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K-Beech v. Aguayo (a/k/a John Does 1-41) (S.D. Tex. Mar. 8, 2012) (ruling that participation in a common BitTorrent "swarm" does not qualify as a "single transaction or series of closely-related transactions" sufficient for joinder under Fed. R. Civ. P. 20)

K-Beech v. Aguayo (a/k/a John Does 1-41) (S.D. Tex. Mar. 8, 2012) (ruling that participation in a common BitTorrent "swarm" does not qualify as a "single transaction or series of closely-related transactions" sufficient for joinder under Fed. R. Civ. P. 20)

Ratings: (0)|Views: 55 |Likes:
Excerpt:

"The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has repeatedly found that joinder is appropriate in cases involving BitTorrent technology. See, e.g., Call of the Wild Movie, LLC v. Does 1–1,062, 770 F. Supp. 2d 332, 342—45 (D.D.C. 2011); West Coast Prod., Inc. v. Does 1–5829, 275 F.R.D. 9, 15—16 (D.D.C. 2011); Donkeyball Movie, LLC v. Does 1–171, 2011 WL 1807452, *4–*5 (D.D.C. May 12, 2011).

However, a number of other district courts have found joinder inappropriate in similar BitTorrent cases. See, e.g., Raw Films, 2011 WL 6840590, at *1 (finding that “the swarm joinder pleading tactic [was] not appropriate” where “[t]he differing dates and times of each Defendant’s alleged sharing d[id] not allow for an inference that the Defendants were acting in concert”); SBO Pictures, Inc. v. Does 1-3036, 2011 WL 6002620, *3 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 30, 2011) (“The Court cannot conclude that a Doe Defendant who allegedly downloaded or uploaded a portion of the Motion Picture on May 11, 2011 [and] a Doe Defendant who allegedly did the same on August 10, 2011 . . . were engaged in the single transaction or series of closely-related transactions recognized under Rule 20.”); Third Degree Films v. Does 1–3577, 2011 WL 5374569, *3 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 4, 2011) (Rule 20 not satisfied even though defendants were alleged to be part of a common swarm where Doe defendants downloaded the protected work at various dates and times ranging over a period of several months); AF Holdings, LLC v. Does 1-97, 2011 WL 5195227, *2 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 1, 2011) (“[E]ven though Plaintiff has alleged that Doe Defendants entered into the same swarm and were downloading the same seed file, Plaintiff has not alleged that any of the ninety-seven Doe Defendants exchanged any piece of the relevant file with each other or actually acted in concert with one another.”); Hard Drive Prods., Inc. v. Does 1-30, 2011 WL 4915551, *3 (E.D. Va. Oct. 17, 2011) (“Plaintiff relies on this “swarm” theory to claim that the Doe Defendants acted in concert through a series of transactions to commit the infringement, giving rise to proper joinder. . . . The Court, however, disagrees with this conception of proper joinder under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”); Raw Films, 2011 WL 6182025, at *2 (“The mere allegation that the defendants have used the same peer-to-peer network to copy and reproduce the Work—which occurred on different days and times over a span of three months—is insufficient to meet the standards of joinder set forth in Rule 20.”); On The Cheap, 2011 WL 4018258, at *1 (“I . . . find that plaintiff has not established that joinder would be proper under FRCP 20(a)(2) merely because defendants used BitTorrent to download the same film.”); Hard Drive Prods, Inc. v. Does 1-188, 2011 WL 3740473, *14 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 23, 2011) (“Even if joinder of the Doe Defendants in this action met the requirements of Rule 20(a) . . . , the Court finds it is appropriate to exercise its discretion to sever and dismiss all but one Doe Defendant to avoid causing prejudice and unfairness to Defendants, and in the interest of justice.”); Boy Racer v. Does 1—60, 2011 WL 3652521, *4 (N.D. Cal Aug. 19, 2011) (“Allegations that defendants used a single peer-to-peer network to download plaintiff's works—on different days, at different times, and through different ISPs—is insufficient to allow plaintiff to litigate against sixty different defendants in one action.”)…"
Excerpt:

"The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has repeatedly found that joinder is appropriate in cases involving BitTorrent technology. See, e.g., Call of the Wild Movie, LLC v. Does 1–1,062, 770 F. Supp. 2d 332, 342—45 (D.D.C. 2011); West Coast Prod., Inc. v. Does 1–5829, 275 F.R.D. 9, 15—16 (D.D.C. 2011); Donkeyball Movie, LLC v. Does 1–171, 2011 WL 1807452, *4–*5 (D.D.C. May 12, 2011).

However, a number of other district courts have found joinder inappropriate in similar BitTorrent cases. See, e.g., Raw Films, 2011 WL 6840590, at *1 (finding that “the swarm joinder pleading tactic [was] not appropriate” where “[t]he differing dates and times of each Defendant’s alleged sharing d[id] not allow for an inference that the Defendants were acting in concert”); SBO Pictures, Inc. v. Does 1-3036, 2011 WL 6002620, *3 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 30, 2011) (“The Court cannot conclude that a Doe Defendant who allegedly downloaded or uploaded a portion of the Motion Picture on May 11, 2011 [and] a Doe Defendant who allegedly did the same on August 10, 2011 . . . were engaged in the single transaction or series of closely-related transactions recognized under Rule 20.”); Third Degree Films v. Does 1–3577, 2011 WL 5374569, *3 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 4, 2011) (Rule 20 not satisfied even though defendants were alleged to be part of a common swarm where Doe defendants downloaded the protected work at various dates and times ranging over a period of several months); AF Holdings, LLC v. Does 1-97, 2011 WL 5195227, *2 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 1, 2011) (“[E]ven though Plaintiff has alleged that Doe Defendants entered into the same swarm and were downloading the same seed file, Plaintiff has not alleged that any of the ninety-seven Doe Defendants exchanged any piece of the relevant file with each other or actually acted in concert with one another.”); Hard Drive Prods., Inc. v. Does 1-30, 2011 WL 4915551, *3 (E.D. Va. Oct. 17, 2011) (“Plaintiff relies on this “swarm” theory to claim that the Doe Defendants acted in concert through a series of transactions to commit the infringement, giving rise to proper joinder. . . . The Court, however, disagrees with this conception of proper joinder under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”); Raw Films, 2011 WL 6182025, at *2 (“The mere allegation that the defendants have used the same peer-to-peer network to copy and reproduce the Work—which occurred on different days and times over a span of three months—is insufficient to meet the standards of joinder set forth in Rule 20.”); On The Cheap, 2011 WL 4018258, at *1 (“I . . . find that plaintiff has not established that joinder would be proper under FRCP 20(a)(2) merely because defendants used BitTorrent to download the same film.”); Hard Drive Prods, Inc. v. Does 1-188, 2011 WL 3740473, *14 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 23, 2011) (“Even if joinder of the Doe Defendants in this action met the requirements of Rule 20(a) . . . , the Court finds it is appropriate to exercise its discretion to sever and dismiss all but one Doe Defendant to avoid causing prejudice and unfairness to Defendants, and in the interest of justice.”); Boy Racer v. Does 1—60, 2011 WL 3652521, *4 (N.D. Cal Aug. 19, 2011) (“Allegations that defendants used a single peer-to-peer network to download plaintiff's works—on different days, at different times, and through different ISPs—is insufficient to allow plaintiff to litigate against sixty different defendants in one action.”)…"

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Published by: Charles Colman Law, PLLC on Mar 27, 2012
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