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This article was published on August 15, 2016

Reddit refuses to hand over IP address of music pirate

Reddit refuses to hand over IP address of music pirate
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Reddit says it’s not giving up the IP address of a user who leaked a Twenty One Pilots song a week before its planned release.

A track from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, ‘Heathens,’ made its way to file-sharing site Dropfile on June 15 and was uploaded to the Twenty One Pilots subreddit minutes later. The leak then forced Atlantic Records and its subsidiary label Fueled by Ramen to release the track on June 16, a week before scheduled rollouts with Spotify, iTunes and other platforms.

According to a lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court, Atlantic Records and Fueled by Ramen claimed the company was the victim of “widespread distribution” on the internet after the leak and that the leaker must be an Atlantic employee. If true, the employee was contractually obligated not to leak the track.

pirate flag

This opens up said employee to legal action by both labels — if Atlantic is able to find the culprit.

Reddit doesn’t appear to want to play ball. Ultimately, the decision comes down to Manhattan Justice Joan Kenney, the presiding judge in the case. If ordered, Reddit would presumably have to turn over the IP address.

For now though, Reddit fights. The site told Atlantic that it “has failed to show that its claims are meritorious” and that it has embarked on “an impermissible fishing expedition.” Reddit then suggests Atlantic is targeting the wrong website:

Notably, Atlantic has failed to describe its efforts, if any, to obtain such information from, the website to which the song was uploaded,” Reddit’s brief said. It also said that “a petition for pre-action discovery should be granted only if a petitioner demonstrates that he has a meritorious cause of action and the information sought is material and necessary to an existing and actionable wrong.

A decision by Kenney is pending.