I wrote this article to give “Just The Facts” about Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits. Here, I will briefly give you a walkthrough of the ISP Subpoena Letter that you received in the mail.
You will learn whether to respond with a motion to quash, or whether there are better strategies available to you through your attorney. We will discuss:
…along with a bunch of other strategies you might not yet be aware of.
JUST WALK ME THROUGH THIS.
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC actually sent me a frightening ISP subpoena letter. Can you advise me on how to best avert this colossal crisis before the deadline?
WALKTHROUGH (JOHN DOE): I WAS CAUGHT DOWNLOADING ADULT FILMS. WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND THE ISP SUBPOENA NOTIFICATION LETTER THAT I RECEIVED? WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS ON HOW TO PROCEED?
WHO IS THE COMPANY FILING THE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT:
STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS, LLC
WHAT MOVIES ARE THEY SUING FOR:
They are suing for the unlawful download or streaming of adult movie titles produced under various adult film brands.
They are claiming that the accused account holder illegally downloaded and streamed pornographic films belonging to their company. As a result, they want their name and address “so that they could determine if this person is the so-called infringer.”
WHAT SETTLEMENT AMOUNT DO THEY ASK FOR?
They want one settlement for the unlawful download or streaming of their copyrighted adult movie titles.
They calculate how much they initially ask for based on how many titles they believe were downloaded. They get the number of titles from their “EXHIBIT A” attachment to the complaint. Then, they multiple the number of titles by an arbitrary “per title” settlement amount.
They begin asking for $750/title x the number of titles in the EXHIBIT A. The acutal amount you pay ends up being:
1) as high as they could negotiate, and
2) as low as we can negotiate.
There are strategies based on timing and leverage to minimize the settlement amount.
AFTER SENDING THE SUBPOENA, HOW FAR ARE THEY WILLING TO GO IN THE JOHN DOE LITIGATION PROCESS?
How far they are willing to go depends on which federal court the case is filed in. It also depends on:
- the proclivities of the plaintiff attorney/local counsel,
- whether he/she is willing to name and serve each defendant, and
- whether he/she is willing or able to conduct discovery.
HOW ARE THEY SUING DEFENDANTS AS PUBLIC IP ADDRESSES?
They file a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court. The lawsuit is against one unknown “John Doe” defendant with one accused IP address. They tracked that defendant over the course of months or years before the lawsuit was filed. The judge allows them to send a subpoena to the accused defendant’s ISP (e.g., Comcast). This forces the ISP to provide them the accused “John Doe” defendant’s contact information (and other relevant information).
UPDATE: MIAMI-DADE FLORIDA STATE-BASED LAWSUITS BASED ON “PURE BILL OF DISCOVERY” AND NOT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
They have devised a way of unmasking the identity of accused downloaders without needing to go through a federal court subpoena process. They do this by filing a “bill of discovery” lawsuit in a state court. (In my articles, I refer to these as the “Miami-Dade Strike 3” lawsuits).
SEE THE 2019-2020 CASES FILED IN FLORIDA (THE “MIAMI-DADE STRIKE 3 ARTICLES”):
- Initial article explaining how they are using the state courts to unmask defendants’ identities.
- Follow-up article exposing the attorneys behind the scheme.
- Recent article explaining how defense attorneys are luring defendants in with a “bait and switch.” They sell a “motion to quash” service, but when this fails, their client ends up forcing them to settle or be sued.
1) Have a copyright infringement defense law firm file an answer with the court; ask for attorney fees.
Have an attorney defend the claims in litigation (result: attorney fees, not refundable; eventual dismissal).
2) Settle by paying them an amount the accused defendant can afford to pay.
Have an attorney negotiate a settlement covering all past claims of infringement for the adult titles allegedly downloaded.
The amount to be paid will be based on the profile of the downloader.
They create the downloader’s profile by combining the following factors:
- demographic information,
- income, and
- social network information.
The ability to pay is also a relevant factor in determining the settlement price.
Whether the download actually happened (or whether the movie was actually streamed) is also a relevant factor in considering what the amount the defendant ends up paying.
Most importantly, the settlement amount will also take into consideration what titles he has downloaded. What other videos he has seen is also relevant (and whether the producers of those videos are clients of the plaintiff attorney*).
*Just in case you didn’t catch that, I’ll say it again. Too often, these plaintiff attorneys look at what OTHER videos you downloaded. For example, you can look at your history on https://www.iknowwhatyoudownload.com. My issue with attorneys who do this is:
- the lawsuit is for a particular movie production company. Why is the plaintiff attorney looking for films for his other clients?
- if he does find titles belonging to other clients of his, you do not know if his client will ever receive the settlement funds you pay him.
[The attorney could just as easily write a release of liability and pocket the money himself. His movie client would never know the settlement happened. This is why we pay the settlement money directly to the client.]
3) Have an attorney act as a buffer between yourself and the plaintiff attorney.
This is often called the “ignore” route because negotiating a settlement is not the intended outcome.
– FOR A DEFENDANT WHO DID NOT DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE MOVIE: The goal of the “ignore” route is to keep an open line of communication with the plaintiff attorney. We would want to convince him/her that the accused John Doe defendant is not the person the attorney is looking for — that he did not download or stream the movie titles, and that he is not interested in paying a settlement.
– FOR A DEFENDANT WHO DID DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE MOVIE: The goal of the “ignore” route is to create a buffer zone between the plaintiff attorney and the accused John Doe defendant.
The goal is to stop the plaintiff attorney from having any communication with the defendant. Our goal would be to stop them from sending correspondences and demand letters to our client. Instead, we would funnel all communications through the office of the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC. We would monitor the case for changes that affect your John Doe entity. And, we would be your eyes and ears understanding every event that occurs in the case, and what the relevance is of each event.
The intended outcome is for the plaintiff’s lawyer to decide to name and serve other defendants (and this does happen). However, should your defense attorney decide there is a “high risk” of being named and served, I would suggest that we settle the claims before being named and served.
4) Have an attorney draft a “no settlement letter” on your behalf.
A “no settlement letter” informs the plaintiff attorney that:
- nobody in the family watched or downloaded the movie, and
- no amount will be paid to them, period.
NOTE: A “no settlement letter” is a discounted means of informing the plaintiff attorney that no payment will be made. We leave the choice to them to either name and serve the defendant or leave him be. Because this is a discounted “barebones” strategy, no further communication is made with the plaintiff attorney after the initial letter.
OTHER STRATEGIES (NOT SUGGESTED):[These are strategies that a “defense law firm” or a “legal defense” attorney (a.k.a., a settlement factory) will ‘sell’ to the accused defendant. They sell these using the terms “copyright defense against copyright infringement claims” or “copyright infringement defense” in their ads.
As soon as the accused defendant receives a subpoena from the ISP, they are informed that they are a potential defendant in a federal lawsuit. Strike 3 Holdings filed this lawsuit to “protect” a copyright that they allegedly stole. The subpoena letter almost always suggests that the defendant can file a Motion to Quash.
Then, when this strategy fails (publicly), the owner of the internet account is given the news that he must settle with Strike 3 Holdings. If he does not, Strike 3 will name and serve him as a defendant [now that they know who he is from his Motion to Quash].
In short, the defendant is sold one faulty product (the motion to quash), and then they are told they have to settle, “or else.” This gives the so-called torrent defense attorney the ability to settle many lawsuits (some advertise that they have settled thousands of lawsuits). For the accused defendant, he was given one bad legal strategy after another.
I have written about this on reddit multiple times. I have also explained the issues in my “policy letter to lawmakers and judges.” In that letter, I explain that the legal system is broken because there is an “uneven playing field” between the plaintiff and the defendants he sues. Because the plaintiffs are given an unfair advantage over defendants in these cases (Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits are most recently filed in the Northern District of California), the defendants are unable or ill equipped to defend themselves.]
5) (not recommended) File a motion to quash the Strike 3 Holdings Lawsuit subpoena.
Motion to Quash the Subpoena: Again, see this article to understand why I do not recommend this method. In short:
- the plaintiff will claim the accused defendant is not yet a defendant (no “standing”), and
- even if the defendant succeeds in filing the motion, the plaintiff attorney can easily re-file the lawsuit in his home state’s federal court.
6) “Anonymous Settlements“: See this article to understand why I do not recommend this method. Settling anonymously sounds good to an accused downloader. The problem is that it gives the settlement factory attorney a way to use a “boilerplate” release of liability.
An anonymous settlement does not protect you against the next lawsuit. This is because the agreement limits the settlement to the titles that ‘this Anonymous John Doe entity’ downloaded ‘with this IP address, in this lawsuit’. Strike 3’s attorneys also play semantics – a “John Doe subscriber assigned IP address A” in lawsuit #1 is not the same ‘person’ as a “John Doe subscriber assigned IP B” in lawsuit #2.
ESSENTIAL ARTICLES ON STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS LAWSUITS:
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ONE PAGE ABOUT YOUR LAWSUIT AND ISP SUBPOENA (IN-DEPTH FAQ).
- MOTIONS TO QUASH IN ONE PAGE (FAQ); WHEN NOT TO FILE A MOTION TO QUASH.
- THE LIFE OF A SUBPOENA, AND AT WHAT POINT YOU ARE NO LONGER ANONYMOUS.
In response to many people asking me about how much settlements cost, and what the process is, I wrote the following comprehensive article:
- “SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS: Exactly How they Calculate Their Settlement Prices, and Whether or Not you Should Settle At All” — 5/17/2023
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY:
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[Strike 3 Holdings LLC Lawsuit against John Doe Subscriber assigned IP Address – Texas Copyright Infringement Defense of Subpoena from Strike 3 Lawsuits.]
What options do I have when sued as a John Doe defendant, and what are the potential consequences of each option?
When sued as a John Doe defendant, the three options are to 1) file a motion to quash the subpoena (here is why it is actually better NOT to file a motion to quash), 2) settle the claims against you (this costs a lot of money; if you did not do the download there is no reason to settle), or 3) fight the claims in court through litigation (this is the best strategy if you did not do the downloads).
How does Strike 3 Holdings, LLC choose their local counsel, and how are they divided by territories?
In which courts does Strike 3 Holdings, LLC file their lawsuits?
What are the reasons behind Strike 3 Holdings, LLC suing John Doe defendants for copyright infringement?
They are suing John Doe defendants for the unlawful download or unlawful streaming of their adult movie titles.
They are suing John Doe defendants for copyright infringement so that they can obtain large settlements from each accused defendant. This strategy is far more profitable for Strike 3 Holdings, LLC than having each of these defendants purchase a paid subscription to their websites.
What is Strike 3 Holdings, LLC seeking from defendants in their copyright infringement lawsuits?
They want one lump sum payment for the unlawful download or streaming of their copyrighted adult movie titles produced under their adult brands.
What factors determine how far Strike 3 Holdings, LLC is willing to go in their copyright infringement lawsuits?
How far they are willing to go depends on the following factors:
1) which federal court the case is filed in,
2) the proclivities of the plaintiff attorney, and whether he is willing to name and serve each defendant, and
3) whether their local counsel is willing or even able to conduct discovery to determine whether the accused defendant actually downloaded their copyrighted videos.
What is the process that Strike 3 Holdings, LLC uses to identify defendants and file their copyright infringement lawsuits?
They sue defendants by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court. The lawsuit is filed against one unknown “John Doe” defendant accused of using one IP address.
They ask the court to issue a subpoena to the internet service provider so that they can identify to them which internet user was assigned that particular IP address on the date and time when the alleged download happened.
They then use the subscriber contact information to determine whether they will try to solicit a payment from that accused downloader (in the form of a wire transfer payment), or whether they will pursue that defendant in litigation.
Their cases almost never go to trial, but they end after the discovery phase with either a dismissal or a settlement.
Does Strike 3 Holdings, LLC wait before filing copyright infringement lawsuits against defendants, or do they file immediately upon discovery?
They wait. They track the defendant for months or years before they file the lawsuit.
By waiting many months, they track the IP addresses of the accused defendant and gather many instances of infringement before they file their lawsuit. This allows Strike 3 Holdings, LLC to ask for a large lump sum payment for the unlawful download of many of their titles.
How does Strike 3 Holdings, LLC obtain the identity of defendants accused of copyright infringement?
To obtain the identity of accused defendants in copyright infringement cases, they file a lawsuit in federal court and then requests the court to issue a subpoena to the defendant’s internet service provider (ISP). The subpoena compels the ISP to disclose the defendant’s contact and other relevant information to their attorneys (not to the court).
The defendant’s ISP notifies the accused defendant of the subpoena and provides them with an opportunity to object to the disclosure of their information. This can be done through a legal filing called a Motion to Quash.
ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS, LLC ACTIVITIES:
Below are recent articles we at the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC have written on the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits:
“Strike 3 Holdings’ New Strategy in Suing Defendants in Obscure Federal Courts in New States. Why?” –5/17/2023
“Just The Facts,” –11/5/2017 (Updated 3/2023)
“Everything you need to know in one page about your adult movie lawsuits and ISP subpoenas,” –11/5/2017 (Updated 3/2023)
“HUMOR: Did Strike 3 Just Call Their Defendant “John Doe Infringer”?” –2/20/2020
“Why incorrect attorneys are listed on case dockets,” –5/3/2019
“How Similar are the Malibu Media lawsuits and the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits?” –11/15/2017
“Why Copyright Troll Non-Practicing Entities Should NOT Benefit From Copyright Laws,” –11/15/2017
ARTICLES ABOUT THE 2019-2020 “MIAMI-DADE STRIKE 3” FLORIDA COUNTY COURT CASES:
INITIAL ARTICLE EXPLAINING HOW THEY ARE USING THE STATE COURTS TO UNMASK DEFENDANTS’ IDENTITIES.:
“Strike 3 Holdings Lawsuits in Florida are NOT suing Miami-Dade County defendants for copyright infringement,” –10/31/2019
FOLLOW-UP ARTICLE EXPOSING THE ATTORNEYS BEHIND THE SCHEME
“Attorneys in Miami-Dade Florida County Have a “Behind The Scenes” Shadow,” –1/20/2020
RECENT ARTICLE EXPLAINING HOW DEFENSE ATTORNEYS ARE LURING DEFENDANTS IN WITH A “BAIT AND SWITCH” WHICH ENDS UP FORCING THEM TO SETTLE OR BE SUED.
“Why filing a motion to quash in a Miami-Dade Florida case might not be the correct approach,” –2/10/2020
“Their Dirty Secret – They already know who the downloader is,” –1/21/2021 (Updated 3/2023)
AND CASE UPDATES: ARTICLES FOCUSED ON CASE FILING PATTERN OBSERVATIONS BY MONTH:
List of Recent Ohio Court Filings (*UPDATED* as of June 9th, 2023)
It has been a few months since I did this analysis (the last time I did this was on 3/3/2023, and I’ll need to update the list of filings soon).
For the moment, however, since I just did a write-up on 5/17/2023 on 1) the *NEW* Strike 3 Holdings Strategy of Filing in Obscure Federal Courts, and 2) the 6/8/2023 Follow-up Article about the New Filings in Ohio, I am pasting the data from those articles below.
List of Recent Federal Court Filings by State (*UPDATED* as of March 3rd, 2023)
Here is a list of recent filings in the Federal Courts for each state:
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Again, if you have been implicated as a John Doe defendant in a lawsuit, 1. and 2. (below) are the TWO (2) main articles you should read immediately:
- “ISP Subpoena Notification Received – WALKTHROUGH.”
- “JUST THE FACTS.”
- “Everything You Need To Know in One Page About Your Lawsuit [FAQ]”
- “In-Depth. Their Lawsuits, Their Strategies, and Their Settlements”
FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT WITH AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your lawsuit, click here. Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info[at] cashmanlawfirm.com, or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.
CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.
NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form. The attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me. However, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together. That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or in any e-mail.
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