869 BitTorrent users sued for downloading One Piece episode 515.
Thousands of BitTorrent users will have to seriously reconsider their choice to download anime on the Internet after more than 800 of them have been sued by Toei Animation.
The Japanese animation company has filed a copyright infringement complaint in the District of Columbia district court against 869 “John Does” on September 29, 2011 for allegedly downloading episode 515 of One Piece entitled “I Will Get Much, Much Stronger! Zoro’s Pledge to His Captain!”
Toei alleges that the defendants, which were identified in the case by their IP addresses, have “worked in concert, via the internet … to reproduce and distribute unlawful, digital copies” of the said episode over the BitTorrent P2P file-sharing protocol between September 16 and 23 last year.
The DC district court has also granted a Motion for Leave to Take Discovery filed by Toei to find out the defendants’ names and addresses, which the company hopes “may lead to the identification of additional infringing parties.”
In essence, Toei aims to have the court stop the defendants from further infringing on Toei’s copyright for the said video and other Toei-copyrighted videos in the future, compel them to “destroy all copies of Plaintiff’s [videos] that Defendants have downloaded… without Plaintiff’s authorization” and to pay for damages, costs, and attorney’s fees.
Toei Animation USA has yet to comment on the case.
A similar copyright infringement complaint was filed by Funimation back in January 2011 against 1,337 “John Does” for allegedly downloading the 481st episode of One Piece. The company later dismissed the case in March, with the judge handling the case commenting the defendants did not “[act] in concert” when they downloaded the said episode but acted individually, although identically.
SOURCE: Anime News Network
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