Strike 3 Holdings is ramping up their efforts to discover an ever-growing list of internet subscribers, including 24 identities across California, including in Whittier, Cerritos, La Quinta, and Santa Barbara. They do this through a little known procedure in Florida called a Bill of Pure Discovery. They claim that their investigators have recorded these IP addresses downloading their Vixen, Tushy, or Blacked-branded films through BitTorrent networks. They request subpoenas for the identities of internet subscribers from internet service providers like Cox Communications and Frontier Communications so, they claim, they can file Federal lawsuits against these individuals. However, they use the threat of a lawsuit to extract sizable settlements.
These subpoenas are flawed for a number of reason. First, because they are requested from a Miami-Dade county court, which has no jurisdiction over copyright matters. Second, the subscribers’ IP addresses are geolocated to California, meaning subscribers are unlikely to live or work in Florida. Third, they are requesting the subscriber’s identity, yet, there is no guarantee that the person who pays the internet bills is the same person responsible for the infringing activity.
If Strike 3 gets the subscribers’ identities, they then file a Federal copyright lawsuit, which can carry hefty damages of at least $750 per infringement, with damages often requested to be tripled to $2,250 for “willful” infringement. Strike 3 usually waits until there are dozens and dozens of infringements alleged, meaning each case can be worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. These lawsuits are serious and Strike 3 is notoriously aggressive.
Many defendants have fought Strike 3 subpoenas in Miami-Dade county court by filing Motions to Quash (a request for the court to cancel the subpoena) and are successful at first, as Strike 3 will drop the Defendant from that case. However, this may not be the end. Strike 3 Holdings can become more aggressive after seeing resistance and seem to be willing to file Federal lawsuits in the correct jurisdiction in order to get an identity and sue.
Sometimes, filing a Motion to Quash is still advantageous. I’ve defended hundreds of cases against Strike 3 Holdings and similar Plaintiffs, both in negotiating settlements and litigating in court. If you’ve received a notice from Frontier Communications or Cox Communications and you’re considering a Motion to Quash, settling, or fighting in court, please call us at 888.801.8681 or email. Please have your case number and IP address ready. We’re happy to explain your options for defense and recommend the best way forward.