Wiley & Sons brings Dummy Lawsuits


BitTorrent suits alleging illegal download of movies, from Hollywood films like The Hurt Locker to accusations of numerous porn downloads, have been in the headlines for months. But film companies aren’t the only ones going after alleged downloaders. Ebook publisher Wiley and Sons has been more quietly suing alleged illegal downloaders as well.

Wiley alleges that John Doe defendants downloaded titles from Wiley’s Dummies series using BitTorrent. Recently, Wiley was awarded a $7,000 default judgment against a defendant who allegedly downloaded WordPress for Dummies. This award breaks down into a $5,000 award for copyright infringement, and $2,000 for trademark counterfeiting—much less than the maximum copyright statutory damages that Wiley requested.

These suits are very similar in strategy to the porn BitTorrent cases—filing suit against numerous John Does identified only by IP address, then subpoenaing information from the ISPs. However, unlike the porn cases, these lawsuits have more or less flown under the radar and have not garnered as much publicity. In one suit, filed in April 2012, Wiley has demanded a jury trial. If the case goes to trial, it will be the first time that evidence relating to BitTorrent and IP addresses is tested by the courts.

Despite the lower settlement demands and smaller risk of embarrassment from an ebook downloading case, those who receive notice from their ISPs that their IP address has been linked to copyright infringement should consult an attorney. If you have any questions about file sharing lawsuits, please contact the attorneys at Antonelli Law Ltd.

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