New York is seeing a staggering number of copyright cases in file, with Malibu Media recently filing 17 new cases and Strike 3 Holdings filing 56. Strike 3 Holdings owns the rights to Vixen, Tushy, and Blacked, while Malibu Media owns the rights to X-Art. These two Plaintiffs are known for mass filing copyright cases against anonymous internet subscribers, identified only as an IP address. They claim their investigators have identified scores of internet subscribers as downloading their content through BitTorrent networks. They then subpoena the internet service provider (ISP) to discover the identity of the internet subscriber, despite knowing that many times the subscriber is not the infringer.
Most people find out about the lawsuit after receiving a notice from their ISP (such as Comcast, Verizon, Optimum Online, Time Warner, RCN, Spectrum, etc.) that states the subscriber must file a Motion to Quash in court in order to prevent the ISP from disclosing their identity. These cases are complex, since the subpoena is between the ISP and the Plaintiff, making the subscriber a third party.
If the subscriber would like to remain anonymous, it is important to secure effective representation as quickly as possible. Without action, the Plaintiff will amend the complaint to name the subscriber and then formally serve the complaint on the subscriber. Once the complaint is served, the defendant must act quickly to avoid a default judgement, with $1,000s in damages per alleged infringement.
These notices are serious. However, there are a variety of options for defense.