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Comcast Refuses to Help Copyright Holders Sue Its Subscribers

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Copyright holders like the RIAA and MPAA think it's their god-given right to sue BitTorrent users into eternal poverty for illegal file sharing. Well Comcast has had enough. The company is refusing to comply with subpoenas for user data. That's right, Comcast is sticking up for the little guy.

In court documents (embedded below) the ISP says that the lawsuits over illegal file sharing have gotten out of hand and amount to court-ordered shakedowns of its customers. Indeed, as TorrentFreak points out, more than a quarter million people have been sued over file sharing in the last couple of years. The lawsuits are launched by copyright holders, but Comcast ends up aiding in the financial ruin of its customers by handing over subscriber data when the courts ask for it. Now Comcast has asked the courts to throw out all of the pending subpoenas:

Among other things, the ISP argued that the court doesn't have jurisdiction over all defendants, because many don't live in the district in which they are being sued. The company also argues that the copyright holders have no grounds to join this many defendants in one lawsuit.

Comcast goes on to accuse copyright holders of using illegal tactics to coerce hapless customers into paying hefty settlements rather than run the risk of getting nailed with obscene damages when they lose in court.

Good for Comcast. Copyright holders do have legitimate grievances when it comes to file sharing, but their wholesale lawsuits are a perversion of justice. Comcast's motives aren't entirely altruistic—it's incredibly expensive for it to process all those requests—but, hey, if it means that ordinary people are going to get a leg up from a huge corporation, we won't argue. [TorrentFreak]

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