Strike 3 Holdings and Malibu Media have filed another 54 lawsuits across the country against John Does, accusing them of downloading their adult films using Bittorrent. This brings the total to more than 340 lawsuits filed in August – averaging more than a dozen lawsuits every day. For this latest round, Strike 3 Holdings has filed 18 cases in California and 5 cases in Pennsylvania. Malibu Media filed another 10 cases in Maryland, 3 in Michigan, and 18 in New Jersey.
Normally, it would be extremely difficult to file hundreds of lawsuits against individuals in less than a month, however, Strike 3 Holdings and Malibu Media file nearly identical suits each time. They begin by identifying an IP address they claim participated in downloading and sharing of their films through Bittorrent and then sue the unnamed account holder as a John Doe. As they only have an IP address, they then ask the courts to subpoena the defendant’s identity from the Internet Service Provider so the defendant can be formally served.
Defendants usually first learn they are being sued when they receive a letter from their ISP that informs them the plaintiff has requested their identity. Because federal civil lawsuits are generally public record and easily searchable, many defendants wish to remain anonymous to minimize the suit’s affect on their private and professional lives. If a defendant wishes to remain anonymous, it is vital they retain counsel without delay.