In recent years Strike 3 Holdings, LLC has sued many people in Florida state court, even though most of the defendants live in a different state. This raises the question of why a person would be sued for downloading pornographic content in a state in which the person doesn’t live.
We were also wondering the same thing. Having represented hundreds of clients over the past several years, we noticed an uptick of cases filed in Florida by Strike 3.
The Pure Bill of Discovery
It turns out, there is a very specific reason that they are doing that. Strike 3 files action for what’s known as pure bill of discovery. The sole purpose of this is to uncover the identity of possible defendants in a copyright lawsuit.
This is different from the typical path, where a rights holder may discover an IP address that has infringed, file a lawsuit naming the IP address, serve a subpoena on an internet service provider, and try to obtain a person’s identity that way. Instead, they sue a mass of people, sometimes hundreds at a time, in Florida state court.
This is a significant cost savings for Strike 3. If it did not file this type of complaint, Strike 3 would have to file an individual lawsuit for each person and incur a separate filing fee each time. Once it has a person’s information, Strike 3 can do some digging to find out if this person has enough assets to be worth suing.
It May be a Mistake to Oppose or File a Motion to Quash the Florida Lawsuit
Some lawyers have steered their clients in the wrong direction. They opposed those lawsuits in Florida, filing motions to quash them. A motion to quash serves to reject a legal document or request, such as one for information about the owner of an IP address, on a legal basis. The most common reason for filing a motion to quash is that the request is illegal or improper.
However, to file this motion usually requires disclosing the client’s information–and this was Strike 3’s objective to begin with!
Note: Motion to Quash outside of Florida
Although many attorneys have made valiant attempts to oppose those lawsuits, whether successful or not, an opposition gives Strike 3 exactly what it wants. Once Strike 3 has someone’s personal information, it can simply go ahead and sue that person in federal court.
It seems logical that a person who has been sued by Strike 3 in Florida state court might hire a Florida attorney to oppose the lawsuit. But that person can end up hurting themselves financially because, win or lose, they could end up being sued by Strike 3 in federal court anyway. This second suit will require further litigation (and attorney fees). In addition, Strike 3 will have spent more money on legal fees, which will increase the size of the settlement it will likely seek to offset those expenses.
What to Do About the Strike 3 Florida Lawsuit
The best course of action is to head off the lawsuit altogether, before too much money has been spent by Strike 3 or the defendant, and before the identity of the defendant can be discovered. To do that, a person should hire a copyright infringement attorney with experience fighting cases in federal court. The sooner a person negotiates a settlement, the better. Firstly, the person will save on legal fees. Secondly, it saves the plaintiff (Strike 3) legal fees.
While a person may not care about saving Strike 3 money, it matters. After all, the more money it costs to reach a settlement, the larger the settlement the company will demand.
Make no mistake: copyright infringement carries serious penalties. A copyright holder can demand up to $150,000 in damages per work. And most of these cases involve multiple works being infringed.
By addressing the matter quickly with an experienced attorney, a person is likely to be able to settle for far less money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Strike 3 is using an aspect of Florida law to create a double-edged sword for those who wish to fight the lawsuit: either continue fighting in Florida state court and likely have one’s information revealed, or file a motion to quash (because he/she doesn’t live in Florida), which will likely require revealing the defendant’s identity anyway. Either way, Strike 3 will be able to now sue the person directly.
Never ignore a copyright infringement lawsuit even if it has been filed in a state in which you do not live. Instead, hire an attorney right away.
While copyright infringement is a criminal offense, the lawsuit is purely seeking monetary compensation, often tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The answer to this question will depend on how quickly the lawsuit can be addressed and settled. The more time that goes on, the more expensive it will get, as Strike 3 spends money on attorney and court fees, as well as learns more about the defendant and his/her financial status.
Who Should I Contact?
If you or someone you love has been accused of copyright infringement by Strike 3 Holdings, Malibu Media, or another copyright holder, contact Rosenblum Law right away. Our copyright infringement defense attorneys 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.