Have you been sued for downloading? Don’t mortgage your home just yet. There are legal avenues you can take that won’t break the bank. What? Keep reading.
Even though much of the hype has died down over the thousands of people being sued for downloading and file sharing, recording artists and movie makers are still on the lookout for individuals and entities pirating their works and selling them for monetary gain.
However, there are some people who take Internet swashbuckling to the extreme by offering their services to troll the Internet looking for websites that pirate, peddle, and profit from infringing on their clients’ copyrighted or trademarked works.
These trolls, as many have come to find out, are after hefty sums of money — sometimes as much as $150,000 — for infringing on their clients’ copyright. In a recent blog post, we reported how copyright trolls are going after people who download porn onto their computers. Knowing that shame and embarrassment are powerful motivators, these copyright trolls would send out settlement letters to the alleged copyright infringers which strongly suggest that they settle up or go to court and have their name dragged through the mud.
More recently, Voltage Pictures partnered with U.S. Copyright Group and took on 25,000 anonymous users of BitTorrent who allegedly illegally downloaded the movie The Hurt Locker.
What Should I Do If I Get Sued For Downloading?
First of all, don’t ignore a settlement letter you’ll probably receive if you get sued for downloading. Take the letter seriously – even if the letter came through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Chances are if the settlement letter came to you via your ISP, you might still be anonymous to the copyright troll. To quote from the movie Mission Impossible, “Anonymity…is like a warm blanket.”
But don’t get too cozy if you’ve been sued for downloading. You may end up having to step in to the legal arena to defend yourself.
Taking it one step further, let’s say you have a civil complaint filed against you for copyright infringement demanding that you “disgorge yourself of any ill-gotten gain…” After you’re done disgorging your lunch and have everything cleaned up, it’s time to defend yourself.
The best thing to do if you have been sued for downloading, or served with a settlement letter or civil complaint from a copyright troll — whether it’s for illegally downloading porn, songs, movies, or other intellectual property to which you do not own the copyright – is get a hold of an experienced Internet lawyer who understands intellectual property law.
Don’t try to handle the matter yourself. You don’t want to face the possibility of getting into deeper trouble because you decided to handle the matter yourself. The Kelly Law Firm has experience dealing with Internet trolls and advising clients on whether or not they should comply with the settlement letter or fight against it to maintain your good reputation.
Internet piracy and copyright infringement are serious things. If you’re the subject of a copyright infringement notice brought to you by a not-so-friendly Internet troll, don’t wait. Contact us today.