Strike 3 Holdings continues to barrage the Miami-Dade county court with requests for subpoenas for the identities of internet subscribers they claim have downloaded their films through BitTorrent networks. Strike 3 Holdings owns the brands Vixen, Tushy, and Blacked. In August alone, they filed 6 complaints (called Bills of Pure Discovery) and listed 593 IP addresses from a variety of internet service providers from across the country, including AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Frontier Communications, Optimum Online, RCN, Spectrum, and Webpass. Almost half of the IP addresses listed are from California (285), with a mixture of defendants from Connecticut (15), Washington, DC (11), Florida (18), Illinois (36), Maryland (26), Michigan (29), New Jersey (46), New York (101), Pennsylvania (20), and Virginia (6).
These subpoenas are serious and the first step in initiating a Federal lawsuit. Typically Strike 3 Holdings has investigators that monitor an IP address for months or even years, documenting every BitTorrent download. They typically wait until enough infringements have accrued from an IP address to be worth significant damages. In August, the number of alleged infringements ranged from 24 to 342. The Plaintiff sees each infringement as worth $750 in statutory damages, although they may ask the court for more to punish “willful” infringement. If they win in court, they may also be awarded attorneys’ fees and court costs, which further adds to how expensive these cases can become.
Notably, Strike 3 is demanding these subpoenas through Florida county court, where they can take advantage of a little-known type of complaint called a Bill of Pure Discovery. Many defendants are tempted to file Motions to Quash in order to protect their identities from being released, arguing that the Miami-Dade court is not the proper venue for copyright actions nor for defendants outside of Florida. However, Strike 3 doesn’t seem to stop going after defendants that ask for a Motion to Quash and simply refile the lawsuit in Federal court and become more aggressive.
Sometimes, filing a Motion to Quash is still advantageous. I’ve defended hundreds of cases against Strike 3 Holdings across the country, both in negotiating settlements and litigating in court. If you’ve received a notice from Comcast Communications and you’re considering a Motion to Quash, settling, or fighting in court, please call us at 888.801.8681 or email. Please have your case number and IP address ready. We’re happy to explain your options for defense and recommend the best way forward.