Strike 3 Holdings has filed another dozen file-sharing lawsuits in Eastern Virginia. They claim that foreign investigators monitor BitTorrent networks and record IP addresses associated with downloading and sharing the Plaintiff’s adult films, which are marketed under the brands Vixen, Tushy, Blacked, and Blacked Raw. Despite already filing more than 2,000 lawsuits this year, Strike 3 Holdings doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
This deluge in lawsuits has caused some judges to question the Plaintiff’s tactics and sincerity in defending their copyrights. As Judge Lamberth of Washington, DC described, Strike 3 Holdings seems to be engaging in a “high tech shakedown” that treats the court system “as an ATM.”
But how are these Plaintiffs able to file so many lawsuits across the country? One reason is because each lawsuit is virtually identical, with only the IP address and details of the observed infringements differing. They sue each IP address as a “John Doe” and then subpoena the internet service provider (ISP) to discover the name of the subscriber. Usually the defendant first finds out about the lawsuit when they receive a notice from their ISP about the subpoena and the possibility to file a motion to quash to stop the release of their identity. 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 how to fight the allegations.
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.
Although downloading through BitTorrent may feel commonplace, the lawsuits against alleged downloaders are serious and represent potentially thousands of dollars in damages per infringement. When multiple infringements are alleged, damages granted by the court can easily escalate into 10’s or 100’s of thousands of dollars. This makes an early and effective defense against these suits all the more important. For more information on what these lawsuits mean for internet subscribers, please check out our FAQ section.
Many defendants also wish to defend anonymously because federal civil lawsuits are generally public record and easily searchable. For those who wish to minimize the suit’s effect on their private and professional lives, it is vital they retain counsel without delay.
If you have received a notice in one of these cases, please don’t hesitate to call me immediately at 888.801.8681. If calling after-hours, please leave a message; I do return calls after-hours.
I have years of experience defending file-sharing lawsuits and can help you achieve the best outcome possible. I have defeated several copyright plaintiffs in lawsuits around the U.S.; I also fought Malibu Media in their first trial. I’ve represented over 600 defendants in both settling and litigating file-sharing lawsuits. I’ve written a subpoena defense guide for your information, as well.
I look forward to speaking with you and helping you put this matter behind you. Please don’t hesitate to call. 888.801.8681.