Since August 1, 2019, Strike 3 Holdings has only filed 9 new Federal cases, with 7 cases in Florida and 2 in New Jersey. However, it appears that Strike 3 Holdings hasn’t stopped asking for internet subscribers’ identities; they’ve just changed tactics and are switching to state level courts.
In the past, Strike 3 Holdings has used MaxMind Geolocation services to determine the general region for an IP address. They then file a boilerplate lawsuit against the internet subscriber behind the IP address and request early discovery from the Internet Service Provider (ISP; e.g., Charter, Comcast, Cox, Optimum Online, RCN, Verizon, etc.) so they can name and serve the defendant. This is when most people find out about the lawsuit – when they receive a letter from their ISP stating that the subscriber’s identity is being subpoenaed by Strike 3 and information about filing a Motion to Quash.
However, more and more Federal Judges have been pushing back against Strike 3 Holdings. In several New Jersey cases, Magistrate Judge Schneider asked Strike 3 Holdings to provide more evidence to substantiate the claims they make in their complaints. After multiple hearings, the Judge denied Strike 3 Holdings’ request for early discovery, attacking their characterization that the lawsuits decrease copyright infringement, that the subscriber is necessarily the infringer that downloaded the files, and that Strike 3 Holdings does not request sufficient information from the ISP to guarantee that they have the correct identity for all dates listed in Exhibit A.
It’s possible that this pushback has led to Strike 3 Holdings changing tactics. They are now filing cases in Miama-Dade county court in Florida, at the state level, requesting a Pure Bill of Discovery. This is an old, rarely used form of relief available in Florida. It appears they are filing one case with numerous IP addresses listed and then asking for the Pure Bill of Discovery to get the identity of multiple internet subscribers at once, without regard to the fact that copyright infringement is under Federal jurisdiction and that many of the subscribers don’t even live in Florida. It looks like Strike 3 Holdings is attempting to bypass the Federal court system in order to get their discovery at a lower cost and with less responsibility.
If you have received a notice from your ISP that Strike 3 Holdings is using a subpoena to obtain your identity, either in Federal or State court, please do not hesitate to call. I would be happy to discuss what the case means, your options for defense, and what I recommend in your situation.