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Safety Point Productions, LLC v. Does 1-57

December 19, 2012

SAFETY POINT PRODUCTIONS, LLC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DOES 1-57, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Bruce Guyton United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court, and the referral order of the District Judge. Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion and Memorandum in Support of its Motion for Leave to Take Discovery Prior to Rule 26(f) Conference. For the reasons stated herein, the Plaintiff's motion will be GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

On November 19, 2012, Plaintiff filed the instant suit alleging copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement. [Doc. 1]. Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants acted in "a collective and interdependent manner via the Internet in unlawful reproduction and distribution" of Plaintiff's copyrighted motion picture, "Puncture," by means of interactive "peer-to-peer" file transfer technology called BitTorrent. [Doc. 1 at ¶ 4].

The Plaintiff has identified each Defendant -- currently referred to as Does 1-57 -- by the internet protocol ("IP") address assigned to the Defendant by his or her internet service provider ("ISP") at the time of the alleged infringing activity. [Doc. 1 at ¶ 25]. Further, Plaintiff has found the ISP for each Defendant, the torrent file copied and distributed by each Defendant, and the location, by state, of most Defendants at the time of allegedly infringing download. [Id.]. Plaintiff intends to subpoena the ISPs that issued the Defendants' IP addresses to learn the identity of the account holders of the IP addresses. [Id. at ¶ 26].

In the instant motion, Plaintiff seeks leave to serve limited discovery on the ISPs, who provided the IP addresses to the alleged infringers, prior to conducting a Rule 26(f) conference. [Doc. 4 at 6]. Plaintiff maintains that the case law from similar litigation in federal courts supports granting leave to subpoena the names and identifying information of the users of the IP addresses alleged to have infringed. [Doc. Id. at 6-7]. The Plaintiff explains that it has obtained the IP addresses of the persons alleged to have infringed its copyright, [see Doc. 1-1], and it has cross-referenced these IP addresses with publically-available databases that list the IP address ranges assigned to various ISPs. [Doc. 4 at 11]. The Plaintiff submits that the ISPs maintain user logs with personal information identifying the persons or entities using the IP address. [Id. at 12]. These user logs are not publically available. Plaintiff, thus, moves the Court for leave to serve subpoenas on the ISPs directing them to provide information identifying the users of the various IP addresses. [Id. at 12-13]. Plaintiff requests the name and contact information for the persons or entities using these IP addresses. [Id. at 12].

Plaintiff submits that good cause exists for granting the relief requested, because: (1) Plaintiff is suffering irreparable harm; (2) Defendants will not be prejudiced by the narrowly tailored discovery requests; and (3) without this information, ...


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