Strike 3: California Judge OKs Subpoena to Identify IP Address of Subscriber

Strike 3: California Judge OKs Subpoena to Identify IP Address of Subscriber

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A Southern California U.S. district court judge last week granted Strike 3 Holdings permission to subpoena internet service provider Spectrum in order to obtain the name and address of the subscriber behind a specific IP address that the company — which owns the copyrights of content produced by the Vixen Media Group brands — alleges has been “downloading and distributing their films.”

The complaint — filed in February and one of thousands of similar lawsuits Strike 3 has filed over the last few years — claims that a John Doe subscriber has been “stealing” their content “on a grand scale.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford allowed Strike 3 to serve Spectrum a subpoena “to learn defendant’s identity” in order to "pursue this lawsuit and protect its copyrights."

As XBIZ has reported, Strike 3 has had different rulings around the country when requesting these subpoenas. The chief objection mentioned by magistrates who refuse to grant them is that, even if Strike 3’s investigators have traced alleged piracy to a specific IP address, the subscriber behind that address might not necessarily be the person violating their copyrights, or in the case of badly secured networks, even know about it.

In this case, however, Judge Crawford ruled last Tuesday that Strike 3 "may serve a subpoena pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 upon Spectrum for the sole purpose of obtaining the name and address only of defendant John Doe, based on the IP address listed for him in the complaint."

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