A lawsuit filed on July 1 by a plaintiff group of independent studios against VeePN for “committing movie piracy,” has been partially resolved; with a restraining order dismissed, and the court’s attention turned to “100 (John) Does” downstream from VeePN.
The suit had called for damages equal to VeePN’s profits, or for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per copyright, plus statutory damages of up to $25,000 for each DMCA violation. On July 14, VeePN received a temporary restraining order that froze its accounts and cash flow, a demand to post bond, and a hearing was scheduled for July 28. Further background is provided in a July 20 article in Piracy Monitor.
By month’s-end, the case was over – for VeePN at any rate.
How it resolved
On July 20, the plaintiffs reversed course and asked that the temporary restraining order and bond requirement both be lifted because the defendents had ‘complied’ with the requests in the original complaint. A confidential settlement had been reached.
The plaintiff group agreed to dismiss all claims against the defendent VeePN Corp “with prejudice.” According to a court document (Document 32 of July 29), VeePN agreed to the plaintiffs’ request to “use commercially reasonable efforts to block BitTorrent traffic on its servers in the United States to prevent customers of its VPN service from using the BitTorrent protocol to download and/or share content from servers in the United States under Defendant’s control, and to use commercially reasonable efforts to block access from servers in the United States under Defendant’s control to the certain notorious piracy websites located outside of the United States.”
On August 1, the Court granted the request made in the above Document 32, dissolving the temporary restraining order against VeePN, un-freezing VeePN’s funds, returning the $500 bond posted by VeePN, and vacating the hearing that had been scheduled for August 4 (rather than July 30).
The matter is Case 1:22-cv-00741-AJT-WEF.
What comes next
The settlement “noted that this filing only terminates Defendant VeePN Corp. and does not terminate the matter as claims remain against Defendants DOES 1-100.”
On July 19, a separate document (Document 24) filed in this case requested names, contact details and customer records for customers of DataCamp Ltd. that are associated with twelve pages of IP addresses listed in the document. The purpose was to identify “DataCamp’s customers that are infringing Plaintiffs’ copyrights so they can be served with the summons and complaint in the lawsuit.
While VeePN’s part has been resolved, we are likely to hear more about this case in the future, especially if any of DataCamp’s users turn out to be piracy enablers on their own.