Reddit refuses to reveal the IP addresses of users who posted comments related to piracy

Reddit refuses to reveal the IP addresses of users who posted comments related to piracy

Reddit refuses to reveal the IP addresses of users who posted piracy-related comments. The platform invokes the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees a declaration of anonymity. In turn, the film companies insist that the disclosure of IP addresses does not violate this right, because an IP address is not a person, according to TorrentFreak.

It is interesting, but this very argument was previously used by the court several times against the film companies themselves. So, in 2014, the Florida court dismissed the lawsuit against the right holder, ruling that these IP addresses cannot be uniquely linked to one or another person.

“Even if this IP address is located inside a residential building, the geolocation software cannot determine who has access to the computer at that location and who will actually use it to infringe the plaintiff’s copyright,” the judge explained. A similar argument was later used by a court in Canada.

In January, film companies Voltage Holdings and Screen Media Ventures again demanded that Reddit provide logs of the IP addresses of six users who discussed the possibility of downloading pirated content through the Frontier network. These companies filed a lawsuit against the Internet provider Frontier Communications, accusing it of not doing enough to fight piracy.

Voltage Holdings and Screen Media Ventures believe that the information from Reddit will prove that the provider is guilty of deliberately ignoring complaints from rights holders about the illegal use of protected content.

In court, Reddit invoked the right to anonymity, arguing that an IP address is “identifying information.” In response, the filmmakers countered that the release of Reddit users’ IP addresses did not violate their rights to anonymity and free speech because IP addresses do not “reveal” the identities of Reddit users.

Ultimately, TorrentFreak notes, the court will make a decision after weighing the rights of Reddit users against the interests of copyright holders. The court has previously sided with Reddit users twice.

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