Last night I came to find my internet service in a "restricted mode", where I could only access - https://activate.suddenlink.net/ -. Apparently my services had been temporarily disabled, and I was told that Suddenlink was notified about my IP address sharing and infringing on copyrighted materials. The title and protocol of the offense were both correct, as I did in fact have the content on my PC and it was in fact sharing with other P2P users. I didn't realize the bit torrent client was sharing, but I guess that's beside the point.
Anyway, the re-activation portal had me confirm my physical address, and my Suddenlink account number before reinstating service. Some people have suggested to me that this is possibly all a fraud, and that no ISP will ever ask you for your address or account info. However, it did seem very legit, and after I confirmed the info my web access was reinstated. Reading around it seems that Suddenlink does in fact have a 3 copyright strike policy, but I was never warned that this counted as an offense, it simply stated the typical check your router, deleted copyrighted content, etc.
A notice from Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC, was attached to the restricted web access message:
(Please note that "Johnna Turner" is Suddenlink's agent for receiving copyright infringement notices on behalf of our customers.)
***NOTE TO ISP: PLEASE FORWARD THE ENTIRE NOTICE***
March 6, 2012
Re: Notice of Unauthorized Use of Registered Copyrights Owned by Metro Media Entertainment
Dear Sir or Madam:
This notice is intended solely for the primary Suddenlink Communications internet service account holder. Someone using this account has engaged in the illegal copying and/or distribution of pornographic movies. This notice may contain the titles of those movies, and therefore may contain text that is offensive to some readers.
Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC, ("We") represent Metro Media Entertainment. Metro Media Entertainment owns all right, title and interest to the registered copyrights listed below.
Infringement Title: xxxxxx
Infringement File Name: xxxxxx
Infringement Hash: xxxxxx
Infringement File Size: 2767016492 bytes
Infringement Protocol: BitTorrent
Infringement Timestamp: 2012-03-06 01:15:29 North American Eastern Time
Infringers IP Address: xxxxxx
Infringers Port: xxxxxx
The following files were included in the download:
File 1: xxxxxxx
File 2: xxxxxxx
File 3: xxxxxxx
File 4: xxxxxxx
File 5: xxxxxxx
File 6: xxxxxxx
File 7: xxxxxxx
File 8: xxxxxxx
File 9: xxxxxxx
File 10: xxxxxx
You are hereby notified that your unauthorized copying and/or distribution infringes the registered copyrights of Metro Media Entertainment under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 106. In this regard, demand is hereby made that you and all persons using this account immediately and permanently cease and desist the unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the registered copyrights listed in this notice or otherwise owned by Metro Media Entertainment.
You may also be held liable for monetary damages, including attorney's fees and court costs if a lawsuit is commenced against you. You have until Thursday, April 5, 2012 to access the settlement offer and settle online. To access the settlement offer please visit http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ and enter Case #: xxxxxx and Password: xxxxxx. To access the settlement offer directly please visit https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/xxxxxxxxx
Direct Settlement Link: https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/xxxxxxxxxxx
Settlement Website: http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/
Case #: xxxxxx
If you fail to respond or settle within the prescribed time period, the claim(s) will be referred to our attorneys for legal action. At that point the original settlement offer will no longer be an option and the amount will increase as a result of us having to involve our attorneys.
Nothing contained or omitted from this correspondence is, or shall be deemed to be either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of the Metro Media Entertainment's rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.
The information in this notice is accurate. We have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by the registered copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. We swear under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of Metro Media Entertainment.
Copyright Enforcement Agent
Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC
8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 220
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Toll Free: 877-5-COPYRIGHT (877-526-7974)
This is an automated email. If you have questions or concerns, please visit us at http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/contact_us.html. Replies sent to email@example.com are not read.
First question, is there even a remote possibility this is all a fake/fraud?
Secondly, how could they even know my IP or what I was downloading or what files were contained unless they were actively sharing it with me? Some have suggested they may be framing people, by putting the content up for download themselves.
Third, the settlement they are asking for at copyrightsettlements.com is $200. Is this a trusted web site? Is this a legit website? Is there a remote possibility they could steal my bank account info if I pay them?
Lastly, if this is indeed all very real and legit, should I pay them? I absolutely do not want it getting out that I was downloading porn, and I'd much rather settle than go to court over the matter as that will certainly out me on this dilemma. I've heard other people got the same notice and have not paid and nothing happened. But I'm still very uneasy about the possibility. What should I do?