UN4 Productions Cases Cut Short by Chicago Federal Judge – Antonelli Law Defense

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UN4 Productions Cases Cut Short by Chicago Federal Judge

In two cases filed by movie company UN4 Productions, which has been going after Comcast internet users for illegal downloads of its movie “Boyka Undisputed 4”, 46 John Doe defendants were dismissed due to a recent Chicago federal judge’s order.

Judge Edmund E. Chang stated both cases were filed against multiple parties, each alleging use of BitTorrent software to illegally download the movie. But the Northern District of Illinois judge found when UN4 Productions sued multiple defendants, a question of improper joinder of those defendants was raised. Judge Chang based this on an earlier 2013 ruling in the case of reFX Audio Software v. Does 1-85.

Rather than arguing for the joining of multiple defendants in these two cases, UN4 Productions decided to voluntarily dismiss the 46 defendants and file amended lawsuit complaints naming just one defendant in each. The cases are 17-cv-05565 UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe and 17-cv-04865 UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe, both located in the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago.

The issue of improper joinder of multiple defendants is just one reason to file a motion to quash subpoena in a UN4 Productions Inc lawsuit. Other reasons to file a motion to quash subpoena include the lack of alleged data the movie companies says it observed coming to or from the IP address of the defendant.

We hope the information we write here is helpful for people researching how to defend themselves from the UN4 Productions lawsuits in Chicago. If you would like to speak with Antonelli Law for a free consultation, please call us at 312-201-8310 or use our confidential contact form to the right if viewing on a desktop computer, or below in this article.

Contact Antonelli Law For Free

If you want more information or have questions about this lawsuit, or want to file a motion to quash the Comcast subpoena or take other defensive actions, please call us at 312-201-8310 or use our confidential contact form or on the right side of this page if you are on a desktop computer. Or scroll down to learn more about the UN4 Productions lawsuit, motion to quash subpoena, hiring Antonelli Law to negotiate a settlement with UN4 Productions protecting your interests without admitting guilt, and retaining us to defend you in court.

We have helped nearly 2,000 clients across the country including in Chicago effectively resolve copyright infringement actions made by movie companies like UN4 Productions. We will answer your questions honestly and help you decide the best course of action for you. We will help you get past feeling  panic and anxiety, and give you options for dealing with the Comcast Notice of Copyright Infringement.

We Will Give You an Individualized, No Pressure, Professional Consultation – For Free.

  • Learn about what the notice means.
  • Ask every question that concerns you.
  • Learn the facts and decide if you want to settle the lawsuit anonymously, wait to see if nothing happens, or plan to fight back.
  • File a motion to quash? We’ll help you to decide.
  • Have us negotiate a settlement for you, including a proper settlement agreement that is in your interest, and a dismissal order entered by the federal court to protect you and which you keep for your records.

What is a Motion to Quash Subpoena? Why Would I File One in Court?

A motion to quash subpoena, sometimes called a motion to vacate subpoena, is a court procedure filed on behalf of a person who received a notice from their ISP (like Comcast) informing them UN4 Productions Inc. sent it a subpoena to reveal their identity. When you receive a Comcast Notice of Copyright Infringement, this is your opportunity to hire a lawyer to file this motion.

The letter from Comcast (or AT&T, etc)  will say that that their IP address is alleged to have been involved in the unauthorized computer downloading of the movie ““Boyka: Undisputed 4”.  The movie company called UN4 Productions Inc. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court suing for damages against people it believes downloaded the movie. But it only has IP addresses, not names of the defendants. So the defendants are referred to as John Does or Doe Defendants.

Because of internet privacy concerns,  a company wishing to find out who a computer user is, such as someone who allegedly illegally downloaded a copyrighted movie or who wrote defamatory things online about another person or company, must first ask permission from the court to obtain that information.

The people targeted by the subpoena can challenge the subpoena to stop the movie company from learning their identity. The filing challenging the subpoena is called a motion to quash subpoena.

Why Was a Subpoena Issued by UN4 Productions in the First Place? Did the Court Allow This?

In the case of UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-23 21:17-cv-04861 filed by attorney Michael Hierl in the Northern District of Illinois federal court (click here for this lawsuit’s complaint), UN4 Productions Inc first had to file a special motion called a Memorandum in Support of Motion for Leave to Discovery Prior to Rule 26(f) Conference . (click here for the UN4 Productions Inc Memorandum in Support of Motion for Leave to Discovery Prior to Rule 26(f) Conference E17-cv-0481).

In the motion filed by UN4 Productions, Inc. the movie company asserts, among other things, that it can satisfy the law’s factors in deciding whether a court should allow a company to learn the identities of anonymous Internet users, namely:

  1. Whether the Plaintiff (UN4 Productions, Inc.) can identify the missing party with sufficient specificity such that the Court can determine that the defendant is a real person or entitiy that can be sued in federal court.
  2. All previous steps taken by the plaintiff to identify the Doe Defendant.
  3. Whether the plaintiff’s suit can withstand a motion to dismiss.

After this motion was filed by UN4 Productions Inc., the judge approved the request and UN4 Productions Inc sent the subpoena to the ISP. In this case, Comcast Cable then sent letters to the internet subscribers with the IP addresses indicated in the subpoena informing them about the subpoena and of their right to file a motion to quash or “vacate” the subpoena.

There Are Good Reasons to File a Motion to Quash Subpoena in This UN4 Productions Inc Lawsuit

There are good reasons to file a motion to quash subpoena in this UN4 Productions Inc lawsuit as well as other UN4 Productions Inc lawsuits. This is where we begin to analyze what went wrong with this one, and discuss what we believe a successful motion to quash subpoena would contain.

Reason Number One

The IP address data UN4 Productions Inc. uses for identification of Defendants Is Flawed.

First, as we have described in related posts before, the IP address data that movie companies like UN4 Productions Inc. use for identifying those it believes illegally downloaded its movie is flawed. IP addresses can be spoofed, (See the article “Torrent Wars” written by attorney Jeffrey Antonelli of Chicago, the author of this article and published by the Illinois State Bar Association). And oftentimes even if the IP address is accurate (i.e. not spoofed) the infringing activity can be due to a hacked wi-fi signal, or due to an internet subscriber’s children, guests, or neighbors using their wi-fi.

Reason Number Two

The Complaint Fails to State a Cause of Action

Second, as with many movie download lawsuits, the lawsuit in this case, UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-23 21:17-cv-04861, in our opinion fails to state a legal cause of action for copyright infringement because UN4 Productions Inc’s Complaint and Declaration fails to provide  evidence that the the data captured by as allegedly distributed from Doe’s IP address meet the standard of originality justifying a finding that they are protectable elements of the works. 

UN4 Productions Inc. filed a Declaration by Daniel Arheidt of the company MaverickEye UG (A German company) which states only that when the company viewed the BitTorrent traffic containing the movie “Boyka Undisputed 4” the computers using the IP address in the lawsuit complaint “transmitted a copy or a part of a copy of a digital media file” of the movie. Federal standards for a lawsuit complaint require much more detailed allegations than this, we believe, under the US Supreme Court cases of Ashcroft v Iqbal and similar cases.

Indeed, Law Professor Matthew Sag stated in his recent article “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling”:

“the isolated “bits” of the movie that [Plaintiff] supposedly received from the defendant’s IP address do not meet the standard for copyright infringement. In the cases that we have studied, the plaintiffs have offered declarations that defendant’s IP address was observed transmitting data with a certain hash value. That hash value, it is alleged, is the same as the hash value of a piece that the witness combined with other pieces to create a file identical to the copyright owner’s work… note that these declarations say nothing about the size or contents of the portions of the work actually downloaded from the defendant’s IP address. In essence, the plaintiff can only state truthfully that its software observed the defendant’s IP address transmitting a fraction of the work….”There is nothing in either declaration that would allow the court to conclude that the “bits” and “pieces” captured by [plaintiff’s experts’] technology as allegedly distributed from Doe’s IP address meet the standard of originality justifying a finding that they are protectable elements of the works”

So, in conclusion, for the reasons above it appears that UN4 Production’s reasons for issuing the subpoena for the identities of internet subscribers fails the third factor the federal Court must use in deciding whether to reveal the identities of anonymous internet users: Whether the plaintiff’s suit can withstand a motion to dismiss.

If Written Properly a Motion to Quash Subpoena in This UN4 Productions Inc Lawsuit Should Win

Since the Court should dismiss the UN4 Productions Inc lawsuit complaint if a defendant were to file a motion to dismiss the complaint (see above), therefore the motion to quash the subpoena should be granted by the Court. This is because one of the factors the Court must use is whether “the complaint would not withstand a motion to dismiss”.

This would be a terrific result for a defendant if the judge dismisses the lawsuit complaint with prejudice, which means permanently. Read our FAQ on Motions to Quash Subpoena for more information.

S0 What Did This Doe Defendant Do Wrong in the Motion to Quash Subpoena in the UN4 Productions Case?

There are at least two obvious reasons we believe the person who filed the motion to quash subpoena in the lawsuit went wrong, although we cannot blame them for trying to do it themselves without hiring a lawyer to do it properly:

The Defendant Identified Themselves

  1. First, the internet subscriber appears to have identified themselves in the caption of the motion to quash subpoena. By doing so, UN4 Productions Inc already knows who the person is who is probably the internet subscriber.

They Used State, Not Federal Law

  1. Second, the internet subscriber used law from state court, not federal court. The motion to quash cited “Supreme Court Rule 224” which is probably the Illinois State Supreme Court Rule 224, found here.

They Didn’t Use Arguments Addressing the Data Nor the Complaint’s Insufficiency

Finally, they also didn’t use legal arguments like the ones we mentioned above that address what we believe are fatal flaws in the UN4 Productions Inc lawsuit and Declaration. In particular, that the UN4 Productions Inc Complaint and Declaration fail to provide sufficient evidence that the the data captured by as allegedly distributed from Doe’s IP address meets the standard of originality justifying a finding that they are protectable elements of the works.

Want to Talk to Antonelli Law in a Free Consultation?

We hope this article has shown that we understand how BitTorrent copyright infringement lawsuits work, and we can help you resolve one if filed against you in the best way that works for you.

UN4 Productions Inc is suing a lot of people in Chicago’s federal court, and Antonelli Law is the nation’s most experienced law firm defending BitTorrent copyright infringement lawsuits.  We are located in downtown Chicago and are admitted to practice in the Northern District of Illinois federal court.

Call us at 312-201-8310 or use our confidential contact form here.

Even More UN4 Productions Inc Lawsuit Information

What Are the Steps in a UN4 Productions Inc. Lawsuit after I receive a Comcast notice of Copyright Infringement

Each UN4 Productions Inc lawsuit is filed in federal court and requests permission to find out the real names of internet users associated with IP addresses suspected of being part of the movie downloading. This is done by sending a subpoena to the internet company (ISP). Most people find out they are involved in the lawsuit when they receive a letter from their internet company (ISP) such as Comcast, COX, Comcast, or Verizon informing them of the copyright infringement allegations. A copy of a UN4 Productions Inc. Subpoena will probably be enclosed.

If you are the account holder for an internet service provider (ISP), your name is linked to an IP address. If you receive an ISP letter or email informing you a subpoena was received to reveal your identity for a copyright infringement lawsuit. You have the right to file something called a motion to quash the subpoena, although the risks and benefits of filing one should be discussed with a qualified attorney.

Antonelli Law’s Local Counsel –  Nationwide Defense Practice

Antonelli Law defense attorneys and local counsel are admitted to the district courts wherever UN4 Productions Inc. lawsuits are filed from coast to coast. We are able to represent you in your federal UN4 Productions Inc lawsuit without being more expensive or more difficult to hire than hiring a local law firm in part because federal courts require attorneys to file their papers electronically, and often conduct hearings by telephone. This makes frequent trips to the courthouse unnecessary.

We can defend you and also help protect your anonymity in a UN4 Productions Inc. lawsuit if circumstances allow.

Who Are Our Local Counsel?

In our Chicago Office

Attorney Jefferey Antonelli

Jeffrey Antonelli Jurisdictions: Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, and others through pro hac vice

Attorney Melissa Brabender

Melissa Brabender: Illinois and Nationwide through pro hac vice admission

Byron L. Ames  Jurisdictions: Nevada & Utah

Byron L Ames Nevada & Utah local counsel BitTorrent Copyright Defense for Antonelli Law

Byron L Ames Nevada & Utah local counsel BitTorrent Copyright Defense for Antonelli Law

Mark Del Bianco  Jurisdictions: Maryland, Washington DC

Attorney Mark Del Bianco is Antonelli Law’s Maryland local counsel for Maryland and Washington DC

Attorney Mark Del Bianco is Antonelli Law’s Maryland local counsel for Maryland and Washington DC

Leslie Farber – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Leslie Farber  Jurisdictions: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Virginia copyright defense attorney Peter Glazer

Peter Glazer  Jurisdiction: Virginia

Southern District of Texas

Tristan C. Robinson Jurisdiction: Texas

Southern District of Texas

List of UN4 Productions Inc Cases Filed by State

The Lawsuits In Illinois Are:

  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-23 1:17-cv-04861
  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-18 1:17-cv-04863
  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-22 1:17-cv-04865
  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-21 1:17-cv-04866
  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-25 1:17-cv-04868
  • 1:2017-cv-05563
  • 1:2017-cv-04866
  • 1:2017-cv-04868
  • 1:2017-cv-04863
  • 1:2017-cv-05567
  • 1:2017-cv-05561
  • 1:2017-cv-05565
  • 1:2017-cv-04861
  • 1:2017-cv-05569
  • 1:2017-cv-04865

UN4 Productions Inc is represented in Illinois by attorney Michael Hierl of the law firm Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd of Chicago

The Lawsuits in the New York Are:

UN4 Productions v Does

  • 1-15 1:17-cv-04817
  • 1-15 1:17-cv-03621 ED.NY
  • 1-17 1:17-cv-03699-LTS
  • 1-14 1:17-cv-03278

UN4 Productions Inc is represented in New York by attorney   Bryan Neil DeMatteo

The Lawsuits in Hawaii Are:

  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-16 1:17-cv-00448
  • UN4 Productions v Doe 1:17-cv-00282

UN4 Productions Inc is represented in the Hawaii lawsuit by attorney Kerry Culpepper

The Lawsuits in Ohio Are:

  • UN4 Productions v Does 1-11  5:17-cv-01185
  • UN4 Productions v Does 1-10 3:17-cv-01190

UN4 Productions Inc. is represented in the Ohio lawsuits by attorney Timothy A. Shimko.

The Lawsuits in Colorado Are:

  • UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe 1 et al 1:17-cv-01577

UN4 Productions, Inc. v Does 1-20 1:17-cv-01477

  • UN4 Productions v Does 1-19 1:17-cv-01253-WYD-MEH
  • UN4 Productions v Does 1-22 1:17-cv-01299-WYD-MEH

 The Lawsuits in Indiana Are:

UN4 Productions v Does

  • 1-7    3:17-cv-00473
  • 1-11 1:17-cv-00257
  • 1-11 1:17-cv–02037
  • 1-11 1:17-cv-01710-RLY-DML

 The Lawsuits in North Carolina Are:

UN4 Productions v Does

  • 5:17-cv-00317
  • U1-15 3:2017-cv-00295
  • 1-12 3:2017-cv-00297
  • 1-17 7:2017-cv-00109
  • 1-10 3:2017-cv-00282
  • 1-11 3:2017-cv-00284
  • 1-9  5:2017-cv-00238
  • 1-15   5:2017-cv-00232
  • 1-10 1:2017-cv-00453
  • 1-14  1:2017-cv-00455
  • 1-12  1:2017-cv-00444

The Lawsuits in Pennsylvania are:

  • UN4 Productions v Does 1-15 2:17-cv-02768

See Also:

Sued by UN4 Productions? Free Consultation With Antonelli Law Defense

Your Kids Can Get You Sued in Federal Court with “Free Movie” Internet Streaming, Downloads – Antonelli Defense & Information

UN4 Productions Suing Chicago Area Internet Users- Free Consultation With Chicago’s Antonelli Law Defense

Please note: nothing herein is legal advice. Speak with an experienced attorney about your personal circumstances.

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