Strike 3 Holdings has had a busy start to the New Year. In the first 3 weeks of January, it has already filed more than 100 new file sharing cases, including 13 in Virginia. The reason it is able to file so many lawsuits is because each one is nearly identical.
Each complaint alleges that an overseas investigator recorded an IP address downloading and sharing Strike 3 Holdings’ copyrighted adult films through BitTorrent networks. It owns the rights to the Tushy, Vixen, Blacked, and Blacked Raw brands.
This Plaintiff then sues each unnamed internet subscriber as a “John Doe”, identified only as an IP address. It then requests the courts to grant a subpoena compelling the subscriber’s internet service provider (ISP) to provide the customer’s identity. Once identified, it names the subscriber as the Defendant and serves them with a summons. The complaint must be answered in court or the Defendant could face a default judgement against them.
Often, a subscriber first discovers the lawsuit when they receive a letter from their ISP notifying them of the subpoena and the possibility to file a Motion to Quash – a request to the courts to stop (or “quash”) the subpoena. Motions to Quash are complex in these cases as the subpoena is between the Plaintiff and the ISP, meaning the subscriber is a third party. If a subscriber wishes to remain anonymous, it is important to secure representation early on. This can provide more options to protect your identity and fight the allegations.