Strike 3 Holdings and Malibu Media have continued to sweep the Northeast by filing 16 more cases in Pennsylvania. Most of the cases, 11, were filed by Strike 3 Holdings but Malibu Media has filed 5 additional lawsuits. The two Plaintiffs are different companies and represent different brands (Strike 3 Holdings owns the rights to Blacked, Blacked Raw, Tushy, and Vixen; Malibu Media owns the rights to X-Art), they follow a similar pattern in filing lawsuits.
Both begin by alleging that their investigators recorded an IP address, geolocated to Pennsylvania, allegedly downloading and sharing the Plaintiff’s films through BitTorrent networks. They then ask the court for a subpoena to identify the internet subscriber behind the IP address. The courts routinely grant these subpoenas, forcing the internet service provider (e.g., Comcast, Verizon, Charter, Time Warner, etc.) to disclose the identify of the internet subscriber.
Most people find out about the lawsuit when they receive a notice from their ISP informing them of the subpoena. The only way to fight the subpoena is through a court motion called a Motion to Quash. These motions are complex in these cases because although it is the subscriber’s information that will be disclosed, they are actually a third-party to the subpoena.
Many defendants 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.
For more information on what these lawsuits mean for internet subscribers, please check out our FAQ section.
These notices are serious. If you do not respond, your 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. If you do not respond to the complaint in court, the Plaintiff can ask for a default judgement, where damages can be in the $1,000s per infringement plus attorneys fees and costs.
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.