Glacier Films (USA), Inc. v. Does 1-29, No. 16 C 4016, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 15, 2015) (Darrah, J.).

Judge Darrah denied Doe 7’s motion to quash plaintiff Glacier Films’ subpoena to third party Comcast, Doe 7’s alleged internet service provider (“ISP”) and motion to dismiss for improper joinder in this BitTorrent case regarding the motion picture American Heist.

The Court held as follows:

  • Doe 7 could not challenge an undue burden for a subpoena directed to a third party because parties lack standing to challenge third party subpoenas based upon the burden to the third party. In this instance, Glacier Films’ subpoena allegedly required Comcast to produce at counsel’s office more than 100 miles from Comcast’s place of business.
  • The Court would not quash the subpoena as a violation of Doe 7’s privacy. Because internet subscribers provide their identify to their ISP, they lack a reasonable expectation of privacy in that information. Furthermore, denials of liability are not a reason to quash subpoenas seeking defendant’s identity.
  • Acknowledging the case law split regarding whether defendants must have been in the same swarm at the same time, as opposed to just in the same swarm regardless of time, the Court held that defendants need not have been in the swarm at the same time. The Court, therefore, denied Doe 7’s motion to dismiss.