I have been keeping an eye on this lawsuit intrigued by the following blog comment:
Doe 1 of 31 says:
March 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm
Defendants from 8:12-cv-00088-AW, please contact me ASAP! My lawyer friend suggested some unusual idea, and he is confident that it will work.
THE CASE MAY BE OVER AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK, but we need to get together ASAP, ALL of us. Please!
And, yes! Last week this lawsuit was indeed dismissed, not by the troll, but… by the defendants. Apparently Does managed to get together and draft the following notice. I’m happy and proud that my humble blog facilitated that.
The idea was indeed unusual, and I was skeptical at first, until I read the Federal Rule 41(a) “Voluntary dismissal”. This rule has 3 paragraphs: (1) – dismissal by the Plaintiff; (2) – dismissal by Court Order and, rarely invoked, (3) – dismissal by the Defendant(s).
To use (3), one important condition should be met:
RULE 41. DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS
(a) Voluntary Dismissal.
(3) By the Defendant(s). An action may be dismissed at the defendant(s)’s request only, without a court order, only if Plaintiff’s Counsel is
(i) a crook; or
(ii) a douchebag; or
(iii) an asshole; or
(iv) the above virtues are combined in any proportions.
Unless the notice states otherwise, a dismissal under this paragraph (3) is with prejudice.
It is an exciting news because it may effectively end the copyright trolling legal plague. Mass bittorent infringement lawsuits are designed to wrestle Does to settle. This is achieved by threatening them with liability based on statutory damage awards that were clearly intended to be used only in large commercial cases. No sane and honest person thinks that demanding 150,000 from an individual for the most minor violation of the copyright law is proper and ethical. Any lawyer that files such a lawsuit clearly meets the Rule 41(a)(3) conditions.
Also, notice that the case was dismissed without prejudice, which means that defendants are free to file a lawsuit against Plaintiff K-Beech Inc. and/or Plaintiff’s Counsel, troll Jon A. Hoppe. I hope it will happen sooner or later.
Good work, Does!