On Monday, anime publishing giant FUNimation filed a lawsuit against 1,337 “John Doe” defendants for their participation in an “unlawful reproduction and distribution” of the One Piece episode #481 “Ace Rescued! Whitebeard’s Final Order!” These 1337 BitTorrent users were listed by IP address and ISP in FUNimation’s initial filing rather than by their actual names, and were collected based on distribution activity from January 9th through 12th. FUNimation intends to continue to search for the actual names of the alleged offenders and will amend the names to the filings before the start of trial.

If FUNimation’s copyright lawsuit holds up in court, the defendants will have to pay court costs and damages plus they “shall destroy all copies of Plaintiff’s [videos] that Defendant has downloaded onto any computer hard drive or server without Plaintiff’s authorization and shall destroy all copies of those downloaded [videos] transferred onto any physical medium or device in each Defendant’s possession, custody, or control.”

We will keep you updated with more information on the lawsuit as it progresses. The court documents are not freely available at this time.

In other, presumably unrelated, FUNimation news, they have offset some of their releases over the next few months to help space them out better. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood part four and Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance are now both scheduled for early April release. The season one Blu-Ray release of Yu Yu Hakusho has been pushed to the end of April. Samurai Champloo has been moved to the end of May, and Rosario+Vampire Seasons 1 and 2 have been moved to mid-July.

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