January 23, 2008

Another Day at the Races

Yesterday (1/22/08) was another busy day for the major record labels, with the filing in various federal courts of nineteen (19) copyright infringement actions against P2P users identified by their IP-addresses. Under these cookie-cutter complaints, plaintiffs seek injunctions, statutory damages under the Copyright Act, and legal fees.

At a quick glance, the number of alleged infringements range from approximately 400 recordings to nearly 2,000, and appear to all have occurred in 2007.

What is remarkable is that in each of the courts -- e.g., California Eastern District, Florida Middle District, Georgia Northern District -- the complaints are virtually identical!

With regards to the P2P portion, each had this to say:

Much of the unlawful distribution of copyrighted sound recordings over the
Internet occurs via "peer-to-peer" ("P2P") file copying networks or so-called
online media distribution systems. P2P networks, at least in their most
popular form, refer to computer systems or processes that enable Internet users
to search for files (including audio recordings) store on other users' computers
and transfer exact copies of files from one computer to another via the
Internet, which can include both downloading an exact copy of that file onto the
user's own computer and distributing an exact copy of that file to other
Internet users on the same P2P network. P2P networks enable users who
otherwise would have no connection with, or knowledge of, each other to provide
a sophisticated search mechanism by which users can locate these files for
downloading and to reproduce and distribute files off of their personal

Users of P2P networks who distribute files over a network can be identified
by using Internet Protocol ("IP") addresses because the unique IP address of the
computer offering the files for distribution can be captured by another user
during a search or a file transfer. Users of P2P networks can be
identified by their IP addresses because each computer or network device (such
as a router) that connects to a P2P network must have a unique IP address within
the Internet to deliver files from one computer or network device to
another. Two computers cannot effectively function if they are connected
to the Internet with the same IP address at the same time.

California Eastern District:
BMG Music et al v. Espinoza; case 1:2008 00040

UMG Recordings, Inc. et al v. Higareda; case 1:2008 00039
Sony BMG Music Entertainment; case 1:2008 00041
Sony BMG Music Entertainment et al v. Evans; case 1:2008 cv 00109
Warner Bros. Records Inc. et al v. Kukendall; case 2008 00043
BMG Music et al v. Espinoza; case 1:2008 00044

Florida Middle District:
Priority Records LLC et al v. Hayes; case 3:2008cv00079

Georgia Middle District:
Zomba Recording LLC, a Delaware limited liability company et al v. Hughes; case 7:2008cv00012
Atlantic Recording Corporation et al v. Helmburg; case 5:2008cv00015

Georgia Southern District:
UMG Recordings, Inc. et al v. Emerson; case 4:2008cv00013
Mass. District:
Sony BMG Music Entertainment et al v. Crespo; case 1:2008cv10093
UMG Recordings, Inc. et al v. Saucier; case 4:2008cv40007
UMG Recordings, Inc. et al v. Straw; case 1:2008cv10092

Tennessee Middle District:
UMG Recordings, Inc. et al v. Adkins; case 3:2008cv00056
Capitol Records, Inc. et al v. Barbiere; case 3:2008cv00055
Warner Bros. Records Inc. et al v. Williams; case 3:2008cv00053
BMG Music et al v. Sharpe; case 3:2008cv00054
UMG Recordings, Inc. et al v. Farris; case 2:2008cv02027

Tennessee Eastern District:
UMG Recordings, Inc et al v. Bush; case 4:2008cv00007]

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