Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

3,143 posts in this topic

 

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.

 

That's a bit like asking 'will it snow in Munich in April 2014?'. Extremely unlikely but not completely impossible. As far as I know the busiest law firms file 2 or 3 of these suits per month on average, but they send out several thousand of these letters during that period.

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So Im guessing I'm going to receive a letter anytime soon asking for reimbursement of these fees and then later escalating fees due to ignoring them. Do you think it's then appropriate for me to deal with them myself to negociate this down or would you just ignore it completely?

 

I'm just a bit puzzled by the negociation part (how much of their legal fees to pay).

 

Or possibly like many others they will stop reaching to me and everything will be good. But you know I am an adept of Murphy's law so am NEVER expecting anything good :)

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Did you ever consider hiring one of the €300 lawyers of whom there are several mentioned on the thread, to handle the whole thing?

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Just make them an offer without insulting them. 30-50% of what they are asking for is a good place to start. They will won't want to fight hard if they feel you are ready to pay.

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I have been unable to find anyone taken to court who stated.

 

a. I did not download this.

b. I dispute your belief I did, your testing method is unreliable.

 

The people who have been sued have made claims such as.

 

a. I was not home, but my router was not secured.

b. My kids did it.

c. My visitors did it.

 

Effectively, these people have made an admission as the law in Germany says they are responsible for the usage of their internet.

 

Can anyone shed some light on this?

 

Has anyone been taken to court who outright denied knowing anything about the download and refuted they had done it?

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I'm still wondering why you can't say "I didn't do it, but I sublet my connection to someone that did. Get a court order and I'll give you their name and address (one that's out of they country to be sure)". That's effectively what Telekom does. You can't be responsible for everything everyone does on the internet connection registered in your name. If someone ends up looking up kiddy porn, you shouldn't have to take the fall for that. You should be required assist in finding the person that did it though.

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Has anyone been taken to court who outright denied knowing anything about the download and refuted they had done it?

 

I'm too lazy to dig up the cases now, but yes. It's not downloading that's the problem, and it's irrelevant who did it. If the file in question was shared from your internet connection, that's sufficient, and courts generally accept the logs provided by those companies. Since this is a civil case, there's no presumption of innocence, so whoever makes the better argument wins. Usually pages of log files carry more weight than the defendant saying 'not sure what happened there, your evidence must be wrong'.

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You can't be responsible for everything everyone does on the internet connection registered in your name.

 

Like it or not, you are.

 

There is quite a difference between civil cases and criminal cases, though. If a company shows logs that say you shared a copyrighted file and you just claim that that wasn't you, chances are the court will believe the company. You would, however, never get convicted of distributing child pornography on "evidence" like this.

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Just make them an offer without insulting them. 30-50% of what they are asking for is a good place to start. They will won't want to fight hard if they feel you are ready to pay.

 

I think that's what I'm going to do, at the same thing denying any personal responsibility (even if it doesn't change much).

 

I don't really want to pay a lawyer to do this.

If it really is about negotiating how much legal fees to pay, then I can do this myself.

 

I'll keep you all in touch.

 

PS: Commenting above comments. Obviously they will not care HOW or UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES the file was shared. They have proof your IP did it and it doesnt matter even if Extraterrestrials or terrorists did it. The relevant question is more : Do they cling on like bulldogs and take you to court over the legal fees. I suspect they might but am not sure.

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The relevant question is more : Do they cling on like bulldogs and take you to court over the legal fees. I suspect they might but am not sure.

 

Usually they do not. Instead of spending X work hours to extract 500 Euros from you in court, they can just send 100 more letters to other people of which maybe 25% will just pay up...

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How come Telekom aren't responsible for it - you're using their connection after all. Or are hotels also responsible? I'd expect not. How come Telekom and hotels are exempt but I'm not?

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Hello everyone... I have the same problem. I was in Germany last month at my aunt and uncle house, and my cousin and I downloaded 6 movies, but they said that we`re `guilty` only because of downloading one: `Intouchables`! Aunt, cousin and I are now in Bosnia, and uncle got call from lawyer, who said that he has to pay 800 euros. I was reading this forum, and I need to know is there anyone who really solved the problem for 300 euros, or less than 800. Plese, help me, I`m really not in a situation to pay so much money, I`m not working, I`m a student, but on the other side, I can`t allow my uncle to pay that :((( If anyone know how to solve it, without lawyers who needs even more than 800 euros, I would be really grateful! Thanks, Jelena

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How come Telekom aren't responsible for it - you're using their connection after all. Or are hotels also responsible? I'd expect not. How come Telekom and hotels are exempt but I'm not?

 

Telcos are not responsible because they are service providers. AFAIK hotels are responsible - which is why they do not just give you the password to their WLAN but you get a personalized account so that they can pin you down if someone complains.

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Experience with Waldorf Frommer in brief

 

Letter from them Jan 10 for download of CD in Oct 09. Wanting 859€

Contacted lawyer cost 390€.

Sent amended statement.

 

2 years of the odd letter now and again

 

Move to to May 12 and they are now stating they will take us to court unless we pay them the full amount or in instalments.

Lawyer advises to ignore and leave, however they must make a move on us before Dec 2013 otherwise they cannot any longer due to length of time they can pursue. If they do take us to court we will probably be in a group of people but we will have to share the court costs.

 

2 weeks later letter stating they are preparing court documents.

We now decide we have had enough of this hanging over us for 2 years and decide we will pay which is now 959€ (100 added for theier fees)

 

Laywer states that he understands as Waldorf Frommer have found a sympathetic judge in Munich and he is just agreeing with all the fines and if we feel happy with payment then OK, but now we dont have the option to pay in instalments. BUT he had been in court that day with another client who he did manage to get the fine reduced by 50%, but lets face it at what cost on top for his fees??

 

If you want info then PM me.

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Or if you do, use a VPN.

 

The VPN I use says that if I do anything illegal they'll hand over their traffic logs to show it was me. Or something like that. They're good for basic misdirection and privacy and getting round region blocks, but not a complete cloak of invisibility.

 

Or do the lawyers not try it on with VPN companies as they understand these laws better than the average net user?

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2 weeks later letter stating they are preparing court documents.

 

This might be just to scare you because

 

 

We now decide we have had enough of this hanging over us for 2 years and decide we will pay which is now 959€ (100 added for theier fees)

 

Voilá.

 

 

Laywer states that he understands as Waldorf Frommer have found a sympathetic judge in Munich and he is just agreeing with all the fines and if we feel happy with payment then OK, but now we dont have the option to pay in instalments. BUT he had been in court that day with another client who he did manage to get the fine reduced by 50%, but lets face it at what cost on top for his fees??

 

If the disputed sum is 1000 Euros, the court will cost 165 Euros,

http://kostenrechner.anwalt-suchservice.de/kostenrechner/gericht/

The other party's lawyer might easily be twice that IF you have to pay for him, but if the judge splits the disputed sum between the parties, probably everybody will pay for their own lawyers (the judge decides on this). I think it is very unlikely that you would end up paying significantly more than what they are demanding now. Their strategy is to scare people into paying, but personally I would rather pay 1200 Euros in court fees than shove 1000 Euros up these guys' asses.

 

 

If you want info then PM me.

 

Please post the outcome, especially if you decide to stand up and fight.

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I weep for humanity. :(

Im 8 months in Germany and i didnt have a clue about this fines...

I just got this letter, this is madness!

 

Thanks for all the infos you share via this post though...

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