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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ca
    Posts
    9

    Default Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    I woke up this morning to this forwarded email from my ISP
    --------------------------
    Dear Sir or Madam:

    This notice is intended solely for the primary Charter 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 Third Degree. Third Degree owns all right, title and interest to the registered copyrights listed below.

    Evidence:
    Infringement Title: xxxxxxxx
    Infringement File Name: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Infringement Hash: xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Infringement File Size: 1468796445 bytes
    Infringement Protocol: BitTorrent
    Infringement Timestamp: 2010-12-27 06:25:23 North American Eastern Time
    Infringers IP Address: xxxxxxxx
    Infringers Port: 57562

    The following files were included in the download:
    File 1: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    File 2: xxxxxxxxxxxxx


    You are hereby notified that your unauthorized copying and/or distribution infringes the registered copyrights of Third Degree 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 Third Degree.

    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, February 10, 2011 to access the settlement offer and settle online. To access the settlement offer please visit http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ and enter Case #: xxxxx and Password: xxxxxx. To access the settlement offer directly please visit https://www.copyrightsettlements.com.

    Settlement Information:
    Direct Settlement Link: https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/
    Settlement Website: http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/

    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 Third Degree'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 Third Degree.

    Sincerely,

    Dale Spislander
    Copyright Enforcement Agent

    Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC
    ---------
    This email has gotten me pretty scared since I'm a broke college student and by no means have the money to hire any legal help, but the idea of forking over $125 to these people seems like extortion to me. I have done research online and it seems like this scheme has been more prevalent over the last year or so, but there are no real answers to whether this can actually hold up in court or not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,304

    Default Re: Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    Much of what I'm seeing about this group runs along the lines of this article.

    This company most likely does not yet know who you are - ISPs are not required to identify their users without a court order, and most (reputable) ISPs will insist on the court order.

    Call your ISP first and ask after their policies. Then - yes, yes, I know you're a poor college student - consult with counsel. If your University is home to a law school, see if it offers a free legal clinic. Do NOT simply "pay up".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    I have not been in this position, but if I were, I would go and purchase the videos in DVD form.

    I would NOT log into that site or pay a dime. First, you are voluntarily confessing and id'ing yourself. They don't actually own the copyright, they are a third party in the business of intimidation to get people to pay them money.

    Personally, if I ever got sued for something like that, I would argue that the video is legally obscene and not entitled to copyright protection. Nothing legally obscene can be protected by copyright. Nothing obscene can be trademarked. I would demand a jury trial. I seriously doubt any porn producer, much less a third party licensing enforcement house would want to risk a jury determination that their video was obscene. If that happened, they would have no copyright protection at all, the video would be public domain.

    In fact, any video ever found legally obscene, such as those of Max Hardcore who recently got five years in federal prison, are all public domain now. He could never sue for copyright infringement or anything else.

    No court can be used to enforce rights to obscene material. It is contrary to public policy.

    In fact, I have an argument that goes farther than that which would render it impossible to enforce any pornographic copyright in any court. I could single handedly destroy the porn industry if they gave me a good reason.

    I seriously doubt they will file a civil action in federal court over two videos, unless you uploaded them, and didn't merely download them.

    PS: I doubt the licensing company has a contract that would permit them to actually defend the film against an obscenity counterclaim. The production company and actual copyright owner would have to appear and defend. I seriously doubt they would want to go to that much trouble over a couple of downloads. The risk is just too big.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    92,839

    Default Re: Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    From their site:
    Quote Quoting I can't find the file on my computer, do I still have to settle?
    A: If you cannot locate the file on your computer we normally find that the infringement was the result of a spouse, child, roommate, employee, or business associate uploading, downloading or otherwise sharing the copyright protected material over your internet connection. As a result the file may not reside on your personal computer. Infringements can also result from an unsecured wireless network. In any of these scenarios the Internet Service Provider (ISP) account holder is still legally responsible for damages, attorneys' fees and court costs due to the infringement(s).
    On what legal basis? If I go to a hotel and download copyrighted materials, or to go a Starbucks or other "hot spot", they're claiming that they could sue the hotel or coffee shop?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    34,562

    Default Re: Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    This email has gotten me pretty scared since I'm a broke college student and by no means have the money to hire any legal help, but the idea of forking over $125 to these people seems like extortion to me. I have done research online and it seems like this scheme has been more prevalent over the last year or so, but there are no real answers to whether this can actually hold up in court or not.
    and yet I do not see any claim you did not download the porn.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,304

    Default Re: Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    and yet I do not see any claim you did not download the porn.
    I'm not entirely certain that's relevant.

    It's unclear to me from what I've been able to find whether this company even has standing to seek disclosure of the OP's identity, let alone sue for infringement. Looks like a fishing expedition to me, and the burden of proof is on them, anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    34,562

    Default Re: Notice of Copyright Violation From Internet Provider - Should I Take it Seriously

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post
    I'm not entirely certain that's relevant.

    It's unclear to me from what I've been able to find whether this company even has standing to seek disclosure of the OP's identity, let alone sue for infringement. Looks like a fishing expedition to me, and the burden of proof is on them, anyway.
    It's relevant if the OP did download porn.

    OP never denied he broke the law. OP hasn't denied the identifying information is his.

    Infringement Title: xxxxxxxx
    Infringement File Name: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Infringement Hash: xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Infringement File Size: 1468796445 bytes
    Infringement Protocol: BitTorrent
    Infringement Timestamp: 2010-12-27 06:25:23 North American Eastern Time
    Infringers IP Address: xxxxxxxx
    Infringers Port: 57562
    why would you see it as a fishing expedition? They have record of the download and have listed the IP address it was sent to. Porn company then has a right to seek the name of the account holder. While the ISP can give it up without a court order, they don't have to. If the ISP refuses, then the porn company can seek a court order to release the information and will most likely be given such an order.

    So, if OP did download the porn, he might be better off paying the $125 and getting a release of claims. If he downloaded it and the porn company takes it to court, OP is looking at several thousand dollars as a minimum penalty.

    Of course, if he didn't download it, I have no problem with refusing to pay anything but OP also has to realize, if it was downloaded through an unsecured wireless port, OP can still be held liable for the infringement.

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