Strike 3 Wins Another Legal Victory to Unmask Alleged Content Pirates

Strike 3 Wins Another Legal Victory to Unmask Alleged Content Pirates

TRENTON, N.J. — The U.S. District Court for New Jersey ruled earlier this month that Strike 3 Holdings — the copyright holder for the Vixen Media Group brands — may be granted discovery to establish the identity of a person behind an IP address that the company alleges has been pirating its content and distributing it via torrents.

U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey Marsh A. King granted Strike 3 leave to serve pre-Rule 26(f) conference discovery, legal news site JD Supra reported yesterday.

According to the legal site, the judge “recognizes there’s good cause for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) [Comcast] to provide the identity of the alleged infringer through expedited discovery, but won’t let the public ‘peek behind the curtain.’”

Parties, JD Supra explained, are “generally barred from seeking discovery before the Rule 26(f) conference occurs,” but courts can grant leave to provide expedited discovery “upon a showing of ‘good cause.’”

Magistrate Judge Sharon A. King agreed that Strike 3 could show “good cause.”

In the interest of protecting the defendant's privacy, however, Comcast was required “to first serve a copy of the Order and Subpoena on the IP address owner, which then had 30 days to file a motion to quash, move for a protective order or seek other relief.”

The defendant will also have the option of being identified publicly only as “John Doe” if the case moves forward.

This is one in a series of recent wins by Strike 3, after a period in which the company's main lawyer, Lincoln Bandlaw, was sharply criticized by some judges for his legal strategy of subpoenaing ISPs for customer information.

As XBIZ reported, a top legal analytics firm released a report in June confirming that just two adult companies — Strike 3 Media and Malibu Holdings — were responsible for the bulk of all copyright litigation in federal courts between 2018 and 2020.

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