Strike 3 Holdings is at it again, this time requesting nearly 150 identities through an obscure type of lawsuit called a Bill of Pure Discovery in Florida’s Miami-Dade County Court. Strike 3 argues that their investigators have captured a list of IP addresses that were observed downloading their films (branded under Vixen, Tushy, and Blacked) through BitTorrent networks. They then ask the court to provide a subpoena for the internet service provider (e.g., Atlantic Broadband, Cox, Frontier, Hotwire, Optimum Online, PenTeleData, RCN, San Bruno Cable, Webpass, Ziply Fiber, etc.) to provide the name of the subscriber behind the IP address. They then make the leap that the subscriber must be the copyright infringer and sue the subscriber in Federal court.
Although the lawsuit was filed in Florida, only a minority (22 IP addresses) are actually geolocated to Florida. The rest are from across the country, including New York (31), Arizona (20), California (20), Nevada (11), Massachusetts (8), Texas (7), New Jersey (6), Connecticut (5), Virginia (4), Illinois (4), Pennsylvania (2), Washington, DC (2), Colorado (2), Maryland (1), Nebraska (1), and Washington (1). I’ve represented people from across the country, am admitted to several Federal courts, and have a network of local counsel to help.
However, don’t let the number of defendants make you think that Strike 3 may forget about you. They are notoriously aggressive in pursuing each case, and each allegation is serious. IP addresses in this case are linked to between 24 and 205 infringements. The Plaintiff sees each infringement as worth at least $750, which they often ask to treble to $2,250 for what they see as “willful infringement”. Thus, the cases listed here could reasonably be worth between more than $54,000 to more than $460,000 in statutory damages. However, the Plaintiff is often willing to settle for less or may even dismiss the case when a defendant puts up an adequate defense.
Many subscribers first learn about the lawsuit when they’re notified through their ISP, which often mention Motions to Quash. When cases are filed in Florida’s county court, it’s possible to argue that the court doesn’t have subject matter jurisdiction (as copyright is supposed to be handled in Federal courts). For non-Florida residents, we can also argue that there’s no personal jurisdiction either.
However, Strike 3 routinely refiles their case against defendants in the correct Federal court and asks for the subpoena information again. This means that for some, a Motion to Quash is just a delaying tactic and doesn’t bring an end to the case. If you’re considering a Motion to Quash, please contact me so I can explain in which circumstances I advise it and when I believe it will actually cost you more.
If you’ve received a notice from your internet service provider, please contact me. I can explain your options for defense and recommend the best way forward for your situation. I’ve represented more than 1,000 people across the country, and focus my practice on defending against BitTorrent based lawsuits. I’m very familiar with this Plaintiff and can give you individualized guidance for your case.