Copyright Cyberspace Headline Intellectual Property

Nude Nuns Drop Their Guns, Dismiss Copyright Infringement Case

The most active group of movie producers in the realm of litigating apparent copyright infringement in 2011 seems to be producers of pornographic material.  I have no hard evidence that this is the case, but from the sheer amount of cases I hear about, including some demand letters that clients have brought to my attention, I believe it to be true.  While at first it may be humorous to poke fun at the titles of the movies being sued about, this is serious litigation, and people who are doing the downloading have a lot to be concerned about.  However, at least one group of defendants can breathe a sigh of relief.

Just yesterday, a copyright infringement lawsuit against 5,865 people who were claimed to have illegally downloaded the movie Nude Nuns with Big Guns was dismissed without prejudice by the Plaintiff.  This dismissal follows another dismissal without prejudice in the same case and controversy by the producer of the movie, which is in dispute as to which outlet legally owns the movie’s rights.  There is currently confusion about whether the producer (Camelot Distribution Group) or one of its creditors (Incentive Capital) has legal ownership of Nude Nuns with Big Guns.  At least while the two parties sort out that mess, the 5,865 potential defendants in a copyright infringement case can rest at ease.

Interestingly, both Camelot and Incentive Capital seemed to be having problems getting the United States District Court, Central District of California Western Division to permit them to issue subpoenas to internet service providers to get contact information to the 5,865 IP addresses associated with the 5,865 Does named in each lawsuit.  This is usually not a problem for a Plaintiff, and it may say something about the strength of the case itself or the venue where the case was filed.

Of note – this is another copyright infringement case that stems from the usage of the popular program BitTorrent.  It seems as though the use of this program makes it very easy for copyright holders to capture the user’s IP address.  Will infringers start to become more aware of this fact and switch to other downloading software?