Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

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This is why having lawyer insurance in Germany is important. And it is not that expensive.

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What you can find out is:

-The address of the ISP (by looking up the IP on ripe.net)

-The rough location of a user (if you're lucky and intermediate hops have tell-tale names like berlin-03.isp.com)

 

 

Correct.

 

 

What you're talking about is nothing but route tracing of ip packets. I really don't want to expose those tricks here to the public for obvious reasons. But believe me, that is not it. I have done that myself few times as well (without going illegal).

 

 

No you haven't, and you're not fooling anyone.

 

The IP addresses that you are given by your ISP belong to them. Who the IP block range belongs to is public knowledge. Using a traceroute, they could possibly follow packets to your IP to a general range, but never to an address, especially if you are living in an apartment block like most people in German cities. It is just as bal00 described it above. They would have to contact your ISP to get your address information, and the ISP would have to keep logs as to who they gave what IP out to at a particular time. I'm not sure if they are required by law to do this in Germany.

 

Unless you can provide proof that it is possible (which you can't), please don't talk anymore about it.

 

 

The letter came in regular mail, not signed for. The worrying thing is how our correct address was discovered...

 

 

I would also be interested to know how they got your address. Who is your ISP? It's possible that your ISP relented to a simple request from these lawyers.

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The letter came in regular mail, not signed for. The worrying thing is how our correct address was discovered...

 

 

They got your address by asking your ISP for it, claiming you violated copyright "to a non-private extent". Since the 1st of September, 2008, they have a right to ask for a user's address from the ISP rather than pressing charges against an unknown individual and having the state attorney subpoena the data. The effect is the same: They get your address and can sue you in a civil suit.

 

Sources:

- http://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/urheberrecht-auskunftsanspruch-gegen-tauschboersennutzer_002444.html

- http://bundesrecht.juris.de/urhg/__101.html

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Couple of good links there.

 

The conclusion seems to be that if you are sharing in a "commercial scale", then they can just ask your ISP for the details. What commercial scale means is up for discussion. One court in Cologne, it was said to be one full album. In another court it was said to be 3000 songs or 200 films. If you are sharing one movie, the question of whether they have broken the law by asking your ISP would surely come into question. In any case, it still seems to be as long as you're not uploading, then you're still pretty safe in Germany.

 

I wonder if anyone can tell us if the ISP by law has to store the information that links what IP address a particular user had at a particular time?

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I wonder if anyone can tell us if the ISP by law has to store the information that links what IP address a particular user had at a particular time?

 

 

Yes, this is part of the so-called "Vorratsdatenspeicherung" which is a German law sind January 1, 2008. While it is due to be decided on by the Bundesverfassungsgericht, it is a law currently in effect.

 

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorratsdatenspeicherung

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No you haven't, and you're not fooling anyone.

 

The IP addresses that you are given by your ISP belong to them. Who the IP block range belongs to is public knowledge. Using a traceroute, they could possibly follow packets to your IP to a general range, but never to an address, especially if you are living in an apartment block like most people in German cities. It is just as bal00 described it above. They would have to contact your ISP to get your address information, and the ISP would have to keep logs as to who they gave what IP out to at a particular time. I'm not sure if they are required by law to do this in Germany.

 

 

 

doh! do read everything. I didn't say one can trace ip packets back to the home address, and i did say it is nothing but just ip route tracing. and i said you CAN (= not always) find the user's exact connection spot if they have a misconfigured (this is the trick!) modem. dude, i will not put how to do this on an open forum (again, for obvious reasons).. why would i want to fool people anyways? I just pointed out that the letter could be a scam.

 

 

Unless you can provide proof that it is possible (which you can't), please don't talk anymore about it.

 

Very classy!..

If you don't believe that it is possible, just ignore and move on.. ignorance is bliss.

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I didn't say one can trace ip packets back to the home address, and i did say it is nothing but just ip route tracing. and i said you CAN (= not always) find the user's exact connection spot if they have a misconfigured (this is the trick!) modem.

 

Even if this is possible, which perhaps it is, I would think a lawyer is very unlikely to start legal proceedings on the basis of information found out like that.

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Even if this is possible, which perhaps it is, I would think a lawyer is very unlikely to start legal proceedings on the basis of information found out like that.

 

Exactly! That's why it can be a scam. Besides, your network might have be not been secured and somebody nearby might have used it and downloaded stuff.

In either case, if I were patsywest, I would first call that law firm, and my isp to ask the story behind the letter. It is very hard to prove the intention behind the download. It might have been a total mistake as well.

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Yes the film my son downloaded was 'Far Cry', back in June of this year

 

This is the questionable download. The OP admitted that it was her son, not a neighbor. The main concern here is how they got her home address.

 

I'm interested in knowing if it is a scam or not.

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What website did the movie come from? Could it have be set up intentionally for this scam? It seems fishy that it is the smae movie. I would throw the letter and claim ingnorance if it wasnt signed for maybe it got lost in the mail I would assume anything offical would need to be tracek and traced but you would need to check this!

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Do not under any circumstances send back the unterlassungs thing they sent you. This will have parts in admitting you did what they accuse you of and something saying that from now on you will no longer use P2P or whatever they say you used.

 

At the risk of of being shouted down, this may not be a scam - there are a few Lawyer firms in Germany sending this stuff out. Some are acting on behalf of copyright holders. However, it not being a scam doesn't stop it from being a cash grab by the firm. It is in my opinion law at perhaps its worst.

 

Main thing is not to ignore this, they can (however unlikely) take you to court over this and if you have ignored it, it will look bad for you.

 

To answer the question above.

 

Downloading/sharing copyrighted content is illegal. The law firm (or the comp they are acting for) use software to sneak a peek at what you are sharing/downloading by just logging onto the same network (p2p etc) as you and seeing what it out there.

 

They get your IP address and apply for a court order to pursue a criminal case. They then drop this as they have no clue if they would win and then use the info to open a civil case (the info would include your address).

 

This is how it happens, as it is a civil case the burden of proof is different and they just sit back and hope poeple will pay up.

This is a problem as, the judge looking at the case will have no clue about how unreliable the technology is. The poeple, who produce the snooping software will say 'yeah, our software is great and 100% accurate' - your defense would contest that.

 

However as far as I know, no cases have actually been brought to court as to do so risks a judgment against the plaintiff - this would in effect end their business.

In a way you way you are lucky that going to a lawyer is worth the cost, some people et this letters for 150 etc, which can be less than getting a lawyers letter send to them on your behalf.

 

Every career stream has it lowlife scum, in IT you have virus writers, for law you have people like these. They will say 'we are the good guys, we are working for copyright holders' however if that were true, they would take you to court as you have broken the law...

 

However this is about cash. Check with a lawyer and see what they say. DO not assume this is a scam.

 

 

If they send 40,000 letters and only 2% of the people pay, they are still running a nice profit.

 

 

Other peope on the board have had experience of this I think, I can't remember who but do a search on the topic.

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This is the questionable download. The OP admitted that it was her son, not a neighbor. The main concern here is how they got her home address.

 

Which part of "they asked the ISP for it" does not satisfy you?

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Having read the whole thread at last.

 

I asked a friend who's niece is going through her law degree at the moment regarding the legaliyt of Streaming copyrighted content.

 

They were taught that this is subject to the same law as Downloading - it is illegal.

 

There are quite a few technical differences depending on how it is streamed but the point is that you are receiving/viewing the content.

 

If anyone has any info ((as in real info, not just an opinion), links to legal websites etc) please post as this could have changed since they had the lecture earlier this year.

 

@Onurtg - this isn't a scam in the normal sense of the word. This is a law firm using legal procedures to make money. As far as I know they are not concerned with who did what, just where.

 

Depenind on the time between the 'doing' and the letter you receive your ISP will only be able to tell you they had to give your details to the law firm. They may also no longer actually have the info.

 

For me this is the part that makes little sense, how can you prosecute someone with information that can no longer be verified - they could just make anything up. No one can check it.

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Which part of "they asked the ISP for it" does not satisfy you?

The part where "Simply asking the ISP" is illegal. If they want the info. then they must files criminal charges against you to obtain a search warrant

to provide to the ISP in order for them to release the requested details. If the lawyer has truly gotten the OP's details legally, then there will be court

papers on file in either the lawyers state/local court or the OP's. Either way contacting the courts and requesting a copy of this Court order/warrant

would be the next logical step. If it doesn't exist then the lawyer obtained the OPs details in an illeagal fashion and is basically trying to extort

money from the OP (AKA:Scam). If this is in fact the case then the OP may have a good case for a counter suit.

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The part where "Simply asking the ISP" is illegal.

 

 

You have clearly not read §101 sec. 2 UrhG:

http://bundesrecht.juris.de/urhg/__101.html

 

Or, in a more readable (yet lawyeresque) explanation:

http://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/urheberrecht-auskunftsanspruch-gegen-tauschboersennutzer_002444.html

 

The filing of criminal charges is -- meanwhile -- dispensable in order to acquire the address of the IP address user. And doing so is not only legal, it is -- by the parliamentary legislator -- even intended and preferred over filing charges for the sole purpose of postal address determination.

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elwood, I need no satisfaction. Not my thread.

 

Just echoing the OP's concern as posted yesterday:

 

The worrying thing is how our correct address was discovered...
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@Onurtg - this isn't a scam in the normal sense of the word. This is a law firm using legal procedures to make money. As far as I know they are not concerned with who did what, just where.

 

 

Yeah, but what doesn't make sense to me is the fine's reducing with early payment. We agree that to obtain the contact information of an IP holder from the ISP there must be an open case at a court. If there is an open case, then it means the legal process has already started and they have shown adequate evidence to retrieve the address. In this case the law firm (or the copyright holders) will win the case and get a lot of money from the accused. If the case to obtain personal info doesn't involve the fine for copyright violation, then they need to open a second case to get that 5K euros, which will give them more hassle and will cost extra.

Suppose that the OP has payed the reduced fine in time. Then the lawyers will withdraw the case from the court and this will still cost them a few hundred euros (while they get just 850 Euros).

 

Also, don't you think that the fine is too 'payable'?? That's it smells like a scam.

 

----

 

Alright, right before I decided to finish this post, i googled for "illegal download scam". Here are what I came across with:

 

http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/18/t1388915-illegal-download-scam/

 

We got a letter like this several months ago from some lawyer firm called Davenport Lyons, who represented Atari. They accused us of downloading a PC game and fined us £500. They were such a crappy law firm that they responded to 3 letters we sent them, then claimed that they had no response to any of the letters and were going to take us to court.

 

Fortunatly, Atari realised how much Davenport Lyons sucked and severed all ties with them. Which company sent you this letter?

 

 

Here is another: http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/3953-new-scam-fines-for-illegal-downloading and http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/429360/acs-law-scam-or-real-letters-asking/

 

 

There are some law firms trying their best chance as in http://torrentfreak.com/youre-caught-downloading-dream-pinball-settle-now-or-go-broke/

 

 

So, do you have your name on the letter, or is it just sent to the address to some "Sir/Madam"? And, do you know whether if you were holding that IP on the letter on that day? It can very well be a random IP. Just your calling your ISP can help a lot for clearing things up.

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Yeah, but what doesn't make sense to me is the fine's reducing with early payment. We agree that to obtain the contact information of an IP holder from the ISP there must be an open case at a court. If there is an open case, then it means the legal process has already started and they have shown adequate evidence to retrieve the address. In this case the law firm (or the copyright holders) will win the case and get a lot of money from the accused. If the case to obtain personal info doesn't involve the fine for copyright violation, then they need to open a second case to get that 5K euros, which will give them more hassle and will cost extra.

 

 

You are talking nonsense again. Read the previous posts about the law that requires ISP's to hand over details if there is a commercial amount of copyrighted material being shared, and the one that explains they can start a criminal trial to get the address, then drop it and pursue it in a civil court now that they have the address.

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The fine is 'too' payable to make it more expensive that going to a lawyer to fight it...

 

That in itself is not a scam. Some of these firms have the backing of the copyright holders. A legal scam is somewhat down the road of a contradiction int terms - a little like honest Lawyer :o

 

However from what I have read, people who pay can get more letters....

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