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Waldorf Frommer - fine for downloading taken to court? Please help

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Hi

 

I've had a good look through the forums here and have seen a lot of posts about Waldorf Frommer but I couldn't really see any that are exactly the same. My friend received this letter recently (attached). She has previously received other letters from WF but has ignored them and since she's been out of the country for a year she didn't see a letter about going to court. From my understanding it seems like they've taken the case to court and it's been decided on, but I'm not sure if that's true. The part which is worrying is the "die gerechtliche Auseinandersetzung wurde abgeschlossen".

 

Can anyone advise on if and how we should respond? If she ignores this letter will it become a criminal case or will they forcefully take the money from her account? It's got us both really worried. Is this just further scare tactics?

 

If I'm posting this in the wrong area please let me know, I'm new to the forum. 

 

Thanks,

John.

Waldorf Frommer.jpeg

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Standard advice has always been to get a lawyer who will advise you.  Most likely they will prepare a modified document to send and assuming things go well "your friend" will probably end up paying their lawyer and a lower amount to WF and promising not to do it again (though not admitting that they did it this time).

 

Obviously there is an element of luck, depends on your lawyer, etc but generally this is a standard case that everyone has seem a million times before.

 

Dont try to do it yourself, let a pro handle it.

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Since she didn't respond at all, it looks like they've obtained a judgment in absentia. You guessed that part correctly. They're demanding immediate payment of EUR 1,429.24 (including court fees and accrued interest).

 

I have no personal experience with this kind of thing, but I'm not sure getting a lawyer will do anything but incur additional costs at this point. With the court judgment in their pocket, if they don't get their pound of flesh, they'll pass it onto a collection agency, who will then pursue your friend relentlessly - and for a much higher amount.

 

If your friend knows a lawyer she can ask for advice, then go for it, but IMO it's just throwing good money after bad.

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Thanks for the responses. That sounds horrible. Is there anywhere that would offer advice for free? I'm from the UK so have no idea where to look and she's a student with essentially no income other than Bafog. Surely we could contest this with her not being in the country for a year to receive any letters. 

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Why not write directly to Warner Brothers and ask them if you can settle with them in way of a donation to their prefered charity as you have a fobia about sending money to Lawyers who prey on the ignorant internet users...

 

https://www.warnerbros.de/kontakt.html

 

 

:ph34r:

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9 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

They're demanding immediate payment of EUR 1,429.24 (including court fees and accrued interest).

 

Isn't that considerably less than Waldorf-Frommer used to "demand" in their Abmahnungen? I kinda vaguely remember numbers in the multiple thousands from other threads.

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20 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

Why not write directly to Warner Brothers and ask them if you can settle with them in way of a donation to their prefered charity as you have a fobia about sending money to Lawyers who prey on the ignorant internet users...

 

That's actually an interesting idea. Not sure if they'd go for it, but it could be worth a shot.

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33 minutes ago, kato said:

Isn't that considerably less than Waldorf-Frommer used to "demand" in their Abmahnungen? I kinda vaguely remember numbers in the multiple thousands from other threads.

I seem to recall that they imposed a new limit a little while back - something like €300 per case plus lawyer fees. I don't know if it applies here, however.

 

IIRC the standard demand was around €900, but maybe I'm misremembering that.

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Guess what I found on linkedin

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René-Markus Hettegger

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Anybody want to apply and run some sabotage?

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6 hours ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

Guess what I found on linkedin

 

Anybody want to apply and run some sabotage?

 

Ha ha.  Can I apply and say that I have experience because you threatened to ruin me because I dared to download an obscure music album ? 🙃

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I have received such letter.

Not advising to do the same, just sharing my experience here...

But after some research I found that they randomly send this letters to people. Its basically a scam.

I put the letter on the bin and never heard of them again.

 

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@travelerworker I hope it wasn't a yellow envelope you got. Those ones need to be replied to as far as I am aware. 

And may I ask if you were using a VPN when you were downloading ? If not, you should be.

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1 hour ago, Jonny said:

@travelerworker I hope it wasn't a yellow envelope you got. Those ones need to be replied to as far as I am aware. 

And may I ask if you were using a VPN when you were downloading ? If not, you should be.

I don't remember the envelope.

I have never downloaded anything. I barely use the computer if not for work.

For what I remember, and what I did research back on those days this works like this:

- any person can ask anybody else to "cease and desist" of something that is ilegal. ie: if I see you parking on a disabled parking spot I just sent you a letter asking to stop doing it and ask you to cover the costs.

- so a couple of law firms are famous for getting a list of, basically, internet users and send them a letter full of leal bla bla asking to stop such behaviour. Doesn't matter if you did or not.

- they ask you to pay for the costs of sending the letter

- people get all scared, and even more if they actually downloaded something, and just pay

It's, on my view a scam...I can do it too, as well as you.

 

 

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I also know somebody who ran into them. Only this guy was a lawyer himself, was bored and had some fun with them. 
Did they list what you downloaded, time, date and amount ?

Also it seems that they operate in a bit of a gray zone, but get yourself a lawyer, it will probably be worth it.

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I knew a guy who got such a letter. He responded that he was at work when the download happened and can prove it. Didn't hear from them again. 

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basically what they do is this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abmahnung

there they say:

In most cases, the law allows the party sending the letter to demand payment of legal costs associated with the sending of the letter... In practice, a lawyer may do this without having been hired by a client who has been wronged, in essence searching for violators of covered laws and demanding payment from them for having found them.

Since the enormous proliferation of web sites, this abuse of the law has led to the so-called 
Abmahnwelle (-wave), as lawyers and copyright holders are trawling the internet searching for even minor and usually unintended violations of e.g. copyright law, with some law firms sending thousands of letters per year demanding payment.

 

Basically a scam. Bit that letter.

Sorry for the million of people paying them.

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