Reddit Wins, Doesn’t Have to NARC on Users Who Discussed Torrenting

This weekend, a federal court tossed a subpoena in a case against the internet service provider Grande that would require Reddit to reveal the identities of anonymous users that torrent movies.

The case was originally filed in 2021 by 20 movie producers against Grande Communications in the Western District of Texas federal court. The lawsuit claims that Grande is committing copyright infringement against the producers for allegedly ignoring the torrenting of 45 of their movies that occurred on its networks. As part of the case, the plaintiffs attempted to subpoena Reddit for IP addresses and user data for accounts that openly discussed torrenting on the platform. This weekend, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler denied the subpoena—meaning Reddit is off the hook.

“The plaintiffs thus move to compel Reddit to produce the identities of its users who are the subject of the plaintiffs’ subpoena,” Magistrate Judge Beeler wrote in her decision. “The issue is whether that discovery is permissible despite the users’ right to speak anonymously under the First Amendment. The court denies the motion because the plaintiffs have not demonstrated a compelling need for the discovery that outweighs the users’ First Amendment right to anonymous speech.”

Reddit was previously cleared of a similar subpoena in a similar lawsuit by the same judge back in May as reported by ArsTechnica. Reddit was asked to unmask eight users who were active in piracy threads on the platform, but the social media website pulled the same First Amendment defense.


Source: Reddit Wins, Doesn’t Have to NARC on Users Who Discussed Torrenting

Robin Edgar

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