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0 Court confirms: IP addresses aren't people (and P2P lawyers know it)

Wrapping up the last of the United Kingdom's notorious copyright infringement "pay up" letter cases, a UK patent and copyright judge has had a major revelation. 

Just because some lawyer cites an Internet Protocol (IP) address where illegal file sharing may have taken place, that doesn't mean that the subscriber living there necessarily did the dirty deed. Or is responsible for others who may have done it.
"What if the defendant authorises another to use their Internet connection in general and, unknown to them, the authorised user uses P2P software and infringes copyright?" asked His Honour Judge Birss QC last Tuesday.
What indeed? The question comes in the case of MediaCAT Limited versus 27 defendants accused of sharing online porn. The copyright holding group is represented by lawyer Andrew Crossley of ACS law. He wants around £500 apiece from the accused, even though most of his cases show little evidence of individual guilt.
That's not the only legal snag Judge Birss noticed. He was particularly irritated over evidence that ACS was trying to withdraw the questionable complaints in a bid to sue the defendants again under better circumstances, and with a new firm: GCB.
"The GCB episode is damning in my judgment," Birss warned. "This shows that Media CAT is a party who, while coming to court to discontinue, is at the very same time trying to ram home claims formulated on exactly the same basis away from the gaze of the court. That will not do."

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