Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

2,700 posts in this topic

I am not encouraging nobody to steal or use torrents

but at least if anyone want to use the torrent protocol can stay safe.

 

Of course, we all have to pay for a movie, a game, some music or some programs, is the normal way.

 

Think about a seedbox like having a safe sex.

Somebody will f+§* up eventually but at least you are protected :)

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Metall,

 

Why are you reading this specific forum? Is it just so you can go around tryng to pick on people?

 

I don't know where you got "Pentecostal Christian" from, i couldn't be arsed looking up Pentecostal on wikipedia .

 

This form for the most part, is about helping people deal with issues both legal and technical issues .

 

As Mr Bear has pointed out in a roundabout way, torrenting is a protocol, just like http . it's of great use for many people and companies as it's multi peer, No single server. Many companies use it for this reason to keep

down their bandwidth costs. Of course it's best known for stealing copyright material.

 

Seedbox, for me is about speed more than privacy, i have vpn already. ISP"s throttle torrent downloading speed and using seedboxes your download is done in minutes. The privacy is an added bonus.

 

i hope we can go back to discussing legal and technical issues in a helpful and friendly manner.

 

Thanks,

Pat

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I am using a vpn , but forgot for 10 minutes to enable it while downloading a bittorent , got a Waldorf letter and sent back a modified UE. Lets see.

 

I'm in an almost identical situation (VPN dropped out for a matter of minutes at the end of last year, letter from WF a couple of days ago), about to either send a letter myself or contact a lawyer. Have you had a reply yet?

 

A lot of lawyers websites say that self-modified UEs mean nothing, does anybody have any experience of this? How long does it usually take for them to come back if the modified UE does not shake them off?

 

Thanks.

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Hi Wikins567,

 

I got another letter a few weeks ago, i think they were looking for some money. i ignored the letter, though every time i get one it's like a cancer letter.

Baldoo's comments swayed me to ignore them. In the last resort i will use Solmecke as laywers. I don't want a single penny going to W&F . I have kept notes on tactics/important info i need to know. It might be helpful for others.

 

3rd feb 2015 notes

Get the modified UE here http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=279097&st=2000&p=3271975&#entry3271975 see post from Duschoux who advises to keep sending the modified UE, he got letters about 3 times.

 

or here for the actual doc https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-fR_WNkktoUg_0TtC-IoGxu26gHSjrQt5-p22YmW3oc/edit

 

if you need to get a lawyer try Solmecke from sweeneys post

http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=279097&st=2075

also read Solmecke's faq pdf from here https://www.wbs-law.de/eng/copyright-eng/file-sharing-frequently-asked-questions-36495/

 

9th feb

setup seedbox yourseedbox.com/page/shared_seedbox , 1,89 month

 

Feb 19th

check out the two comments from baldoo

http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=279097&st=2100

ince this is apparently still going on, I figure I should post an update to my case as well:

 

Received two Abmahnungen in 2011 (from Kornmeier & Partner and Bindhardt, Fiedler, Zerbe), sent each one a mod UE and didn't pay. Received 'yeah, but you still need to pay letters' from both of them shortly after and ignored those. BFZ left me alone, K&P sent another 2-3 letters over 3.5 years, the last one in late 2014 (with an offer to settle for 100€, heh). Ignored all of them.

 

It's 2015, so their claims are now past the statute of limitations (rest of 2011 plus 3 full years), so it's done and dusted. Total cost was 4.40€ for postage to send the mod UEs.

 

good luck and keep us updated.

Pat

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Now i know this thread is about Torrents , Laywers and such problems but I stumbled across xbmc (am i the last one on earth to know this ?) and am wondering how i lived before that.

Watch any live tv station in the world, watch back any tv program/show , movies, music news, books magazines .

 

I use it for live irish tv mostly (Gaelic games and rugby, quality is live t.v) and am just getting my feet wet on the rest of it. Check out the links below . it could be an alternative/complement to bittorrenting for a lot of us. I can see myself using bittorrent less and less. with bittorrent (popcorn time excepted, great bittorrent app by the way) you have to download the content before watching and take care of deleting it from your harddrive before your harddrive fils up, also if needed making sure your seeding ratio is kept up.

 

All this is gone with xbmc, no downloads (unless you want to download a show, haven't done it) , just simply select and watch. I don't know how the technology works but as you can tell i'm well impressed. would like to hear view on that.

 

some irish addons

top 5 add ons

install pheonix

some irish channels recommended by this guide

5 recommended addons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPTBlfYVu0U

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Thanks for the response.

 

What did the most recent letters say? Were they giving you a chance to still settle and was the amount the same?

 

I'm thinking that I send the mod UE myself, then resort to lawyers if things escalate.

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Hi Wikins567,

 

I've had two cases/events from Frommer. First one about 2 years ago. Sent the modified UE , i might have got one other letter afterwards, can't remember. Heard nothing since about that, not even a christmas card.

Second one this january after my vpn slip up, sent the modified UE, got another letter a few weeks ago , they seemed to be looking for money. i'll have to look at the letter again for the amount and details. I think it was an offer, i could refuse :)

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I've had some experience with copyright infringement in the US. Of course it's different, but there are a couple of things that might be worth considering:

 

1. IF a response is made by you (wikins567) it should not come from your personal pen. It should come from the desk of the biggest, baddest, most well known law firm specializing in copyright/internet law, the ones with the most devestatingly impressive track record of court actions. This will be more relevant than the actual content of your letter.

 

2. No one in this thread has mentioned what seems to to be a relevant part of the picture: court costs (court fees).

Normally a law firm in a civil action is governed by what the hiring client is willing to pay for their time. The purse strings govern the level of commitment of legal action from the firm.

In this case in Deutschland, the initiating law firms involved are like headless horsemen, their source of income is dependent on their own initiative, not that of a client. That drastically changes the rules of engagement. I'm not sure of how it works in Germany re: court costs: I think they exist, no? I think they vary, dependent on how long the case is, and how high the amount that is sought.

 

The reason that's relevant is 1. the best deterrent against this kind of legal action is the threat that a lost case could result in financial setback for the firm initiating it. And, if a law firm like Frommer loses such a case, depending on the amount sought and length of the case, court costs could amount to an impressive setback. If they lost and had to pay high court fees, it would certainly up the ante on their future activities, and - it would also send a message to that community of firms which engage in that kind of entrepreneurial law.

 

The question then is, do those precedents exist where a firm like Frommer lost a case and had to pay the court fees, because if they do, it should figure prominently in any discussion of best way to respond to such a threat. The best ones to answer the precedents question would be aforementioned biggest, baddest, most well known law firm specializing in copyright/internet law (Solmecke was mentioned).

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There is a pdf link here which goes through the ins and outs of court fees and how it works in Germany.

https://www.wbs-law.de/eng/copyright-eng/file-sharing-frequently-asked-questions-36495/

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The problem with this line of thinking is that:

a. in 99.99% of these cases the defendant actually did do the filesharing/torrenting in question

b. the plaintiff law firms (Waldorf etc) have evidence in the form of ip address statements from the ip provider

 

This means that those cases are pretty much unwinnable, even for the best (most badass) lawyers. Civil court cases are decided on the weight of evidence. The plaintiff lawyer has their bit of evidence - and the defense has none at all. The only thing they could do is put the defendant under oath to say that they didn't do it - which would be perjury because of (a) and anyway probably not believed by the judge who has seen this sort of thing a thousand times before.

 

The vast majority of these cases never go to court because the plaintiff lawyers have so many of them to pursue and they also know that a a fair percentage of their victims will have no money to pay them anyway. They just keep hounding as many as they can knowing that most people will eventually settle and that is far easier than the trouble going into a courthouse.

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A lot of lawyers websites say that self-modified UEs mean nothing, does anybody have any experience of this? How long does it usually take for them to come back if the modified UE does not shake them off?

The Unterlassungserklärung will not shake them off (modified or not) for good. They always want two things:

1. Unterlassungserklärung in which you agree to not infringe their client's copyrights in the future.

2. The money (costs of the lawyer to do the Abmahnung + hypothetical damage done to the copyright holder)

 

The modification of the Unterlassungserklärung is only done to make it more fair to you. For example you can agree to not infringe the copyright in the future but without admitting guild for the allegation at hand. And you can limit the guarantee to the specific movie/TV episode/song instead of all of the copyright holder's works. (Plus some other things. The more reputable lawyers will have done most of these things already so today there is not always much to modify, if anything.)

 

If you only send the Unterlassungserklärung but do not pay you can be pretty sure you will receive more letters. Usually, they become more and more threatening. If you ignore all of them (never ignore those from a court) the lawyers only have two choices: either they sue you or they don't. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee you that they won't. It takes years for the statue of limitation to kick in. If they got your name from your ISP in early 2015 this will at the earliest be on 1.1.2019 and they have a tendency to sue at the end of that. So not hearing from them for 1 or 2 years can give false hope. To make things worse the statue can be extended under some circumstances.

 

(I am not saying anything about whether or not you should send an Unterlassungserklärung. That's for you to decide and is best discussed with a specialized lawyer. It is very dependent on your individual case. The Unterlassungserklärung will bind you for at least 30 years and the decision about whether or not to sign it should be well-thought-out.)

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Sneaker, you are missing one very important point here (which has been made several times in this thread): Once you send out a modified UE, they can take you to court only for the legal fees of the Abmahnung, a couple of hundreds of Euros at the worst. (And usually they just send a few more letters and eventually leave you alone.) If you just ignore their letters and do not send out any UE, they can sue you for the damage which can go into the tens of thousands of Euros. It is therefore essential that people do react to an Abmahnung by sending out a modified UE!

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A lot of lawyers websites say that self-modified UEs mean nothing

 

Do you know the principle of cui bono? If you send your own modified UE without their help, who will pay for their children's dinner?

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Sneaker, you are missing one very important point here (which has been made several times in this thread): Once you send out a modified UE, they can take you to court only for the legal fees of the Abmahnung, a couple of hundreds of Euros at the worst. (And usually they just send a few more letters and eventually leave you alone.) If you just ignore their letters and do not send out any UE, they can sue you for the damage which can go into the tens of thousands of Euros. It is therefore essential that people do react to an Abmahnung by sending out a modified UE!

 

You are misinterpreting my post, perhaps I should edit it to make my point more clear. I am not saying anything about whether you should or should not send out an Unterlassungserklärung - that is specific to your individual case. I am only saying that sending out a (modified) Unterlassungserklärung will almost certainly not satisfy them as they will still request the money.

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I am, btw, not sure I interpret your post correctly. If you are saying that after agreeing to the Unterlassungserklärung they can only claim the lawyer's processing costs but not the compensation for the copyright holder's damage I think you are mistaken.

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Hi Sneaker, I think this time it was me who should have been clearer. :)

You are right that in principle they could still come after you for the original damages, but AFAIK this never happens.

 

If they sue you because they did not receive a UE (i.e. to force you to sign a UE), the Streitwert is the amount of damages (that they claim) and therefore the court and lawyers' fees are very high. This is something that you absolutely want to avoid.

 

Once you have signed the UE, they only sue for their own fees that they demand for sending the Abmahnung, so the Streitwert is now just the fees and therefore very much lower.

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I still think you are mistaken. Do you have any source? Because I cannot find anything about that on any site dedicated to p2p Abmahnungen, neither on lawyer nor layman sites. If it were true everyone would present this as a possibility to get out cheap as the lawyer fees for the first Abmahnung are now capped IIRC. For example Waldorf Frommer only asks for 169.50 Euro for a TV episode (not including claim for damage), 215 Euro for a movie. I think many people would be willing to pay that to get it over with.

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Two questions regarding strategy if receiving an Abmahnung for p2p copyright infringement:

 

1. Source of evidence:

There are only 2 ways to get a person's IP address who is downloading/uploading anything including copyrighted material via P2P file sharing. One way is to have a p2p file sharing software running, downloading something. Then you can simply read the other peers' IP addresses that you are connected to sharing/downloading the file. So if the predatory lawyer's firms are gathering IP addresses that way - even for 1 minute - they are themselves breaking the law by downloading/uploading copyrighted material, exactly the same as the one they are accusing.

 

In which case they could be asked to elucidate the method by which they gathered evidence, and they have to admit they themselves broke the law. In most court situations if evidence is gathered illegally, then it is not admissible.

 

2. Privacy

The second way anyone including predatory law firms can gather IP information is to ask an ISP who of their customers is downloading with P2P software. But my god - is that f***king legal?? If it is, then there is no difference between these law firms and the government's enforcement agencies. That is bizarre if true.

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