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Funimation Sues 1,337 BitTorrent Users Over One Piece

posted on by Egan Loo
Defendants allegedly downloaded, distributed One Piece TV anime episode 481

The North American anime distributor Funimation filed a copyright infringement complaint against 1,337 "John Does" over the 481st episode of the One Piece television anime on Monday. According to the suit filed in the Northern District of Texas, the unidentified defendants "collectively participated, via the Internet, in the unlawful reproduction and distribution" of the episode "Ace Rescued! Whitebeard's Final Order!" via the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. The suit lists defendants by their host IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and Internet service providers. The alleged incidents of copyright infringement took place between January 9 and January 12.

The lawsuit identifies three of the sites where the defendants allegedly found the BitTorrent reference descriptor files for the One Piece episode. The suit also notes that users in a BitTorrent "swarm," by the inherent nature of the technology, are simultaneously downloading parts of the file and distributing parts of it to others. Funimation believes that the identities of the current 1,337 defendants and "additional infringing parties" will be revealed during the pre-trial discovery phase of the lawsuit, and it will then amend the suit to include their names.

Funimation asks the court to stop the defendants from infringing on Funimation's copyrights for this episode and any other videos now or in the future. If another request in the suit is granted, defendants "shall destroy all copies of Plaintiff's [videos] that Defendant has downloaded onto any computer hard drive or server without Plaintiff's authorization and shall destroy all copies of those downloaded [videos] transferred onto any physical medium or device in each Defendant's possession, custody, or control." Funimation also seeks compensation for damages and legal costs.

ANN is awaiting Funimation's response to a request for comment.

[Via AICN Anime]

Image © Eichiro Oda/Shueisha, Toei Animation

Update: The filed complaint identifies the representative "hash" number of the file as b305c19f8e8bdab5e39b33a4ffc364a12beb110b.

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