Strike 3 Holdings has ramped up their efforts to uncover internet subscriber identities in order to demand settlements for alleged copyright infringement. They’ve filed three new Bills of Pure Discovery in Miami-Dade County court in Florida, listing a total of 278 IP addresses, with most of these subscribers from California (217) and Texas (61), although there were some located in New Jersey (3) and Maryland (5). The cases were directed at Comcast, Spectrum, and AT&T internet subscribers. Common cities targeted in California were Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Common cities targeted in Texas included Houston and Dallas.
Strike 3 submits nearly identical filings in each case, claiming that the subscribers behind the listed IP addresses have infringed on their copyrights by downloading Vixen, Tushy, and Blacked branded films through BitTorrent networks. They then ask the Miami-Dade County Court for relief in the form of subpoenas to uncover the subscriber’s identity. They then use this information to file Federal copyright lawsuits across the country if a settlement isn’t offered.
This is a new strategy. Previously, Strike 3 filed individual Federal lawsuits against each IP address. However, this was expensive, time consuming, and many cases didn’t result in a settlement. By asking a Miami-Dade court for subpoenas, they can ask for hundreds of identities at once, avoid the oversight of Federal courts, save money, and speed up the pace of demanding settlements.
If you have received a notice from your ISP that Strike 3 has subpoenaed your identity, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can explain what the case means, your options for defense, and what we recommend in your situation. We focus on exactly this type of litigation and have defended people across the country. Please be ready with your case number and IP address associated with your case.
One option is to file a Motion to Quash, which is a way to ask the court to cancel the subpoena. Without a Motion to Quash, your ISP is required to release your identity. Motions to Quash in Miami-Dade court generally argue a lack of jurisdiction because copyright cases belong in Federal courts in the district where the subscriber lives. However, filing a Motion to Quash in Florida may not be the end of the case and Strike 3 can become more demanding, filing a Federal lawsuit in the correct district to get their subpoena. In California, Federal Motions to Quash have had mixed results. If you are considering a Motion to Quash, please contact us without delay so we can explain the benefits and risks.
These cases are serious. Statutory copyright infringement damages are often calculated at $2,250 per infringement. We have experience defending against these new tactics and will be able to help explain what the case means, your options for defense, and recommend the best path forward for you.