Shocking! Court rules IP addresses aren't the same as people

The horrible B-move Elf-Man actually does something good for Internet users

In what, for Internet users, can only be seen as a landmark ruling in a case that attempted to prosecute 152 "Doe" defendants for allegedly participating in the online sharing of a B-movie titled "Elf-Man", Washington District Judge Robert Lasnik found that:

... simply identifying the account holder associated with an IP address tells us very little about who actually downloaded "Elf-Man" using that IP address. While it is possible that the subscriber is the one who participated in the BitTorrent swarm, it is also possible that a family member, guest, or freeloader engaged in the infringing conduct. The First Amended Complaint, read as a whole, suggests that plaintiff has no idea who downloaded "Elf-Man" using a particular IP address.

All of which does all those poor souls who were bullied into coughing up $5,000 each by the RIAA thugs on the basis of their IP addresses being associated with illegal downloads little good. 

On the other hand, having seen the trailer for Elf-Man I'm surprised the judge didn't fine the "Doe" defendants for offenses against good taste.

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