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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Should I Respond to a "Settlement" Offer Forwarded from "Copyright Enforement Group"

    I have received the exact same email forwarded from my ISP as the OP in this closed thread:

    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112847

    Actually I’ve received eight of them, for two different films. In light of recent events it would be great to get an update on what the recommended course of action should be. I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere on the forum, I'm pretty surprised that I couldn't find anything.

    If I understand properly, the only thing the email really says is to “cease and desist” the infringing behavior. Everything after that has a bunch of “if you fail to respond you may also be…” and I’m assuming that the “response” to which they are referring is to cease and desist…not to pay their settlement offer.

    All the information I’ve found online has indicated that I should ignore these emails. Here’s where most of my information is coming from, in case you are interested:

    http://nctritech.wordpress.com/2010/...gement-notice/
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...46028831.shtml
    http://copyright-infringement-notice.com/
    https://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls
    http://www.zeropaid.com/news/9535/st...gement_claims/

    And of course the recent ruling:
    http://torrentfreak.com/judge-decima...ruling-110907/

    I spoke with a lawyer who told me that I should wait until getting something in writing, but in hindsight I’m afraid he was merely telling me what I wanted to hear, because at one point he contradicted himself by saying that I could just go ahead and pay the “settlement” offer. He said that although the email says that the amount will increase if they need to involve their lawyers, all they really want is to make a quick buck and move on to the next person, and that the amounts are negotiable. After doing more research I’m not sure this is makes much sense…since they’re going to have to subpoena my ISP for my identity I expect they’ll go after more than $200 per infringement. Other “copyright cops” have offered a $1500 settlement increasing to $2500 after a certain deadline, with a threat to sue for $150K. While the odds of not getting sued are probably heavily in my favor it’s not a gamble I’m comfortable taking.

    Since I received multiple notices for the same films, I’m nervous about exposing myself to these people in the event that they are unwilling to drop the redundant “settlements”, although I’ve read comments on various forums from people who say that they have done so. I’m also worried about receiving eight official $1500 settlement offers at a later date, although I assume that if it gets to that point they’ll have to clean up the redundant infractions and they would be for the 2 actual films in question.

    Bottom line, if I thought I could just pay these guys $400 to make it go away I probably would go ahead and do it, even though the linked articles indicate that what they’re doing is essentially a shakedown racket and it goes against most of the advice I’ve seen in this matter. This however is a double edged sword, since it exposes my identity to these people, and I’m not really sure what kind of guarantee they can provide that they won’t continue hounding me or my ISP since I haven't even been identified yet.

    Thank you for reading this and thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6,692

    Default Re: Should I Respond to a "Settlement" Offer Forwarded from "Copyright Enforement Gro

    If you have gotten multiple notices regarding the same 2 films and are actually engaging in film piracy, you need to STOP sharing them on whatever program you are sharing them on. Honestly, if you are sharing you need to stop completely for a significant period of time or forever, whichever your moral compass guides you to. Once one of these companies identifies your IP address as infringing, it is quite easy for them to monitor you to see if you continue being bad. If they represent the copyright holder of more content you pirate, they will come after you for that. If you are not actually sharing and have a wireless network, you should get it locked down before someone else gets you in hot water.

    I don't know the actual text of the emails you received but normally the ones forwarded from the copyright holder/representative from your ISP are simply a "Hey, we know what you are doing. Stop or we might sue you." You seem to not be stopping so don't be surprised if they do try and sue you. If you are served with actual court papers indicating a suit has been filed, you must respond to those or you risk a default judgment against you. A lot of these companies do behave badly in how they operate but if you don't do the crime, you don't have to do the time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Should I Respond to a "Settlement" Offer Forwarded from "Copyright Enforement Gro

    The text of the email is exactly the same (with different details) as the email quoted in the thread from the top link in my OP. I'll paste it below. I didn't mean to imply that I hadn't stopped...I simply didn't want to post an admission of guilt, even in an anonymous forum. The multiple notices were all (likely) auto-generated by some machine within a few hours of each other; it's not a situation where I got one, ignored it, got another, etc. They were all forwarded from my ISP (Charter) within the space of a few minutes.

    I have certainly complied with the "cease and desist" portion of the email. I'm done for good. I gave up on downloading a while ago since I have paid subscription services for both film and music, but every once in a while I can't find what I'm looking for and resort to other means. Never again!

    So have I done enough? Should I ignore the "settlement" offer?



    --------------------------
    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
    ---------

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6,692

    Default Re: Should I Respond to a "Settlement" Offer Forwarded from "Copyright Enforement Gro

    Ouch. Your decision on whether to ignore it or pay it. If you are asking if they can sue you if you don't, yes they can. Will they be successful? Who knows.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Should I Respond to a "Settlement" Offer Forwarded from "Copyright Enforement Gro

    Does anyone have any more info about the outcome of any of the letters (wether settled or ignored)?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Should I Respond to a "Settlement" Offer Forwarded from "Copyright Enforement Gro

    If I'm not mistaken, they can sue you, then they can also tack on a multitude of "costs" that they have incurred to sue you for also, so you may be playing with fire here.

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