verizon logo Verizon taking the battle to the copyright trolls

In a world where we hear all the time about how bad broadband companies are when it comes to things like our privacy it is a nice surprise to hear that Verizon has decided to take the fight to copyright trolls in the court.

As a technology blogger, I am more use to writing about broadband providers when they do something detrimental to their customers so it is really nice to be able to report about a company deciding that it has had enough of the copyright trolls who are constantly trying to force companies like Verizon to cough up private customer data based on questionable copyright infringement.

This latest attempt to get the information needed by the copyright trolls in order to sue or in most cases threaten to sue ISP's customers over alleged movie piracy comes from Malibu Media, Patrick Collins, and Third Degree Films. The group initially sued Verizon for the information two weeks ago but Verizon basically ignored them so now the group is asking the court to hold Verizon in contempt, and compel the company to respond to the subpoenas.

However, rather than comply, Verizon has decided to challenge the group in court by asking the Texas federal court to grant them discovery so that the company can expose how these copyright trolls work. By doing this Verizon hopes that rather than just rubber stamping these kinds of lawsuits the court will be able to make a more informed decision as to whether the alleged BitTorrent users should have their personal info just handed over with no questions asked.

Two other points that Verizon is trying to make with late play is:

  • “Verizon intends, among other things, to seek discovery from the senior level managers of the Plaintiffs and from the persons affiliated with the Plaintiffs whose declarations have been used to support the Plaintiffs’ requests for discovery.”
  • “Verizon further intends to seek discovery into the business model of Plaintiffs and whether the Plaintiffs are good faith publishers of the material they purportedly seek to protect as opposed to whether Plaintiffs’ business model is primarily profit from their aggressive and abusive copyright enforcement efforts.” 

Attorney Graham Syfert, who has handled a number of these BitTorrent lawsuits said, when asked by tech blog TorrentFreak, that this challenge by Verizon could have an impact beyond even just this case.