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.

Your judgement below or to then follow me on, and Facebook.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10