Strike 3 Holdings, one of the most prolific copyright Plaintiffs in the country, has filed 18 new Federal copyright lawsuits in Illinois (4 cases), Michigan (2 cases), New York (11 cases), and Pennsylvania (1 case), in only a matter of days. Each lawsuit is nearly identical, alleging that their investigators observed an IP address downloading Vixen, Tushy, or Blacked films through BitTorrent networks. They then allege that the internet subscriber associated with the IP address must be the alleged John Doe infringer. They then request a subpoena for subscriber’s identity from the Internet Service Provider (e.g., AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, Verizon, etc.).
The argument that the person that pays the internet bill must also be the copyright infringer is weak, as other people may have had access to the internet connection (for example). Yet, the barebones accusation that the subscriber is responsible is usually enough for Federal judges to grant the subpoena. Strike 3 Holdings has weaponized this process to try to extract the largest settlements they can from internet subscribers and they are notoriously aggressive.
The Plaintiff sees each infringement as worth at least $750 in statutory copyright damages, which they often ask to treble to $2,250 for what they see as “willful infringement”. Strike 3 Holdings cases, if lost in court, could easily cost $10,000s, or even $100,000s. However, the Plaintiff is often willing to settle for less or even dismiss the case when a defendant has an adequate defense. That’s why it’s so important to contact an experienced attorney right away.
Many people discover the lawsuit after they receive a notice from their ISP, which advises them that the only way to fight the subpoena is through a Motion to Quash (i.e., a motion to cancel or “quash” the subpoena). In fact, many of these cases started out in county court in Miami-Dade, Florida, where people have had success in being dismissed from their case after filing a Motion to Quash. However, Motions to Quash in Federal cases are not as simple, as Strike 3 usually files in the correct jurisdiction, leaving fewer arguments against the subpoena.
If you’re considering a Motion to Quash, please contact me. I’ve defended over 1,000 people against plaintiffs like Strike 3 Holdings and have significant experience with Motions to Quash. I can help explain when they can be helpful, and when they could be potentially harmful. I work with a team of lawyers from across the country to provide the best defense, regardless of the state you live in.
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 I 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.