Strike 3 Holdings and Malibu Media don’t seem to be taking any time off for the holidays as they have filed 18 new file-sharing lawsuits in Pennsylvania. Both companies are notorious mass-filers of copyright suits against anonymous internet users, identified only by an IP addresses. They hire overseas investigators to monitor bittorrent traffic and identify any IP addresses observed to be downloading and sharing the Plaintiffs’ films. Strike 3 Holdings owns the rights to Vixen, Tushy, Blacked, and Blacked Raw. Malibu Media owns the rights to X-Art. They then sue the IP address as a “John Doe” and ask the courts to subpoena the identity of the internet subscriber through the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
The Plaintiffs are able to file so many lawsuits because each lawsuit is virtually identical, with only the IP address and details of the alleged infringements differing. Usually the defendant first finds out about the lawsuit when they receive a notice from their ISP notifying them about the subpoena and the possibility of filing a motion to quash. It is important to begin an effective defense at this stage. Securing representation early can provide you with more options to protect your identity and fight the allegations.
Although each lawsuit is similar, every case represents potentially thousands of dollars in damages per infringement if not properly defended against. These companies invest money into each case and hope to maximize the damages for their financial benefit. These notices are serious. If you do not respond, the 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.
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