WHO IS THE COMPANY FILING THE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT:
STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS, LLC
WHAT MOVIES OR BITTORRENT FILES ARE THEY SUING FOR:
They are suing for the unlawful download over time 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, and they want their name and address “so that they could determine if this person is the so-called infringer.”
WHAT SETTLEMENT DO THEY WANT (COST):
They want one settlement for the unlawful download or streaming of their copyrighted adult movie titles produced under their brands.
They ask for the settlements to be multiplied by how many titles the defendant allegedly downloaded per their “EXHIBIT A” attachment to the complaint. They begin asking for $750/title x the number of titles in the EXHIBIT A; the settlement ends up being as high as they could negotiate.
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 and 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 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) forcing it to provide them the accused “John Doe” defendant’s contact information (and other relevant information).
* 2020 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 (e.g., 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.
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.
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 a settlement payment that 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 settlement will be based on the profile of the downloader (demographic, income, and social network information). The amount of settlement will take into consideration what other downloads he has downloaded, and what other videos he has seen (and whether the producers of those videos are clients of the plaintiff attorney).
The ability to pay and whether the download actually happened (or whether the movie was actually streamed) is a relevant factor in considering the settlement amount.
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 notthe 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 to convince him/her that the accused John Doe defendant is not the defendant 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, to stop all correspondences and settlement demand letters, and to 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 will be your eyes and ears understanding every event that occurs in the case, and what the relevance of each event is.
The intended outcome is for the plaintiff attorney 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, settlement will be suggested.
4) Have an attorney draft a “no settlement letter” on your behalf informing the plaintiff attorney 1) that nobody in the family watched or downloaded the movie, and that 2) no settlement will be paid, period.
NOTE: A “no settlement letter” is a discounted means of informing the plaintiff attorney that no settlement payment will be made, and that his choice is either to name and serve the defendant or leave him be. Because this is a discounted “barebones” strategy, no further communication will be made with the plaintiff attorney.
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 under the terms “copyright defense against copyright infringement claims” or “copyright infringement defense”.
Essentially, once the accused defendant received a subpoena from the ISP informing them that they are a potential defendant in a federal lawsuit that Strike 3 Holdings filed for a federal copyright that they allegedly stole from the copyright holder, they are first instructed that their job is to 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, or else Strike 3 also 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 settlement factory the ability to settle many lawsuits (some advertise that they have settled thousands of lawsuits), but for the accused defendant, he is given one bad legal strategy after another.
I have written about this on reddit multiple times in the past, and in my “policy letter to lawmakers and judges” — namely, the legal system is broken specifically referring to lawsuits alleging copyright infringement claiming that some unknown defendant downloading copyrighted movies without buying them first. Because the plaintiffs are given an unfair advantage over defendants in these cases (these cases filed by Strike 3 Holdings 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, LLC subpoena.
Motion to Quash the Subpoena: See this article to understand why I do not recommend this method. In short, 1) the plaintiff will claim the accused defendant is not yet a defendant (no “standing”), and 2) 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. Anonymous settlements sound good to an accused downloader, but it gives the settlement factory attorney a way to use a “boilerplate” settlement agreement which does not protect you against the next lawsuit (it limits the settlement to the titles that ‘this Anonymous John Doe entity’ downloaded ‘with this IP address, in this lawsuit’). Also, Strike 3’s attorneys 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.
SCENARIO 2: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK ABOUT YOUR CASE AND YOUR OPTIONS, SET UP A PHONE CONSULTATION:
[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?
They separate out their local counsel by territories. Some attorneys control all of the lawsuits in one or two states, others take entire territories. Their attorneys and their personalities can be found here.
In which courts does Strike 3 Holdings, LLC file their lawsuits?
They their lawsuits in federal courts across the US.
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 settlement 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 get a settlement 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 settlement 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, LLC plaintiff:
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:
California Strike 3 Holdings cases are run by Lincoln Bandlow of Bandlow Law.
Lincoln Bandlow used to work for Fox Rothschild, LLP, where he ran all of the attorneys and their cases across the US. But since the shake-up in May, 2019, he left Fox Rothschild, LLP and started his own law firm.
I still think that Lincoln is behind the scenes running each of the cases filed across the US, but I no longer think he has sole authority and decision-making power. I believe that John Atkin (NJ) and Jackie James (NY/CT) also have similar power and authority.
Massachusetts Strike 3 Holdings cases are run by Jacqueline M. James (Jackie James) of The James Law Firm, PLLC. Just as I described in the “Connecticut” section, Jackie James used to represent Malibu Media, LLC, another prolific copyright troll. Jackie was in charge of all of the Malibu Media, LLC cases filed in the New York federal courts. I consider Jacqueline James to be a “boss” when categorizing her among the plaintiff attorneys in their hierarchy. Jackie James at one point was an important attorney filing many cases for Malibu Media, LLC. She even stayed with them after there was a shake-up of Malibu Media, LLC attorneys, but then one day she stopped filing for them. It is important to note that Jacqueline James stopped representing Malibu Media, LLC because she dropped them as a client. She did not “swing from one branch to the next” by dropping one client in favor of a more profitable one. When she dropped Malibu Media, LLC as a client, she did not have another client. It was only later that [I presume] Strike 3 Holdings contacted her and asked her to file copyright infringement lawsuits on their behalf. Today, she appears to have independent authority and control of her cases, and she is in charge of the federal court lawsuits filed in New York and more recently, in Connecticut. When negotiating cases, Jacqueline James is known to be a difficult negotiator, but she is also fair. Be prepared to support everything you say with facts and if needed, documentation. Jackie James is the kind of attorney who does not simply take statements at face value, but she asks questions and follow-up questions… often which lead to uncomfortable conversations. Again, however, she is not known to gouge on settlement prices, but she is a tough in her approach. For the moment, it is noteworthy to list the newly filed Strike 3 Holdings Massachusetts cases:
(Case Nos. 1:23-cv-00088, 1:23-cv-00089) Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >
New Jersey Strike 3 Holdings cases are run by John Atkin of The Atkin Firm, LLC.
John Atkin used to work for Fox Rothschild, LLP in New Jersey. John Atkin was the only one of the Strike 3 attorneys handling all of the New Jersey filings, however, at the time in which he was with Fox Rothschild, LLP, I did not get the sense that he had authority to negotiate the cases himself. Rather, it appeared as if he was local counsel filing cases for Lincoln Bandlow.
That changed in/around May, 2019. As you have read above, in my observation, John Atkin overthrew Lincoln Bandlow’s authority and carved out autonomy for himself among the Strike 3 attorneys in the hierarchy. By May, 2019, he already left Fox Rothschild, LLP and started his own law firm. I learned about this when I started seeing “The Atkin Firm, LLC” on the cases in which I was representing clients rather than Fox Rothschild, LLP.
It is now 2023, and I still think that Lincoln might still be the “boss” among the various Strike 3 attorneys across the US, but it appears to me as if John Atkin is working on his own (maybe as a co-equal boss with Lincoln Bandlow and/or Jackie James), with sole authority and decision-making power over his cases.
For the moment, it is noteworthy to list the newly filed New Jersey cases:
*NOTES TO SELF: There are TWO IMPORTANT reasons why they are putting so much money into filing lawsuits in New Jersey:
1) They almost lost New Jersey as a state in which they would be allowed by the federal court to sue defendants (for lawyers, it was bad case law). For a short while, judges stood up to them and stopped them from being allowed to send subpoenas to ISPs to force the ISPs to hand over the subscriber information to them.
Apparently Strike 3 won that battle, so now they are taking advantage of that “WIN” and suing many defendants in New Jersey.
It is important to note that Jacqueline James stopped representing Malibu Media, LLC because she dropped them as a client. She did not “swing from one branch to the next” by dropping one client in favor of a more profitable one. When she dropped Malibu Media, LLC as a client, she did not have another client.
It was only later that [I presume] they contacted her and asked her to file copyright infringement lawsuits on their behalf. Today, she appears to have independent authority and control of her cases, and she is in charge of the federal court lawsuits filed in New York and more recently, in Connecticut.
When negotiating cases, Jacqueline James is known to be a difficult negotiator, but she is also fair. Be prepared to support everything you say with facts and if needed, documentation. Jackie James is the kind of attorney who does not simply take statements at face value, but she asks questions and follow-up questions… often which lead to uncomfortable conversations. Again, however, she is not known to gouge on settlement prices, but she is a tough in her approach.
*2023 UPDATE* Again, I have seen a number of NY filings made by JOHN ATKIN (from NJ) and not by Jackie James. I have my radar up on what this might mean.
For the moment, it is noteworthy to list the newly filed New York cases:
2022-2023 UPDATE: I am happy to share that while searching for Dawn Sciarrino (when writing up the Virginia cases), I could not understand why she would take this plaintiff as a client. However, searching for her, I found that Jackie James actually listed her as an attorney under her law firm. While I will post Dawn’s page under her state, because her we are discussing Jackie, you can find Jacqueline James’ profile and website here.
Pennsylvania Strike 3 Holdings cases (in 2022) were run by Jason M. Saruya of Clark Hill PLC.
Jason Saruya of Clark Hill PLC is the name of the attorney who is showing up for the filings in Pennsylvania District Court.
He works for Clark Hill PLC, and he works out of the Philadephia, PA office.
There is not much information about Jason Saruya, but from what I understand, he is a younger attorney, and he is probably working with Elsy Velasquez as his superior, as Elsy Velasquez was the attorney from Clark Hill PLC that took over the Maryland cases after the shake-up of their attorneys.
I will check whether he is still running the cases in 2023, and if not, I will do my best to update this.
For the moment, it is noteworthy to list the newly filed Pennsylvania cases:
Virginia cases are run by Dawn Marie Sciarrino of Sciarrino & Shubert, PLLC (more recently, I have found that she is working for Jacqueline James, the attorney for the NY/CT region). Dawn Marie Sciarrino is the name of the attorney who is showing up for the filings in the Virginia federal court. MY ORIGINAL WRITE-UP ON DAWN: Dawn Marie appears to be a partner in her law firm, and she works out of Centreville, VA. There is not much information about Dawn Marie Sciarrino (even their https://www.sciarrino.com website was down when I tried to reach it). From what I understand, she has been practicing as an attorney for many years. Her first bar was in New York in 1991, and she has represented clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for the District of Columbia Circut. What I do not understand is… [with her background, both educational and vocational] why in the world would she take them as a client? This makes no sense to me. 2022-2023 UPDATED INFORMATION: Doing further research, I was very surprised to see that Dawn Sciarrino was listed as an attorney in Jackie James’ website. Understanding Jackie James’ background and her experience, the connection between Jackie and Dawn became clear. They know each other. It was likely Jackie who suggested that Dawn take the Virginia cases because They needed an attorney to file lawsuits in the Virginia federal courts against those Miami-Dade defendants who did not settle the claims against them.
For the moment, it is noteworthy to list the newly filed Strike 3 Holdings Virginia cases:
Texas Strike 3 Holdings cases are run by Paul Beik of Beik Law Firm, PLLC.
2022-2023 UPDATED INFORMATION: Paul Beik is the dominant plaintiff attorney in the Texas lawsuits, although in previous years, I have seen other attorneys file outside of the Houston area (and for that reason, I am mentioning the other attorneys here).
In 2022, I wrote about Forrest Matthew Seger, III of Clark Hill (San Antonio), or Andy Nikolopoulos and David Grant Crooks, both from Fox Rothschild LLP as representing some their Texas cases.
However, as of January, 2022, I stopped seeing their names filed on new cases in the Texas District courts. In the past year, it appears to me as if Paul Beik is the only one filing new cases across the state of Texas for Strike 3 Holdings LLC.
For the moment, it is noteworthy to list the newly filed Strike 3 Holdings Texas cases:
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, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, 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 more practically, in any e-mail.