‘Strike 3’ Filed a Record Number of Piracy Lawsuits This Year

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Strike 3 Holdings filed a record-breaking 2,788+ lawsuits against alleged BitTorrent pirates in U.S. courts this year. The adult entertainment company has little 'competition' from other rightsholders and is responsible for the vast majority of all U.S. piracy lawsuits filed this year.

Over the past several years, adult entertainment company Strike 3 Holdings has filed thousands of cases in U.S. federal courts.

The company, known for its Blacked, Tushy, and Vixen brands, targets people whose Internet connections were allegedly used to download and share copyright-infringing content via BitTorrent.

Track, Sue and Settle

These efforts, often referred to as so-called ‘copyright-trolling’, are pretty straightforward. Copyright holders track down a ‘pirating’ IP-address and then request a subpoena from the court, compelling ISPs to hand over the associated customer data.

Many of these lawsuits result in private settlements, which can be rather lucrative. With minimal effort, rightsholders can rake in hundreds or thousands of dollars per defendant.

This week, we decided to take a look at the number of file-sharing lawsuits filed in the United States in 2022. The data shows that one company has been particularly active: Strike 3 Holdings.

New Record!

From January 1 to today, Strike 3 submitted 2,788 complaints in various courts around the U.S., targeting “John Doe” subscribers. This is a record-breaking statistic. Never before has a copyright holder filed this many lawsuits against alleged file-sharers in a single year.

strike cases

For comparison, in 2017 all rightsholders combined filed 1,019 file-sharing cases. In the following years, this number increased mostly thanks to Strike 3, which set the previous record at 2,094 in 2018.

Strike 3 filed its first case in 2017 and since then has submitted over 9,000 complaints at federal courts.

Strike 3 Lawsuits per Year *

strike record

Strike 3 is currently responsible for most legal action against file-sharers in the U.S. Other independent movie studios also file piracy-related lawsuits, but these are limited to a few dozen at most.

With this level of workload, it’s no surprise that most cases are resolved relatively swiftly. Of all lawsuits filed in the first half of the year, more than 90% have already been closed. This happens when the parties reach an out-of-court settlement or if Strike 3 drops a complaint for other reasons.

Edge Cases

There are also instances of defendants simply ignoring Strike 3 lawsuits. When that happens, Strike 3 often requests a default judgment from the court, which can go either way depending on the circumstances.

A massive award for damages is one potential outcome. Last year a federal court in New York ordered a local resident to pay $108,750 in damages for sharing 145 pirated videos via BitTorrent. Other courts have denied similar default judgment requests.

Update January 2023: The final number of complaints filed in 2022 is 2,878.


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