Now that the courts and the nation have come to know Stormy Daniels, it may be time to become familiar with Strike 3 Holdings LLC, which bills itself as “the owner of award winning, critically acclaimed adult motion pictures” that draw 20 million visitors to its websites every month.
Strike 3 Holdings also is a victim of widespread copyright infringement, the company alleges, and on Monday filed a dozen lawsuits in federal court in Sacramento seeking damages against individuals in Citrus Heights, Carmichael and other areas in the region, part of a nationwide legal fight involving hundreds of lawsuits nationwide.
The lawsuits target “John Doe” internet subscribers identified only by their internet protocol addresses and seek penalties against individuals suspected of using a high-tech downloading system known as “BitTorrent” to connect to other computers and “simultaneously download and upload piece of the file from and to other users.”
“Defendant is, in a word, stealing these works on a grand scale,” the lawsuits claim. “Using the BitTorrent protocol, defendant is committing rampant and wholesale copyright infringement by downloading Strike 3’s motion pictures as well as distributing them to others.”
In one of the lawsuits filed in Sacramento, for instance, Strike 3 Holdings claims an unknown internet user in Roseville took copyrighted films from its websites with names such as as “Vixen,” “Tushy” or “Blacked Raw” 83 times in recent months.
Strike 3 Holdings’ lawyer, Lincoln Bandlow of Fox Rothschild LLP of Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday, but maintains in the lawsuits that the purloining of the videos is a serious matter.
“Strike 3’s subscription-based websites proudly boast a paid subscriber base that is one of the highest of any adult-content sites in the world ...,” the lawsuits say. “Strike 3’s motion pictures and websites have won numerous awards, such as ‘best cinematography,’ ‘best new studio,’ and ‘adult site of the year.’ One of Strike 3’s owners, three-time director of the year Greg Lansky, has been dubbed the adult film industry’s ‘answer to Steven Spielberg.’”
The company says its success has “had positive global impact, leading more adult studios to invest in better content, higher pay for performers and to treat each performer with respect and like an artist.”
“Unfortunately, Strike 3, like a large number of other makers of motion picture and television works, has a major problem with internet piracy,” the suits say, estimating that Strike 3’s “are among the most pirated in the world.”
As a result, Strike 3 Holdings has begun filings lawsuits in federal courts across the nation; the electronic database for federal court filings lists 744 cases involving the company.
Those legal efforts have, in turn, spawned a cottage industry of sorts online among law firms offering to defend and provide advice to defendants who have been accused of ripping off the adult content.
The Cashman Law Firm in Houston offers a “Strike 3 Holdings” fact page that offers advice and answers questions such as “How far are they willing to go?”
The answer: “Depends on which federal court the case is filed in.”
Another firm, Antonelli Law of Chicago, offers to “reduce your anxiety about the problem” and warns potential clients against ignoring any subpoenas they may receive.
“Most cases are resolved out of court,” the Antonelli site advises, adding that it has served nearly 2,000 clients nationwide. “We offer a reasonable Flat Fee for motions to quash, or for helping you settle and remain anonymous in many cases.”