Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

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Hello all,

 

I was also caught downloading music. A company called DigiProtect here in Germany is one of them. They find your IP address if downloading from Torrents (Peer to Peer). Basically what it said in my letter was that I was sharing Piracy protect material on the net. With Torrents is so that while downloading your are also sharing what has been downloaded. So you become as a Seeder.

 

I received this letter 5 months after the actual date mentioned for downloading. Till now I have not received any more. From that day onwards I have completed stopped downloading Illegal content from the net.

 

It has also happened to couple of people I know, no matter where you live in Germany. Germany is on the 6th place for Piracy Protected Material on the net.

 

Please take legal advice that what I can suggest you to do.

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There is a court decision that even an Einschreiben does not proof that you have received the letter.

Only "court-proof" ways of sending an "Unterlassungserklärung" are either a carrier handing out the letter personally or a "Einschreiben with Rückschein".

 

Zustellung durch Post-Einwurfeinschreiben.

 

However this will mean you have to proof it.

 

How do you proof not having received a letter? Sounds impossible, but the court has to make a decision and if you can name a witness testifying you have not received the letter and the other side did not use a "Einschrieben with Rückschein" this will play a role in the decision.

 

And no, you cannot deny reception: Zustellungsarten der Abmahnung

 

 

 

Zustellung bei verweigerter Annahme

Wird die Annahme des zuzustellenden Schriftstücks unberechtigt verweigert,

so ist das Schriftstück in der Wohnung oder in dem Geschäftsraum zurückzulassen.

Hat der Zustellungsadressat keine Wohnung oder ist kein Geschäftsraum vorhanden,

ist das zuzustellende Schriftstück zurückzusenden. Mit der Annahmeverweigerung

gilt das Schriftstück als zugestellt.

 

However: This strategy will not safe you at all! It is only about who has to pay process costs.

 

The whole idea of the Abmahnung is to avoid the costs and efforts of court proceedings.

 

If the other side thinks it can win the case, all it has to prove is that the Abmahnung was sent.

If you do not react, it can start the trial.

 

So once you receive a letter which you have to sign to confirm delivery, it's definitely time to contact a lawyer specialized in Urheberrecht.

 

As already recommended by others, do not send back the original Unterlassungserklärung.

(but send a modified one)

 

More information (in german) Verein gegen den Abmahnwahn.

 

Best to start with their FAQ.

 

However they are not up-to-date regarding how the other side got your IP: As already stated by others, current jurisdiction is that the law firm can directly demand the adress from the provider without court order by claiming commercial use.

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Thanks for the information. Keep us posted on any further developments.

 

It seems though that the original advice of "talk to a lawyer" remains valid, since payment of a reduced amount is only likely to be accepted if accompanied by a lawyer's letter.

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it would be interesting to get some more feedback form the earlier posts. Did any of them get more letters, did most ignore it and heard nothing else, or did they all pay up.

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Hi there

 

Just a brief update to my original question, and thanks all of you for your advice!

We have not received any more letters to date, my husband is still adamant that its a scam, so we must wait and see.

Will keep you posted.

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Here's an interesting article I found recently.

 

file sharing article

 

In my opinion, regardless of the legality of downloading or filesharing, what these lawyers are doing amounts to legal (or illegal according to this article) extortion.

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If you watch German TV you see similar cases in reportage and always the victims end up paying alot of money when they go to court. It does not only happen to music, watch out when you sell stuff on ebay. You will get a letter from a lawyer saying the client, thinks you are preventing competition by posting too much stuff on ebay. There also others who scout around on the Internet looking for websites hosted on German Servers, they will send you notices to pay a fee for this or that. The same with music downloads, there many German parents with teenage children who have been taken to court after getting such letters they Ignore them and the fee keeps climbing until they land in Court and pay fines in the thousands. This happen also to very poor parents some living on Hartz IV. One will get similar letters if you sell just one of your T-shirts with ACrombie on it or some American Brands, the letter will say the lawyers are representing the company in Germany. One guy was cleaning his garage and put stuff on ebay. after a few days he got such a letter, thought its a joke. They told him to pay 850 euros. He Ignored it. Even went ahead and tried to sue back. At the end after the process he paid money in the thousands, after a court Judgement. The clip about him was on TV. So all those letters should be taken seriously. There dubious people making a business though a gap in the law protecting customers. They work closely with lawyer for Intellectual property so that in Court they always win for some reason. Someone sees you are selling a products, goes forms a company dealing in the same product and after sometime you get a letter saying you are blocking or preventing competition or flooding the market.

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In my friends it was music that he has apparently been caught downloading. He just received a letter this week, what a start to the new year that was. I spoke with him about it on the phone this evening and have since been scouring the web to find out any info about it.

His case is alomst perfectly described here: www.lg2g.info/Civil-Law_Articles-on-Liability-Questions/effective-defense-against-admonishment-and-damage-claims.html

Same law firm: "Rasch Rechtsanwälte in Hamburg represents the big boys in music business like „Universal Music GmbH", „EMI Music Germany GmbH Co. KG", or Sony BMG Entertainment GmbH"

In his case he is being accused of having one file available for upload through a torrent site. They provide an ip address and a date and time. It seems from reading this tread that there is some disagreement as to whether this is a scam or not but my guess is that we're going to be seeing more and more people getting these letters. They are looking for 1200 euro from him which I believe is there standard request.

 

have a look at this to see this law firm in operation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtfxftZqetI&feature=player_embedded

But whether scam or not it seems that the main advice is to contact a lawyer. I would love to hear if anyone has managed to fight this, or have the fee decreased.

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Another thing that is interesting about this is that when you google this law firm Rasch Rechtsanwälte and Universal Music you find countless websites from various different law firms offering advice and assistance on this which makes me think it is not just Rasch that it on the game here.

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It's a "legal scam", they threaten you to take you to court unless you pay some ridiculous amount of money within just a couple of days. A lot of people pay it, because they're scared. Some just ignore it, which might work because some of these "law firms" make enough money with the scare tactics, but if they do follow up on this (you ignoring it) you're in trouble.

 

Best way of action is to write a letter saying something like "I'm not doing whatever you're accusing me of doing again without acknowledging of actually having done this and without paying something" -> have a look at http://abmahnwahn-dreipage.de/ for example, what you want is the "Muster mod. UE", don't write anything yourself, you need to use a letter that was written by a lawyer (either your own lawyer or this template).

 

If you can't speak any German a lawyer is absolutely recommend.

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That's some good info Gorgo.

Just found this article in english about the whole thing http://www.chip.in/article/To-catch-a-Music-Pirate.html

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Anyone have any actual lawyers to recommend who have dealt specifically with this?

I like gorgo's suggestion and might just take that template to the lawyer.

 

Because I got a letter from the same people as patsywest about a movie called .. well probably better not to say. I mean really Trainspotter! : )

You can pm me if you dont want your recommeds to be public.

 

Or would the Verbraucherzentrale Bayern really be able to help with this? Like would they help me with the template that gorgo suggests?

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Since paying those leeches/lawyers their 100 yoyos I have heard nothing from them. Not even a thank you letter :D

So I've now given up downloading illegally, but does that mean that record companies are now getting my hard earned cash from mp3 or CD sales?? Does it hell, because the reality is that most of the stuff I downloaded I would never have bought anyway (with very few exceptions). So in this case, is illegal downloading really harming the music industry? One positive result of my illegal downloads was that I would sometimes listen to unfamiliar music that I would then like and actually pay to go and see the band in concert when they came to Munich. Guess I won't be doing that for a while now.

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Since paying those leeches/lawyers their 100 yoyos I have heard nothing from them. Not even a thank you letter

So I've now given up downloading illegally, but does that mean that record companies are now getting my hard earned cash from mp3 or CD sales?? Does it hell, because the reality is that most of the stuff I downloaded I would never have bought anyway (with very few exceptions). So in this case, is illegal downloading really harming the music industry? One positive result of my illegal downloads was that I would sometimes listen to unfamiliar music that I would then like and actually pay to go and see the band in concert when they came to Munich. Guess I won't be doing that for a while now.

 

There was an interesting study done recently that showed that people who illegally download regularly music spend MORE money on legal purchases of music than those who rarely or never download music.

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You mean that study that found out that people who listen to music buy more music than people who do not listen to music?

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guys,

 

i got a letter from baumgartenbrandt at an older address. the letter came to me via the current owner of the apartment. it says i should pay 1200 for a movie. i am sure did not download the movie (antichrist).

 

anyway what do you think i should do?

 

i spoke to a lawyer you is also suggesting that i admit i did it because it is the 'cheapest' thing to do.

 

has anyone spoken to British embassy about this. I mean this is extortion.

 

let me know of your response. Whatever happended to patsy? the lady that started this post? have they bugged her again? it is the same lawyers i got the email from

 

best

nero

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