Strike 3 Holdings' Successful Copyright Legal Strategy Profiled by Law360

Strike 3 Holdings' Successful Copyright Legal Strategy Profiled by Law360

LOS ANGELES — Strike 3 Holdings, the copyright holder for the Vixen Media Group brands, was featured last week by leading legal analysis news site Law360 in a profile highlighting the success of the company's IP strategy.

Law360 framed the article by noting that “several adverse court rulings have dismantled controversial business models that center on filing a high volume of infringement suits accusing internet users of downloading copyright-protected pornographic movies, yet a Los Angeles-based porn studio is continuing to bring these cases at a steady clip across the country.”

Strike 3 has for years been the subject of much fascination in the legal world for not backing down from its lawsuit-heavy strategy, even after previous practitioners have been rebuked by judges.

Law360 noted that “Strike 3's active litigation campaign appears to follow in the footsteps of Malibu Media, a porn studio that also launched thousands of copyright suits against internet users, as well as Prenda Law, a now-defunct law firm [with their principals condemned in court] that filed a similar stream of cases on behalf of its clients.”

Strike 3 and its main legal enforcer, attorney Lincoln Bandlaw, have never relented in the practice of pursuing lawsuits against individual content pirates and anonymous file-sharers, even when occasionally sharply criticized by some judges for the 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.

Rachel Bailey, a copyright legal data expert at Lex Machina, told Law360 writer Andrew Karpan that Strike 3 “has brought more than 900 suits this year and should be on track to file about the same or slightly fewer cases as in 2021.”

Filings from Strike 3, the article explained, “rose to a high of 2,092 suits in 2018, and while new suits slowed to 818 by the end of 2020, the company picked up the pace last year, with 1,931 filings, according to data from Lex Machina.”

The Law360 article describes Strike 3's strategy this way: “After targeting anonymous Internet Protocol addresses, the plaintiffs use the suits to file ex parte subpoenas to demand internet service providers turn over information to identify the subscribers attached to the addresses. Armed with that information, the plaintiffs then pursue the defendants, who often pay small amounts to settle because they are too embarrassed to fight the allegations or don't want the expense of hiring an attorney.”

The article also points out that “most of the copyright cases that Strike 3 files in federal court settle, with 98% resolved with a stipulated or voluntary dismissal, according to Lex Machina's review of about 6,250 terminated cases filed by Strike 3 between 2017 and the middle of May. As for the other 2% of cases, 23 of those ended in default judgment and 31 cases ended on a procedural issue, usually a failure to show that the defendant was properly served. Only one of Strike 3's suits has ever reached a decision on the merits, according to Lex Machina's Bailey.”

To read “This Litigious Porn Studio Is Still Going Strong,” visit Law360.com.

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