Skip to main content

Judge denies subpoenas based on IP addresses

Apple-gavel-antitrust-governement-laws
Image used with permission by copyright holder

U.S. Judge Harold Baker has ruled, in the case of VPR Internationale v. Does 1017, that IP addresses don’t necessarily equate to a person guilty of copyright infringement. This may be quite a notable statement in regards to the myriads of piracy lawsuits happening in the United States.

This case was brought forward by VPR Internationale, a Canadian adult film company, who filed a motion for expedited discovery. VPR wanted to serve subpoenas on internet service providers in order to obtain subscribers’ private information.

The Quebec based adult entertainment provider had 1,017 unidentified IP addresses it wished to find physical locations for. An article by TorrentFreak said that the purpose of obtaining the personal information of supposed copyright infringers is to negotiate a quick settlement—a practice which has been compared to extortion.

100,000 users have been targeted by these extortion-like schemes in the last year.

Judge Baker noted, “The embarrassment of public exposure might be too great, the legal system too daunting and expensive, for some to ask whether VPR has competent evidence to prove its case…the imprimatur of this court will not be used to advance a ‘fishing expedition by means of a perversion of the purpose and intent’ of class actions.”

The judge’s logic in denying the adult film company the subpoenas revolved around a recent Buffalo, New York story about an unsecured router. The FBI conducted a raid against a man they thought guilty of distributing child pornography. It turned out that his 25-year-old neighbor was the culprit and had been piggybacking off the innocent homeowner’s wireless connection.

The New York man’s example led the judge to his point that a copyright infringer might just be piggybacking in the same way, and could be a neighbor or even someone parked out on the curb; so the IP address isn’t sufficient evidence to invade their privacy and the court has no jurisdiction over these “Does”.

Editors' Recommendations

Jeff Hughes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I'm a SF Bay Area-based writer/ninja that loves anything geek, tech, comic, social media or gaming-related.
The 7 worst CPUs of all time
Someone holding the Core i9-12900KS processor.

The list of the best processors is constantly shifting, with AMD and Intel constantly duking it out for a top slot. Although both companies have released some fantastic CPUs, they've put out plenty of duds as well. And some of those have gained infamy among the worst CPUs of all time.

We dug through the archives of the past several decades of CPU releases to identify the worst processors AMD and Intel have ever put out. Some, such as the Core i9-11900K and FX-9590, are relatively recent, while others date back to the earlier days of custom PCs. Regardless, each of these seven processors have earned a dishonorable status, be it for pricing, power, heat, or just plain old poor performance.
Intel Core i9-11900K (2021)

Read more
This Lenovo 2-in-1 laptop is normally $2,000 — today it’s $658
The Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga Gen 3 AMD on a white background.,

We’re always on the lookout for 2-in-1 laptop deals, and one of our favorites this week is made possible by Lenovo. For a limited time, you’ll be able to score the amazing Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga Gen 3 for $659. The original price of $2,009 is based on Lenovo’s estimated value system. This means that the ThinkPad L13’s original value could be a tad overestimated. Still, this is a phenomenal laptop deal you don’t want to pass up.

Why you should buy the Lenovo 2-in-1 laptop
When it comes to workhorse PCs, versatility is just as integral as performance. The ThinkPad Yoga Gen 3 more than satisfies both of these essential laptop criteria. The 13.3-inch WUXGA IPS touchscreen can be configured as both a traditional laptop or a fold-over tablet. The 1920 x 1200 pixel spread delivers up to 1080p HD at 60Hz, along with 300-nit peak brightness levels. And that 1080p screen is accompanied by a 1080p FHD RGB hybrid webcam with a privacy shutter. 

Read more
Grab this HP 2-in-1 Chromebook while it’s $250 off
Several Chromebook Plus devices sitting by each other.

We see a lot of laptop deals in our line of work. We also see a ton of tablet deals. Of course, a combination of both device types is what we call a 2-in-1 computer, and there’s one sale that’s getting a lot of love at Best Buy right now. Thanks to a $250 discount, you can take home an HP 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook Plus for only $450. Normally priced at $700, it’s hard to say how long this promo will last.
Why you should buy the HP 2-in-1 Chromebook
Chromebook deals can be found just about anywhere, but we do our best to highlight the sales with the best perks. In the case of the HP 2-in-1 Chromebook, we’re working with an Intel i3-powered machine running off 8GB of RAM. Storage wise, there’s up to 256GB to work with. While this may not be the powerhouse PC you’ll use for Adobe Creative Suite multitasking, it’s strong and reliable enough to be a go-to PC at work, school, or on your living room couch.

The 14-inch WUXGA IPS screen packs in a 1920 x 1200 pixel spread. When you’re using your 2-in-1 outside on a bright, sunny day, the display does a decent job of pushing away glare. And while 250 nits isn’t overly bright, the 178-degree viewing angle means you’ll get the best visuals possible from most vantages. Not to mention the touchscreen is Corning Gorilla Glass, one of the most heavy-duty names in the world of device displays.

Read more