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Interscope Records v. Does (Middle District of Florida)

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - File-Sharing
Status: closed
Citation: No. 6:04-CV-197-Orl-22DAB
Date Of Involvement: 03/30/2004

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Following the D.C. Court of Appeals' ruling in RIAA v. Verizon Internet Services, a group of music companies filed a series of lawsuits, each of which accuses between 7 and 300 anonymous defendants of illegal file-sharing. Public Citizen, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, sought to force the music companies to give the unnamed defendants the same Due Process and First Amendment rights as any other defendant. Specifically, Public Citizen asked the courts to require proof of copyright violations before ordering each defendant's Internet Service Provider to reveal the defendant's identity, and to force the music companies to file separate lawsuits where each defendant resides. Without reaching the First Amendment issue raised in Public Citizen's amicus brief, the trial court adopted our joinder arguments and held that plaintiffs could not join hundreds of different downloaders in a single lawsuit, and ordered all but the first defendant severed from the case.