Turns Out Copyright Trolls Can’t Sue Everybody At Once After All

08.30.11 6 years ago

One of the big advantages copyright trolls have had so far in their endeavors is that they’re able to sue lots of people all at once because, after all, if you used BitTorrent, you contributed a little bit to the fraud and so you should pay a million billion dollars.

Unfortunately for them, judges are increasingly not seeing it that way.

It’s a bit complicated, but essentially, the lawyers for the trolls have been arguing that porn downloaders were working together, like lifting a couch, and thus were all liable for the same thing. More courts, however, are viewing it more like dumping pennies in a change tray: Some contributed more than others, and every single person did so for a different reason.

Which means, legally, that each bit of content downloaded is an entirely separate case. This is huge because it means that instead of just lumping everyone together in class action lawsuits, downloaders must be sued individually on a case by case basis — meaning the costs and the paperwork involved with filing copyright lawsuits would grow exponentially. In California, at least, copyright trolling may no longer be profitable. Now let’s see what the courts in other states have to say.

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