Strike 3 Holdings continues to flood the courts across the country with more BitTorrent-based file-sharing lawsuits. They have filed 12 more lawsuits in Illinois alone. Last year, this Plaintiff filed more than 2,000 cases across the country.
Each case is nearly identical. Strike 3 Holdings alleges that an overseas investigator documented an IP address downloading and sharing the Plaintiff’s adult films (marketed under the Tushy, Vixen, Blacked, and Blacked Raw brands). The Plaintiff then sues each unnamed internet user as a “John Doe”, identified only through an IP address. They then subpoena the internet service provider (ISP) responsible for the IP address (e.g., Verizon, Comcast, Optimum Online, etc.) to provide the identity of the subscriber the IP address was assigned to. They only ask for the identity of the account subscriber, who may or may not have committed the alleged infringements.
Once Strike 3 Holdings names the subscriber as the Defendant, they serve them with a summons. The complaint must be answered in court or the Defendant could face a default judgement against them, which can represent $1,000s in damages per infringement.
Often, a subscriber first discovers the lawsuit when they receive a letter from their ISP notifying them of the subpoena and the possibility to file a Motion to Quash – a request to the courts to stop (or “quash”) the subpoena. Motions to Quash are complex in these cases as the subpoena is between the Plaintiff and the ISP, meaning the subscriber is a third party. If a subscriber wishes to remain anonymous, it is important to secure representation early on.
These notices are serious. If you do not respond, your ISP is obligated to provide your identity to the Plaintiff, which allows them to serve you with a summons and complaint. Once you are served, you typically have 21 days to respond in Federal court.
For more information on what these lawsuits mean for internet subscribers, please check out our FAQ section.
Many defendants wish to defend anonymously because federal civil lawsuits are generally public record and easily searchable. For those who wish to minimize the suit’s effect on their private and professional lives, it is vital they retain counsel without delay.
If you have received a notice in one of these cases, please don’t hesitate to call me immediately at 888.801.8681. If calling after-hours, please leave a message; I do return calls after-hours.
I have years of experience defending file-sharing lawsuits and can help you achieve the best outcome possible. I have defeated several copyright plaintiffs in lawsuits around the U.S.; I also fought Malibu Media in their first trial. I’ve represented over 600 defendants in both settling and litigating file-sharing lawsuits. I’ve written a subpoena defense guide for your information, as well.
I look forward to speaking with you and helping you put this matter behind you. Please don’t hesitate to call. 888.801.8681.