According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rightscorp is a company that detects copyright infringement on behalf of companies like Warner Bros., by monitoring peer-to-peer file sharing. In March, John Blaha filed the suit that initiated the current class lawsuit against Rightscorp, Warner Bros., and BMG Rights Management. Blaha, on behalf of the class action participants, argues that Rights Corp. violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by obtaining his contact information by subpoenaing his Internet service provider, and subsequently repeatedly calling and texting him to inform him that he had infringed the copyrights of its [Rightscorp’s] clients. Blaha’s lawsuit asserts that Rightscorp obtained contact information by manipulating the DMCA to obtain invalid subpoenas. In response, Rightscorp and Warner Bros. have argued that California’s Anti-SLAPP statute prohibits the plaintiffs from bringing this “frivolous” lawsuit. Anti-SLAPP statutes are based upon the First Amendment’s protection of the right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Essentially, the defendants argue that they are entitled to obtain DMCA subpeonas from California courts because Blaha cannot prove that California law prohibits this action because using a subpoena to obtain an infringer’s information is not an abuse of the DMCA. Defendants also seek to promote an attorney’s ability to actively protect his clients (by obtaining an infringer’s contact information). As piracy becomes more prevalent (see Fast and the Furious 7’s Tribute to Paul Walker leak), will courts be more accommodating the film studios and other parties who seek to reprimand those who pirate their works?
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