Some of the defendants accused of stealing from Corbin Fisher tried to proceed as anonymous defendants, but a Massachusetts judge isn’t having it:
The potential embarrassment to Does 1-38 of being associated with allegations of infringing hardcore pornography does not constitute an exceptional circumstance that would warrant allowing the defendants to proceed anonymously. As the Superior Court of Massachusetts stated, “mere embarrassment [is] not sufficient to override the strong public interest in disclosure.” Roe, 2011 WL 2342737, at *1. Thus, the potential embarrassment or social stigma that Does 1-38 may face once their identities are released in connection with this lawsuit is not grounds for allowing them to proceed anonymously.
Excellent! If you believe in equality for gays, you better be cheering this decision. Otherwise, you’re a hypocrite. Imagine if straight people who steal straight porn tried to say that suing them for stealing porn would be too “embarrassing.” Ha. Everyone should be treated equally under the law.
Techdirt, where I read the ruling this morning, disagrees:
For better or worse, one of the fears of many (including myself) is that such cases work even better as a “shakedown” game, because defendants who either are in the closet or are not gay and fear being sued for downloading gay porn are more likely to just pay up to avoid the embarrassment.
Yeah, well, maybe they should have thought about all that before they decided to steal. Sorry.