Lightspeed Media Adds AT&T, Comcast to Lawsuit

Rhett Pardon

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Lightspeed Media Corp. claims in an amended suit that corporate executives at AT&T and Comcast Cable Communications have aided, abetted and conspired with a hacker to steal its content.

As a result, Lightspeed has asked the court for injunctive relief, preventing AT&T and Comcast from participating in the alleged "criminal enterprise."  

Lightspeed's original complaint was filed in December against Anthony Smith, one of the alleged ringleaders of a hacking gang that obtained passwords then used them to break into Lightspeed websites.

"Lightspeed's early efforts were successful in unraveling the conspiracy when counsel for AT&T, Bartholomew Huffman, and counsel for Comcast, John Seiver, informed Lightspeed that their  clients would no longer comply with court-ordered subpoenas," said attorney Paul Duffy of Chicago-based Prenda law firm that represents Lightspeed Media

"AT&T and Comcast have made a business decision to protect alleged criminals instead of severing lucrative contracts. AT&T and Comcast's subscribers have threatened my client's livelihood while continuing the unfettered hacking that is destroying his business — all under the  protection of AT&T and Comcast," Duffy said.

Attorney John Steele, who leads the Prenda law firm, told XBIZ that a separate ruling handed down Monday in a BitTorrent suit involving AF Holdings gives credence to the Lightspeed amended complaint.

The AF Holdings ruling at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is important "because it's the first evidentiary hearing held to actually address the various issues raised by infringers and the ISPs," Steele said.  

The judge in the AF Holdings case rejected efforts by AT&T and Comcast to avoid compliance with subscriber identification subpoenas issued by Prenda against 1,058 John Does who allegedly traded the porn video "Popular Demand."  

"The fact that we just sued AT&T and Comcast the same week a federal judge ruled their arguments are 'without merit' should make this interesting," Steele said.

Lightspeed Media Corp., operated by Steve Lightspeed, seeks monetary damages in excess of $200,000, as well as punitive awards.

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