To Be Anonymous in a Porno Torrent Lawsuit, You've Got to Make Your Name Public

A porno house called Hard Drive Productions (obviously) has dutifully collected a swath of IP addresses associated with illegal downloads of its content. Now, as part of a mass lawsuit, the smut peddlers are petitioning for access to the names associated with those IP addresses. The targeted torrenters can keep their names anonymous, sur—as long as they enter their names in the unsealed public record of the case. Which is really, really dumb.

Hard Drive's prime objective is to bring public shame to its victims for their masturbation habits. It's essentially blackmail; unless the defendants find a way to stay anonymous, their only alternative is to pay out a big ol' settlement to Hard Drive to keep their names out of it. The court's ruling that targets have the option of being legally anonymous while being publicly outed is a total endorsement of HDP's gross strongarm tactic.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has requested that, legally speaking, the courts pull their heads out of their butts. More specifically, it's petitioning for the courts to allow the defendants to fight the case without entering their names in unsealed documents, and also to throw the case out for general stupidity. Co-signed. [EFF via BoingBoing]