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Sixth Circuit Issues Ruling of First Impression on Unmasking of ‘John Doe’ Defendants in Copyright Infringement Litigations

Since the start of the digital media era, content industries have engaged in a tug-of-war with courts over whether the identity of defendants accused of violating plaintiffs’ rights, via online distribution, can be revealed.

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Since the start of the digital media era, content industries have engaged in a tug-of-war with courts over whether the identity of defendants accused of violating plaintiffs’ rights, via online distribution, can be revealed. In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently noted that prior cases “dealt with anonymity rights during the discovery process. No case has considered the issue presented here — whether and under what circumstances a court can properly protect a party’s anonymity after judgment.” Signature Management Team LLC v. Doe, 16-2188 (6th Cir. 2017).

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