A judge in the U.S. has issued one of the most scathing opinions ever seen in a copyright troll case. In response to an early discovery request by porn troll Strike 3 Holdings, Judge Royce C. Lamberth describes the plaintiff as a "cut-and-paste" serial litigant whose lawsuits "smack of extortion". The company runs away at the first sign of a defense, he added, while noting his court is being used "as an ATM".
Strike 3 Holdings is one of the most active copyright trolls in the United States, filing more than 1,800 copyright infringement cases in the past 13 months. Its modus operandi is familiar – harvest allegedly infringing IP addresses from BitTorrent swarms, obtain the identities of the people behind the ISP accounts, then chase them down for a cash settlement. While it’s unknown how many people have settled with the company for hundreds to thousands of dollars, the alleged ‘John Doe’ infringer featuring in a case filed in the District of Columbia seems destined not to join their ranks. In common with similar cases, Strike 3 Holdings asked the Court to help unmask the identity of an alleged pirate of the company’s porn, who used a Comcast connection to do the dirty deed. However, a scathing and entertaining memorandum opinion from Judge Royce C. Lamberth explains why that is not going to happen. The Judge begins by speaking of Strike 3 in disparaging terms, noting that the company’s geolocation technology is “famously flawed”, adding that it simply cannot identify an alleged infringer.