Strike 3 Holdings LLC is a company that produces and distributes pornographic films, images, and other materials. They are also known as “copyright trolls” for their habit of monitoring illegal downloads of their films, then suing the people responsible for the downloads. They have filed thousands of lawsuits in multiple states.
According to a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), their Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), Strike 3 Holdings, LLC owns multiple trademarked brands, including:
- Tushy Raw
- Blacked Raw
- Black & White
The brands offer a combination of adult films via DVD or downloadable videos, streaming videos, non-downloadable adult content, sex toys, and clothing. In addition, they hold the copyright of all the videos and images that they have produced. According to the U.S. Copyright Office’s website, they have registered thousands of copyright claims, giving them full creative ownership of their films.
What Does a Subpoena from Strike 3 Mean?
If you have received a subpoena from Strike 3, it means they believe you have illegally downloaded or distributed their content. They are taking you to court for copyright violations. The subpoena is not a scam, and you should take it very seriously.
Because they are the legal copyright owners of their films, Strike 3 can decide how the films are distributed. Any distribution that they don’t authorize is legally a copyright violation. They aggressively monitor illegal downloads of their films and take legal action to punish copyright violators.
The subpoena from Strike 3 is a legal notice that you are named in the lawsuit. Ignoring the subpoena won’t make the lawsuit go away. If you don’t respond, the case can continue without you, and you won’t have a chance to defend yourself. A judge could issue a default judgment ordering you to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties. Strike 3 can use aggressive legal avenues to enforce payment, including garnishing your wages, seizing property, or placing a lien on your bank account.
How Do Their Lawsuits Work?
According to news reporting, Strike 3 has a monitoring system called VXN Scan that allows it to monitor illegal downloads of its films. The system can’t identify individual users, but it can identify the internet service provider (ISP) used for the download. Strike 3 Holdings will sue the ISP and the unknown user with a request that the user’s identity be revealed.
In most cases, the ISP will alert the user that the lawsuit is happening and give the user a time frame to respond before they release their name. Once Strike 3 Holdings has the name, the lawsuit will progress with the user explicitly named as a defendant.
Defendants have to decide how they want to handle the lawsuit. They can go to court to fight the charges or agree to a settlement out of court. These cases are very hard for defendants to win since federal copyright law is clear about what constitutes an illegal download.
In rare cases, a defendant can file to quash the case in state court on the grounds that copyright claims are federal law and belong in federal court. However, Strike 3 Holdings can refile in federal court and start the whole process again.
How Much Would a Lawsuit Potentially Cost?
The cost of a Strike 3 lawsuit can be staggering. Under federal law, the penalty for copyright infringement can be up to $30,000 for each infringed copyrighted work for unintentional infringement and up to $150,000 per work for intentional infringement. Depending on the number of infringements alleged, the cost could quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, you will have to pay all the fees your attorney charges for preparing for and going to trial.
If you choose to settle out of court, your costs could be significantly less. Your attorney will negotiate a penalty amount for a set number of infringements. You may also have to pay all or a portion of Strike 3 Holdings’ legal costs in addition to the fees you pay your own attorney.
How can an Attorney Help?
Hiring an attorney as soon as you receive notification of legal action from Strike 3 Holdings will protect you from the worst outcomes of one of these cases. From the outset, your attorney will take steps to protect your privacy. It can be embarrassing to be a named plaintiff in a case involving pornographic material. Your lawyer will do whatever is legally possible to keep your name out of public court records.
Additionally, your attorney can negotiate the best possible settlement terms. In addition to ensuring that the penalty costs are not excessive, your attorney will demand stipulations that prevent Strike 3 Holdings from suing you again if they discover additional infringements that took place prior to settlement.
If you or someone you know has received a subpoena or other communications from Strike 3 Holdings, contact the attorneys at Rosenblum Law right away. We have experience dealing with copyright cases like this and can help protect your identity and reduce the impact of what could be a very significant copyright infringement lawsuit. E-mail Rosenblum Law or call 888-815-3694 today for a free consultation about your case.