Early last year, a group of filmmakers obtained a subpoena, requesting Reddit to reveal the identities of users who commented on piracy-related topics.
The movie companies said they were not planning to go after these people in court but wanted to use their comments as evidence in an ongoing piracy lawsuit against Internet provider RCN.
Reddit wasn’t willing to go along with the request. Instead, the company objected, arguing that handing over the requested information would violate their users’ right to anonymous speech.
Reddit I, II and III
A California federal court eventually agreed with this defense, concluding that Redditors’ First Amendment rights outweigh the interests of rightsholders. According to Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, the filmmakers have other options to obtain this type of information, including through RCN itself.
A few weeks after this setback, the rightsholders filed another request, seeking similar information for use in their lawsuit against ISP…