Internet service provider Comcast, inundated with subpoenas to reveal the identities of its customers who are accused of pirating digital content, has asked the court to dismiss the subpoenas, reports TorrentFreak.
The main arguments made by Comcast's lawyers in the request are that the court does not have jurisdiction over all of the named defendants, because many of them do not reside in the district in which they are being sued, and that the copyright holders have no grounds to join so many defendants in one lawsuit. The boldest argument from Comcast's camp is the accusation that the copyright holders are exploiting the court system to coerce defendants into paying for settlements.
"Plaintiffs should not be allowed to profit from unfair litigation tactics whereby they use the offices of the Court as an inexpensive means to gain Doe defendants' personal information and coerce 'settlements' from them," the statement reads. "It is evident in these cases – and the multitude of cases filed by plaintiffs and other pornographers represented by their counsel – that plaintiffs have no interest in actually litigating their claims against the Doe defendants, but simply seek to use the Court and its subpoena powers to obtain sufficient information to shake down the Doe defendants."
Unsurprisingly, the representation for AF Holdings, LLC, the plaintiff in the case, did not take well to this accusation, and responded by accusing Comcast of trying to deny copyright holders their ability to protect their works.
TorrentFreak reports that the case is being handled by Judge Gary Feinerman, who will decide whether to honor Comcast's request to destroy the subpoenas, or force the company to give up the subscriber information.