Adult film company can subpoena alleged illegal downloader

By Asia Mayfield | Jul 27, 2018

A federal judge will allow an adult film company to find out the identity of the person accused of illegally downloading porn movies off the Internet.

An adult film company can serve a subpoena to the defendant's internet service provider.   Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

SACRAMENTO –– A federal judge will allow an adult film company to find out the identity of the person accused of illegally downloading porn movies off the Internet.

Judge Gregory Hollows of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California granted Strike Three Holding's request for expedited discovery on July 10 in their case against an unknown person, "John Doe." The film company alleges John Doe anonymously downloaded and shared copyrighted material without  permission. The defendant has only been identified by his IP address.  Strike Three argued that they have no recourse to defend their copyright  without knowing John Doe’s real identity.  

Hollows ruled the film company can serve a subpoena to the defendant's internet service provider. 

However, Hollows placed multiple restrictions on the request. 


Three Strike Holding is one of many adult film companies pursuing illegal downloads.   Courtesy of Shutterstock

“Finally, consideration must be given to the fact that this particular case, focused on the theft of pornographic films, would have a different effect on an individual wrongly identified as a defendant that would occur with a run of the mill copyright infringement accusation,” Hollows wrote. “Here, the wrongly named defendant would likely feel exposed to embarrassment and reputational damage in the community."

Strike Three is only permitted to seek the name and address of the  person associated with the offending IP address. Once the company learns  the defendant’s name, the court has invited both parties to attend a meeting to discuss their options. Strike Three has more work to do  before they can bring a suit against John Doe. The defendant’s name will  be protected until the court grants permission for it to be revealed.  

If the defendant rejects the offer to attend an informal meeting, the court will allow litigation to begin and his or her name will be publicly released.  

Want to get notified whenever we write about U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ?

Sign-up Next time we write about U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

More News

The Record Network