smut suits

Corbin Fisher Has Begun Suing BitTorrent Users Who Downloaded Its Bareback Film

And so begins Corbin Fisher’s mass lawsuit against alleged illegal file sharers, an unknown number of which may be closeted gay teens about to be outed (and prepared to kill themselves if that happens). In a copyright infringement case filed on Monday against 95 John Does, the porn company’s parent Liberty Media accuses the as-yet-unidentified BitTorrent users not just of stealing Corbin Fisher’s material, but purposefully acting in concert to illegally share the files. That’s because the way BitTorrent works — where users download a file in pieces, and can upload those pieces to other users on the BitTorrent “swarm” as soon as they’re received — effectively guarantees, in the words of the lawsuit, a “collective and interdependent” effort to participate in the “unalwful reproduction and distribution” of Liberty’s movies. It’s one big conspiracy to spread A3E6F65F2E3D672400A5908F64ED55B66A0880B8, the torrent hash that otherwise identifies the Corbin Fisher flick Down on the Farm. Oh, did we mention this movie is a bareback film?

While Liberty Media’s lead attorney Marc Randazza gets busy subpoenaing the Internet service providers of the 95 IP addresses listed in the suit to find out the actual names behind the web connections — itself an uphill battle, since some ISPs are less than willing to hand over their client list simply because they’re asked by a copyright infringement plaintiff — he wants a California court to begin hearing his case against “Swarm of November 16,2010.” That’s what the 95 defendants are being called, a nod to the date the illegal activity allegedly took place on. While Liberty Media claims it has upwards of 40,000 IP addresses to go after for infringement, the 95 included in the suit pertain only to users who allegedly shared Down on the Farm on Nov. 16. (We checked some but not all of the IP addresses, and it appears they belong to residential ISPs including Verizon, Comcast, and Wide Open West. No .mil or .gov IPs turned out in our cursory check, which would make this story that much more exciting.)

There are four claims Liberty Media is making, which we’re going to over-simplify here.

First, that BitTorrent uploaders are guilty of “distributing” the movie, while downloaders are on the hook for “reproducing” it, allowing for claims of copyright infringement. Meanwhile, sitting on the BitTorrent network means the defendants are also guilty of contributory copyright infringement, the case alleges. The civil conspiracy charge comes from Liberty Media’s claim that BitTorrent users purposefully shared the file with the expectation they would then be allowed to download more of it, because of the way some torrent networks implement upload/download ratios that forces users to upload a certain amount of data in order to download files.

But it’s the the fourth charge — negligence — that is the most ridiculous. The suit alleges Internet service customers (like most anyone reading this website right now!) who don’t properly secure their wifi networks through password encryption are guilty of facilitating infringement, because these customers let anyone hop on their connection to distribute illegal content. “Reasonable Internet users,” the suit claims, “take steps to secure their Internet access accounts.” Try telling that to my grandmother, who doesn’t know the difference between a router and a computer tower. (No, really.)

And what does Liberty Media want out of all this? Oh, just $150,000 per infringement (the maximum allowed by law), plus attorney fees and costs. You can get a very NSFW look and what Down at the Farm looks like, and why at least 95 folks were so desperate to download it. Then you can head to the comments below to continue debating whether these lawsuits are going to out gay teens, whether that matters, and just how responsible a porn company that 21 young men — including CF “favs” Connor, Dawson, Dru, Elijah, Trey and Travis — to star in a bareback sex film really cares about the gay community it claims to serve.

Want to see if your IP is listed? Here’s the full suit:

[photo stills of Down at the Farm via Corbin Fisher]