The Thompsons Film, LLC v. Does 1-60, Slip Op. 13 C 2368 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 6, 2013) (Gottschall, J.).
Judge Gottschall denied two Doe defendants’ motions to quash subpoenas to their respective ISPs seeking, among other things, their identities based upon their IP addresses in this BitTorrent copyright case. The Court held that a copyright holder alleging infringement had the right to discovery the potential identity of the accused infringer, it did not matter that someone other than the owner of the IP address may have actually performed the accused infringement.
The Court did, however, allow the Doe defendants to proceed anonymously because of the “substantial possibility” that the IP address owner did not commit the accused acts, but rather someone else did using the Doe’s network. The Court ordered plaintiff not to identify any Doe in a pleading filed with the Court except by IP address or by Doe#, absent a further order of the Court allowing public disclosure of the Doe’s identify. The Court also limited the subpoenas to seeking the Doe’s name and address. Plaintiff was not entitled to phone numbers or email addresses, and plaintiff was not allowed to contact the Does directly by either email or phone.