AF Holdings LLC v. Doe, No. 12 C 4244, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 5, 2012) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur sua sponte gave plaintiff AF Holdings ten days to provide a further showing justifying its suit against an anonymous John Doe in this copyright infringement suit. The Court explained that Doe cases were not a new problem. The Court saw them years before when bands such as REO Speedwagon filed Doe suits based upon anticipated sales of knock-off concert t-shirts. The Court refused to consider those suits until there was a specified infringer. The Court held that AF Holdings had not sufficiently explained why they should be allowed to pursue a case to unmask the owner of an IP address. The Court also raised concerns that it would issue a subpoena that extended beyond the geographic bounds of the Court’s authority. If AF Holdings was not able to answer the Court’s concerns, the case would be dismissed without prejudice.