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HUGE FAT WARNING: I AM NOT A LAWYER. If you need legal advice, GET A REAL LAWYER.

I have a dedicated site for my guide on what to do if you receive a DMCA complaint or copyright infringement notice/settlement “offer” threat from your ISP.

Update 5, 2012-12-06: I’m working out the details of a next-gen P2P file sharing program that should fix up most of the problems with P2P file sharing today, including the IP address issue.

Update 4, 2012-10-18: Added a rambling post containing my thoughts on why it’s impossible to prove that individuals infringed over the Internet without their own confession to doing so.

Update 3, 2011-11-02: Added a new post with an analysis and the actual text of one of these notices.

Update 2, 2011-11-02: My little site at http://copyright-infringement-notice.com/ has been massively updated, including a guide for people who are panicking and feel a need to do immediate damage control.

Update: This is one of the most popular pages on my entire blog now…so, I’m now running a small website that provides information about copyright infringement notices. Check it out at http://copyright-infringement-notice.com/ and give me additional ideas, suggestions, or information to make it better!

I generally keep myself aware of what’s going on with the whole peer-to-peer file sharing scene, particularly because the case law it generates changes the nature of copyright law in this country, and as someone who writes software, I need to know about such changes.  Additionally, because I download a good number of legitimate files from BitTorrent trackers (i.e. Linux distribution CD images), I want to know what I’m stepping in.  I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend over time which concerned me enough to finally write a whole blog post:

“Copyright cops” who threaten users of BitTorrent trackers frivolously pursue anyone whose IP appears on their radar and their evidence would not stand up to even the most trivial review.

That’s right, companies such as BayTSP, Copyright Enforcement Group, U.S. Copyright Group, and other paid agents of large media companies are bringing claims against torrent users without even collecting evidence of infringement.  For example, the University of Washington was able to trigger a DMCA copyright infringement cease-and-desist notice being sent to their technical department.  The copyright cops caught the user at this UW IP address RED-HANDED, INFRINGING ON THEIR COPYRIGHT!

The IP address being accused of BitTorrent-based copyright infringement belonged to a network printer.

No, I’m not kidding.  The recording/movie/television industry copyright “enforcement” corporations accused their network printer of stealing movies.  That’s how easy it is to be wrongly accused.  But what else?  There’s another experiment from 2007 which was performed with a specially written BitTorrent client which explicitly did not download nor upload any material, only jumped on a tracker and added itself to peer lists.  This client, which was designed to be incapable of actually infringing copyrights, generated copyright infringement notices from BayTSP despite the fact that such infringement was simply not possible with that application!

I find this to be absolutely ridiculous, particularly because of the nature of these notices.  Many of them are also legal threats.  Regardless of innocence or guilt, any filing of a lawsuit against you costs money to handle, and if it’s so easy for these automated copyright scanning processes to both target the wrong person entirely AND target people who didn’t provably upload or download file data at all, that doesn’t bode well for any of the parties involved.  It’s fairly obvious that the “copyright cop” companies are basing their claims of infringement solely on the population of BitTorrent trackers’ peer lists.  They don’t actually download the entire file from you and keep logs that show they did so as evidence that you indeed infringed on their copyright; they merely see your address in a particular list and send off the notice.

Study 1:  http://dmca.cs.washington.edu/

Study 2:  http://bmaurer.blogspot.com/2007/02/big-media-dmca-notices-guilty-until.html

TechDirt article on this topic:  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100401/0846028831.shtml

What’s even more outrageous to me is that these companies advertise their services as being unethical right off the bat.  They resort to legal threats and mass lawsuits against “infringing parties” but they advertise it to content owners and rights holders this way:  “Monetize copyright infringement!  We can bring you income from a surprising source: people who download your content illegally!”  It’s not even about doing the right thing, it’s about the bottom line, meaning they have no reason to care about innocent people being caught in the dragnet.

Despite the risk of a lawsuit, if you happen to receive a DMCA copyright infringement notice which is forwarded by your ISP, either by email or regular mail, here’s my advice:

  1. DO NOT EVER CLICK ON ANYTHING IN AN EMAIL, VISIT ANY WEBSITE IN A LETTER OR POSTCARD, OR OTHERWISE REPLY OR MAKE CONTACT IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER! You run a plethora of risks if you respond in any way, even indirectly such as by visiting the “copyright cops” website out of curiosity.  They can fingerprint your computer, you may be implicitly admitting guilt even if you’re innocent, you could hand them personal information such as your full name by accident…the list goes on.  DON’T DO IT.
  2. Read the studies above, as well as any other relevant material you find online such as articles on p2pnet.net, just in case anything happens.  If you end up in a bad situation, you need to be able to educate your lawyer on how their infringement detection tactics are grossly flawed.  Be prepared, JUST IN CASE.
  3. If you really did infringe on someone’s copyright, do the right thing. That means disposing of the things you’ve downloaded and putting yourself in a position where you’re less likely to end up with more infringement notices.  That doesn’t mean admitting guilt. Don’t ever admit guilt in any way, just delete the downloads, stop downloading stuff you shouldn’t be, and shut up about the whole thing.  Admitting ANYTHING is just plain begging for a lawsuit.
  4. If you’re truly paranoid, back up your data, zero out your hard drive using something like the Tritech Service System (running “dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda” will do it on almost any computer out there), and reinstall clean so there’s no evidence left behind.  If you get in a legal fight and your computer gets subpoenaed for discovery, you can’t do this, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing as you please with your hard drive before receiving a subpoena.
  5. Most ISPs won’t kick you off their service for this.  Don’t respond to the ISP unless you receive direct threats from them.  If your ISP threatens to disconnect your service, use the information in the experiments above to explain to them that these people are making claims for which they have no real proof, and that you are not infringing on anyone’s copyrights.  Remember that the ISP has no reason to boot you unless you’re a very egregious media thief, and if that’s the case you probably can’t read this by now anyway.

As a creator of copyrighted works, I can’t condone the piracy of copyrighted material, but I also feel that the major media industry corporations have gone way too far with their “sue them all” tactics.  If someone pirated my creation and I found out, I wouldn’t threaten them or demand a settlement payment so quickly; I’d ask them to do the right thing and just pay up for it if they liked it (or toss it if they didn’t and tell me why so I could make it better.)

Don’t steal stuff, but don’t let big companies steal from you for something you didn’t do either.

It would be nice to hear from a real copyright lawyer on this issue.  Feel free to comment, especially if you’re a lawyer.  I don’t post email addresses, your comment will be as anonymous as you name it to be.

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248 Comments

  1. Nicely done on putting this together. I am a developer as well and I have to be up on these rules. I have been running my own tests and these guys, simply put, are idiots.

  2. Today my mother called me in a panic because she got one of those pre-settlement letters for supposedly downloading two porn titles (mind you this is a woman who can’t check her email unassisted) I know for a fact that her wireless connection is encrypted and there is no one else in the house that could have downloaded the alleged files. I am pretty sure my 50 year old, post menopausal, and frighteningly Cristian mum isn’t downloading porn.
    These lowlife bastards are obviously running a legal scam and banking on people being either guilty of something close enough to what they accuse, or being just plain scared shitless, into paying up (like my poor Mum).
    Just figured I’d share my little anecdote that screams relevance to your article.
    I’ll keep you posted.

    • My mom called them too. Did they ever contact you again? Whatever happened with your case?

  3. Uh oh. I clicked the link from the email and called to see if I could get the settlement lowered. The business hours were closed though. Am I stuck paying $125 I don’t have or can I still ignore the emails?

    • I accidentally did the same thing…help?

  4. From what I have read this does not seem like a legal way of doing business anyway. From CEG’s website I would need to upload my copyrighted content, Video, program or what ever and wait to collect money. It seems to me that I could video myself sitting in a chair for an hour doing nothing have it copyrighted upload it to their service with a title like “Girls gone wild” and sit back and start collecting money. The other problem I see is that you have no idea the content is copyrighted until you download it and view it and see that it is copyrighted. Anyone can title anything anyway they want copyrighted or not. What about all the spam vid’s these companies put on P2P advertising their website. It would seem to me that the title of the download would require a statement that it is copyrighted content be any kind of legal action could be taken in this manner. I would not respond to any of these treats because they do not want it to go to court. If it did and they lost their cash cow would be gone and they don’t want to take that chance.

  5. Does anyone have any more recent info on this? Early comments in the linked techdirt article indicated to ignore the email but later (after confirming that there have been subpoenas) people indicate they are paying the settlement. I spoke with a lawyer who said it was best to wait until I get something in writing, but I’m losing sleep over this and I don’t know how good his advice really is. They sent out 8 redundant notices totaling $1600, which I expect is a ploy to ratchet up the pressure.

    • Recently, all but one of the lawsuits filed in the largest joined filing (with over 5000 Does) were severed. The court is forcing them to file each suit separately which is not economical. Unless you are served with a suit, ignore it all.

        • suze
        • Posted September 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm
        • Permalink

        Thank you so much, this is a huge relief. I read your copyright infringement website, and I’ve already messed up on the whole “maintaining silence” thing…but only in a minor way I hope. I logged into one of the cases from work, but didn’t put in any info. I work for a gigantic semiconductor company and the ip address is usually logged on the other side of the country, so all they really know is someone looked at the violation…someone at Charter security accidentally clicked the link for all they know.

  6. I appreciate you taking the time to answer me and am probably pushing my luck here, but I’m going to ask another question. If you think the mere fact that I logged onto the claim website from a work computer could potentially open me up to litigation please let me know. Based on the comments over at techdirt it seems that people who pay the settlement are left alone. I’m a worrier and the stress and sleeplessness will likely be bad for me. While I don’t wish to condone their practices it may be worth it to try and settle, assuming (as the lawyer I spoke with indicated) that they will eliminate the redundant violations and even negotiate for the real ones.

    • There is no way they can prove you logged on to it. Just like how it isn’t so easy to prove who was behind the keyboard with only an IP address.

  7. I also have received DMCA copy right infringement notices. And the only entity that I have made contact with is my ISP. But I fear that I made a mistake when I called my ISP as they said that they would note on my account that I would delete the content from my computer. Could this be used against me in court?

    • It could, if they subpoenaed the ISP for that information or the ISP somehow delivered it to them. However, you could just as easily argue that the ISP misinterpreted your conversation and that you didn’t say any such thing.

        • Just a guy
        • Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:41 am
        • Permalink

        Most larger companies record conversations now days. If they sue you. GET A LAWYER. Do not talk to anyone except your lawyer. That’s why they went to school and have jobs. They cannot do their part if you do not do yours.

  8. I also received a notice from Charter. Unfortunately I used the Case # and password to log into http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ . A fine of $200 is there. But no any further action yet.
    Does that matter so much? I believe many person who received the notice did this for they know how much they were asked for. It’s disgusting that you can download it without any protection, but afterward you are informed that you commit a infringement. I dare not give them the money even though I did download that, ’cause they may not let me go as soon as they get the money and know whom I am.

    • did anything happen to you? I have that issue right now from the same company and I’m terrified. did your past due…past? and did anything happen?

      • You should be fine. It’s all a numbers game and they’d rather catch people who fall for it than pay out to take you to court.

  9. I just wonder why the seeds could exist and available for the user to download. Why don’t the copyright holder and CEG delete or sue the one who manage the torrent website. Isn’t that much easier than try their best to go after and scare the users? I doubt if it is themselves put the torrent there as a bait, and fishing the users who bite.

    • the pirate bay is a torrent website and the reason why they can’t sue the website is because the country where it is hosted does not have such copyright laws.

  10. I saw some people post there case# and password somewhere which was months ago. I log on https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ with them, said “Your case is currently past due. Please fill out the contact information below.” What the hell are they up to, desperately eager to collect your information.

  11. what can you do if you accidentally gave your address to this people copyrightsettlements.com also i I did not give them my name just my address should i pay them or should i just ignore all the emails they send me after wards because the told me i have until Nov 10 to pay or my case is subject to legal action

    I wish i had read this before i made such a stupid move so am i in trouble please respond to me soon i want to be able to sleep again

    • Stop talking to them. If anyone asks, you know nothing about it. You’ll probably be fine. It’s costly to take someone to court. Don’t fall for it. Just lay low. And follow the instructions given regarding any copyrighted content you may have on your systems.

    • I think that should be fine. I believe they dare not take any action to you until they can prove that IP address belonged to you. Imagine that you may also have input the address or name of anyone else. You can talk back with ” other people input my information accidentally.” unless you have input your visa account number. Here is the reply from a IP lawyer as to my issue for your reference.

      So this is a tricky situation. Copyrightsettlements.com is probably a
      legitimate company. Its working model is probably uploading files to P2P
      network, and finding the IP downloading the file. Then it will send a letter
      to ISP and ask ISP to send the letter to the Internet user for collecting
      money.

      Therefore, it is true that at the moment copyrightsettlements.com does not
      likely have your identity. And if you pay through the website,
      then it will have your identity. From this point of view, you should not
      pay. And even you pay, there is no guarantee that there will not be future
      suit.

      However, copyrightsettlements.com does have the option to sue. There is no
      way to figure out whether it is the owner of the copyright of the file that
      your friend downloaded. If it does, it indeed can sue. Of course, suing
      someone is not cheap and time consuming. So copyrightsettlement.com may not
      want to go that far to collect money. From this point of view, not paying
      does have the risk to be sued.

      This decision has to be made by you. I don’t think there is perfect
      solution here. My guts feeling is not to pay and take the risk of being
      sued. I think voluntarily giving up your identity and admitting infringement
      is a bad idea.

      The best advice is really NEVER illegally downloading. It is as illegal as
      drunk driving.

        • Anonymous
        • Posted November 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm
        • Permalink

        thank your for your help i think i will go with what you and i both think and not pay its all ready past the settlement date both of this guys game me one was for October 29 and the other was for November 10 and i have not receaved any other notices also what i did was to spam their email hopefully if anything else turns out i can argue me email was hacked or something. my hope is to change my ISP provider and hope fully it will go a way by itself i truly beleave that they will not sue because as you say its costly and as things stand they don’t have anything but my address hope fully they wont ask my current Internet provider (charter in this case) for any info for a while. i also was wondering if anyone knows if charter or internet providers get rid of logs or records they create for their customers after some time if any one has any info about this please tell me

        • Anonymous
        • Posted December 29, 2011 at 3:42 am
        • Permalink

        I opened my browser ans i found a messege that to call my ISP provider and give them a case number to reactivate my interner service, so it said something about copyright infridgement.. So i called them my isp and i gave them the case number.. And now i have back my internet service… Now i want to know whats going to happen? Or what do i have to do?? Plz help i sont know this.

  12. Stop talking to them. If anyone asks, you know nothing about it. You’ll probably be fine. It’s costly to take someone to court. Don’t fall for it. Just lay low. And follow the instructions given regarding any copyrighted content you may have on your systems.

    thanks for your reply I also found out that my isp isn’t giving me any new IP adress like the used to when i rest my modem is this a sign that they are watching me or am i paranoid also can you tell me anything about contenxtechnologies LLC because i recived a letter from them as well at almost the same time i recieved from the other one (copyrightsettelments.com) so do you know anything about this one please respont

  13. thank you for responding but I didn’t talk to them I found out through My email I am just learning about computers and saw it on my email i thought i read it and i stupidly clicked on the link they provided with the password and case number then it told me how much i owed i panicked and accidentally gave my address not my name they labeled me as John Doe so i got suspicious about it and started to look around and found this website also another stupid thing i did was to download their PDF with the Mailing information for sending my payment through the mail it all happened in seconds that i now wish i had taken time to think about things before making a dumb mistake like look at their email and click on their link.

    So what is your advice for this situation because as it stand the send me 2 emails 2 days appart for the same movie but from different companies one is copyrightsettlements.com asking for $ 200 and the other is contenxtechnologies LLC asking for $25 please respond soon will help me a lot more

    • I think it is pretty odd to receive 2 same settlements from different companies for the same movie. There only can be 1 copyright owner or agency for 1 movie. At least 1 of them lied.

      Anyone knows how long it will take the copyright agency sue you after the due date of the settlement if they decide to?

      • Look up the Wired Magazine articles regarding the voluntarily dropped lawsuits regarding the film “Nude Nuns with Big Guns.” As for the length of time they might take to file a lawsuit, it would typically fall under your locality’s statute of limitations on general civil suits. In North Carolina it’s three years. Once the statute of limitations passes, you cannot be sued for damages related to that incident ever again, generally speaking.

  14. Hi, against my better judgment I went and visited the site (copyrightsettlements.com), and entered my case number and password. From your experience or the information you’ve gathered, how much more likely am I to be pursued for having done this?

    I really appreciate this article, your site and your continuous support for readers, and what I’ve read has eased my mind significantly.

    • I need to know this too!!!!!

  15. I just got one too. I entered the info on their site but my firewall told me it was not safe and so didnt let the page load hopefully not letting my info getting through. I really believe these people are uploading the material themselves and doing this. How else would they get your isp to begin with. I’m ignoring it. We’ll see what happens.

  16. I just got popped by my ISP and I agree that their proof that I can not see is probably pretty sketchy. While not totally technically correct I wrote up the incident here:

    https://thingsyourlocalpaperwillnevertellyou.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/the-inernet-nazis-come-to-seyour/

    My main gripe is that it is impossible to tell if a file you DL has an owner that wants to be compensated.

    • (In reply to the contents of your blog post…)

      Everything is copyright by default so that people cannot steal other peoples’ work; the copyright registration process costs money and takes quite a bit of time, and can you imagine if you had to register every blog post with the US Copyright Office and receive confirmation of such BEFORE you ever posted it, or risk someone stealing your work and calling it their own? You don’t want that.

      As for packet sniffing: your communications provider can examine your packets anytime they wish, and as a private entity who is providing the service to you they don’t require a warrant to do so. The government would need a warrant to have access to your packets though.

      The way BitTorrent copyright settlement companies “discover” that you’re infringing is to look at the BitTorrent peer list on trackers you use, see your IP in the list for a supposedly infringing torrent hash as an available peer, and automatically send a settlement message. It’s largely robotic in nature. All the company has to do is write the software that looks up hashes on trackers and sends notices to every IP, and from there it’s just some human being plugging allegedly infringing hashes into said software.

      They never download the data directly from you and only you, so they never actually prove you are infringing. They never sue because it costs money. They hope that even only 1% of sent notices result in a $200 settlement, because if they sent 100,000 notices in a month, that equates to $200,000 in “settlements.”

      Check this study out, it has lots more information: http://dmca.cs.washington.edu/

  17. I got one of these a few days ago by CEG. My biggest concern is that paying it gives them my information and sets me up for them to come at me again (which is a main concern I have seen amongst others as well). In my case my router is password protected, but others (like housemates), or guests (which are frequent) could have downloaded the file. They are asking for 200$ which isn’t so substantial, but again I do not want to see another come at me for the same file because these people are a-holes. With that in mind, at the moment my battleplan is:

    1.) Contact others who have received this notice and are in similar situations to see their action vs. consequence.
    2.) Wait till a much closer time to the deadline for settlement (I’m hoping this expands the chances that if they have multiple cases for the same file they will present them, if they do that changes the game).
    3.) Pay the settlement, and wait to see another response
    4.) If they respond with another fight tooth and nail dragging it out to be as costly for them as possible

    I’ll update this to give you guys an idea of what is going on.

    • Don’t pay anything! Just don’t waste the money! Paying into this crap is what makes it continue!

        • Anonymous
        • Posted November 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm
        • Permalink

        I would much rather NOT pay into this, but I have been onto their page with my IP address to view the case, the same IP address they are claiming downloaded the file. I haven’t contacted them, nor have I paid them in any way. My fear, and from what I gathered again from others, is that if I don’t pay this ‘small’ fee then the next settlement will be substantially higher with possible litigation.

        I have seen the posts on other sites Techdirt that said ignore it, but on Techdirt I also saw that someones ISP was provided with a subpoena. Granted this may be a rare case, but should I continue to think that I am one anonymous person amongst thousands undergoing the same process when in reality I am only one of a few so litigation would go smoother on their end? Ideas?

        Also as I said in the first part, thanks a ton for the website it has helped out quite a bit, wish I could have seen this before I even clicked on their damn link.

        • nctritech
        • Posted November 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm
        • Permalink

        Copyright Enforcement Group hasn’t taken a single person to court as far as I know. Ira Siegel is what I think the name of the lawyer is that’s been the latest focus. Read the guide at copyright-infringement-notice.com and you’ll understand things better.

  18. They can all go to hell. I sent them a copy of the article that nctritech gave me a link to.
    http://dmca.cs.washington.edu/faq.html

    I ranted for over 5 hours over 3 days giving them my side of it and openly said I was doing it to cost them money since they were costing me time and loss of service with no due process: https://thingsyourlocalpaperwillnevertellyou.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/the-inernet-nazis-come-to-seyour/

    Then I filed an FCC complaint about it asking 2 months credits and both the warnings to be wiped out as punitive damages. http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

    If push comes to shove I get another ISP or put in someone else s name.

  19. I just received one of these extortion notices from CEG. I’m pretty sure that nobody in my house actually downloaded the porn movie, as they claim. My wireless is password protected. Also, I think the IP address they have identified is for my IPhone. If I can download movies on my iPhone, I don’t know how. Anyway, I messed up and clicked on the link in the email because I had not read this article and wanted to see what it was all about. But I didn’t put my address or anything in. So, I’m going to try to just ignore it. I’ll let everyone know how that goes. I figure if it really comes down to it, I have a couple of friends that are lawyers. Maybe they can send some intimidating letters or something to get them to back down. Hopefully it will just go away as I ignore it.

    • I have been ignoring it and have not received any notices or an further actions and my settlement date is already past due by about 3 months so i would suggest to ignore it also you should make a copy of the letter on some other email acc and then spam the one they sent you that way you can argue you thought it was a spam letter just don’t click on any thing any more

    • Have you received any other notices about the so called infringement?

  20. Ok this is what happen… I got home from work i open my browser and it lead me to a page that said to call my isp provider and give then a case number to reactivate my internet back.. It said something about copyright infrigement… Ok i called my isp and gave them the case number and they reactivated my service.. Ok whats going to happen imma going to receive any further notice?? Or whats next?? What do i do? I have no idea whats this?

    • first if you did do it stop doing it. 2nd if they have no proof of you doing the crime they cant do much unless they got u saying u did infringe then you could be in trouble. 3rd as mention in this page they could sue if the want but it costs money to take you to court so they might not go there. you should not mess with anything don’t mention the event any more. you should be okay if you didn’t admit to infringement and if they ask pretend not to know anything about it. if they are not desperate this counts as a warning.

  21. I have filed an FCC complaint along with a link to the school study that shows they are using voodoo science and am asking for all strikes to be taken off my record and free service for a year as damages.

    Don’t know where this will lead but I am going to fight the SOB’s

    • Please help. I am only 17 and recieved one of these notices by email. In panic i accidentally went on their website but did not enter any info. I really want to believe its just a scare tactic but i see a bunch of articles saying these guys actually have lawyers. And im even more scared bc..well theyre close to me (at least their main office.)

      Really i suffer from anxiety/depression already so getting this email was like the straw that broke the camels back..On this site you talk a lot about things to do like erasing everything. Does that mean they actually come after you?

        • Matt
        • Posted January 10, 2012 at 5:19 am
        • Permalink

        Please wtf do i do, besides ignoring it, i cant tell my parents about it. Does anything come in the actual mail?

        I havent got any reassurance that ignoring it will make it go away. Someone said nothing happened for three months but what about afterwards?

  22. I posted back in October ( http://nctritech.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/did-your-isp-forward-you-a-dmca-copyright-infringement-notice/#comment-623 ), and I remember when I was looking for help on this, I found a lot of people asking the same questions I had. The replies were always the same comforting “just ignore it, you’ll be fine,” but what what I found disconcerting was that none of the people receiving these settlement emails were posting to say whether or not the group actually followed through with threats of action.

    So for anyone looking for some reassurance there, my “deadline” to settle passed on November 20th. I’ve received no further correspondence from the group or the company they represent since I stopped seeding the offending torrent, so all evidence that the process is both automated and nothing more than a scare tactic to squeeze some money out of people.

  23. Hey i just got one of these notices and i logged in with the password and everything and i got so scared about the whole thing that i just wanted to get it over with and so i paid them the $200. I also gave them all my info :(. After reading this blog i am even more scared that they will now come after me. I wish i would have read this before. Now i just received another one and i dont know what to do. should i pay it again or should i leave it? Oh man i feel terrible now i wish i would have read this. I didnt even know the thing was copyrighted. Why is it even on the internet to download if it is copyrighted.

  24. Oh also i got a liability release after i paid the $200. Here is what it says below. Well if im screwed i hope i can help others out.

    RELEASEE understands that RELEASOR asserts that, before the Settlement Date set forth above, infringement of the
    copyright in the above-titled work occurred on the computer associated with the IP Address and Timestamp listed above.
    RELEASOR and RELEASEE are willing to settle and resolve any claim against RELEASEE for that alleged infringement
    under the terms and conditions set forth herein, it being understood by both that this Liability Release represents a
    compromise and that nothing herein is to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of RELEASEE.
    RELEASEE represents and warrants to RELEASOR that, to the extent, if any, that RELEASEE has ever had an
    unauthorized copy of the above-titled work in RELEASEE’s possession, RELEASEE has removed any and all copies of the
    above-titled work from all of RELEASEE’s computers and has destroyed all other copies of the work prior to the Settlement
    Date written above except for any copies lawfully obtained from RELEASOR.
    RELEASEE further represents and warrants that RELEASEE will not hereinafter make any copy of the work except as may
    be allowed by law, and that RELEASEE will not engage, directly or indirectly, in any reproduction or distribution of the
    above-titled work on the Internet.
    In reliance on the representations and warranties made above by RELEASEE, and in consideration of the settlement
    amount received by RELEASOR from RELEASEE on the Settlement Date, RELEASOR hereby releases and discharges the
    RELEASEE, and RELEASEE’s heirs and successors, from and against all claims, causes of actions, lawsuits, damages and
    demands whatsoever, specifically arising from, relating to, or in connection with RELEASEE’s alleged infringement prior to
    the Settlement Date of the copyright in the above-titled work on the computer associated with the IP Address and
    Timestamp listed above. This Liability Release applies to no other claims, causes of action, lawsuits, damages and
    demands that RELEASOR may have against RELEASEE (e.g., for subsequent infringement of the same work or for any
    infringement at any time of the copyright in another work), any and/or all of which, if existing, shall survive this Liability
    Release. Further, this Liability Release applies to no infringements of the copyright in the above-titled work that have
    occurred on computers or other devices outside of RELEASEE’s household.

    • hello i to panicked and paid them (except i paid over $800) and have scene then learned that they are a scam i was wondering if anything has happened to you scenic you paid them?

        • ANON
        • Posted October 15, 2013 at 3:54 am
        • Permalink

        I panicked also and paid 20$ but I feel paranoid, feeling that they know my name and where I live

  25. I honestly think this whole thing is a scam. I’ve actually been reading articles and posts about this and there seems to be a common thread. Anywhere from $125 to $200 is asked for payment, Charter seems to be the ISP that’s always contacted, people with wireless internet always seem to be accused, and it always seems to involve porn flicks. Apparently these fly by night lawyers get most of their business from the porn industry which leads me to believe that no legitimate enterprise such as a major movie studio or record label hires these people. And quite frankly I wouldn’t want to be a lawyer who goes in front a judge (judges being mainly conservative family values people) and say “I’m suing John Doe because he downloaded a porn flick and we want him to pay.” That’s why I think this stuff never actually makes it to court aside from having to pay to file these motions. Also I think taxpayers would probably have an issue with their courts being used to defend porn film makers. Piracy isn’t a cool thing but who is going to feel sorry for someone who makes a film called “Spin On My Cock” which is one movie people seem to be contacted over. There’s something a little weird about this whole thing the more I read up on it.

    • The whole idea behind these threats is to shake down enough people to make it worthwhile. There is zero actual intent to sue. The company who is doing this advertises their services as a way to “monetize infringement.” It is a simple numbers game. If people stop paying up out of fear, the business model collapses, end of story. Suing people doesn’t work, as the RIAA and MPAA have learned, so the new approach is to threaten to sue if a rapid settlement isn’t paid. Since no suit is ever filed, no judge steps in and rules…thus they can threaten as much as they want.

        • MetalGoddess
        • Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:43 am
        • Permalink

        I think the more this type of crap gets into the public eye, the better. They sound like debt collectors who call people on the phone collecting on old debts that they bought up. Same type of thing just on a cyber level. Debt collectors wound up being regulated and I have no doubt these shady people will be too. This whole thing is a crying shame. People live in fear of so many things now like losing their jobs, terrorists, you name it and now these jackasses jump into the fray. Shameless.

  26. Ju, whatever you do–do not give them any more money. Stop corresponding with them, and ignore them. They are just out to get money through scare tactics. Relax.

    • What if you have paid them?

  27. I have recently received one of these letters from my isp with the attached correspondence from CEG asking me to log in and pay up. So far I have done nothing other than educate myself using wonderful websites such as this one.

    My questing is this…. should I be expecting a notice in the near from my isp that my information has been subpoenaed? In other words, are most people who do not pre-settle pursued? Or is the subpoena for personal information limited to a small percentage of the people who get these shakedown letters?

    Thank you in advance for any responses

    • This is not a lawsuit nor any part of one. This letter is solely meant to scare you into paying up without them having to prove anything in court. All reports seem unanimous that you face zero threat of being actually sued.

        • anonymous
        • Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm
        • Permalink

        Thank you, I gathered that thus far. I guess my question is more related to the further use of this scare tactic. I have read about the next step….. isps being subpoenaed for their subscribers personal information. Once they have that the personal threats of suit can follow (phone calls, letters in the mail ect.) While I realize the threat of actually being sued is very minimal, I’m asking about being personally identified to these companies….. That is my question, how often does this next step happen happen? Do most people threats stop with this initial email(s)? Or are most people’s isp’s actually subpoenaed?

        Once again, thank you for hosting such an extremely informative page!

        • nctritech
        • Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm
        • Permalink

        From what I understand, that never happens with CEG/USCG. If the ISP is subpoenaed for your name, I understand that you are typically given an opportunity to fight the subpoena, but as I said before, this isn’t likely to ever invoke the legal system in the first place.

        • Alice
        • Posted May 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm
        • Permalink

        Excuse me, I’m a 16 year old girl who got 2 emails &&’ I’m really scared…. to get sued or charged, please tell me, should i worry !? :’( or do i not reply!? Email me… &&’ say who you are..

        • nctritech
        • Posted May 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm
        • Permalink

        I have already emailed you. Check your junk mail protection to be sure it didn’t get lost there somehow.

  28. Thank you sir.

    Good luck to all in fighting this nasty and low practice extortion!

  29. Has anyone else paid the settlement?

  30. I thought I would post my thoughts here if it can help anyone. Although the couple blog posts on this site alone should help significantly.

    I received two emails from my ISP just a bit over a month ago. They were DMCA notices, if you want to call them that. The email started off with the ISP’s part then it was the same automated email sent from a CEG representative in California claiming a file from two different companies was downloaded by myself illegally. First of all, I don’t have the files they said on my computer. Second, they wanted me to go to the same site and pay up by a certain date which had already passed by the time I noticed the email. It has been over a week since then and Lord willing, I haven’t gotten anything else.

    When I first noticed the email, I said what the heck and called my ISP out of confusion. I told them I didn’t understand what this was about and I don’t have these files on my systems. Talking a bit further I had an epiphany about my Wi-Fi connection. I spoke to them and to make a long story short, they said someone probably used my compromised Wi-Fi connection and I didn’t realize it. I told them I re-secured it and they said no problem and noted that on my account and the ISP hadn’t received anything else from someone the initial emails. As a matter of fact, the IP they listed didn’t even seem remotely close to mine but since they are dynamic, the gentleman on the phone said it was probably an IP address logged onto my network at the time.

    Regardless, I didn’t go to the site they wanted and pay up with my information. At that point, you are basically admitting guilt whether or not you downloaded said file to begin with. It seems from researching everywhere, they ask for the same settlement amounts and a lot of times these files aren’t even the official release titles by the apparent copyright holder. My guess is that they either just tag onto some trackers out there to see who is downloading things then send out a bunch of emails or they might just upload random files by their own accord to set people up. I imagine if they send out a few thousand of these and a small percentage pays up on average of $200, all of a sudden a $15 porn movie/file is making them some quick change, especially if a single person with 10 different notifications at once pays up.

    It is basically extortion but they are not breaking any laws. I feel the more people get educated by this the better. These are quick cash schemes that go after people who are in sensitive situations such a husband not wanting his wife to know, etc. There are other sites out there to help people about the larger methods of these shysters.

    http://www.dietrolldie.com and http://www.fightcopyrighttrolls.com

    There are also numerous other articles and websites out there. Get educated and don’t talk to them, log into anything, download anything, or pay anything. The burden of proof is on them and besides basic jurisdiction issues, if this even went to court, an IP or MAC address alone is a weak argument from what I understand.

  31. (looking around to see who’s in this boat with me…..)

    So…. to recap
    Apparently no one knows of an instance of being taken to court by these folks.
    Apparently(?) no one in here has had their ISP subpoenaed.

    I’m well aware of the tendancy to be done with this and block it from your mind; wish I could but it’s too recent.
    None the less, I’m asking you all to come back one last time and well… reassure me.
    No tales of fallout/followup/grief?

    Those who paid have been left alone since?
    I’m not so hot with stress (let alone angst) and I’ll admit I’m entertaining the thought of simply paying to make it go away.
    Of course ignoring it and it goes away is attractive too….

    Are there any updates in the 2+ months since the last post?

    • I would like to know the same as I just received one of these.

  32. I made the long post back on the 18th of Feb and flash forward to the end of May, going into June, I still thank God haven’t heard or gotten anything since. Hope that helps.

  33. HELP !! I’m 16 &&’ i accidentally clicked on a hentai video &&’ it sent me this DMCA notice from a hentai USA website complaining that I’m copying, &&! I’m scared.. i don’t want to get sued….. I’m a girl btw’. Oh please help &&’ reply……..

  34. Calm down and read the rest of this site, Alice. Read and be informed. It is all a scam.

  35. i didn’t pay the fine, i logged into the site with my case number, today i got a letter from the courts, i am suppose to get legal representation and have my attorney contact them… IM FUCKED!

    • Hi Frank, when did you first get notified of the alleged offense? Did you ever talk to the company? Did you ever get anything in writing?

      Hang in there, hopefully you’ll beat this if anything further happens.

    • That sounds ugly Frank.
      Can you walk us thru the sequence of events and timeline; possibly ISP?
      And, of course, condolences. Surely hope it turns out alright for you.

    • Hey Frank, can you update us on what happened?

  36. My roommate (the primary account holder) forwarded me an email he got from Charter (the ISP) with a notice of infringement by Zero Tolerance Entertainment for a porn file we never downloaded. Yes I had bittorrent installed, yes I have a wireless network router, yes it is through Charter and yes it is for a porn file I never downloaded (curiously, these seem to be the common theme). I logged into the website they link with the case# and password, saw the $200 request, and bailed. He received a very similar second email a day or two later. It has been a couple weeks and the deadline for ‘settlement’ is on July 23rd.

    I’ve read every single post on this page and seen this question asked a few times, but never addressed fully in my opinion: can the simple act of logging into the website with the case# and password have any effect or give these scumbags information they need to file suit? Knowing we haven’t downloaded the file, should I be worried that I have inadvertently given them information by simply accessing their request for settlement? I have sent no personal information whatsoever to the company.

    Another thing I want to bring up is the very low frequency of people reporting back later after stating their situation; we never really get a good idea of what most of these people have had to deal with after either refusing to ‘settle’, or after paying the website. It would be nice to see more people follow-up.

    Of course some people are claiming that these lawyers ‘never’ file suit, however that simply isn’t the case. Whether or not people are actually having to pay damages in court is another matter, but the fact is, there have been and still are recent examples of cases brought to court. Whether it is through the website in question or not I don’t know, but claiming ‘Does’ are never brought to court is false.

    • I have personally talked to people who are bombarded with Charter postcards and emails (over a hundred in a few months) and nothing ever comes from them. Logging into a website to view the settlement offer is not sufficient evidence to do anything for the same reason that an IP address isn’t sufficient: it doesn’t do anything to put a person behind the keyboard. There’s no way to know if it was you or someone else logged into the offer.

        • Anonymous
        • Posted August 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm
        • Permalink

        That’s good to hear. I got a notice on July 17th and have until Aug 11th to pay. The real question is “Is there even a single person that have been individually sued and actually held liable for any monetary damages?”

  37. Hi Karl – I got a notice from Charter that they had been notified that I’d downloaded some crappy porno. They gave me
    7/16 as the pay by date for $200. I went to their site and put in the case number but bailed out after I saw the $200 charge. I haven’t paid it and never went back to the site. I haven’t had any further correspondance from Charter or that supposed Copyright company.

    If you look around the web, there are several websites that talk about this subject. You’ll find many more people who say that they got the same thing, but never paid it and were alright.

    I finally cemented my decision to forget about it when it said in the “fine print” that paying basically did not guarantee that they wouldn’t come after me for more money. So, even though it said that it was a “Settlement” it didn’t mean jack.

    I will write back if I hear anything more from Charter or the Copyright company. Otherwise, I will try to remember to write back in a month or two regardless.

    Hope that helps you.

    • keep us updated please, IKE.

  38. someone please answer Karl’s post…

  39. nctritech,
    what’s been the general feedback on people who have clicked the link, entered case # and password, but then have left the site without doing anything further? really curious on this.

    (i’ve read through the comments but it seems vague here and not a lot of people post back.)

    • I have not spoken with anyone who has done this. The only thing it would do is confirm that someone received those details.

        • Anonymous
        • Posted August 3, 2012 at 1:27 am
        • Permalink

        does that give them more room to follow up with a real lawsuit? does it provide any kind of legitimate confirmation? (btw thanks for keep this going and sharing all the useful info. cheers to you.)

        • nctritech
        • Posted August 3, 2012 at 1:35 am
        • Permalink

        I’m not a lawyer, just to be clear. If a jury considers the entire body of evidence, the fact that the credentials emailed to your address were entered would potentially confirm to the jury that you received the DMCA takedown message in which the copyright troll makes a settlement demand. It does nothing to confirm that you downloaded anything. Even if they can prove that you received the notice, it does nothing for them in terms of proving that you, John Smith, clearly and convincingly violated the copyright protection of Leaky Sphincter Smut Corporation. You received the demand and threat, but that’s all it proves. Furthermore, unless you enter your information at the settlement site, they still cannot identify the account holder without sending a subpoena to your ISP for your account records.

        This isn’t legal advice, it’s just logic and common sense.

    • I was one who went to the website and entered the case # and password but didn’t pay and got the hell out of there. The notice had been forwarded to me from my ISP (Charter). It is now almost a month on from my “pay by” date and I haven’t gotten any further notice.

      Hope that helps.

      • ok that is a relief, my roommate went and logged in. He didn’t give any information and did this through his phone. Should i still ignore it?

  40. I just got an email from Ira siegel this morning for a settlement. My isp forwarded his email to me so my information hasn’t been given to him. Does anyone know if this will go anywhere? I thought he wasn’t able to send any more settlement emails, unless I read something incorrectly. Please let me know, I have until september 1st for any settlement or I will possibly be sued.

    • Could you forward a copy of the message to my email address? I would like to see what it says in specific, especially since Ira Siegel hasn’t been on my radar in a while.

        • Anonymous
        • Posted August 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm
        • Permalink

        i was the anonymous poster from the lat few posts and i got 3 letters from ira siegel as well.

    • Hello Everybody. It has been more than a month since the settlement due date, and i have not gotten any more emails or mail from Ira Seigel. There is no need to worry. Just ignore them and you will be fine. I even opened the link in the email when i first got it to see the settlement amount, and nothing has happened.

  41. did you ever get a copy of ira seigels lastest letters?

  42. So for those who settled what happened afterwards?

  43. Just wanted to let everyone know that it is now over a month since my “due date” for the settlement that I didn’t pay and still no further contact from Charter or the copyright company.
    And I was one that put the I.D. into their website and bailed out before paying it. So far, so good.

    • thanks for the update ike. i was in the same situation as you, but my date is coming up. put in my case number/login and saw the fee. then closed the site.

    • Was your notice from Ira Seigel? I got one today from Charter, but I will probably do exactly what you did.

  44. My roommate went and logged in. He didn’t give any information and did this through his phone. Should i still ignore it? Or just pay up? I was planning on ignore it until i found out my roommate logged in and put in the key they gave you. (The internet is under his name as well)

  45. Say that they did decide to sue, even if i “won” how much would i have to pay (for the lawyer, the courtroom, paperwork, ect)?

    • What was the $$$ amount for the pre-settlement when you clicked on the link?

  46. Has anyone paid their fine and been sued?

  47. I received a notice from Charter today. The IP address indicated was for my router, not any specific computer. How can they prove that someone didn’t hack into my router and steal my internet connection to download anything? Is this a legitimate line of reasoning? Should I even worry about it? I read Ike’s comments above and I, too, will probably just ignore this and see what happens. I will respond if I receive direct communication indicating me in a lawsuit or a subpoena.

  48. Any long term updates from both people who paid and did not pay?

    I’ve got a lawyer working through the details now to see what the best course of action is.

    • I have spoken to many people who have ignored the notes for almost a year. No action. These things are a joke at the worst.

  49. So many blogs about this subject but nobody ever comes back and seys if they paid the settlement did it all go away? its making it really difficult to decide what to do. Ive received 5 of these letters and am considering paying. I cant even get a good awnser from a local lawyer. they just told me to pay but when I go to the settlements . com website you have to enter in all your personal info. that makes me nervous! but I have to make up my mind by monday or i will have missed my deadline. I will probably pay up by monday and will post up what happens……

  50. I consulted an attorney. His advice was to not pay and just leave it all alone. My settlement cutoff date was September 12th. So far, so good.

    • Please don’t comment twice. Comments are moderated and don’t appear until I approve them. Thanks for the report from the field; I am sure that my readers appreciate it!

  51. Guys I like really need help here. I’ve been downloading some Android apps off PirateBay because I can’t afford them. Charter sent me a DMCA notice and I clicked on some of the links and replied saying I removed the files. I stupidly did all this before reading your article. Now I’m scared as hell of a lawsuit. Please could someone reply?

    • Just don’t do anything else. If they are going to sue, you’re not going to stop it, but then again they have to prove you were behind the keyboard.

        • Ryan
        • Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm
        • Permalink

        Received another one today :/ Getting slightly worried.

        • nctritech
        • Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm
        • Permalink

        You get one for every file they say you infringe upon. You also get them for the same file sometimes.

  52. Well, it looks like i’m one of the latest to get this extortion attempt. These people are pathetic. So far I haven’t done anything other than educate myself on this subject and it’s paid off. I’m just going to ignore it and put it off my mind. I will update in a month or two.

  53. I received one of these in the middle of August, I visited the site and entered my case # and password. I then researched and found this site. I didn’t pay, my deadline to pay was a couple of weeks ago and haven’t received any other notifications. Thanks!

  54. How to find out if the smiths xxx has copyright protection, cant seem to find any evidence.

  55. In my case isp had parents name, therefore they wanted to pay the $200 and not worry about it. When you pay on their settlements site they give you a pdf document with release of liability and not to pursue this case #. Also you get a receipt which ISP wants to close infirngement accusation on their record.

    Best of luck

    • After your parents settled, was that the end of it?

  56. My deadline passed over a month ago, still no further contact from my ISP or the settlement people.

  57. I just thought I’d check back to help relax some of the fear—– it has now been 3 months since the “due date” passed without me paying, and I haven’t gotten any further notice.

    • Hi Ike,

      Just looking to confirm you still haven’t heard anything… still good?

  58. We have also recently received a notice. I would like to know if anyone who posted over a year ago have seen any further communication about this…sounds like paying gives your information to them but not paying could lead to further action….again….has anyone not paid and its been MORE than just a “few months” Here is a copy of ours

    Dear Charter High-Speed Internet Customer:

    Charter Communications (“Charter”) has been notified by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, that your Internet account may have been involved in the exchange of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material (e.g., music, movies, or software). We are attaching a copy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice that Charter received from the copyright holder which includes the specific allegation.

    Under the DMCA, copyright owners have the right to notify Charter’s register agent if they believe that a Charter customer has infringed on their work(s). When Charter receives a complaint notice from a copyright owner, Charter will notify the identifiable customer of the alleged infringement by providing them a copy of the submitted DMCA notice. As required by law, Charter may determine that the customer is a repeat copyright infringer and reserves the right to suspend or terminate the accounts of repeat copyright infringers.

    It is possible that this activity has occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, a minor who may not fully understand the copyright laws, or even as a result of a computer virus. However, as the named subscriber on the account, you may be held responsible for any misuse of your account. Please be aware that using Charter’s service to engage in any form of copyright infringement is expressly prohibited by Charter’s Acceptable Use Policy and that repeat copyright infringement, or violations of any other Charter policy, may result in the suspension or termination of your service. You may view Charter’s rules and policies, including Charter’s Acceptable Use Policy, at http://www.charter.com/aup.

    We ask that you take immediate action to stop the exchange of any infringing material. For additional information regarding copyright infringement and for a list of frequently asked questions, please visit http://www.charter.com/dmca .
    If you have questions about this letter, you may contact us at 1-866-229-7286. Representatives will be available to take your call Monday through Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am – 5pm (CST).

    Sincerely,

    Charter Communications Security Resolution Team
    http://www.charter.com/security

    — The following material was provided to us as evidence —

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

    ***NOTE TO ISP: PLEASE FORWARD THE ENTIRE NOTICE***
    October 21, 2012
    Re: Notice of Unauthorized Use of Registered Copyrights Owned by GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures
    Case #:

    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 one or more movies. Some of these movies may be intended for adult entertainment, and therefore this notice which contains the titles of those movies, may contain text that is offensive to some readers.

    CEG TEK International, (“We”) represent GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures. GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures owns all right, title and interest to the registered copyrights listed below.

    Evidence:
    Infringement Title: HALLOWEEN XXX – Porn Parody
    Infringement File Name: Halloween.XXX.Porn.Parody.XXX.DVDRiP.RERiP.XViD-TattooLovers
    Infringement Hash:
    Infringement File Size: 1467880374 bytes
    Infringement Protocol: BitTorrent
    Infringement Timestamp: 2012-10-20 23:17:47 North American Eastern Time
    Infringers IP Address:
    Infringers Port:

    The following files were included in the download:
    File 1: Halloween.XXX.Porn.Parody.XXX.DVDRiP.RERiP.XViD-TattooLovers/tatlov-halloweenarr.avi
    File 2: Halloween.XXX.Porn.Parody.XXX.DVDRiP.RERiP.XViD-TattooLovers/tatlov-halloweenbrr.avi

    You are hereby notified that the unauthorized copying and/or distribution through the use of your Internet account of the movie (or movies) the title (or titles) of which is (or are) listed above is an infringement of the copyrights of GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures 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 GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures.

    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 Tuesday, November 20, 2012 to access the settlement offer and settle online. To access the settlement offer please visit http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ and enter Case #: and Password: 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/
    Case #:
    Password:

    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 GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures’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 GQ Associates DBA Smash Pictures.

    Sincerely,

    Ira M. Siegel, Esq.
    Legal Counsel

    CEG TEK International
    8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 220
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    Toll Free: 877-526-7974
    Email: support@copyrightsettlements.com
    Website: http://www.copyrightsettlements.com

    • Frito, i just received the same letter on the 29th. i called my ISP, and they said i have 4 more similar letter coming to me. Unfortunately, the first letter that i have received was already past due. I frantically went on the site and entered my information and i also called them and entered gave them my information over the phone. so now they have my contact information :( I’m freaking out. Since i received the first letter, i have stopped all downloading, deleted everything, and wiped my hard drive. Do you think they will still come after me?

  59. hi “some guy,” yes, i have visited that website, along with a bunch of others. My biggest concern right now, is that i entered my information to that site, and now i’m afraid i have an actual lawsuit coming in the mail for me. Since i already gave my information to the one case, they 4 others can easily be linked to me now. The only defense i can think of is that i just am the name on the account, and i could play dumb and say it wasn’t me, my computer has a virus/worm or the wifi was insecure. I have no problem paying the “fine” if i know it will actually make these people go away, but it doesn’t look look anyone has really given a definitive answer as to if paying will make them go away. Really not sure what to do hear. I want to play the silent game, and roll the dice, but i have a lot to lose if i get sued.

    • They need more than what you have provided to successfully sue you. Historically, the company behind this just sends notices and collects fees from scared people, but doesn’t file anything. You are unlikely to be sued. Being silent is key. Your best bet is to stop talking. Also, just so you know, even if you “settle” they can still sue you.

  60. thanks “some guy,” this is a little comforting. I do also intend on showing these notices to a lawyer to get some actual legal advice as well, but for right now, i’m not going to respond to these people again. I’m happy to settle if that all it would take, but i’d rather use a settlement through a lawyer, instead of that sketchy website. Does anyone know if anyone has actually been sued, and if it was successful?

  61. They guy on October 15th posted that he paid the settlement, got a release of liability and a receipt with no problem. Haven’t seen anyone on the site yet who has actually been sued. You should read all the posts.

  62. I have a pending settlement for 200 x 2 from CEG/Tek and have been debating paying, or taking my chances. My gut tells me to just let it ride and say my internet was unprotected if it ever went to court. My question is this. I have a laptop that I downloaded the two movies on. If that laptop disapears and I’m left with my non working desktop, would it be a plausible defense to say it wasn’t me, since I didn’t have a working computer at the time? Just a thought and wondering what your thoughts are.

    Also, it would be great to hear back from you guys who have gone several months with no settlement. I noticed one guy saying he had been told to get legal defense “Frank”, but he never responded. I wonder if this was a planted seed to stir up fear, or if this gentleman was actually sued. You would think he would have kept up with what was going on, but oddly he vanished after the post.

    Cheers!

    Wookie

  63. I have received 7 notices thus far, and they’ve been coming in groups every night for the past 3 nights. I went to the site and put in a case number, but didn’t pay the settlement. Unfortunately, I emailed them to tell them that I believed an error was made, and I included my first and last name. This definitely has me worried. Any advice?

  64. It’s been over two months since I ignored their deadline. Still no further contact from my ISP or the settlement people.

  65. Hi ncitritech,

    I’ve found your blog extremely helpful and sort of mind easing, but at the same time I’m troubled.
    If anyone has anything to say, chime in!

    I’ve received 4 of these notices in emails forwarded by Charter. I’ve been on the website and put in the case number and password. After that, I have done nothing else. Silence. Does this put me in a higher position to be subpoenaed?

    Also, have you actually contacted people that have been subpoenaed? Most of what I have read is that people ignore the emails and the cases and nothing happens. I have yet to come across someone being subpoenaed.

    If you have come across a person being subpoenaed, do you happen to know how long it was after receiving the email/after the settlement ends?

    Thanks.

    • I have yet to actually hear from someone who was subpoenaed. The most likely explanation for this is simply that a statistically insignificant number of people who are harassed are ever taken to the level of litigation. It’s a numbers game for the copyright troll. As long as ENOUGH people pay up to make it profitable, there’s no need to litigate. This also illustrates that the purpose is profit, rather than enforcement. I’d also like to note that these settlement demands are almost universally being sent through the DMCA takedown process, which exists to demand the removal of copyrighted content from distribution, and in my opinion (but not necessarily legal fact) this is an abuse of the intended purpose of the DMCA takedown process. There’s also no proof that the settlement demand actually made it to the customer whose IP address was targeted. In truth, the whole process bypasses the legal system on purpose.

      But I digress; the point is that I haven’t heard from anyone who has been subpoenaed and chances are I never will.

  66. Can anyone comment on what happens if you pay the settlement? I paid the $200 hoping this would go away but now I am worried that it won’t since they now have my personal information.

  67. You should read the whole chain. So far those who have paid have had no problems. For me, it’s been over three months since I ignored their deadline and I have received nothing from the ISP or the infringement lawyers in the notice.

  68. Would like to hear from frank again about what happened, also someone that got a email from over a year. thanks

    • comcast_customer
    • Posted January 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    I’m a comcast customer. I recentely received 4 emails from Comcast saying I have infringed by downloading 4 copyrighted porn movies. I didn’t download anything, but I left my wifi open for about 10 days for a reason. The email from Comcast doesn’t mention anything like Charters’ such as entering case # and password. I’m glad I read this post and the other web site recommending to stay silent. Now I have closed wifi, but what would I expect now? The videos are from Elegant Angels who are known for notorious and aggressive. Would they go for Subpoena and try to get my information from Comcast? After they have subpoena, would the police come anytime to take away my computers and harddrives?

    • comcast_customer
    • Posted January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    I’ve read Comcast doesn’t give out personal information for the customers to copyright owners without Subpeona. Then how do they try to make money for settlement from Comcast customers since there is no trap like Charters (entering case# and password)?

  69. Not sure what the point is with Comcast’s warning other than just a warning. If they haven’t provided you the Elegant Angels website or contact information to settle, then there isn’t much you can do anyway. Having written that, I still haven’t read one example where the company (in this case Elegant Angels) actually subpoenaed anyone. I consulted with a lawyer and the manhours and money involved to go after someone (you) are prohibitive to the company. Even though it may be easy to prove the files were downloaded via your wireless router, they would struggle to prove you actually did it yourself. Yes, they could technically subpoena just about everything in your house that could play such a file (phones, iPods, computers, iPads, etc.), but I don’t know how that would work exactly. I have also heard that ISPs don’t provide personal information until served with a subpoena. That’s what I heard anyway.

    It’s been 4 months since I ignored a similar deadline and so far there’s been no further contact from the company or ISP. If you’re worried about liability, the fact that a) you really didn’t download the files in question and b) that you don’t have any related files on your computer (downloaded videos, torrent software, etc.) mean they could most-likely never collect anything from you even if they did move forward. My attorney reminded me it’s also a tremendous hassle for the company (Elegant Angels or whoever) to file a suit outside their area. Assuming they are in California or New York and you are not, they’d have to either retain a local attorney licensed to practice law in your area or fly out one of their own to file the paperwork in the jurisdiction where the alleged offense occured.

    Bottom line: (my advice) sit tight and do nothing. But, no, I’m not a lawyer.

    • comcast_customer
    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:16 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Thanks for your answer. I’m glad to find this blog and people sharing good information.

  70. It seems that everyone receiving these emails are from illegally downloaded pornography. Can anyone confirm they have received an email from downloading a regular movie? Or are only the pornographic companies coming after people?

    • My URL was accused of downloading a movie called ‘Chameleon’. I have never heard of it and cannot confirm it is pornography or not. Does this help?

        • Jose
        • Posted February 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm
        • Permalink

        Could you give me a year of the movie or what the movie torrent was fully called? I found several movies and then a few pornos which all had chameleon as their general name. Thanks, just doing some research.

  71. I read every comment in this chain. I received a notice from Ira Siegel this morning. I have Charter. I clicked the link that led directly to the “case number and settlement” page. I read the page. I then logged out and ended here through internet research.

    My comments follow: I will ignore the message from hence forward. I had the same local ISP for over 10 years and NEVER received any such notice. I switched to Charter for faster speed less than 30 days ago. Is it possible that Charter is “in bed” with this? It seems 99% of these notices generate through Charter. I am inclined to cancel their service (truthfully I am not impressed anyway), and revert to my previous ISP.

    • My understanding is that none of the ISP’s that signed on with the six strikes rule agreement with the RIAA work differently, so that for them instead of forwarding the message to the user, they count each email as a strike against you toward the six required to shut off your service. I think the reason most of the people here have Charter is because Charter is the largest ISP that didn’t sign the agreement with the RIAA. At least that is how I understand it after reading this.
      http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/six-strikes-system-effects-on-ceg-tek-dmca-copyright-letters/

  72. They all do seem to be pornographic downloads in question. I don’t have any idea how to follow up that Charter may be aligned with Ira Siegel and the gang. I’m no lawyer, but I consulted one and agree that your best course of action right now is no course of action.

    • PO'd Charter subscriber
    • Posted February 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Well, I checked my Charter e-mail account for the first time in about a month yesterday. I had two of those lovely notices from Mr. Siegel via “Kick-Ass pictures” from mid-January. So the first “deadline” to pay them $200 expires tomorrow. Per the info/peace of mind I got from this forum, I’m ignoring this shit completely. Not paying a damn cent to these extortionist bastards for two adult films (which were released 11 YEARS AGO, btw, and can be purchased in the bargain bin of any adult video site for 4 or 5 bucks). I’ve paid for many Kick-Ass titles in the past, many they should refund MY money on, but I digress…

    Brad M. Kaplan’s story is nearly identical to mine. I have strong misgivings about Charter now. But the worst part is the first 10-30 minutes after reading that email – before I got wise to the whole thing. I can’t even describe the feelings of doom, gloom, guilt, self-hate, etc that went thru me. I’ll never get those minutes of my life back. And I am empathetic to the many THOUSANDS of other people who were subjected to the same FEAR-tactics and tragically just paid hundreds of dollars of hard earned cash to these thieves.

    These bastards can’t get away with putting people thru this mental hell over NOTHING!

  73. My University made meet a student Life person to talk about the incident and said I have to pay up.
    The Weird part is that they gave away my account name of the University Network, however, the IP & MAC addresses were different from what I have. They told me to pay and if I didnt they have to hand it over to the lawyer pursuing me. So I did $400 for both..

    2 days later, my bank calls me over fraudulent charges about 1.5 hours away from me near Boston. All from two Walmarts in the area, 5 expenses totaling almost $500. Then the bank told me they will cancel the card, send me another one as replacement and pursue an investigation over the charges. I briefly explained to them that this has to be from my last expense which was the settlement payment. I just hope they noted that. At least they told me that they are sure those 500 will be returned to me.

    Should I also pursue the initial 400 seeing this was a scam!? -they will probably sue me coz now they now my “temporary” address because I live in the University? It was only name and address that belonged to the card. After paying I knew something bad was going to happen, and i became anxious and hateful about myself and if my parents IP will also get similar notices and get framed as well and “kill” me for it. We are not financially stable and just coming out of bankruptcy. The money missing is just enough for me to pay my last semester in the University. Once the bank called me, it brought me peace of mind to know I am a victim, and perhaps even if they sue me, they will lose because of their credibility and this money stolen from me days later, however, it could also be as hard to prove it was them who misused my credit card information. my previous transaction before that one was an amazon purchase from a seller near 99% approval. What advice you have to give me? Will they “forward” mail my incoming card to another address (can they do that?)?

    I havent “technically deleted” any files from my PC or hard drives. Should I? at least the two shitty movies? hide the drives? idk what to do.

    I also cant sue them back, dont have means nor lawyers, nor want to get into a court. Im scared.

  74. About how long does it take to receive these letters/emails (is it days, weeks, months)? I have already deleted the copyrighted content from my hard drive (was there only for a matter of hours) after realizing my mistake. Do you think its likely I was even ‘caught’ in a window this small?

  75. The emails so far have been pretty timely…a few days at the most. They’re automated so the only delay will probably be the time it takes your ISP to sort out who owns what IP.

    For Clarence: So, wait, you already paid the settlement to the movie site then? If so, all indications at this point are that you will be fine. I’m not sure what went on with the life coach at your university though. If they told you to either pay or be disenrolled, they’d terminate your internet privileges, whatever, then made you provide them a receipt or something to show you’re back in good standing, well, I guess they can mandate whatever they want since it’s their ISP (I’m skipping over any school handbook rules, student rights, appeals, legal rights you might have if, in fact, you believe you were thusly denied due process by the university before they mandated your payment). If, however, the life coach forced you to pay because he was afraid the download liability would somehow transfer to the university if you didn’t, well, then you got burned. The emails all specifically state the company has no interest in messing with the ISP and that, rather than using a subpoena to try to find the user themselves because it isn’t cost/time effective, they should forward the email to you. I am not a lawyer.

    • To Anonymous on February 6th 3:40 pm,

      How can I be fine if they gave out my card information and did those unauthorized purchases!?

      The Student life got the e-mail from the Internet Security Team at the University, and then she printed it out and gave it to me on our student conduct meeting. They told me to pay up or be blocked permanently and if they were to ask again for my personal info They would comply. I later paid, out of panic and wanting this to end at once, and get my internet back, sent them back the receipts from my e-mail (but I havent been granted internet back yet). Because the school didnt catch me, it wasnt up to them to do their rulings. If it was that case, it would had been a regular cease and desist and next time pay the university for the infringement.
      I wasnt well educated on how the progress goes with this until i read it here online. My IP address and MAC address on the e-mail didnt even match me, only my username to log in into the school’s network. They didnt care. only based off my username they pushed me to this course of action and I didnt know better.

      my real questions now are:
      1) I paid. Am I off the hook? will I get “tracked” to see my activity, key logs, called, sent more threatening mail since they know my name and temporary address? and threaten me more? commit more fraud on me? identity theft? etc.

      2) If I ask my bank to cash-back the money paid to the website, will they come after me as well after knowing my information?

      3) Possibility of taking my harddrive/computer to check if I still have the files or any other one I downloaded?

        • anonymous
        • Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:56 am
        • Permalink

        I seem to be in the same issue right now, i havent paid and the school has not daid anything to me, also it sounds like I may Be at the same university as you because it all sounds very similiar.

  76. I received the same e-mail last week. I called charter and the lady told me that charter never sent such e-mail.

  77. No thing

  78. I used to have service with charter a couple of years ago and was a heavy torrent user maybe downloading 3 to 5 movies a week and received multiples of these security messages until one day I got curious and decided to call the number provided and talked to a representative who told me about illegal downloading happening on my service. I lied and said I didn’t have an idea how and got off the phone..never did hear another word..discontinued my service awhile later…just a few months ago got charter again in my girls name..still downloading just got my first notice but not really worried…DON’T ACT ON THE MESSAGES nothing will come of it..out of sight out of mind :)

  79. Hi, Clarence: Again, I’m not a lawyer.

    But, yes, so far everyone who’s paid the settlement has received no further hassle from the video production company in question.

    Re-reading your posts above, I think you’re saying that the school somehow assigned accountability to you for these downloads perhaps by a username and password that were used rather than matching your IP and MAC. I think you’ve have a valid reason to force them to explain that to your satisfaction. I’m also not a techie.

    Based on the other posts above, yes, currently you are “off the hook”. Everyone who has paid has thus far gone back to their lives with no further trouble.

    If, however, this was a completely fraudulent activity that has resulted in lightening your bank account by $400, then, no, I guess there’s no guarantee this won’t happen to you again…another good reason to force an explanation from school authorities on the matter. And, even though you are a student with few resources at this time, there are still options to fight back should you so desire. Where fraud is concerned, you may contact your state attorney general’s office to bring this to their attention. They usually have a website to do this.

    If your school is complicit in this fraudulent activity, you may add them to the complaint and, I believe, open a case with the Better Business Bureau (put the production company and settlement company in there too).

    If you really want to pressure them, file a complaint with the congressman who own’s the school’s district. This can be done with a simple letter.

    I can’t talk to any of the credit card stuff or possible identity theft. I mean, I can, but those are completely different subjects. This website was dedicated to a new brand of DCMA leverage that has a lot of folks losing sleep whether they’ve actually perpetrated the acts in question or not.

    For your question #2: “If I ask my bank to cash-back the money paid to the website, will they come after me as well after knowing my information?” Hmmm. That’s interesting. So far, no one has actually done that on this site. Our biggest advantages so far when faced with these emails is that, A) they’re almost assuredly automated so there’s probably no human at the other end taking an active interest in any one specific infraction case and, B) the production companies don’t have anyone’s personal information because the ISPs don’t give it out without a subpoena [and, I guess, C) the production companies have neither the time nor money to try pursuing every little case...just not financially smart for them to try].

    However, now they’d have your name and contact information. My guess is they still wouldn’t actually come after you but I wonder if they might take the time to send you a follow up email threat. No one here so far has actually received any such follow up, but if you did, then we’d know there’s a clerk somewhere at least scanning the activity on these automated threats.

    You’re a student with limited funds though who was bullied by your school, it appears. I’d hold them accountable, and force them to reimburse you. I’m assuming, of course, you did not actually perpetrate the activity in question. The reason I mention this is so far it hasn’t really mattered. But, if you go head-to-head against the school’s tech dept, depending on the university’s bylaws, whatever, they may have some options at their disposal to add a little more misery to your life. Again, they are the gatekeeper to their ISP so they may respond that, fine, you didn’t do it but then they’ll want to ensure your laptop isn’t infected with a virus allowing someone else to access remotely…which might be an entirely plausible explanation in your scenario. So they’d want you to consent to a quick scan. I’m not talking CIA hacker crap but if they found any similar videos, downloaded songs, torrent software, etc., or big shiny clean blocks of memory indicating a recent attempt to wipe your drives, well, that could be tricky. No sure if they’d want to look at your cell phone, iPad, iPod, etc., either.

    So, I guess I can’t answer your question #2 myself (anyone else out there have any experience on this?). I hate for you to pay the price for something you didn’t do. I hate injustice. If you do stop payment to the production company, please let us know what happens afterwards.

    Your question #3: I’m no lawyer but unless the school has a rule book somewhere compelling students to submit to computer inspections, kind of like a random drug test, then, no, I don’t see them just coming after you to look at your hard drive. I can’t imagine any school would have that. The production company certainly cannot without a subpoena…which is extremely unlikely.

  80. It’s been five months since I ignored the response deadline. Still no further contact from the ISP or the production company.

  81. I recently got a similar notice. It is for a fine of 200$. I did actually start downloading the film. But since I realized it was porn, i stopped it at 40% and deleted the torrent and data immediately. But two days later I got a notice from my ISP and an attachment said to go to the given website and enter the case and key provided and settle. I entered the same in the webpage, saw the amount and bailed out.

    I called up my ISP and asked them if i have to pay any fine to the copyright owner. They said that it is just a warning and don’t have to pay anything. I don’t know what to do. I’ve read this entire chain and i see that some just ignored and some paid. Is there anyone who got this kind of notice a year back? and what is your status now? I would really like to hear what happened to Frank.

  82. I got a copyright infringement notice from Charter, from the same CEG-TEK company and Ira Siegel as many posters above me have gone through. They are demanding $200 sent to copyrightsettlements.com for a file I downloaded on BitTorrent, otherwise they might sue.

    The thing is the video I downloaded, it is also streaming on over 10 other websites and is available for download directly through the website. Plus the video I downloaded was only less than half the length of the ones streaming on those websites, and the video has no credits attached to it, no title screen indicated what company owns it, as all that information was cut off before it was uploaded to the Torrent website by whoever.

    I don’t plan on paying for now, because that would be giving out my information and admitting liability and guilt. Let’s hope for the best, and I’m gonna stop using Torrents from now on. Lesson learned.

    • I agree, lesson learned, the cost of movies and games is not so bad after experiencing the feeling of getting one of these notifications, just go to xhamster or someother free porn site for your fix. There is no reason to be scared of these but I still lost several nights of sleep to this.

    • HI Casey – did you ever hear anything more?

  83. I think Frank was a plant. Out of the dozens of people who have posted on here he is the only person who says anything about legal action. More importantly, he does it in an alarming manner, doesn’t give any details, and then disappears with no explanation. It seems overwhelmingly evident that the best thing to do is to not respond at all to notices and take action to correct the behavior you were caught performing. These notices are the legal equivalent to phishing scams sent out to try and scare people into paying because lawsuits don’t work for them. It is my opinion, and news and online reports seem to bare this out, that lawsuits are extremely uncommon because they have not been proven to work out for copyright holders. If you got one of these are were scared into deleting the file and your bittorrent, great, but don’t worry about it after that. You are fine.

  84. I like you guys received a notice in my email from Charter. I did not download any Porn. The file in question was a song. Interestingly enough I have never heard this song, I have heard and like the artist very much (David Guetta) but after doing some snooping on my computer I noticed that the song in question is not in my library. Not my iTunes, not my download folder or even my Recycle Bin. They do however have my ip Adress and the time that they said this infrigment happened I was home. The fee is not $200 like you guys, mine is $20. Took your guy’s advice and decided not to pay it, but it does still bother me in the back of the head.

  85. anybody have any updates to share, thanks

  86. Yeah, I forgot about ol’ Frank. If he wasn’t a plant, he certainly was a sucky victim because he could have otherwise given us some great detail.

    Speaking of which, it’s been over six months since I ignored the deadline and still no contact from the company or ISP.

    For the anonymous dude on March 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm, I wonder if you have a wireless router…might be easier to surf that than hack your IP, which is possible anyway…

  87. HI… I have read all the comments in this page…Thank you for this page….. Most of you guys recommend not paying. But as you see the number of John Doe cases filed each day is increasing. I’m wondering if paying up will be a good option. I don’t want to go to court…Is there anyone who had paid to this scam??. What happened to you guys after that?? Did they ask you for more money??

  88. I got the same letter from charter for downloading porn.. After visiting this thread and reading the posts, I am confident that this is all a money game. It seems that they target people who download porno videos because they want to you to feel embarrassed. They then use this combination of fear and embarrassment to get you to submit to their demand, in this case money to the contracting website that they told you to visit. Please realize that this is a head game and if you are weak minded you will submit. This type of approach for making money is growing for it has proven to be very lucrative. This is similar to the traffic cameras that take a picture of your car running a red light and then send you a ticket in the mail, by visiting the website and paying you are admitting guilt but if you ignore it then they have no confirmation you even received it, this whole charter letter thing is the same only instead of a picture of your car its your computer. The fact is that they cannot label you guilty because unless you respond, they do not know 100% that it was you behind that wheel or that it was you behind that keyboard.

    Fuck these guys, If you have charter, then switch. We don’t need more of this Big Brother shit online.

    Protect the Internet

  89. just recieved a couple of these myself this week (ceg tek, ira siegel, charter, etc) . i usually go straight to the point but checked the site out for legit-ness. looked ok so I called both my isp and the copyrightsettle-site to talk to reps. charter tech sent me to charter security. they were damn useless, only verified the emails were sent but didnt even know what was in them. CEG basically gave me a lesson on router security, defended their claims to legitimacy, and the guy gave me his personal extention. at this point they have my IP (obviously), my cell (should have used work phone), and those are connected to the case# and password.
    unless they use my cell, wouldn’t be that hard, to find my name it’s still ambiguous unless subpoena-type action takes place i guess.
    i’ll keep you in the loop and try to monthly.
    their tactics are underhanded, near-illegal, and entirely unprofessional. regardless of the attention such dubious titles may be, the ramifications of having my (or your) name thrown in the mud, and all that other garbage it seems ridiculous.

    besides, i wouldn’t mind a road trip to sunny CA to get rid of these white-collar-criminal, cowardly, impotents.

  90. Thanks for this chain. I got my first letter this morning so I called legal aid (I am but a poor college student). Thanks all for peace of mind especially about the statutes of limitations. i will post updates as events unfold.

  91. It’s been over 7 months since I ignored the deadline…no further contact from the company or my ISP…

  92. Does that matter if I just visited their settlements website with the the ip address they go after? I know a website can track visitors’ ip address, but not sure if they will take advantage of that and match your download record, and continue to go after you. I had an experience with CEG’s settlement letter forwarded by charter but ignored that, nothing happened. Now they come to me with another download again. I decide to ignore it and see what’s going on in the following days.

    As far as I know, my friend in Indiana is dealing with this kind of suit. The plaintiff lawyer is from Michigan. He filed a suit against 23 people with more than 10 videos. But defendants wrote motion to set aside, the judge approved that. Now the judge requires plaintiff suing them all individually, or withdraw. The It seems that all the judge I have read disgust these guys. So now they might pursue jury trail. I’ll follow his progress.

  93. I received the letter forwarded by ISP, can I just reply to ISP claiming that I know nothing about what they say, and promise to secure my network? Some attorney recommend that to evade any DEFAULT. But it seems that simply ignore the email does not lead to DEFAULT. Email might not be official and mandatory to reply. There could be many possibilities that we didn’t receive it: ISP didn’t forward, scam email, deserted email account, not checking usually…

  94. Is the probability to be sued lower if:
    1. The movie I downloaded is more than 15 years old and probably no one else download it other than me, for it is difficult for them to file mass lawsuit;
    2. I live in a state of nowhere (Like North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota).
    Any comment on this? Thanks!

  95. I reviewed Capitol v. Thomas again, and kind of scared that if there might be one among us will get a verdict like that. Especially that was happened in Minnesota.
    Anybody knows why the pornography trolls haven’t push downloaders that field since it seems obviously profitable?
    I also wonder what the verdict would be if a defendant was proved to be liable for the case? Anybody has any idea about this? Thanks!

  96. So FeelNotGood is either a plant or hasn’t read this entire chain of posts. Even if a distributor went after a downloader, Thomas had more than 1,702 songs…and so far these ISP warnings have been for single files. They ended up hitting her for $2,250 per song and only 24 of them stuck. For a single download warning with no evidence, the likelihood of the producers sending a legal team to another jurisdiction for $2,250 is cost prohibitive.

  97. I read most of the posts in this chain. And also did other researches, but just be overwhelmed by that probability. I won’t give into their extortion though. Probably come back after one month or so for update.

  98. My ISP left me a voice mail message informing me of an infringement, and have asked that I call them back. What should I do?

  99. At least it’s not a good idea to call them personally right now. They already got your information via subpena? Rea search online shows that there is still a very high possibility that they will just let you go if you ignore. And you have no liability to answer them at legal angle. But do some action if any paper comes from the court in case of a default judgement (that might be $750, but could be more or much more).
    If you can’t live with it, call attorney for help.

  100. Which ISP? How did they get your number? This is a new tactic. Seems prudent to ignore the voice mail.

  101. It’s been over 8 months since I ignored the deadline…no further contact from my ISP or the company…

  102. hi! im a comcast customer and i recently received 4 letters saying this:

    dear (customer name)

    (company) has filed a federal lawsuit in the US district court for (my location). you have been identified in our records via your assigned IP address which is unique to each internet user, in this lawsuit for allegedly, infringing (company)’s copyrights on the internet by uploading or downloading content without permission. this was allegedly done using a device assigned the ip address (my IP address) on (01/112013 @ 14:37:07 gmt). the court has ordered Comcast to supply your name, address, and other info to (company) in the attached Order and accompanying subpoena. the case has been assigned (docket #) by the court. if you have any question about the lawsuit, you should consult an attorney immediately.

    comcast will provide your name, address, and other info as directed in the order and subpoena unless you or your attorney file a protective motion to quash or vacate the subpoena in the court where the subpoena was issued no later than june 12, 2013. if you make this filing, you must notify comcast in writing with a copy and proof of filing ny sending it via fax to (number) no later than june 12,2013. if you do not file a motion to quash or vacate the subpoena by this date, or if you fail to notify comcast of your filing by this date, comcast will provide your name, address and other infos as directed in the oreder to the plaintiff.

    the letter is kinda like that ( im kinda lazy typing all of the things in that letter but it basically say all of that ^)
    this came via ups and usps delivery.

    my question is is tihs one of those letters that they use to scare you or not?

    • I don’t think they are so foolish to choose to pursue an infringe happened half a year ago, since they have fresh ones everyday and I would rather go after the one just passed their due.

  103. Hmmm. Are you sure you aren’t a plant? Why would a production company file a lawsuit in a federal court? No offense, but you either typoed a LOT or you’re full of crap. I’m no lawyer, but these would be civil cases, almost certainly filed under state jurisdiction. A company would normally only file a suit in a federal court if they were going to sue the federal government itself, or were going to sue other companies based on some specific violations of federal statutes (like patents or anti-trust). The only time individuals, like a Comcast customer, would see the inside of a federal court would be under criminal prosecution…and this doesn’t qualify.

    If you are telling the truth, then you should call Comcast and get a copy of the subpoena. Someone isn’t telling the whole story and I can’t imagine Comcast would pass crap like this to a customer.

  104. Hi, I was wondering if I can talk to you in a private email. Thank you.

  105. Um i accidentally game them my name and number and they called me and i told them i didn’t get a notice or call and told them my name wasn’t dustin so yeah he was like well someone did and i was just like ummm no so am i ok? Or will this lead in a bad direction?

  106. Hello. If you’re looking for me, the anonymous entry from May 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm, I’m game.

    • Sorry, I had trouble remembering the website name and thought I would receive an email if I got a reply. I was just panicking about my situation because I received an email from Charter, twice for the same thing, but after reading the whole website a thousand times, I decided to relax and not panic, my “due payment” is coming up on Tuesday, and just like most people here, I will ignore it.

  107. Dustin,

    Flip through this entire thread and probably your best bet is to sever further contact with the production company and ISP. I’m not sure if you gave them your last name. That might complicate matters if you did. One of the big protections is that their attorneys have thus far not pierced the ISP veil. If you’ve only been alleged to have downloaded one file, and you’re nowhere near the jurisdiction of the company itself, it’s unlikely they’ll waste the litigation time and money to pursue you. So far, no one on this site has offered anything that they’ve actually moved to pursue legal action…except the scaredofcomcast person on May 21st, who has yet to provide any further detail. I am not a lawyer.

  108. My pre-settlement was due 20 days ago. Still waiting for CEG’s action. Will follow up if no other action in one month.

  109. It’s been nine months since I ignored my deadline. Still no further contact from either the ISP or the production company.

  110. hi again!

    @ anonymous(may 23,2013 @ 7:47pm)
    i typed in most of the letters contents on that comment and waited for the due date. comcast also sent me the copy of the subpoena along with that letter.

    i’m not under a plant or something and today when i got home i received another letter (a physical one) from a law office saying we can settle this if you go to our website and pay the settlement of $4000.

    Q1: are they for real?

    Q2: what should i do next?

    thank u in advance =)

  111. Hi, last question, I was wondering if someone were to get a subpoena, when would they receive it? After the “due payment” of the copyright infringement email from the IPS? (weeks, months) Thanks.

  112. Scaredofcomcast:

    I am not a lawyer, but you should probably consult one.

    OK, I think there are some details we’re missing here. You are the first and only person on this website to actually be targeted for legal action. I guess you can’t scan in the actual documents for us to see. There is one exception I know of where a company would pursue you in a federal court for something like this: “A case also may be filed in federal court based on the ‘diversity of citizenship’ of the litigants, such as between citizens of different states. To ensure fairness to the out-of-state litigant, the Constitution provides that such cases may be heard in a federal court. An important limit to diversity jurisdiction is that only cases involving more than $75,000 in potential damages may be filed in a federal court.”

    You didn’t mention being part of a mass indictment (I’m taking liberties with that word), so this tells me you must have downloaded something that would cause the company to seek at least $75,000 in potential damages from you. At first I thought perhaps you could have executed multiple alleged downloads over a period of time, but your text indicates they’re threatening to drag you to federal court for torrenting a single file.

    I’m curious about the law office who issued you a physical letter. Apparently they now know your name and location. If I were in your shoes, I would consult an attorney. There are several intriguing issues with your situation. For example, how does the opposition expect to prove you downloaded the file and that your IP wasn’t hacked? Do you live in a different state than the production firm? Is the hard-copy letter from a local (state) law office or out-of-state? What, if anything, are they threatening if you choose not to settle?

    Your case could prove valuable for us all.

    runi: you could technically receive a subpoena at any time, but wouldn’t make sense for the firm to issue it before your settlement date expires with them.

    • Assuming, of course, that it’s legitimate and not simply a poorly crafted troll post. Anyone can say anything on the Internet, so some kind of proof that this is legitimate would be necessary before anyone can safely assume that the information is reliable.

  113. I received a post card in the mail from charter stating go to charter.security and enter the ref# and account# and it showed that i had 93 notices for illegal file sharing on bit torrent amount totaling $10000 saying i should settle immediatly i gave then no names or anything i started researching on here about it should i be worried since it was for 93 items?

    • Ignore them. Nothing will happen to you. Also, don’t punch in any more Charter security reference numbers because those might be usable to confirm that you received the notices.

        • Sindrome
        • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm
        • Permalink

        Thanks i sure hope so lol i got smart and have a subscription to a vpn now

  114. i am consulting a lawyer today and the company said that there are 84 of us

    how does the opposition expect to prove you downloaded the file and that your IP wasn’t hacked?
    i can always say that

    Do you live in a different state than the production firm? not sure

    Is the hard-copy letter from a local (state) law office or out-of-state? local

    What, if anything, are they threatening if you choose not to settle?

    “Should you reject our offer, please be advised that we insist that you do not delete any media files from your computer because such materials will be requested by us, and therefore need to be produced by you, during this case. Should you engage in the deletion of any such evidence in your computer or possession, you could be found to have spoliated evidence, which could allow for us to receive additional damages” – this is what the letter say if i dont pay up

    the offer expires on 06/28 and today is the 27th

    • I talked to my net provider they told me not to worry about it i told them my router did not have a password but it does now they said just make sure it does not happen again

    • Indeed. This is getting interesting. Keep us posted then. No one else on this site has ever seen any legal action. Have you wiped all your drives? Of course, they might ultimately be able to detect such cleansing, but I’m not sure how they can threaten anything for doing anything on your own computer when no subpoena has been issued for any of your devices. Are the other 83 names listed anywhere?

  115. I emailed back to the email provided in the letter that stated about the unauthorized copyright..was this a mistake?!

    • Yes a big mistake do not have any contact with them

    • It would have been better to ignore it. Read the whole email chain. It’s not the end of the world.

  116. Hi

    I received an email from ceg tek, ira siegel saying that I had used copyrighted pictures on my blog.

    They want $500 for each of my pictures (3) that I used.

    The email doesn’t appear to be sent through my ISP but looks like CEG have just sent me an email tomy email address on my blog.

    My deadline to pay is coming up in a week and I am really scared because IF I did use copyrighted pictures on my blog then I’m guessing it would be very easy to prove I did.

    I am leaning towards not paying but would love to hear any advise especially for this type of case (pictures on a blog, not downloading films)

    Has any had a similar experience?

    (My blog also had very soft core nudity on it so they may be targeting me for that)

    Thanks

    • Remove any images that might be copyrighted. Make it seem as I they weren’t ever there. Delete entire posts as needed. Be completely silent. They should go away. It then becomes “he said, she said” if they pursue you, which that dollar amount isn’t high enough to be worth doing.

        • Sand Man
        • Posted July 10, 2013 at 11:32 am
        • Permalink

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        Are you sure they can’t get records from my blog even if I delete all images and posts involved?

        I also live in the U.K so are they likely to pursue me as I thought the lawsuit thing had to be submitted in the same state or something?

        Thanks again

        • nctritech
        • Posted July 10, 2013 at 11:37 am
        • Permalink

        That would require time and money. Usually, image copyright actions use screenshots of your blog to try to get you. Screenshots can be fabricated. Also, you need to make sure your site doesn’t appear at archive.org (use a robots.txt exclusion or a plug in that provides the equivalent behavior) and you should reduce your risk to near zero. Keep in mind no one here is a lawyer though.

        • Anonymous
        • Posted July 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm
        • Permalink

        I’m with nctritech on this one. It’s unlikely they’d pursue you across the big pond. Even if they did, you have to be given an opportunity to comply with the copyright. Now that they’ve notified you, you’ve cleaned up your blog. It’s not like you’re selling thousands of t-shirts with their image for a profit. I’m not a lawyer, but I know that blogs are often considered “news”, which here in the colonies is protected under the 1st amendment. I’d do exactly what nctritech wrote. In the unlikely event they move forward with some kind of action, you can demonstrate that a) you didn’t know those were copyrighted images and b) as soon as they informed you, you complied. Again, if you stay silent as advised, I can’t imagine they’d do anything else.

  117. What do you mean screen shots could be fabricated? They didn’t send me any screen shots of my website pictures in their email.

    My website doesn’t appear to be on archieve.org so I guess I don’t need to do that robot.txt thing? I just typed in my URL to the archieve site and nothing came up?

    Any idea about their ability to try to sue (or whatever it is) someone from abroad i.e. the U.K like me.

    Sorry for all the questions I am just very worried

    Thanks

  118. hi again!

    its been 12 days after the offer had expired and i havent heard from them yet…but a friend of mine (in legal dept) told me we should write them a letter that we cannot pay that much money and they “might” consider that.

    as of now i am still stressed just thinking about this whole thing…

  119. Hi

    Thanks for the advise so far.

    So do you think I should let them know that I have no money as I am a student already in debt due to the fees.

    The email would be sent through TOR browser and fake email and won’t give any of my person details away.

    I won’t admit anything, or ever mention my name, so should I send them this email just to make sure they no they are wasting their time if they try to pursue me.

    Also I they did eventually decide to take me to court would my parents have to get involved as I have no money (actually in debt from uni fees), I own nothing of value so would they try to make my parents pay? How could I pay something I don’t have?

    If I did have to pay something would it go down on my criminal record. I heard someone say that it goes on your financial record and banks will be less inclined to lend you money. Is this true?

    Thank again

    • The state isn’t prosecuting you, so I don’t think any criminal conviction would be attached in the unlikely event they were successful in their case. Not sure if your credit would be impacted, though it certainly could be. And, yeah, unless they are just trying to make a point, they usually go after deeper pockets…highlighting some infraction on your part but holding someone else responsible so they’ll have to pay (ISP, parents, university, insurance company, etc.). I am not a lawyer.

  120. I just received a notice as well. I didn’t click any links, i simply googled copyright infringement noticed and thats how i found this site. however, in the forwarded email from my ISP, it lists the file in particular that was allegedly pirated. I’m only wondering if no such file currently exists on any drive that i own, do they have anything to jump me with or am i ok?

    • I am not a lawyer. If you read the site, the overall recommendation is to do nothing. You should be ok. However, if you want to go the legal route because you know you did not download this file, I know a guy who had his attorney draft a letter to that effect. He sent it to the production company and they accepted it.

      In other news: it’s been 10 months since I ignored my deadline. No further contact from the ISP or production company.

  121. I just discovered 10 DCMA Comcast notices for porn sites after opening my dormant Comcast email that occurred during the prior 2 months. I’m having cold sweats now. The copyright owners are, Giant Media Group, LFP Internet Group LLC DBA Huslter and Third Degree. I’ve heard nothing else from Comcast and have not contacted them. Does anyone know how aggressive these firms are in pursuing legal action>

    • If you read the whole site, you’ll see that what you are already doing, which is nothing, seems to be the best plan. Only one person has mentioned actually being legally pursued, and he/she has been conspicuously silent regarding actual details of their court case. I am not a lawyer, but I would continue ignoring the notices if I were you.

  122. I just filed over 150 individual DMCA notices for a photograph taken by a professional photographer (my client) that was copied and pasted all over the internet. I was looking for software I could do notices more quickly without having to pay a monthly fee. Preventatively, webmasters can do a no follow so that it hides the page from the search engine. Google has a new algorithm to lower pagerank for sites with repeated DMCA violations. I strongly recommend taking the content off immediately not just to keep from being sued but to protect your pagerank. So, if you have a forum where anyone can post photos, it’s probably best to just no follow the page as it can affect the page rank of your entire site.

    • Filing DMCA notices makes you no better than Getty Images.

  123. Hi Rhonda. Are you referring to THIS site when you write you “strongly recommend taking the content off immediately”, or are you just giving us an example of a warning you issue a site you find violating your clients’ copyrights?

  124. Ok guys I just got hit with some DMCA notifications as well regarding porn. After doing some research, I have come to the conclusion that CEG-TEK isn’t suing anyone lately. You can look up filed lawsuits at http://www.rfcexpress.com/index.asp. In the search type in the copyright owner’s name of the file(s) in question. After looking at 5 different companies the latest lawsuit filed was in Feb. 2013 with the majority of them being filed in 2012. ALSO you can look at the states that they have been filed in and there was only one case was filed in my state out of all the companies.

  125. OK. It’s official. It’s been a full year since I ignored the deadline and I’ve received nothing further from the ISP or the company.

  126. Ignored a year and a half now and nothing further.

  127. All the comments you guys gave are somewhat putting my mind at ease. I’m still frazzled by this and nothing has really happened yet.

    Earlier this week I received 26 notices from Comcst…the day after 26 more. This morning I wake up to 26 MORE notices. I know these are the same files multiplied 3 times so when they get in touch with me (if at all) will they send a letter for each notice? It happened earlier this week…anyone know what the timeline is for initial notice to letter in the mail?

    I plan on seeing a local attorney about further steps when the letters start coming in.

    • I found a resource on Reddit for attorneys in your state specializing in copyright infringement defense. Not sure how old the page is but two of the attorneys in my state have since moved elsewhere.

      https://www.eff.org/issues/file-sharing/subpoena-defense

        • Anonymous
        • Posted October 20, 2013 at 11:05 am
        • Permalink

        I never received notices in the mail from my ISP.

        • Anon222
        • Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:49 am
        • Permalink

        It’s been two weeks and haven’t heard anything via mail or email about further action. Still ain’t d/ling any more torrents.

  128. I’ve received copyright infringement notifications from BMG before some time this year. I was told to pay $20 for one song, so being the good sport that I am, paid it because I was fooled into thinking it’s fine to pay only $20. But then that price ultimately grew to over a thousand or two as the company then started accusing me of downloading all these other music and movie files, which I am SOMEWHAT certain that no member in my family has downloaded (they have Netflix, Redbox renting, etc.) My question is, since I’m the internet service provider for my family, does the copyright laws pertaining to a service provider apply to this situation? As in…. I have no liability for what others do under my ISP, and that I cannot be held accountable if ever trialed in court? What might be the worst scenario if by all means I cannot ever conjure up that much money to pay, and therefore decide to not ever pay? I’ve indeed paid the $20 using my credit card but later had to switch from one bank to another for business reasons, but recently I’ve received a notification from Charter that I still owe the thousands of dollars I’m being accused of having to pay for. Is it legal at all for them to have me blamed for illegal actions I wasn’t aware of? I’m so-so sure the copyright law have stated that I’m not liable, but just in case?

    • Your post is pretty confusing. Not sure how BMG would have been able to accuse you directly without back-tracking your personal information from your ISP…which you say is you…but then you indicate Charter is your ISP (which makes more sense).

      So, is BMG harassing you as an ISP or as an individual user? I suppose you’re being extremely vague on purpose to avoid others from guessing who you are, but I think you’re shooting too much smoke into your post. What does switching your bank have to do with anything?

      Reading this entire page, ISPs seem to be able to deflect liability by passing on cease-and-desist notices from the production company to the user. No one else has posted that their ISP has notified them they owe thousands of dollars. The ISP has only operated as a middle man, passing messages to users and warning them that a potential subpoena could force transmission of their personal information.

      I am not a lawyer, but if you’re telling us BMG has your full identity and is billing you for “over a thousand or two”, you should probably contact one.

  129. Like most people on here I too received a notice from my isp, centurylink, saying the whole dmca thing. But I had to dig a little to find the notice from CEG-TEK. They sent like 6 notices in two days for it. Me being dumb clicked the link for the settlement site and typed in the case # and password. I did nothing further than look at their settlement offer then got off and started researching. From the looks of things I should be fine. I deleted the torrent immediately and the file as well.
    But what if they do follow through? There’s five devices in my house all hooked up to the wifi, so there’s no way for them to pin the certain device with the file right? I know I should be fine but I’m kind of freaking out still. My settlement date is the end of December and I’d appreciate any advice.

    • Dude, read the whole chain. If you do, you’ll see the recommended plan is to do nothing. I am not a lawyer.

        • Anonymous
        • Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm
        • Permalink

        I myself received one of these letters the other day. Seems ceg-tek is claiming my ip has downloaded 10 files. When I read through the claims it lists the ip, time, file, etc… Of these, there are two different ip’s, neither of which is my computer. Is it the router?

        I have not replied in any way as I’m trying to figure out my best legal action. It is my understanding that ceg-tek does not file the lawsuit if it goes that far, it’s the actual copyright holder that must file. Ceg just takes a cut from the “settlement” computer generated letters and passes the rest to the copyright holder. So if they get $200, ceg takes lets say 75 and xxx company gets 125. They both profit.

        So out of these 10 files there are 5 different copyright holders. Does it make any sense for them to file a lawsuit for possibly one or two files that might have maybe been dled by someone? Does not seem very cost effective. Especially given the proof they must supply. Especially when your ISP fails to send you the letter until after the so called deadline has passed, seems they could be held accountable for not passing along notifications. Seems they would cover themselves better than that if the letters were indeed valid?

  130. I am completely terrified after reading this. I received several DCMA (DigitalRightsCorp) forwards from Charter demanding $20 settlements for each title downloaded. I’ve never been in trouble and have always been a bit of a goody two-shoes (in fact, I’m almost 30 and just recently got my first speeding ticket), so I did what my all too naive instincts told me to do and sent correspondence to the DCMA.

    In the email, I explicitly stated that I did not download the files and was not aware they were downloaded until i received those notices. I informed them, in more eloquent terms of course, that my little cousins (all of whom are 10 and younger) must have downloaded the files without knowledge of the potential repercussions and that I would delete them immediately (I didn’t name them, of course). I apologized profusely and vowed to do my best to make sure this never happens again. And like a true a**hole ( :-( ) I signed with my full name. I also informed them that I called both them and my ISP and tried to get ahold of someone by following the links, but luckily it was the middle of the night (that’s how panicked I was), so I never actually spoke to anyone.

    I say all this not to provide further proof of how gullible and naive I am, but to say that even though I emailed them, I absolutely denied that I pirated the files. I did click on two of the links in the emails they sent me, but I did not enter any information or pay the settlements. I didn’t identify any case numbers in the emails and when I promised to delete the files, I didn’t specify where I was deleting them from (thank God for my lack of knowledge that IP addresses belong to networks and not individual devices), so they have no proof that the files were ever on my own devices. And I didn’t speak with my ISP. Have I totally screwed myself?

    I’ve already contacted a lawyer and will speak with him in a couple weeks, but I wanted to get some feedback in the meantime, because I’m completely panicked. I am a graduate student, which means I literally qualify for food stamps and medicaid right now and cannot afford to pay even the settlements (right now I have 12 emails, each demanding $20). I am absolutely furious at how insidious and calculated these people are (though not at all shocked). I am normally a huge proponent of saying “f*** you” to the man, but when it comes to something as seemingly serious as a legal threat, my first instinct was to respond with a well-articulated written defense of myself (more like panic, then defend myself), as I’m sure is natural to many people, and I’m livid that these companies would so brazenly prey on people’s inclination to fear and reconciliation. I really wish I had read all this first.

    Have I completely hanged myself? Help!

    • Don’t talk to anyone else about it. Don’t say anything or respond to anything. If you are sued, nothing you say now will help. If you aren’t sued, there’s no problem. Just go quiet. Deal with the problem when it becomes an actual problem.

  131. Thanks. I appreciate the advice. Has it already become a problem because of the settlement emails? And is this any better or worse than having paid the settlement, which I know would have been a clear admission of guilt? Is it ok that I speak with the lawyer? I’m sorry to sound like a complete spaz ass, but my anxiety is through the roof. I’ve been up since 5am, unable to get back to sleep, I’m so panicked.

    • Take a deep breath. Remember that you can’t possibly make anything worse if you remain silent and essentially do nothing. You should also know that the typical settlement offer in these cases usually leaves the door open to prosecution in the future, in which case you’re really not settling anything.

      Just be quiet and let it go. Don’t do anything. It’s not worth losing your mind over. If something bad happens, deal with it when it happens! You can’t stop it by “confessing your sins” or by paying a settlement. Drop off the radar and consider the matter closed.

  132. Received three abuse of infringement e mails from Charter. I know for a fact I did not download the ones in question. As I have seen in other cases they were all porn torrents so how odd that nothing else showed up such as movie and TV torrents. Before reading this I went to the web site like an idiot. Hopefully I left nothing that could help them find me as I do not intend to pay them 1200 dollars for three movies I would not have looked twice at on the shelf at the store or paid only a few dollars for if I had. In my gut I feel something is wrong here. I feel like I am being extorted. I agree it would be very difficult to prosecute anyone for these proposed offenses. I would imagine there are millions doing it all the time. What really gets me is that they can accuse you with no real proof. If I did not live across the country I would just show up on the guys door step and have a word with him in person, but being a disabled VET this is not financially feasible at this time. I also do not have a problem showing up in court, but if it got that far were would it be and could I afford to make it or hire a lawyer to represent me? I am positive this is part of their strategy. I intend to stand my ground. They want it they will have to come and get it so to speak. I would appreciate any advice from this site and I will continue to update as this goes on for the next several months to help educate people on this process!!!!

    • Talked to Charter today about the issues. Told them I had no idea who had downloaded the items in question. Asked them for advice on how best to proceed since I have been a customer for a while now and in good standing. All I got was a scripted response to each question I asked. No help whatsoever. I imagine I will be leaving them very soon. I also asked them if they intended to give up my personal data if the issue went any further and got the same answer over ad over. Apparently they could care less about their customers as long as they can dodge the issue. They told me if a subpoena was issued their legal department would be in touch ad beyond that I was on my own. I did get the impression they had had thousands of such claims so I wonder if they are really worried about losing thousands and thousands of customers over their inability to stand up and tell these cock roaches to go to hell. If I had known the company had such little backbone I would have never gone with them in the first place. So pissed of at these guys?????????????

  133. I had a torrent software on my computer and had 2 files still queued from never really downloading them, when I got to my school they downloaded one day and the school shut off my wifi and asks that I tell them when I remove the software and files downloaded. Should I respond?

    • If it’s just the tech department at the school and no copyright infringement threats are involved, I would recommend telling them that you didn’t know that your computer was doing anything wrong and that you have removed all software that you don’t remember installing that you could find. This way you satisfy what the tech guys are required to handle but you don’t admit to any wrongdoing. The key is to always form your phrases such that you don’t admit wrongdoing. If they push you to admit wrongdoing in any way, ask them if there is a third party involved in this process and demand to see the communication from that third party. Your school IT department can be subpoenaed for information to implicate your wrongdoing if you are pursued by a copyright holder legally, so keep everything nice an vague.

  134. Hello! I’ve just read though this entire blog. This morning I was greeted with this fancy thing in my e-mail (below). What happens next? I’m going absolutely crazy. It doesn’t sound like anyone here who has posted has had any legal action taken against them. I’m trying to find some peace of mind and settle my anxiety over this so that I can think of something else, like you know, work.
    Thoughts anyone?

    The purpose of this warning is to inform you that CenturyLink has received multiple
    notices of copyright infringement sent pursuant to the Digital Millennium
    Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in connection with your account. The DMCA, passed by
    Congress in 1998, allows copyright owners to notify a service provider such as
    CenturyLink of alleged copyright infringement carried out on the provider’s network.
    Copies of the DMCA notifications CenturyLink received are included below.
    Please be reminded that unauthorized posting of copyrighted material is a
    violation of CenturyLink’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and High Speed Internet
    Subscriber Agreement which prohibits use of the CenturyLink Network and Services in
    any manner that would infringe, dilute, misappropriate, or otherwise violate
    the intellectual property rights of others.
    The CenturyLink Acceptable Use Policy and the High Speed Internet Subscriber
    Agreement provides that CenturyLink may suspend or terminate your service for
    violation of the AUP and/or Subscriber Agreement.
    Please be advised that if this violation continues, or in the event that
    additional violations occur, CenturyLink may take further action, including the
    suspension or termination of your Service.
    Please note that if you use the Internet for Voice over IP services (VoIP)
    to support Internet based calling, you will not be able to make any incoming
    or outgoing calls, including 9-1-1 calls, from your service address unless
    you have Internet service.
    Also, disconnection of a bundled service may result in loss of your bundle
    discount.
    If you need technical support or assistance in securing your device, please
    contact CenturyLink High Speed Internet Technical Support at 1 877-348-9005.
    If you believe the enclosed DMCA notices were sent to CenturyLink in error, you may
    contact the copyright owner directly within the next five (5) days and email a
    copy of your correspondence to CenturyLink at abuse@centurylinkservices.net.
    CenturyLink will give consideration to this challenge in enforcing its AUP.
    If you choose not to challenge the notices, we will assume for purposes of
    enforcing our AUP that they were not sent in error.
    Copies of the DMCA notifications CenturyLink has received are as follows:

    • It would be best to ignore it. This is CenturyLink threatening to unhook your Internet service, but I have yet to hear of that ever actually happening to anyone. Don’t respond to it. Archive the email somewhere away from your email account and permanently delete it. Then if you must, you can argue that you didn’t receive any such notice. It’s not like it’s certified mail, after all.

        • Lily
        • Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:59 am
        • Permalink

        Thanks! I’ll do that.

    • I also forgot to mention that I called CenturyLink to find out why my VPN wasn’t connecting and she told me I had to open a browser to look at the page CenturyLink put up, tell them I was over 18 & the person holding the account. I asked her what happens next and she said in 5 to 7 days CenturyLink will check to make sure there aren’t anymore BitTorrent websites visited/files downloaded & to delete the infringing content.

        • nctritech
        • Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:59 am
        • Permalink

        Consider switching providers. CenturyLink sucks anyway. You can also disconnect the account and then set up a new account.

  135. I received a notice from my ISP also. Before I did anything I ran a few searches to see if it was even legit. Didn’t find anything useful though. A couple of days later I clicked the link, entered the case number. As I’m waiting for the page to load I’m thinking they’re going to offer to let me pay them a few hundred dollars. When I scrolled down, I literally jumped out of my chair! They listed 25 items at $250 per, giving me a total of $6250.00 That’s only 1/5th of my income before taxes. I did notice they listed several if not all the material more than once. I thought that was a little fishy. Needless to say I’ve been sweatin it until I came across your site. I feel 90% better about the whole deal. Still worried a little bit, though.
    Great job putting all this together. I just wish I’d have found it the first time. Keeping my fingers crossed and my lips shut! Oh yeah, NO MORE FILE SHARING!

  136. Anonymous from March 5, 2013 at 3:43 am here, been a long time since I read these comments and people still getting in a huff over these scare tactics. I am going to summarize the steps as briefly as I can and hopefully some new people see this early on.
    If you get a DMCA notice in your email:
    Do not visit any websites. Do not call, email, or contact anyone. Save the message and delete the email. Do not pay anyone or admit guilt (same thing because paying a settlement requires you to admit wrongdoing, leaving you open to further extortion). Preferably, stop the offending activity or find a way to mask your IP. These emails are cheap attempts by these people to scare you into paying them without them having to prove or do any work.
    99.999% of the cases will end here and nothing will come of it.
    If you get a physical letter from your ISP talking about a subpoena for your identity:
    Consult an attorney and use the resources on dietrolldie.com to fight them. The first step is filing a motion to quash the subpoena and prevent them from getting your identity. If you are a college student use your access to free legal aid at your university.
    Remember, everything these scumbags do is designed to minimize their workload and try to use fear and a desire for resolution so people will give up and pay them. They do this because they cannot afford to go the distance legally and they know they cannot win that way. Their worst nightmare is someone who educates themselves and is willing to fight them, they don’t mess with those people. They count on people being afraid and giving up and paying them, that is the only way they ever get money.
    If you are still freaking out and afraid because of an email, you can relax, really. Remember, nothing legal has even happened yet. It is pretty much an automated warning at this point and your identity has not been leaked and you have not gotten in trouble. Don’t be afraid of these bullies with their big language. Don’t let them get to you so easily. They really are just trolls who depend on frightened people coming to them.
    Be well friends.

  137. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not only going through the provided address (got a card in the email from charter), but paying, figuring that a small amount now would be better than any potential legal fees. CEG sent me an electronic copy of a release form against the copyright holder. Given that it was this one and only item they went after me for and I’ve stayed away from peer-to-peer stuff almost entirely, I would hope it goes away (that they’re satisfied with their pound of flesh). Checked rfcexpress and the group in question has only 2 listings, both of which are from several years ago so that seems to appear to be the case.

  138. Wow, after reading this ENTIRE thread, it amazes me how many people can read 100 people describe a problem, give the solution to IGNORE THE NOTICES, AND DO NOT PAY THE FINES.. you are feeding the monster and giving these lowlifes a reason to continue to threaten anyone and everyone for a buck. again. if you have a question, its been answered…. DO NOT PAY. DO NOT RESPOND. DO NOT PAY, and, oh yeah, DO NOT PAY!
    seriously, its been asked and answered. just read above, and then remember DO NOT RESPOND, DO NOT PAY! PLEASE USE YOUR HEADS!
    :^)


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  1. [...] I have related articles you might be interested in: Did your ISP forward you a DMCA copyright infringement notice? and Analysis and raw contents of a real copyright infringement [...]

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