"Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner and Cox have successfully appealed a district court decision ordering them to reveal the identities of 1,058 subscribers accused of pirating movies via BitTorrent. The verdict is a significant blow for the extortion-like mass-lawsuits many copyright trolls have filed in recent years.
Two years ago district court Judge Beryl Howell, a former RIAA lobbyist, granted adult movie company AF Holdings the right to obtain the personal details of more than 1,000 Internet users suspected of downloading their works using BitTorrent.
The verdict was a big win for the porn studio and its controversial law firm Prenda, since many other judges had previously rejected joining so many defendants in one lawsuit. The ruling would allow copyright holders to sue large groups of all…