Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

3,143 posts in this topic

 

Regardless of who shared this file and if the current issue is solved: how do I really guarantee I won't receive ANY more letters asking similar things from other money grabbing organizations?

 

Of course you cannot guarantee this. But if you keep your WiFi secure and download your sitcoms and mp3s from a file hoster (like every sensible person does) instead of using P2P, you can just tell them to fsck off (i.e. send a modified UE and ignore their fees) when they bother you again.

 

 

PS: How can they ask SO MUCH money? In every normal country, with first offence the punishment comes from your ISP and is usually 24 hours connection stop and a warning, not an enormous fine out of the blue! This is why this all seems fraudulent to me and am careful to really take this seriously or not.

 

They can always ask. You do not have to pay, though.

 

 

I do not think the simple act of downloading is a crime, because I can't know what I am downloading after I downloaded it.

I thought only distributing (uploading) was the crime.

 

I do not really understand the second part of the first sentence, but Unkenntnis schuetzt vor Strafe nicht.

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I do not really understand the second part of the first sentence, but Unkenntnis schuetzt vor Strafe nicht.

 

I am not talking about not knowing the law. I meant how can you be sure what you are downloading before finishing downloading it?

 

Here it is link to a video of me dancing La Macarena: http://www.megamaca/kriegrena.mp4

 

Then you download it just to find it is a copy of Mission Impossible 4.

 

Did you commit a crime? According to kato, yes.

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I am not talking about not knowing the law. I meant how can you be sure what you are downloading before finishing downloading it?

 

OK, now I see your point.

I think that technically you are in the wrong here (not sure though whether this is an administrative offence or a crime), but in practice nobody will care.

 

Actually, nobody will care about downloads at all, just do not use P2P! This whole thread is about civil charges by copyright holders and their lackeys, I have never heard about a private user facing criminal charges for sharing software/media.

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Actually, nobody will care about downloads at all, just do not use P2P!

 

I guess you do not use knives because they can be used to kill people.

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I guess you do not use knives because they can be used to kill people.

 

OK: Do not use P2P for downloading the latest episodes of The Big Bang Theory and other copyrighted material. For the latest Ubuntu installation CD, P2P is of course just fine.

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Hey Guys,

 

Looking for a bit of advice here, my wife's parents received a letter in the post from a law firm claiming that she had downloaded an episode of the walking dead and that she had used p2p software to distribute it. I believe the file had been shared from a laptop we took with us when we went to visit them in Germany and subsequently uploaded when we connected to their wifi.

 

Really, her parents have done nothing wrong and we don't live in Germany. We're unsure how to proceed here, it seems very unfair that my wife's parents should have to pay for file sharing that they were unaware of.

 

1) If we were to settle with this 800 euros are we liable to be chased for more later?

 

2) Can she not just blame us? As we are actually the culprits...

 

Any help would be massively appreciated, we're pulling our hair out here :(

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1. If you settle with the document they sent you you are admitting you are guilty and they might chase you again. The best solution is to send a modified version of that document where you do not admit guilt but accept to pay totally or partially or nothing at all. The easiest way is to find a lawyer to do it for you and the whole thing might cost you around 300 EUR. There are lawyer recommendations in this thread, you can deal everything remotely via fax/email, but probably your parents in law will have to do it themselves.

 

2. No. The owner of the connection is responsible.

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Bonkers though it may seem, in Germany the connection owner is responsible for how it is used, even if she was oblivious to your filesharing while you were connected to her network. There's no reason why you can't direct a lawyer and pay any costs yourself, but your in-laws name will remain on the paperwork.

 

As Krieg points out a decent lawyer will draft a modified declaration or responsibility to send to the other side and negotiate down the penalty. Your in-laws won't get any criminal record or court appearance to deal with, but will need to make sure their connection is not abused in the future.

 

You have suffered from a nuance of German law which is abused by unscrupulous lawyers (who make a LOT of money out of it), and is the moral equivalent of accident-claims lawyer/ambulance chasers in the UK.

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I have never heard about a private user facing criminal charges for sharing software/media.

 

What is interesting is that possession of a copy of copyrighted material is not illegal btw. Only the creation and distribution of such a copy is criminalized. Same rules as for certain types of porn, oddly enough.

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The template is bullet-proof, as long as it's filled out properly (addressed to the rights holders, not the law firm; naming the works in question, not the download container; properly dated and signed etc.).

Wait, if this is the case then I've messed it up, I thought the modified form was supposed to be addressed to the law firm that is coming after you?!

 

I've used the form available here:

http://www.verein-gegen-den-abmahnwahn.de/zentrale/download/mod_ue/muster_mod_ue/index.html

 

And I've filled it like this:

Red: My name/address and the date

Green: Copyright holder (I've added the full address to this, not just Sony Entertainment GmbH)

Blue: The law firm's address and their reference

Brown: Name of the Album that I've downloaded

 

Are you saying I should have filled out Sony Entertainment's address in the blue fields?

 

I'm starting to panic now, I thought I had this done properly :(

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Wait, if this is the case then I've messed it up, I thought the modified form was supposed to be addressed to the law firm that is coming after you?!

Sorry, that was badly worded on my part.

 

You mail the UE to the law firm, but you name the rights holder as the other party in the actual document.

A UE is basically a contract between you and the person/company holding the rights to the song or movie in question.

 

It's just that some people use the name of the law firm instead of naming the actual rights holder.

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This is really scary shit, i downloaded stuff while i was at my cousins in Germany how long before you get these letters? had i know i could download TV programs from Itunes i would have done it, darn

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Bonkers though it may seem, in Germany the connection owner is responsible for how it is used, even if she was oblivious to your filesharing while you were connected to her network.

 

Where does the buck stop though? They notified the ISP, the ISP said "We didn't do it, one of our customers did it, get a court order and we'll give you their details". Why can't you do the same? Tell them that it wasn't you, it was someone who was renting a room with you at the time, if you get me a court order I'll give you details where you can contact them.

 

I mean, imagine if the connection belonged to a hotel. Surely the hotel can be seen as a service provider and pass the buck just as the ISP did. Where does the line get drawn?

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I mean, imagine if the connection belonged to a hotel. Surely the hotel can be seen as a service provider and pass the buck just as the ISP did. Where does the line get drawn?

 

Didn't Hazza get sued for customers downloading pirated material when he was running his bar?

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Yeh, and I as I remember it, he just said he had an open wifi and anyone could have done it but he didn't and they just let him go. He'd have to clarify though, and maybe he just got lucky. It was a long while ago before they got super aggressive too I think.

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OK: Do not use P2P for downloading the latest episodes of The Big Bang Theory and other copyrighted material. For the latest Ubuntu installation CD, P2P is of course just fine.

 

Or if you do, use a VPN.

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Hello again.

So, I've sent the correct modifizierte Unterlassungserklaerung.

 

I was wondering about advice about what to do next regarding the payments.

Some people say ignore it (and the letters keep coming with increased payments), or negociate and pay less.

 

What usually happens in these cases? I feel a bit uncomfortable ignoring the payments. From posts above it is said they will not sue you because their legal fees will not stand in court. But from a nerve point of view, it isn't the best option :)

 

My question is: Without a lawyer, how can I safely negociate to pay less or nothing at all? Or would you just ignore after sending the modifizierte Unterlassungserklaerung?

The legal fees in my case are still over 500 euros and I definitely dont want to pay that! Would you call them after they received the modifizierte Unterlassungserklaerung and try to negociate yourself? Or say nothing?

 

Thanks so much for your help. Hope my case helps others.

Regards

 

EDIT: A propos, the law firm attacking us is the well know WALDORF FROMMER in Munich. This might be useful to know as to advice of people who have dealt with them in the past (do they absolutely cling on their fees paid back etc...)

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I'm pretty sure that your questions have been answered multiple times on this thread which is so long because people keep asking the same questions.

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Hmm, was reading through for couple hours :)

Multiple times, the key question was asked : "They take you to court for the legal fees or not"? And could not find conclusive answer.

 

Reason I care is it's not my connection but a relative.

I don't want this poor soul to pay immense fines due to a so called illegal use of his connection.

 

On the other hand I don't want to play the firm's game and pay up their legal expense, to possibly receive another letter again for another reason. You see where this is going? To alot of milking of money by sharks!

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