IP Addresses Can’t Recognize Pirates, Says Florida District Judge
Manny, a film released last year, has been pirated and is available on plenty of BitTorrent sites, similar to almost every other movie that comes out.
Creators of Manny have filed plenty of complaints and lawsuits against pirate sites. They haven’t been able to achieve anything concrete so far, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.
Florida District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled on the matter of piracy and said an IP address evidence isn’t enough to determine who is responsible for piracy. Many U.S courts have pending cases related to movie piracy, and in such cases the most prominent evidence is indeed an IP address.
Since release, Manny alone has filed 215 lawsuits in several U.S courts. Like I said, IP address is the most prominent evidence which is presented by Manny creators, and they are asking for a subpoena. Which legally bounds Internet providers to hand over personal details related to the owner of that IP. This happens with most of the cases but when it comes to Florida, things aren’t as simple.
Judge Ursula Ungaro asked filmmakers to explain how an IP is considered a person and how geo-location tools can actually determine that the person lives in the Court’s district.
Filmmakers failed to satisfy the judge as Ungaro wasn’t convinced by the arguments. Judge didn’t see how an IP can tell the exact identity of the person.
Due to the risk of ‘false positives,’ an allegation that an IP address is registered to an individual is not sufficient in and of itself to support a claim that the individual is guilty of infringement
Even after this ruling, I don’t think Manny creators will stop going after pirates. They shouldn’t, as they have every right to protect their property.