Florida Judge Allows Defendant to Refer to Strike 3 as 'Copyright Troll'

Florida Judge Allows Defendant to Refer to Strike 3 as 'Copyright Troll'

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida judge ruled against Strike 3 Holdings last month, allowing lawyers for a defendant accused of illegally downloading and sharing 36 of the company’s copyrighted adult titles to refer to the company in court as a “copyright troll.”

Strike 3, the copyright holder for the Vixen Media Group brands, and its main legal enforcer, attorney Lincoln Bandlaw, have engaged in a long-term, relentless practice of pursuing lawsuits against individual content pirates and anonymous file-sharers. 

As XBIZ reported, Strike 3 has not backed down from its lawsuit-heavy strategy, even after being criticized by judges for the legal strategy of subpoenaing ISPs for customer information, and being termed “copyright trolls” by critics.

Although many of these cases result in a settlement, the Florida case concerning defendant John Adaire is now moving forward. In late January, U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven denied Strike 3’s request to exclude information from the upcoming trial.

Strike 3, torrent news site TorrentFreak.com reported, “doesn’t want the defense to use the term ‘troll,’ which is often used to describe its sue-and-settle practice. According to Strike 3, it’s clear that being called a ‘troll’ is derogatory, so it wants to prevent a jury from being influenced by ‘prejudicial’ language.”

Strike 3’s lawyers told the judge that “name-calling has no place in civil litigation,” but the judge disagreed.

A Mixed Ruling Endorsing 'VXN' Technology

Judge Scriven did, however, allow Strike 3 to use evidence from its proprietary VXN tracking technology, which the company claims allowed it to identify the IP address assigned to Adaire in connection with the illegal download and sharing of 36 copyrighted Vixen Media Group titles.

Adaire’s lawyer had argued that the in-house technology was not reliable as “VXN had no user’s manual, no design documentation, and was never verified by an independent third party. There is no known false positive rate of VXN, since it was never measured.”

The case appears to be heading toward a jury trial with a yet-uncertain outcome, the TorrentFreak.com report concluded.

A top legal analytics firm released a report last year 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, with Strike 3 being the plaintiff since then in the overwhelming majority of the cases.

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