his agreement with the ISP (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern, grover

          as it may well have information about what is his responsibility adn what is the ISP's when something like this happens.  That agreement is the thing you clicked when you first installed the ISP, as it may have thereafter been amended by the ISP.

        •  This Was What (4+ / 0-)

          Had happened with Comcast, which included a copy of the subpoena with its notice to me.  Thousands of IP addresses were listed.  I don't know if this is the same thing as what happened to the OP, but it is likely.

          The ISP has to comply with the subpoena.  My advice was not directed to the ISP, but the OP whose records with the ISP, about whether it was worth his time and money trying to prevent the ISP from complying as it related to him.  I just shared my personal experience, and gave my personal opinion based upon how I personally proceeded.  (Please note that just because I am a lawyer doesn't mean that all my advice is legal advice.)

        •  The ISP Cannot Stop Its Customer (4+ / 0-)

          From independently appearing before the court to move to quash the subpoena as it relates to his IP address(es.)  So no matter your speculation about what the ISP says it will "permit its individual customers to contest", the ISP has no control over that. It does not have to honor it's client's request that the ISP object on its behalf (and at least in my experience Comcast would not do that, and said so) but it has no power to permit, or prevent, the OP from doing anything on his own before the relevant court.

          That's just the law, from a competent attorney (although not one who was giving the OP legal advice when I shared my personal experience.)

      •  The Issue is Who was Being Subpoenaed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern, radical simplicity, kurt

        If the ISP was subpoenaed, the ISP can't ignore it, to be sure.  But subpoaeing the ISP ain't the same thing as subpoenaing the OP.

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