Back in May we reported that a staggering 23,322 alleged pirates of the film The Expendables were to be sued for their illegal file sharing habits. Today, a decision from the United States District Court of Columbia has ruled that over 99% of the alleged infringers cannot be sued because they fall outside the jurisdiction of the court.
Judge Robert Wilkins stated that the film studio (NU Image) can only go after those who are reasonably likely to be living in the District of Columbia, as the court only has jurisdiction over those alleged file sharers. Following the judge’s advice, TorrentFreak ran all 23,322 collected IPs through an IP-location database to discover that 23,238 individuals fell outside the jurisdiction – discounting more than 99% of the IPs and leaving just 84 people.
NU Image claimed that geolocation services are inaccurate at determining the actual location of the offenders; however this was refuted by the Judge as he recommended that the studio use the service to find alleged file sharers who actually fall in the jurisdiction of the court.
Plaintiff can establish such a good faith basis for residence or personal jurisdiction by utilizing geolocation services that are generally available to the public to derive the approximate location of the IP addresses identified for each punitive defendant…. while these geolocation services are not 100% accurate, these services can place a user no farther away than a city that borders the user’s actual location
At this stage in the lawsuit it appears as though the 23,238 individuals outside the court jurisdiction are not at risk of being sued for their downloading habits.