What is a Strike 3 lawsuit?
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC has accused certain internet users of violating their film copyrights through the use of BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol.
In these cases, Strike 3 identifies anonymous defendants referred to as “John Does” who are allegedly responsible for copyright infringement. They send subpoenas to an internet service provider (ISP), such as Verizon, Cox, Xfinity, or Spectrum, which owns the internet protocol addresses associated with the alleged copyright violations. These subpoenas request the ISPs to disclose the subscriber information linked to these IP addresses.
Upon receiving a subpoena from Strike 3, the ISP notifies the subscriber about the pending lawsuit and subpoena request. The subscriber is given a deadline to submit a Motion to Quash the subpoena. Failure to do so will result in the ISP releasing the subscriber’s personal information to Strike 3, enabling them to publicly identify the individual and serve them with a summons.
What should you do if your ISP informs you about a Strike 3 lawsuit?
First, you have the option to file a Motion to Quash the subpoena before your ISP discloses your personal information to Strike 3. If the court grants the Motion to Quash, Strike 3 will be unable to obtain your personal identification information, and the lawsuit cannot proceed. However, if the court denies the Motion to Quash, your ISP will provide your personal information to Strike 3, prompting them to amend their complaint with your true name. The success of a Motion to Quash depends on the specific details of your case, but many courts have denied such motions.
Second, you can choose to settle the case. The settlement amount varies depending on factors like the alleged infringements, the location associated with the IP address, financial circumstances, and military status. If your ISP has notified you of a Strike 3 lawsuit, it is crucial to consult with an attorney experienced in negotiating and settling these cases. Consider settling early in the process, as it may be more advantageous. An attorney can guide you through the settlement process, explain how to protect your reputation and anonymity, and negotiate a more reasonable settlement payment.
Third, you can fight the case in court after Strike 3 amends its complaint with your personal identification information. There are many factors to consider in making this decision, and taking a civil case to trial is often a time-consuming and expensive process. But given the facts and circumstances of your case, it may be worth considering this option. Sometimes, however, even if you are wrongfully accused of infringement, it might be worth considering settling the case depending on your circumstances.
If you receive a letter from your ISP regarding a Strike 3 subpoena, reach out to our office to consult with one of our attorneys from the civil practice group. Once our attorneys have a clear understanding of your case, we can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option and develop a strategy to minimize the impact of a Strike 3 lawsuit on your situation. Our attorneys possess extensive experience in responding to, defending against, and settling Strike 3 lawsuits, particularly in the Eastern District of Virginia. Our office is conveniently located less than a mile and a half from the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia.
*This blog post does not constitute legal advice and is provided solely for informational purposes. Past outcomes do not guarantee future results.