Court Orders Ban Hammer on BitTorrent Defendant

November 11, 2015

I didn’t think it was possible to be ban someone for life from the internet, but it can really happen. It’s not just something moderators say on Reddit or 4chan anymore.

A federal judge in Oregon ordered a BitTorrent defendant banned for life from using “BitTorrent or the Internet for the copying or downloading of unlicensed copyrighted content.”

The defendant was sued by the owners of the copyright of Dallas Buyers Club, which won several Academy Awards and Golden Globes in 2013 and is currently available on DVD and for purchase online. The plaintiff’s complaint sought merely to ban the defendant from downloading Dallas Buyers Club and to order him to destroy the copy that he had downloaded from BitTorrent. As is usual in these types of cases, the plaintiff’s attorney also requested “any other relief that this court deems just and proper.” Usually such language is used in a complaint merely as tradition – that’s the way it’s always been done. Of course, that does leave the door open for the court to get creative. And this time, the court brought down the ban hammer with swiftness and certainty:

“Defendant is further enjoined from using BitTorrent or the Internet for the copying or downloading of unlicensed copyrighted content.” Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Klemmer, D. Ore. 6:15-cv-00612, as reported here and here.

Moral of the story: don’t download from BitTorrent, you will get caught and sued. (Also: don’t believe everything you read on the internet.) If you do find yourself on the receiving end of one of these lawsuits, call me – I have worked for the plaintiffs in the past but now I defend people from all walks of life from being banned from the internet.