ISP Fights "Hurt Locker" P2P Subpoena, Wins

Ryan Whitwam

This week, a Federal Judge in South Dakota sided with ISP Midcontinent and quashed one of the many Hurt Locker subpoenas seeking subscriber information. The ISP had, on August 9, received the subpoena via fax instructing them to hand over the details on people connected to several IP addresses. Midcontinent Decided that rather than comply, they would take the case to the local Federal Court.

The legal action stems from claims made by the US Copyright Group on behalf of a number of indie movie companies, including Hurt Locker makers Voltage Pictures. This legal group is issuing huge numbers of "Doe" subpoenas to force ISPs to divulge the real identities of those believed to have shared the film online.

While the ISP in question made a number of arguments as to why they should not have to comply, Judge John Simko decided to stop the subpoena right there because of " Federal Rule 45 ", which addresses how subpoenas must be handled with regard to geographic location. Simko believed that the Subpoena did not fulfill any of the four requirements, so it was quashed. The Judge also more or less called the US Copyright Group lazy for sending the document by fax instead of courier, or registered mail. Do you think this will affect other pending subpoenas in the case?

Image via Voltage Pictures

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