Comcast steps in it by sending copyright threat to file-sharing news site
By Jeff John Roberts
Aug 21 2013
Lawyers for Comcast are making the firm look bad for no good reason by issuing outlandish copyright threats to a news site that reports on copyright issues.
This one’s a doozy even by the standards of dumb legal campaigns: Comcast is threatening to sue TorrentFreak, a news site about copyright and file-sharing, for publishing a document related to an on-going court case.
The document in question is a one-page fax — we’ve reproduced it below — in which Comcast provides a defense lawyer with subscriber information as part of the legal discovery process. (The larger case relates to a copyright-trolling operation in which a law firm is accused of creating a “honey pot” by uploading copyrighted shows, and then turning around and suing those who download them.)
According to TorrentFreak, attorneys for a “brand protection” agency representing Comcast are warning the site that it has five days to remove their client’s “intellectual property” or face a series of nasty legal measures.
This request is asinine for a number of reasons: first, if the fax is indeed a court document, then it is part of the public record and not subject to copyright protection. And, in any case, TorrentFreak is a news outlet that is protected by a fair use reporting privilege in the case of a genuine news story – which this clearly is.