An appeals court found that being part of a BitTorrent swarm is like being at a casino table: if two people aren’t playing at the same time, they don’t have much to do with each other.

Reno Tahoe / flickr

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has dealt a blow to the legal strategy used by Prenda Law, a “copyright troll” that sued thousands of users over allegations of downloading porn movies over BitTorrent.
The decision is more than just another setback for Prenda, which has been on the defensive since last year when it was sanctioned for its conduct and referred to criminal investigators. It’s a ruling from an appeals court against the joining of many defendants together in a single copyright lawsuit based on their use of BitTorrent. As such, it will likely have effects on other companies that are still active in the mass-lawsuit space, like Malibu Media.
Prenda shell company AF Holdings previously argued that it should be allowed to sue more than 1,000 people in the same lawsuit, because they were all part of the same BitTorrent “swarm” sharing the same file, an adult movie called Popular Demand.
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