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Funimation Sues 1,427 John Does Over Ip Man

posted on 2011-05-31 23:39 EDT
New suit filed in a different district than January One Piece suit

On May 27, lawyer Evan Stone filed a lawsuit on behalf of the North American anime distributor Funimation, alleging that 1,427 John Doe (anonymous) users infringed on Funimation's rights to the live-action film The Legend Is Born: IP Man. The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Texas Court, demands US$150,000 in damages for copyright infringement allegedly conducted by the "Does" via the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. The list of the John Does' Internet protocol (IP) addresses, reveals that the lawsuit covers alleged acts of infringement which took place from May 13 through May 26.

The lawsuit bears similarities to Funimation's January lawsuit against 1,337 BitTorrent users over infringement of an episode of One Piece, including the large number of defendants and the amount of money demanded. A notable difference is that the new suit was filed in the Eastern District, while the earlier suit was filed in the Northern District.

The judge on the One Piece suit ruled that the use of BitTorrent, which typically requires users to take part in uploading materials in order to continue downloading them, does not constitute "acting in concert" and severed all but one defendant from the suit. Funimation dropped the lawsuit this past March.

In an interview with ANN, Stone revealed that he had negotiated settlements for Funimation with some downloaders outside of court, but that he continues to fight with some Internet service providers (ISPs) to learn the identities of other downloaders.


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