Hard Drive Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-118

Filing 15


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 Northern District of California 10 Oakland Division HARD DRIVE PRODUCTIONS, INC., 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 Plaintiff, v. 13 DOES 1-118, No. C 11-01567 LB ORDER GRANTING PROVISIONAL PERMISSION FOR DOE DEFENDANTS TO PROCEED ANONYMOUSLY 14 15 16 Defendants. _____________________________________/ The recent surge in copyright cases involving numerous Doe defendants has presented a handful 17 of difficult legal questions with regard to joinder, personal jurisdiction, venue, and the procedures 18 necessary to sort them out in a fair manner. See, e.g., IO Group v. J.W., No. C-10-05821 DMR, 19 2011 WL 237673, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2011) (noting a split of authority as to whether the court 20 with underlying jurisdiction over the case may determine a motion to quash or whether a motion to 21 quash must be directed to the court that issued the subpoena). In light of these issues, which might 22 be particularly challenging for those proceeding without counsel, “protections for the Doe 23 Defendants are warranted to ensure that no defendant with potentially valid objections to the 24 jurisdiction and venue of this court is forced to settle to avoid litigation in a distant court.” Liberty 25 Media Holdings, LLC v. Does 1-62, Civil No. 11cv 575 MMA (NLS), 2011 WL 1869923, at *6 26 (S.D. Cal. May 12, 2011). 27 28 Accordingly, the court GRANTS a protective order to the limited extent that any information regarding the Doe Defendants released to Plaintiff by the internet service providers shall be treated C 11-01567 LB ORDER WL 5071605, at *2 (N.D. Cal. 2010). Specifically, Plaintiff shall not publicly disclose that 3 information until the Doe Defendant has the opportunity to file a motion with this court to be 4 allowed to proceed in this litigation anonymously and that motion is ruled on by the court. Id. If the 5 Doe Defendant fails to file a motion for leave to proceed anonymously within 30 days after his or 6 her information is disclosed to Plaintiff’s counsel, this limited protective order will expire. Id. 7 Given the potential embarrassment associated with being publicly accused of having illegally 8 downloaded adult entertainment, if the Doe Defendant includes identifying information within his or 9 her request to proceed anonymously, the court finds good cause to order the papers filed under seal 10 until the court has the opportunity to rule on the request. See id. at 3 (permitting party to file under 11 seal a declaration with identifying information); see also McCoy v. Southwest Airlines Co., Inc., 211 12 For the Northern District of California as confidential for a limited duration. See IO Group, Inc. v. Does 1-19, No. C 10-03851 SI, 2010 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 1 F.R.D. 381, 385 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (“[U]nder Rule 26(c), the Court may sua sponte grant a protective 13 order for good cause shown.”). 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 Dated: August 26, 2011 _______________________________ LAUREL BEELER United States Magistrate Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 C 11-01567 LB ORDER 2

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