California residents may have heard about a lawsuit filed in Oregon involving movie sharing service Popcorn Time. In August 2015, a movie studio filed suit against 11 people who used the site to download and share the movie “The Cobbler”, which starred Adam Sandler and was released in 2014. Although no one has been singled out by name, the lawsuit does list the 11 anonymous defendants, their IP addresses and their service provider Comcast Cable.
Although Popcorn Time is a traditional BitTorrent site, it has become popular since its 2014 launch due to its easy to use platform. The site allows users to stream movies and television shows right from the application itself. However, since it does not use a private swarm, it was possible for the plaintiff to find those who were pirating the movie illegally.
The plaintiff and other filmmakers say that the site has no legitimate purpose and that accessing and sharing copyrighted material from such a site is illegal. The plaintiff in the case is seeking up to $150,000 in statutory damages in addition to attorney fees, but it is likely that a settlement will occur at some point before the case reaches the courtroom.
Those who have been charged with copyright infringement may wish to talk to an attorney who has experience with intellectual property matters. Legal counsel may review the case to determine if any infringement has occurred. If infringement has take place, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement. In some cases, it may be possible to prove that infringement was inadvertent, which may allow a defendant to resolve the case by ceasing any further actions.
Source: TechWorm, “For the first time Movie studio sues Popcorn Time users for copyright infringement”, Kavita Iyer, Aug. 21, 2015