Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff, as owner of the rights to adult entertainment films at issue, alleged that Defendant infringed its rights in the films. Plaintiff moved for leave to file a third party subpoena on Defendant’s internet service provider to obtain Defendant’s physical address.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A plaintiff must satisfy a good cause standard in order to serve discovery prior to a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) conference.
To that end, Judge Wilkins therefore held that discovery prior to the Rule 26(f) conference was warranted if the Court finds that the Plaintiff has a good faith basis to believe a putative defendant may be a District of Columbia resident if a geolocation service places his/her IP address within the District of Columbia, or within a city located within 30 miles of the District of Columbia.View Full Point of Law
Plaintiff owned the rights to adult entertainment films. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant infringed its rights in the films, and moved for leave to file a third party subpoena on Defendant’s internet service provider to obtain Defendant’s physical address. The Plaintiff asserted that it sought the address for investigation, to learn Defendant’s identity, and for service of process. Plaintiff also asserted that it used geolocation technology to trace the site of the IP address used by Defendant.
Was the Plaintiff entitled to the requested discovery from Defendant’s ISP provider?
Yes. Plaintiff satisfied the good cause standard for seeking discovery prior to a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) conference.
Plaintiff established that the ISP provider was the only person or entity able to correlate the ISP address with the Defendant, and Plaintiff’s lawsuit could not proceed without that information. Plaintiff also established the likelihood that the court had jurisdiction over Defendant.