Comcast threatens to sue Torrentfreak for copyright over legal document

by Redmans on August 28, 2013

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US company Comcast, an American provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services, has apparently threatened TorrentFreak, a popular blog that reports the latest news and trends on the BitTorrent protocol and file sharing in general, with a lawsuit for copyright infringement relating to one of Comcast’s legal documents that was made public last week.

The threatened lawsuit appears to stem from a report that Torrentfreak ran on its blog last week, contending that Prenda Law – apparently also known as Steele Hansmeier PLLP, a firm that specialises in intellectual property law – had been running a “honeypot website” designed to lure in potential copyright infringers. Comcast had been ordered by the Georgia courts to supply an affidavit and documentation relating to the ownership of a particular IP address and complied with this Order. An anonymous third party highlighted the availability of the document on the website PACER (a public website which hosts judicial documents) and TorrentFreak supplied a link to the document. Comcast then wrote to TorrentFreak through a brand protection company, Cyveillance, and requested that TorrentFreak remove the link to the legal document. The cease and desist letter sent to TorrentFreak threatened proceedings for copyright infringement if the blog failed to comply with Cyveillance’s requests.

As reported in the Washington Post, this request from Comcast is more than a little unusual as court documents are – unless exceptional circumstances apply – open to public access. The document in question – as above – was and is still available on PACER.

TorrentFreak appears to have “gone public” with this information as they believe it is in the public interest. “We believe this copyright claim is a matter of interest and one the public should be aware of,” TorrentFreak added. “We hope that Comcast can clarify its stance eventually, and that our server remains online in the meantime.”

Redmans Solicitors are employment solicitors offering compromise agreement advice, based in London

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