Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

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I agree but I think it's better if you never get the court summons in the first place. I believe if you make it clear to them that you won't be signing anything and that you will engage a lawyer to counter sue that they will drop the matter and not even waste the money on the summons. And you'll have written confirmation from them that they consider the matter closed.

 

It's up to the individual though. 

 

One thing I would definitely agree with is not to engage a lawyer before the court summons arrives. That money is gone if they don't take it to court (which they won't if they receive a solicitor's letter in response). But once they take the decision to sue you and it's a court matter, they will be covering your legal fees once they lose.

 

I also fought them myself without a lawyer but I'm very reluctant to suggest it is the way to go even after you've been summonsed. 

 

Each to their own however. I'm glad you beat them :-)

 

 

 

 

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THe court summons will come anyway, but if you contact them they know that you live at that address. I was advised never to contact them, wait for the yellow letter, and then contest all charges. The first time they did not even bother sending the yellow envelope, the second time they did and I contested it. There is a box in the form that you can tick and send back.

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Well, I did contact them and even got them to withdraw their accusation in writing and so obviously no summons ever came thereafter :-)

 

 

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I've been helping out a friend who's homeless and let him stay at my place. He's got substance abuse issues and I wanted to give him a space to detox. I specifically asked him not to download anything. He went back to Berlin two weeks ago (for a week) and I presume is off the wagon. He left a load of stuff in my place and today I just got these letters from WF and I'm freaking out.

 

They're detailing a film I know he wanted to watch - allegedly he downloaded 2 films - one of them twice. There are lots of numbers at the end of the document, with an early payment required of 1767 euro.

 

Should I even tell him? Do I get a confession from him? I can't afford these costs. I know he can't either but he's moving to Brazil so I could rightfully pin it on him and he'd have to deal with it (or not).

 

Feeling so betrayed and tired...

 

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How would you prove it was him and not you ? Presume the Internet is in your name ? Cajoling a confession out of a broke (ex) junkie about to leave the country unlikely to bear fruit. You might need a lawyer, and insurance for same.

 

WF ? Check first it is not a scam.

 

Sorry you are in this mess.

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13 hours ago, Blave said:

I've been helping out a friend who's homeless and let him stay at my place. He's got substance abuse issues and I wanted to give him a space to detox. I specifically asked him not to download anything. He went back to Berlin two weeks ago (for a week) and I presume is off the wagon. He left a load of stuff in my place and today I just got these letters from WF and I'm freaking out.

 

They're detailing a film I know he wanted to watch - allegedly he downloaded 2 films - one of them twice. There are lots of numbers at the end of the document, with an early payment required of 1767 euro.

 

Should I even tell him? Do I get a confession from him? I can't afford these costs. I know he can't either but he's moving to Brazil so I could rightfully pin it on him and he'd have to deal with it (or not).

 

Feeling so betrayed and tired...

 

Hi,

maybe it is a coincidence, maybe not...anyways for my experience with those letters you can put them in the bin.

Basically are "legal scams". Anybody can issue a "cease and desist" letter to a person he thinks is breaking a law. Ask him to stop doing that and ask for reimbursement of legal costs.

You can go to a lawyer and tell him: hey my neighbor is making noises during the night, send him a cease and desist letter. The lawyer will do and ask him to pay for his fees.

 So, there are lawyer that request traffic info from internet providers and send letters to people, and they ask them to cover the legal fees. Some people just get scared receiving the letter and pay. 

Don't need to worry, they have nothing against you.

Just forget about it and you will see they won't contact you again.

Good luck!

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3 hours ago, travelerworker said:

Basically are "legal scams". Anybody can issue a "cease and desist" letter to a person he thinks is breaking a law. Ask him to stop doing that and ask for reimbursement of legal costs.

Are you willing to back this up with your own dosh when your cunning plan goes tits up?   They run a very slick operation.  Your idea is hilarious, as if it will make them back off.  Really.

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3 hours ago, snowingagain said:

Are you willing to back this up with your own dosh when your cunning plan goes tits up?   They run a very slick operation.  Your idea is hilarious, as if it will make them back off.  Really.

They, like any scam, rely on volume. They just send thousands of letters...there is always people who get the letter and get all scared and pays without asking.

As soon as you start googling and reading you realize it's all a scam and best is to bin the letter.

Good luck!

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Does anyone know if these legal firms sending out the letters are actually representing the owners of the copyrighted material, i.e. does anyone benefit from the money the lawyers collect from offenders other than the scammers themselves(oops sorry lawyers)?

Just asking.

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Wow, after 13 years and 158 pages of this thread, people are giving out such terrible advice? Blave, I really suggest that you do *not* just bin the letter and ignore it!

 

It's possible that it's a pure scam, i.e. fake and not actually from Waldorf Frommer (now actually called Frommer Legal), so that's the first thing to find out. But it might be a valid claim, and Frommer is a legitimate law firm - double-check that it's a paper letter (not e-mail) and the contact details and bank account, etc. If it seems real, do *not* sign the form they give you (ever!) nor respond to the letter, nor hire another lawyer or service that promises to get you out of it for a lower cost, until you have a good understanding of what you're getting into. If you do hire someone to represent you, you can expect to pay at least €200 or more, and some are better than others. You can try to deal with it on your own, for example using something like this to generate a response letter: https://abmahnbeantworter.ccc.de/ - but that's more risky I would guess, and I have no idea how successful people have been with it. Some say to wait until you receive the "yellow letter" that is a court summons, before getting a lawyer, because your legal fees after that have to be paid by the complainant if they lose. But again, I don't know how advisable that really is.

 

Find a reliable source to educate yourself on the current state of things, and don't trust just any blog or forum post about it. There are lots of opinions, most of them ill-informed, many of them trying to sell you something. Information may be out of date, especially anything before 2017. Sorry, I don't have a good source to recommend offhand. I won't try to give you specific advice, because it's been a while since I had to look into it, and there have been a lot of changes in the laws over the years. In the past, the connection owner was considered liable, but that's changed, and it makes a big difference whether you actually did the sharing, or someone else. There have been court cases on exactly the situation you are describing, and rules set about how you can show that it wasn't you, and whether you are required to identify the person it was. Even so, it may or may not get you out of paying anything at all, but it won't be €1800. There's a chance you may need to throw your friend under the bus though. Good luck...

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They are extremely unlikely to go after a person of no fixed abode IMO. If it was me I would do the following but I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice:

-Sign nothing.

-Write back and deny any responsibility.

-Say you do not know who it was.

-Name the guy as being as guest of yours at the time and anyone else who had access to your WiFi at the time.

-Say you've asked and he denies it was him.

 

I would say that will be the end of it. I remember reading somewhere that just ignoring it is not a good idea as should they take you to court it will work against you if you did nothing to help identify who it might have been. 

 

Read my posts above about my experience with WF. I engaged with them and it ended with them confirming to me in writing that the matter was closed. My tenant was never pursued by WF. 

 

Once again, I am not a lawyer. If you are unsure then retain one. 

 

 

 

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I got a lawyer, it cost me over 350.

 

The guy who stayed with me refused to contribute to the costs. He left stuff at mine (clothes and some important looking letters),so I refused to send them on to him in another city. He can come request them himself but I'm not spending another cent on him - weirdly he's now accusing me of breaking the law.

 

On 18.11.2022, 17:40:21, fraufruit said:

Too bad you didn't tell your friend to use a VPN, Blave.

I said don't download anything and if he was going to be streaming anything to make sure he had a VPN - he said he would. He didn't

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Blave said:

The guy who stayed with me refused to contribute to the costs. He left stuff at mine (clothes and some important looking letters),so I refused to send them on to him in another city. He can come request them himself but I'm not spending another cent on him - weirdly he's now accusing me of breaking the law

 

Good on you.

 

You already paid for his breaking the law. What a loser.

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