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This article was published on November 26, 2012

Porn studios sue Verizon to get at BitTorrent pirates

Porn studios sue Verizon to get at BitTorrent pirates Image by: pzAxe
Josh Ong
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Josh Ong

Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

After Verizon refused requests to hand over the IP addresses of BitTorrent users seeding pirated movies, three adult movie studios have sued the company over the matter, TorrentFreak reports.

According to court documents discovered by the publication, Malibu Media, Patrick Collins and Third Degree Films have filed with a US District Court in northern Texas to have its subpoenas against Verizon enforced and the company held in contempt. The film studios have filed numerous complaints against BitTorrent seeders with defendants listed as John Does, but they need the IP addresses from Verizon to identify and charge them.

Verizon has defended its decision on five counts by arguing that the plaintiffs’ subpoenas are an “abuse of the discovery process” and the group lawsuits aren’t valid because defendants don’t appear to have been acting together.

TorrentFreak notes that Verizon has begun regularly refusing to provide customer information requested by subpoenas. However, rights holders argue that major ISPs like Verizon and Comcast are profiting from BitTorrent traffic because they have the low-cost pipes in place to benefit from the customers, while smaller ISPs actually lose money on BitTorrent traffic.

Though adult film studios are a separate industry unto themselves, the movie industry overall have struggled to combat piracy. A recent study found substantial monitoring of the top BitTorrent movie downloads from copyright enforcement agencies and security firms.

See also: How film studios keep getting it wrong: Warner pulling Harry Potter DVDs, Blu-Rays

Image credit: iStockPhoto

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