Judge Rules You Can't Be (Definitively) Identified by Your IP Address

Illustration for article titled Judge Rules You Cant Be (Definitively) Identified by Your IP Address

Common sense dictates that an IP address is just a number associated with a connection, and not a human being. Copyright crusaders aren't exactly known for loads of common sense and rationality. Thankfully, a New York judge has ruled that an IP address alone is not enough to pin illegal downloads on a specific person.


The ruling comes in the context of mass torrent lawsuits that just dump thousands of IP addresses into the court and charge everyone associated with them. Cases like the Hurt Locker suit filed against 5,000 people for downloading the movie. Judge Gary Brown's ruling isn't the first to point out that these cases are idiotic, since there is no practical way to efficiently tie that many address to the specific individuals doing the downloading, but it's by far the most detailed. We've embedded the full ruling below. [TorrentFreak]

Judge Gary Brown IP Address Ruling

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I think of an IP address much like a car's license plate. If there is a hit and run accident and the police have the license plate of the fleeing vehicle, they cannot automatically charge the registered owner of the car. There still must be proof that the registered owner was behind the wheel.