Judge Derails Lawsuit Against 23,322 People Who Pirated ‘The Expendables’

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Remember the lawsuit by the U.S. Copyright Group to sue 23,322 alleged pirates who had illegally downloaded The Expendables?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, a judge in Washington D.C. may just have derailed the entire thing with one simple question: How many of the 23,322 defendants live in my district?

D.C. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins has decided to limit things to the District of Columbia after citing the court’s duty to “prevent undue burden, harassment, and expense of third parties” when it comes to jurisdictional discovery. He also told the court that he “leans toward” ISPs that do not wish to submit to discovery in this case and suggested that the U.S. Copyright Group file identical suits in other districts if they wish to continue their claims against all of the John Does in the original filing.

The U.S. Copyright Group has yet to comment on the ruling.

MORE: Is Warner Bros Removing Other People’s Content from the Internet?

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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