The Canadian audio software company, reFX Audio Software Inc., has filed copyright infringement suits against four university network users at colleges across the nation.
In November, the company filed suit against a Webster University network user as well as a user at University of Central Missouri for illegally sharing the company’s software.
Three users at the University of Colorado and one user at Colorado State University have been sued as recently as Feb. 7, 2013, by the company. reFX Software has also filed suit against more than 600 commercial network users in Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut and Missouri.
Much like the case in November, because the company was unable to identify the true names of the individuals it is suing, reFX Software assigned a number to each accused perpetrator. In the Missouri lawsuit, the individual who allegedly used Webster’s network is listed as John Doe 31.
The Missouri complaint accused John Doe 31 (out of 180 in the suit) of illegally sharing reFX Software’s Nexus program on Aug. 27, 2012 at 9:23 a.m.
reFX Software references three specific products and prices in its complaint as well as the total costs:
—Nexus 2 with 1,000 factory presets and all 45 expansion packs: $2,589.
—Nexus 2 with 1,000 factory presets: $299.
—For each individual expansion pack: $65.
On Nov. 28, 2012, United States Magistrate Judge Terry I. Adelman ordered that reFX Software could serve subpoenas to the Internet service providers (ISP) involved in the case.
The subpoena will seek “documents that identify each Doe defendant, including the name, current (and permanent) addresses, e-mail addresses … for each defendant.”
Court documents reference the Cable Service Privacy Act, which provides:
“Cable operator may disclose (personally identifiable) information if the disclose is subject to subsection (h) of the section, made pursuant to a court order authorizing such disclosure, if the subscriber is notified of such order by the person to whom the order is directed.”
Furthermore, the order states that third party ISPs (i.e. Webster University) must serve a copy of the subpoena and copy of the court’s order to the alleged illegal sharer. The ISP must have served this copy, “using any reasonable means
including written notice sent to his or her last known address,” no later than Jan. 25, 2013.
The order also states the individuals being sued by reFX Software (aka John Does) may file motions in court contesting the subpoena or litigate anomalously with reFX Software before Mar. 15, 2013.
No personal information shall be turned over to reFX Software before Mar. 15, 2013. Furthermore, if a John Doe challenges the subpoena, an ISP may not turn over any documents or information until the challenge is resolved.
“The ISPs shall have to and including March 25, 2013, by which to produce to plaintiff reFX Audio Software Inc. the information responsive to the subpoena as to any non-moving Doe defendant(s) only,” court documents state.
The order states that any information disclosed to the plaintiff by the ISP may be used only for the purpose of protecting its rights under the Copyright Act.
Concerned about privacy, one of the 180 individuals sent a letter with no return address to the Eastern District Court in Missouri objecting to the release of any personal information relating to him or her.
On Feb. 7, 2013, the case was reassigned to Judge Henry E. Autrey.
ORDER PERMITTING LIMITED DISCOVERY AND PROTECTIVE ORDER by WebsterJournal