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The number of lawsuits filed against alleged piracy file-sharing websites hit a record high in 2018, TorrentFreak reports.
According to data compiled by the website, over 3,300 lawsuits were filed against users of BitTorrent, a file-sharing protocol. A majority of these suits were filed against a single defendant, many of them unnamed ‘John Does’.
TorrentFreak said that the 3,300 figure is more than triple the number of lawsuits in the year before, when 1,019 file-sharing cases were filed, according to Lex Machina. “And it’s also more than the old 2,887 record that was set in 2015,” it added.
Nearly all of these lawsuits were brought by two adult film production companies, Malibu Media and Strike 3 Holdings. Strike 3 filed nearly 2,100 lawsuits against BitTorrent users in 2018.
These cases typically rely on an IP address obtained from an internet service provider. The adequacy of such evidence has been called into question in recent months. In August 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an IP address alone was not enough to identify online pirates.
“Because multiple devices and individuals may be able to connect via an IP address, simply identifying the IP subscriber solves only part of the puzzle,” the ruling said.
TorrentFreak reported last month that numerous district courts had cited the ruling in dismissing cases brought by both Malibu Media and Strike 3.
TorrentFreak, online piracy, BitTorrent, copyright infringement, US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Malibu Media, Strike 3 Holdings