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Judge Trims Batman Parody Porno Copyright Case to Single Defendant

| 30 Dec 2010 16:41
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Alleged pirates didn't act in concert, rules judge, so lumping them together makes no sense.

A West Virginian judge has pruned all but one defendant from a batch of more than 7,000 subpoenas for John Does who had allegedly downloaded Axel Braun's Batman XXX: A Porn Parody.

West Virginia United States District Court Judge John Preston Bailey said that the case had been improperly joined - an error known as "misjoinder" - or in other words, there was no reason to lump all of the defendants together. Preston Bailey said that there was nothing to suggest that the defendants had acted together, and would undeniably have different defenses.

The Adult Copyright Company filed the suit against the 7,098 John Does at the end of October. At the time, Braun remarked that he had no problems taking legal action against anyone who pirated his movies, and that pirates didn't seem to realize just how many people they were hurting. He was especially interested in pursuing those who had pirated Batman XXX however, as it was a movie that he had financed himself.

If Braun wants to re-file against the remaining 7,097 John Does, he's able to do so, but it will cost $350 per case, or a cool $2.4 million for the lot. Braun can only sue those John Does who are actually located in West Virginia though, which should bring the number down a little.

This is a slightly different situation to the recent case in Washington DC where a judge dismissed over 5,000 defendants who had been accused of downloading the Far Cry movie, as that was based on jurisdictional issues. It does seem however, that there is growing hostility from judges over scattershot copyright suits. You can't blame media creators for wanting to defend their copyrights, but they might have to change tactics in the future if they want to have any success.

Source: Ars Technica

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