Century Media Goes After Illegal Downloaders

Over seven thousand illegal downloaders of Lacuna Coil’s Dark Adrenaline and Iced Earth’s Dystopia are about to be faced with a lawsuit. Hackensack, NJ attorney Jay R. McDaniel represents many companies, one of which is Century Media Records. According to Northjersey.com, McDaniel  “has filed 17 suits… in U.S. District Court in Newark, alleging copyright infringement by more than 14,000 file swappers.” The suits aim to cease the illegal distribution (apparently through BitTorrent) of both records. So far the Dark Adrenaline suit targets 3,136 “John Doe” defendants ( who are only known by their IP Addresses as of right now) and the Dystopia suit targets  4, 327.  The first step for McDaniel would be to “seek court permission to subpoena various Internet service providers to obtain the names and home addresses of the alleged infringers.” Once identified, the internet account holder has one of two options: Settle the case and pay a few thousand dollars or hire a lawyer to fight the suit.

McDaniel also expressed the desire for a “new approach”. The new approach is not just to go after the “John Doe” parties but also the “swarm” of BitTorrent users “that was allegedly detected on various dates sharing a specific copy of a pirated work”. However, US District Judges Faith S. Hochberg and Dennis M. Cavanaugh rejected Century Media’s preliminary injunction because of the fact that the usage of wireless routers make it more difficult to track down the perpetrator since there could be internet users leaching someone else’s internet and committing the crime instead of the IP address holder.

On illegal downloding, McDaniel stated: “Frankly, record sales don’t drive the music business anymore; touring does. So illegal sharing of music on the Internet has killed an entire industry.”

Spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Rebecca Jeschke, stated in response to the lawsuits: “In many of these situations…the goal doesn’t seem to be to fight infringement; it seems to be to get settlements. That’s where the money-making is.”

As shown, there are different opinions on this complicated issue. I am sure you all have your opinions as well so feel free to leave a comment expressing your views.

The illegal downloaders have received or will be receiving letters from Jay R. McDaniel as a result of the court rulings. I hope you are not one of them.

Thanks to Metal Sucks for the update.

-Lane Oliver


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