Reddit Pushes Back On Idiotic Unmasking Fishing Expedition By Movie Studios


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Which is precisely what Reddit has been talking about this entire time as it has continuously described this entire thing as a fishing expedition by the studios. They want to find evidence that somehow ties RCN users specifically to discussions about how they can get away with piracy using RCN as an ISP. But if this is the best they can do, then perhaps it would be better to simply drop this entire original lawsuit, because as far as good evidence goes, this ain’t it. In most cases, RCN isn’t even the ISP in question, and it also wasn’t the subject of the Reddit thread for several of the users the studios are seeking to unmask.

The February 2022 thread was started by a user “explaining that they had received a copyright infringement email from Comcast and expressing that they were ‘kinda worried,'” Reddit wrote. “In the year since, there have been over 240 replies in that discussion. Among those hundreds of comments about Comcast’s copyright practices, one mentions RCN.”
Reddit said it provided identifying information for that one user to the plaintiffs. “But the remaining four Comcast Users are now being targeted merely because they happened to post in the Comcast Thread, despite the fact that none of the users were responding or referring to any discussion of RCN, and none mention RCN themselves,” Reddit wrote.

Reddit’s filing goes on with more details. For starters, several of the targets for unmasking that actually were RCN customers… never discussed piracy. Like, at all. The studios also claimed that because one user talked about how RCN had reset their home router, this somehow means that Reddit “monitors and controls” the actual behavior of the customer while on the internet. Which is pretty ****ing stupid, because maintaining infrastructure and monitoring web activity are two completely separate things. And then there’s this…

The studios argued that the 2009 post “establishes that RCN has the technical ability [to monitor users]. If RCN had the ability 13 years ago, it certainly still has the ability now.” The post in question said RCN replaced an error page with branded search results. Reddit told the court that the post doesn’t prove what the film studios claim:
This practice is known as NXDOMAIN DNS hijacking, and many ISPs have engaged in it to display advertisements to their customers. It has absolutely nothing to do with copyright infringement or piracy… DNS hijacking does not demonstrate ever-present surveillance or control by an ISP over its users. It instead reflects an ISP’s global policy of routing certain DNS calls to an IP address of their choosing.