Alt-Porn Queen Joanna Angel Sues 525 Missourians for BitTorrent Video Theft

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Joanna Angel thinks hundreds of Missourians are screwing her
Joanna Angel is a pioneer of "alt-porn," which is like regular porn but features punks, piercings and music that's rad enough to maybe be on your iPod. She and her website Burning Angel have won some AVN awards (the Oscars of the skin industry) and have been written up in The New York Times. She's no slouch in the adult world.

But while Angel does get screwed for a living, she does not appreciate getting screwed by people who pass around her videos illegally online via BitTorrent -- a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol that allows you to download large files more quickly by drawing from various sources.

So on Tuesday, Angel's New York-based company, Boy Racer Inc., filed a lawsuit in Missouri's Eastern District alleging copyright infringement and civil conspiracy against 525 Missourians who she says shared her video, "Burning Angel - Festival."

She doesn't know their names; all she has is their IP addresses.  It's unclear how far that will get her in our district.

This isn't her first rodeo in BitTorrent litigation. According to court records, she's filed similar federal lawsuits in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio and Texas over the past year and a half. Results have been mixed. One of the Florida cases was settled. Another in Illinois was thrown out.

The BitTorrent users across the river in the Land of Lincoln have a bit of protection at the federal level: In May 2011, district court judge Harold Baker wrote that an IP address is not a person, because

The infringer might be the subscriber, someone in the subscriber's household, a visitor with her laptop, a neighbor, or someone parked on the street at any given moment.
However, the district court judges in Missouri are not legally obligated to defer to that ruling; they'd only be obligated if the Supreme Court had weighed in, which they haven't.

Angel's lawyer in this case is Alvin C. Paulson, based in Belleville, Illinois.

Read the complaint below:
Boy Racer v. John Doe in Eastern Missouri

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