Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Curious Case of Anthony Reale

This story is actually worth highlighting.  There have been several Dallas Buyers Club cases filed here in Seattle.  My last count is about 13 or 14. One of the things that the DBC folks like to suggest is that their "forensic software" is so advanced and accurate that it never makes any mistakes.  DBC files a declaration of someone named Daniel Macek in every case that goes on for 8 pages about how sophisticated the software is.

So against that background, consider the curious case of Anthony Reale.

One of DBC’s earliest cases filed here in Seattle started with ten “John Does.”  Pretty quickly after getting the names of those Does from their ISPs, DBC filed an amended complaint naming eight of them.  DBC included some exhibits with the FAC that had a table associating the names with their IP addresses.  One of the named individuals is Anthony Reale, associated with IP address 50.135.196.210.

When DBC filed its amended complaint, it included a lengthy listing of a bunch of movies that DBC says were all being shared by the respective defendants at about the same time as the Dallas Buyers Club movie.  There was one listing for each named defendant. DBC alleged that Mr. Reale was “observed” downloading the Dallas Buyers Club movie on or about June 14, 2014. 

If you look at those listings, sure enough you see tons of movies being downloaded with bittorrent.  In most cases, there is a listing that starts months before the Dallas Buyers Club movie shows up.  But still, the listings always include the Dallas Buyers Club movie in there somewhere.

Or do they?

When I started writing the brief that I mentioned in an earlier post, I started looking through the tables because I was very troubled by the fact that DBC was apparently monitoring all these people for months before the Dallas Buyers Club movie is apparently "observed" being shared.  I believe that is a pretty clear violation of the Federal Wiretap Act, and as soon as any case I have moves forward I want to make sure I have my evidence marshaled.

So as I was looking through those listings, I got to the listing for Mr. Anthony Reale.  The first thing I noticed is that DBC apparently started "observing" his IP address on October 31, 2013, which is about seven months before he is even alleged to have downloaded the Dallas Buyers Club movie.  That greatly concerned me.  Why was his bittorrent activity being monitored for seven months?  Who are these people who just record all the bittorrent activity for everyone regardless of what they are downloading?  That CAN'T be legal.

The second thing I noticed about Mr. Reale's listing is that I didn't find the Dallas Buyers Club movie may first pass through the list.  Not the second pass through it either.  Nor the third or fourth.  The text is really small so I did a "find" with the software and it didn't show up then.  So I actually printed the whole listing for Mr. Reale and painstakingly walked through each individual movie.

Guess what?  Mr. Reale didn't download the Buyers Club Movie.  At least not at any time during the ten months that DBC was "observing" him. 

This is troubling.  Very troubling.  DBC is so brazen in its litigation tactics that it will shamelessly name someone in a Federal lawsuit, throw in some massive table of downloads to try and make Mr. Reale look like the next Jimmy Hoffa or something, and in doing so admit that it doesn't have a shred of evidence that Mr. Reale did what he is being accused of.

And understand that this is just the first table like this I have even reviewed.  DBC hasn't filed any more like this to my knowledge here in Seattle.  But if you are aware of similar situations, please let me know.  I'm compiling these instances in order to support that Federal Wiretap Act claim I mentioned earlier.

If you want to take a look at the table and try to find the Dallas Buyers Club movie yourself, I pasted it in below.