21 new BitTorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits have been filed in Maryland by Strike 3 Holdings (16 cases) and Malibu Media (5 cases). Strike 3 Holdings owns the rights to Vixen, Tushy, Blacked, and Blacked Raw. Malibu Media owns the rights to X-Art.
The lawsuits filed in this state are nearly identical to lawsuits filed by Strike 3 and Malibu Media in other states. Both Plaintiffs start by identifying an IP address they claim their investigators observed downloading adult films through BitTorrent networks. They then sue the internet subscriber associated with the IP address as a John Doe and ask the courts for a subpoena to get the name of the internet subscriber through the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Most people discover the lawsuit when they receive a notice from their ISP (e.g., Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, Optimum Online, etc.) informing them of the subpoena and that their information will be disclosed unless the subscriber files a Motion to Quash.
Motions to Quash are court motions that argue that the court shouldn’t grant the subpoena request. Motions to Quash in these cases are complex because the subpoena is between the Plaintiff and the ISP, meaning the internet subscriber is actually a third-party.
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. If you do not respond to the complaint in court, the Plaintiff can ask for a default judgement, where damages can be in the $1,000s per infringement plus attorneys fees and costs.
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.