Key Ruling out of Arizona on One Satisfaction Rule in BitTorrent Cases

Lawyers associated with Prenda Law, Inc. continue to defend their position in AF Holdings, LLC v. Harris, 12-cv-2144 in the District of Arizona.

On August 20, 2013, the Court issued an Order which is deals with an under-explored issue in BitTorrent cases.  Specifically, the Court addresses an issue that is sometimes described as the one satisfaction rule.  The idea behind the rule is that if there are a series of related infringements, and liability is alleged to be joint and several, the plaintiff can only recover the total maximum of statutory damages for each copyright at issue.  In other words, each settlement the plaintiff receives from one defendant counts towards the statutory maximum for that copyright, thereby reducing the amount of potential liability accruing to other defendants who are accused to be jointly and severally liable for infringing that same copyright.

Dietrolldie has a nice writeup on this case and the recent order.

This means that any defendant in a BitTorrent case brought by a serial plaintiff should explore prior lawsuits brought by that plaintiff, to see if there are allegations of joint and several liability relating to the same swarm.  The Pietz Law Firm has extensive experience with these kinds of cases, and can likely help Internet users determine if their IP address has been at issue in prior lawsuits, in order to potentially use an argument like this.

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