Adam Sweeny

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Posts posted by Adam Sweeny


  1. Hey qwert, I hope it works out ok for you and I don't want to ruin your sleep, but... you're not the first one to go to a "cheaper" lawyer. Check out BigBafana for example. Choosing 150 Euros vs 595 Euros seems smart at the time, however:

    - There's a good chance you could be charged for possible future correspondence on this case.

    - A bigger risk is that there could be new letters/cases coming for other downloads, for which you will have to pay a new fee for.

    - And perhaps riskiest of all, he got you to sign an unmodified letter. I've said this before, the modified letter sent from the "expensive" law firm sh#ts over everything else.

     

    I honestly hope it works out ok for you, but anyone else reading this please just beware.

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  2.  

    He told me to never contact them and never sign anything

    "Due to the current uncertainty concerning the legal situation, we would strongly advise you not to stick you head in the sand and do nothing. If you do so, the opposition law firm may seek an injunction against you. Injunction proceedings are extremely costly and carry a lot of legal risks."

    I'd rather believe in a lawyer than in a web-forum, pardon me if I'm wrong.

    Advice above is from Solmeckes FAQ, not just a web forum

    @ Hutcho, not necessarily the worst advice,... he just failed to mention that the OP should have read this post first.

    "You may find examples of modified declarations to cease and desist on the internet. However, caution is needed, as there are often examples of modified declarations to cease and desist which do not fulfil all the necessary legal requirements. Should the declaration be too narrowly formulated the opposition law firm may decide to reject it and seek an injunction to enforce their pre-formulated declaration to cease and desist. As a result, the content of the declaration should be carefully considered. The declaration should contain as much information as necessary and as little information as possible. If in doubt, it is advisable to seek legal assistance with this very important (and possibly expensive) aspect."

    I can confirm that the Solmecke letter is much, much, much better than the link you posted.

    How many people have had to appear in court after following this advice? Of the 8 people I know of personally "none"

    Those who did it with a lawyer, around 2%. Those who went DIY not sure, although my bet would be higher than 2%. At this point you would be kicking yourself that you just didn't go with a lawyer in the first place.

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  3. Yep i can relate. See my earlier post from last year, not surprising that a few ausländerbehördes havent heard about it. Telling them youve already got a job lined up might have been a mistake, ive found that giving german offices as little info as possible i.e. the bare minimum requirements works better. Same thing happened to me at a few of them. Also don't mention that it might be a long term move. Stick to the "working holiday" theme or they will definitely try to push a different, more difficult to obtain visa.

     

    I can think of three options, in order of what I think would work best; first you could try again in oz (with a different interviewer) and dont mention the job thing. If you're already here now then refer to my earlier post for tips on getting it done here. Again, dont mention the job or give extra information that could only confuse things. Third, actually go for the work visa, but thats gonna come down to what the job is and what you want, im about to start this process myself but dont have much experience with requirements and potential issues, hence my last post.

     

    Good luck, it can def be a nightmare but youll get there!

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  4. Does anyone know once you've got the working holiday visa what else you need to legally start working? Besides a job? I've seen mention of work permits and tax numbers floating around on the forum but usually in relation to other EU country citizens or freelancers, I haven't been able to find something specific for us WHVers

     

    Thanks in advance :)

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  5.  

    You're an idiot. It makes you a HUGE target. You have admitted guilt. You're on the short list if WF or any other one of these filth is forced to actually take someone to court to prove they're not just demand-scamming (which they are).

     

    No I haven't

     

     

    Because none exist?

     

    Are you asking a question, or are you pretending to know something more and just not saying it?

     

     

    Would that be the same gut feeling that you had when you figured torrents are so ubiquitous and your list was so small that you'd never show up on their radar? You claim "lots of research" and yet have nothing to back up your claims or gut feelings.

     

    Wrong again. Feel free to share any game changing research you've discovered champ.

     

     

    Speak for yourself, Sunshine. I read this thread and much other information. Having paid attention to it all I didn't contact WF myself, wouldn't talk to any lawyer who would go the negotiation route, and haven't paid jack shit, save for a one-time specialist lawyer fee. So maybe I should thank you for taking the heat for me.

     

    So we've done exactly the same thing. Are you actually retarded?

     

     

    woof.

     

    That answers that question then

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  6. 595 euro is out of court costs only, so it includes negotiating a reduced settlement if it comes to that, and then yes if it goes to court then there will be more costs. If I did eventually get taken to court then yes technically I've wasted 595 euro, but I believe it will be a good investment as it makes me a much smaller target like I posted earlier.

     

    No I don't have any stats to back this up, it's just my gut feel after lots of research. In the end all of us here are just making educated guesses in accordance with our individual situation and risk adverseness.

     

    Other things that factored in my decision making were that I had been torrenting for months before the first letter so the chances of more coming were high. Secondly I am also living with a german family and didnt want to deal with the follow up letters, the first one was hard enough to explain. I would have been more tempted to go it alone if my situation was different, but I still think Solmecke was a good investment.

     

    For those in Munich, I would add that while shopping around originally for a lawyer I called some of the others recommended here and elsewhere, and a few of them did mention that Munich was WF's favourite hunting ground, and that up here in NRW the chances of me being taken to court were much lower.

     

    Day Glow Dave do yourself a favour and read through the thread over the weekend. Fair has nothing to do with it.

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  7. I dont want to go to court OR settle, I just want them to fuck off, which is effectively what the reply from the Solmecke lawyers tells them to do in 11 pages of german legal jargon.

     

    595E includes all out of court fees. My letter was from waldorf frommer and I havent gotten anything more from them since lawyering up.

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  8. Here's what happens if you go it alone. Don't send a modified letter and you're up for tens of thousands. Send a modified letter and they'll still chase you for the fine amount. Either way those flying solo are the easiest fish to fry and the first to be summoned to court. Enjoy being added to the list of example cases of big wins that they use to scare the next victims.

     

    Personally I went with Solmecke because its my best chance of avoiding paying any settlement money or going to court (around 1-2% of theirs do I believe), plus they cover all future letters from other infringements which I know could be coming, all for a 595 Euro one off payment to the "good guys". The correspondence these guys fight back with is impressive, plus they speak english if you need it. They have the best and highest number of references in this thread for good reason.

     

    Problem with going with a gunstig lawyer like big bafana did is he's had to pay two lawyer fees already plus a settlement, so that 150E is now 670E and who knows what else is coming. In my opinion it would have been cheaper and safer with the other guys.

     

    After 84 pages it seemed like a no brainer to me but the choice is yours. This is not law advice ;)

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  9. The more I read these the more I dislike this country. I have a question, if its a small village as you say, have you tried going to the bus station with a respected local you're acquainted with and try to mediate with the chef and/or driver?

     

    Good luck anyway, I hope you don't pay a cent, although in this country i dont like your chances. Ignore those here living in glass houses. I think your biggest mistake was not getting a witness to go with you to the police at the time. Assuming he found someone to back him up then 2 locals vs. 1 johnny foreigner doesn't look good.

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  10. Something new and interesting - while shopping around for a law firm i tried a few of the most popular german speaking only lawyers to see if it would be a bit cheaper. Turns out the prices were similar but what was interesting was that half of them use VERY different tactics to the other half.

     

    Tactic 1 is similar to what is discussed here as recommended by Christian Solmecke at WBS i.e. modified preventative unterlassungserklarung for damage control and then either potential reduced settlement or see what happens.

     

    Tactic 2 the law firms DO NOT send a modified unterlassungserklarung, rather they respond with a letter saying the internet account holder didn't do it, it could have been anyone in the household e.g. children/partners/guests, reject everything and offer no payment. Basically fuck off in technical german law jargon.

     

    What is discussed in this thread suggests that tactic 2 makes you liable for a lot more money and should fail miserably in court, but the law firms from both camps boast similar statistics with thousands of happy clients and around 1% ending up in court.

     

    I'll keep researching to see what the differences are in the final outcomes for the 1% that do end up in court, but i thought it was an interesting find not previously mentioned here, has anyone used a lawyer that used this tactic?

     

    Personally I'll stick with tactic 1, seems less risky and who knows that 1% that end up in court could grow to 100% soon seeing as everyone keeps getting letters to restart the 3 year timer.

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  11. Congrats mate nice one! Gives me hope that I'll find something sooner or later.

     

    I've sent out a bunch of unsolicited applications to the bigger firms but no luck so far. Would definitely appreciate a few tips when you get a chance:

     

    1. Who did you use to get your lebenslauf and bewerbungsschreiben well written?

    2. What resources did you use for job searching?

    3. What did you find as the most beneficial language learning methods/resources to prepare for working in a civil eng company?

     

    Cheers

    Adam

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  12. Obviously realised a bit too late that using torrents in germany is pretty dorf

     

    I'm currently halfway through reading this thread (lol) and think I'll go with a lawyer, mainly because its in the landlords name not mine so im willing to pay a few hundred to avoid the awkwardness of more letters. Atm they think its just a scam (which it half is!)

     

    I've made contact with a few firms, I'm trying to find the best value firm that won't end up costing more than paying the fine myself between their fee and the expected settlement amount, and will also cover me for future letters which could very likely be coming, at no extra charge. Will post price/service comparison to help everyone when it's all done.

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  13. Hi all

     

    As an aussie who just (OCTOBER 2014) got the working holiday visa after a hell of a battle, thought id add some of my tips for those of you looking to apply, in order of importance!

     

    1. If you can, apply in oz! I know it says youre encouraged to apply here, but its WAY HARDER than they make it sound. Seriously, trust me. If youre already here, dont leave it to the last week or two. STRESSFUL!

    2. DONT register your address before checking if the local auslanderbehorder know what theyre doing (see tip 3). Once registered you can only apply at the local office, or you must change your address again which is a pain.

    3. The smaller towns auslanderbehorders have NO IDEA about the working holiday visa. Before you go in person, call them up and ask them if they know what it is. If not, ask to speak to someone more senior of the boss (chef). If they still don't know what it is, dont even bother trying to explain it to them. Here are some to avoid:

    - Warendorf (said I needed a job first!)

    - Hamm (said I needed to fly back to aus to apply!)

    - Bielefeld (said I needed to apply in aus!)

    - Cologne (said I needed $8,500 euros and a rental agreement!)

    4. Berlin is a pain. I was looking at driving 4 hours to Berlin at one stage because of how hopeless the local offices were, but i was looking at booking a month in advance to register address then another month in advance for the visa. You can get it same day if you do it right.

    5. It all depends on choosing the right office, and getting the right person. I can personally recommend Munster as a good place to get it done, you can also register your address (meldebescheinigung) at the same time which is awesome. Although, even there some of the people didnt know it and I had to ask for someone else. So stupid! It seriously comes down to luck, I was so close to flying to england or back to oz.

    6. Once you find an office that knows what theyre doing, call the local einwohnermeldeamt to find out how easy it is to register an address. The answer youre looking for is just an address and your pass, no rent (mieten) or anything else. Then you actually need an address; I was lucky enough to have a friend in Munster from couchsurfing in oz whos address I used. I was actually living with my german gf in another city but the local office there was Scheisse. I asked if a hostel address would work and they said no way. So basically without a friend or renting a place youre screwed. Although they dont check it, they will send a letter their when your pass is ready to pickup so I wouldnt use a random address (although i nearly did).

    7. A german friend to help you call a few offices. Its pretty ridiculous that a tourist office only speaks german, but seriously most of them dont speak english or refuse to.

     

    Good luck! Yes it's a joke how unorganised and hard it is but its worth it once its done :)

     

    Cheers

    Adam

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