Strike 3 Holdings and Malibu Media have filed more than 3 dozen cases in New Jersey over the past few weeks. Malibu Media filed 13 cases while Strike 3 Holdings filed twice as many. Both companies seem to be trying to maintain their record breaking number of lawsuits filed last year. New Jersey is a favorite target, with more than 380 cases filed last year alone.
The reason why these companies can file so many complaints is because each case is essentially the same with only the name of the IP address and specifics of the infringements differing. They begin by suing an anonymous IP address which they claim their investigators observed downloading the Plaintiff’s copyrighted films through BitTorrent networks. Strike 3 Holdings owns the rights to Vixen, Tushy, and Blacked, while Malibu Media owns the rights to X-Art.
After filing the complaint, the Plaintiff seeks to subpoena the internet service provider (e.g., AT&T, Charter, Xfinity/Comcast, Verizon, Optimum, Spectrum, etc.) for the identity of the internet subscriber assigned the specific IP address. Most people find out about the lawsuit when their ISP sends them a notice of the subpoena. These notices usually also explain that the only way to fight the subpoena is through a Motion to Quash.
Motions to Quash are complex in these cases as the subpoena is between the Plaintiff the ISP, therefore the subscriber has a high standard to meet in order to successfully “quash” (i.e., cancel or void) the subpoena.
If you have received one of these letters, it’s important to seek legal counsel without delay. Without action, your ISP is obligated to reveal your identity. If not defended against, the Plaintiff can name the defendant publicly and serve the complaint. Once you are served with a summons, you typically have 21 days to respond in Federal Court or face a default judgement. Acting quickly can sometimes prevent your identity from being released to the Plaintiff. In other cases, we can argue for a Motion for a Protective Order that can shield your identity from the public.
To learn about your options for defense, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your name, number, and case number (sometimes called docket number or civil action number). Please don’t hesitate to call me immediately at 888.801.8681. If calling after-hours, please leave a message with your name, number, and case number (sometimes called docket number or civil action number); I do return calls after-hours.