Strike 3, Accused Copyright Infringer Reach Agreement Before Florida Trial

Strike 3, Accused Copyright Infringer Reach Agreement Before Florida Trial

TAMPA, Fla. — Strike 3 Holdings and a Florida man accused of illegally downloading and sharing 36 of the company’s copyrighted adult titles reached a confidential settlement on Sunday, only days before the case was scheduled to go to trial.

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 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 was moving toward a federal trial this week, until the parties reached an agreement “at the eleventh hour” on Sunday, news site TorrentFreak reported.

“It’s unusual for such a file-sharing case to be so heavily litigated since that’s quite costly for both sides,” wrote TorrentFreak’s Ernesto Van der Sar, who regularly covers Strike 3 litigation. 

“The prospect of a potential jury trial is even rarer,” Van der Sar added, noting that neither Strike 3 nor Adaire “wanted to give in.”

U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven had allowed 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.

During pretrial motions, Adaire’s lawyer unsuccessfully 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.”

On Sunday, the parties informed the court they had “finalized and executed, by way of written agreement, a final settlement resolving all claims raised in this case.”

According to TorrentFreak, due to the confidential nature of the settlement, it remains unclear whether either party agreed to pay compensation.

Adaire’s attorney, Curt Edmondson, told TorrentFreak that the dispute was “amicably resolved to the satisfaction of all,” with Strike 3’s lawyer, Christian Waugh, concurring.

Waugh touted the judge’s injunction stipulating that the defendant “will have to pay $125,000 in damages if they infringe any of Strike 3’s copyrights in the future.”

“The injunction itself is a historic result for content creators and owners like my client,” Waugh told TorrentFreak. “There are extraordinary penalties, including contempt, if Defendant ever violates the injunction imposed by the Court.”

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