Voltage Pictures, the copyright owner of the terrible Steven Seagal film Maximum Voltage failed to comply with Judge Ann Aiken’s order to identify 100s of defendants in the copyright suit it filed in February against 100s of John Does.
Judge Aiken’s order, below, recognizes that filing one suit against hundreds of potential defendants, all with varying degrees of culpability and circumstances, and no allegation of association or of a conspiracy, may be improper under the federal rules. Certifying a class action by many plaintiff’s against a single defendant is often an uphill battle. Voltage Pictures appears to be creating a class action against 100s of defendants and saving $100,000s in filing fees. With the sequester in full swing, the courts may be more inspired to enforce procedural rules that have a collateral benefit to the judiciary.
This order appears to have come directly from Judge Aiken, without direct intervention by any of the John Does.
The Oregonian’s reporting on this issue no doubt informed Judge Aiken as to the methods of copyright trolls.
Indeed, the lawyer for Voltage Pictures has been sending IP subscribers demands of $7500 to people who unwittingly gave up their names or their IP addresses.
DO NOT SHARE YOUR IP ADDRESS, YOUR NAME, OR YOUR PHONE NUMBER WITH VOLTAGE PICTURES REPRESENTATIVES. They will put your IP address through their “proprietary software” in an attempt to identify whether your IP address is associated with other bit torrent activity. If it is, the settlement figure may go up precipitously.
As you can see from Judge Aiken’ early ruling in this case, and the 1000 plus defendants, Voltage Pictures may have to invest much more money in this case than it originally anticipated.
Lake Perriguey / 503.227.1928 / firstname.lastname@example.org