Strike 3 Holdings was busy on Christmas Eve, filing 16 new BitTorrent-based lawsuits in Connecticut. Malibu Media also filed two more of their own file-sharing lawsuits. Both companies have had a record breaking year, filing thousands of lawsuits across the country. In Connecticut alone, they have filed more than 150 cases this year. They are notorious mass-filers of copyright lawsuits, flooding courts across the country in hopes of receiving thousands of dollars in damages per case.
Strike 3 Holdings owns the rights to Vixen, Tushy, Blacked, and Blacked Raw while Malibu Media owns the rights to X-Art. Although different companies, they operate very similarly. They hire overseas investigators to monitor BitTorrent activity and record any IP addresses allegedly sharing the Plaintiffs’ films. The Plaintiff then sues the IP address as a “John Doe” and requests the court issue a subpoena to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) so the subscriber can be identified and served with the complaint, even if the subscriber was not the actual infringer.
Often, a defendant first discovers the lawsuit when they receive a notice from their ISP about the subpoena and the possibility to file 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 how to 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.