Rightscorp & CEG-TEK = P2P Monetization Service – Not Law Suits

I decided to write this post as I’m seeing an increase in questions/comments concerning the copyright monetization firms of CEG-TEK and Rightscorp.  I wasn’t sure what was possibly driving this so I did a little research.  The first thing I found was a 20 May 14, press release from Rightscorp stating they had added 500K new copyrights to the already 1,000,000 copyrights they represent (Total of 1.5 million copyrights for which they monitor for).  There is also a 12 Jun 14, Article on Rightscorp in Inside Counsel.   CEG-TEK also appears to be actively recruiting new customers and claimed to be representing approximately 1.47 million copyrights.  CEG-TEK even set up a YouTube page and uploaded two promotional videos.  While I was writing this, attorney Robert Cashman published a piece on CEG-TEK’s client list.  Here is one of the videos – “CEG TEK International P2P Monetization.”  

Both companies are very active in recruiting copyright owners, as well as tailoring their services to extract the most settlements as possible.  I believe their main selling point is by simply signing with them (no cost or low-cost), the copyright owner/holder can receive revenue that they otherwise would never see.  Rightscorp states on its site that they split the settlements with the copyright owner – 50/50.  You can see why this business model would find favor with many copyright owners.  As most of the infringers CEG-TEK/Rightscorp send notices to have multiple infringements, the settlements amount can add up little by little.  As the copyright owners have already done the initial work (and been paid), any settlements are seen as additional profit they never planned for.

These firms do this of course by monitoring the BitTorrent File sharing protocol (Peer to Peer – AKA: P2P), collecting IP addresses of alleged infringers and sending settlement notices via DMCA-emails to the ISP who owns IP addresses.

RC_ProcessSo it looks like both Rightscorp and CEG-TEK are growing and the waves of notices to the ISPs and subscribers are bound to increase.

Rightscorp is even telling people that they have some new tricks up their sleeve.  This is from the Inside Counsel article (12 Jun 14).  Allegedly they have some “proprietary” method of identifying a user without ISP cooperation.  Sounds like a “John Steele” Prenda Law type quote to me.

The ‘seeders’ that Rightscorp is looking for are IP addresses uploading pieces of files through BitTorrent. IP addresses change over time, and that’s where Rightscorp’s trick kicks in. Steele said his company has a proprietary method of identifying particular users, without ISP cooperation, even when IP addresses get rotated over time. Faced with evidence, the ISPs are legally obligated to take action, up to and including cutting off Internet access. Under the DMCA, that’s what those companies must do if they want to keep their “safe harbor” from copyright lawsuits.

Favorite Question Concerning These Companies

Will they sue me if I don’t pay?  Based on the history of these two companies and analysis of their Web sites, my opinion is still NO.  I have said all along that these companies have a business that expressly steers them away from that.  Now saying that, there is always the possibility that a content owner could decide to file a law suit, but I think it is extremely unlikely.  Plus take a look at this gem from the Rightscorp Web site – I wonder how long it will be left up on their site after this article posts?  ;)

Rightscorp_Tech

This does not mean you should just ignore the situation completely and not worry what is occurring on your network.

My standard suggestion is to ensure the illegal file sharing stops on your network – regardless of who is at fault.  Failure to do this could lead to your ISP limiting/disconnecting your service or even becoming a John Doe defendant in a “real” Federal copyright infringement law suit.

Note:  On 14 Jun 14, a person claiming to be Robert Steele, COO, Rightscorp posted to DTD.  I doubt it was him, but I could be wrong.  If that was you Mr. Steele, please reply.  The person claimed -

We send subpoenas every day to infringers who do not respond to the settlement offers. We get ISPs to suspend service to repeat infringers who don’t accept the settlement offers every day. Robert Steele, COO, Rightscorp. 310-751-7510.

I have yet to hear of any court issued subpoena being issued for Rightscorp supported clients.  If anyone knows differently, please point me in the right direction.  As far as ISP suspending services, that is usually only done for serious offenders after multiple DMCA notices are received by the ISP (each ISP is different).

Link to my CEG-TEK/Rightscorp page.

Lastly, here is what to do if you get a notice from these firms.

  • Do not call them – You cannot explain this away – They don’t care 
  • Do not access their Web site from your ‘True’ IP address (home or cell phone) – If you want to go to their site, use a Proxy, VPN, TOR, or a free WiFi hotspot like a coffee shop.   Do not enter any personal data into their Web site.
  • Ensure that any illegal file sharing or other unauthorized activity on you network stops.
  • Resecure your WiFi Internet connection – make sure encryption is enabled and change the password.
  • Move on with your life and chalk this up to a ‘learning experience.’

DieTrollDie :)

About DieTrollDie

I'm one of the many 'John Does' (200,000+ & growing in the US) who Copyright Trolls have threatened with a civil law suit unless they are paid off. What is a Copyright Troll? Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation link - http://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls
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17 Responses to Rightscorp & CEG-TEK = P2P Monetization Service – Not Law Suits

  1. Anon E. Mous says:

    I love the fact these Trolls went out of the way to put in their ” Educational / Settlement ” letter that they are “Not A Troll” . Obviously the legal landscape is starting to become littered with Troll operations that have been exposed and their methods have been getting picked apart by Defense Lawyers and the educational “Troll Hate Groups” and their Psychopathic followers ( We have juice and cookies now! )

    The fact that the put that in their settlement letter leads me to believe that:

    A) The settlement offers that were rolling in have dropped and income derived from settlements are down and they are now trying to send out a signal to the poor ISP subscriber that they are a warm and fuzzy Copyright Troll who is just trying to help you through this troubled time ( Awwww )

    B) That the poor ISP subscriber who was the recipient of one of this letters is not panicking and running to the phone with credit card in hand and desperately trying to call either one of these Trolls because they are doing some research upon receipt of one of these letters.

    C) The startling decimation of some of the bigger copyright trolling operations being exposed and the tactics and methods used in their “infringement” recording has been called into questions as well as their clients and entities they are associated with, which has led to a downfall of some trolling operations.

    The Trolls are aware of what is going on in the internet community and in the courts across the U.S. and has seen the boomerang effect come around where the trolls had the hammer at one time now the tables have turned and the defense and internet community have the hammer and are using it justly and as such they are worried about their income revenue from these operations.

    I would encourage anyone who is the recipient of one of this letters to not panic and educate themselves about the Troll and what the real goal of the troll is with one of these letters.

    The Troll whole game is based on revenue, not enforcement, just revenue. The goal of the letter is to create a sense of panic and urgency onto the ISP subscriber who is the recipient of it.

    The Troll wants to create a sense of fear and panic in you. Fear that if you don’t pay this sum of money now it will go higher or double the amount if you don’t send them payment now. The Troll wants you to be afraid that if you don’t pay now they will launch a lawsuit and drag you in to court where you will be liable for huge amounts of money. They want you to worry, they want you to panic, they want to create a sense of urgency all aimed at getting you to pay Now…, no not later NOW!

    The troll does not want to you talk with a Lawyer who would tell you what your rights are and what the troll is up to. The troll does not want you to put their name into Google or another search engine and see the results. The troll does not want you to educate yourself about what they are really about. The troll does not want you to go to places like FCT, DTD & extortionletterinfo where you would learn what the Troll’s real goals are.

    First do not panic, the troll is counting on you doing just that. Stop, slow down and take a deep breath. Get on the net and research these “copyright” enforcement outfits and learn what these letters are really about. If you have someone who has infringed a work of one of these outfits educate them about what has taken place. If you haven’t infringed anything, then do not panic and research and read about what steps you can take to mitigate the trolls and the demands for cash. Talk to a Lawyer and get some legal advice.

    Put these into play and govern yourself as such. Remember the trolls are playing on fear and the fact that you will not educate your self about their operation or that you will speak with a Lawyer.

  2. Bloom says:

    I think these guys need to be taken to court just like Prenda. This firm is probably seeding these files and tracking them.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenda_Law

    See this video: http://youtu.be/86xhOiTYjp0

    Can you say owned? I have a feeling these guys will eventually meet the same faith.

  3. confusedandworried says:

    Okay here’s a question.
    I saw the notice and freaked out because I thought my internet was going to be shut off. When I actually called the internet provider they said that I shouldn’t have given out my information to them but that they put a note on my account that the activity wasn’t me and that I shouldn’t worry about my internet being shut off. Yet im still getting tons of calls about 97 infringements that took place on my ISP address. Should I worry that they will come after me since they have my name, address, and phone number? Would you like me to show you the legal release they gave me after paying the fine? Do I need to get a lawyer because it was on MY ISP address? I also got a threatening email if you want to see that too. Thanks for the advice.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I expect the calls, emails, texts, etc., will continue for some time. It is annoying, but I wouldn’t worry. They only want the $$$$ and not the hassle of filing a law suit.

      Please send me what ever you have. I would love to see the release and the emails from them. No need for an attorney as there is NO Copyright Infringement law suit.

      DTD :) dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com

    • Not sure says:

      Which ISp was it and what notice did you get from rightscorp or cegtek?

  4. Not sure says:

    What ISp and notice did you get? Was notice from rightscorp or cegtek?

  5. scaredandworriedsick says:

    I live in Southern IL. My wifi router was less than ideally secured and I had let a neighbor use it too for about a month. This neighbor also lives with his brother and who knows who else may have visited their house with laptops/cellphones, etc. Poor judgement call on my part – although I have stopped letting them use my internet access & I am quickly educating myself on wi-fi security steps & I feel confident I have secured (and no longer sharing) my wi-fi connection.

    So here’s my situation: From Charter, I received a card in the mail stating that there were about 10 copyright infringement notices against my IP address. It directed me to a Charter website for more information and links to click on these “cases” against my IP address. I got notices from both Rightscorp & CEG-TEK and panicked. I called Charter security first, but got no answer at the time I called. I went through the list and clicked on the links (all related to movies downloaded by a “torrent” application & listing the name of the movie(s). Most were all multiples of the same movie – apparently “shared” via a torrent application. All these links offered a $20 settlement per violation – and in total fear and panic mode, I paid them via my credit card. I’ve NEVER been in trouble with the law and being a single father of two, I can’t afford an attorney – but I could afford the $140 (total) for these alleged allegations. I never did call or speak to any live human being, but I did receive copies of my Settlement receipts, which I’ve kept.

    My biggest concern is regarding 3 (CEG-TEK) porn movies listed on my alleged infringement against my IP address. I did visit CEG-TEK’s website from my home computer while in panic mode, enter their case numbers (from the Charter website) to see what this damage would cost me, but I’ve not paid them yet nor called them. These Settlement fees are for $250 each (so $750 dollars total). Fearing viruses, etc on my computer, I decided to reformat it and stop it in its track if it were my computer making these alleged violations possible. I also factory reset my wifi router and made the security much stronger security rather than using the default admin password. I finally feel secure that there will be no more torrenting on my network. Am I screwed at this point? I am so worried sick about this – I walk around feeling like I could just throw up. I cannot afford an attorney, nor the risk of losing my house, etc. if I am taken to court. I CAN barely afford the remaining “settlements”, but I’m not so sure those give me much piece of mind either. What do you think I should do? Please help!

  6. fallout11 says:

    https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-firm-rightscorp-on-the-brink-of-bankruptcy-141114/

    Rightscorp is on the brink of bankruptcy. Stock is down to 14 cents a share.
    In their latest SEC filing published earlier today the company reports a total loss of $2.2 million for the current year. This brings the total loss since its founding in 2011 to more than $6.5 million.

  7. Doe says:

    I just received a letter in the mail (not an email) from CEG TEK International and Ira M. Siegel. The 3 infringements are totaling $900 according to them. The time stamp occurred 20 minutes after our wi-fi was set up in our new apartment and we know it wasn’t us. We’ve since then, changed the password to our router, changed file sharing settings on our computers, followed the advice you’ve listed above, configured advanced security settings,etc etc. We’ve gone through the programs on our computers and uninstalled anything we didn’t recognize and anything that might be a torrent program (excuse my technical jargon if it’s off, obviously I’m new to this). With having done this, should be take any other specific precautions? Should be worried since it was an actual letter and not just some email? I plan to contact our internet provider and have the incident noted in their systems. We most definitely cannot afford that or a lawyer and I feel safe in ignoring this until another letter or something is sent because as it’s been said, it’s cheaper to send out the paperwork than it is to come after little no bodies like us.

  8. Anonymous Person. says:

    I got 4 of these things today. First reaction was panic. Then when I found out they send out 1.1 MILLION of the these things a week well….

    I did some looking around for suits filed by Ira and CEG-TEK and couldn’t find much of anything. So I guess that would confirm your above statement that they do not sue?

  9. Anonymous Person says:

    I got an email from Mr. Cashman today. He said yes CEG-TEK hasn’t filed any suits.

    He also said that asking whether or not CEG files suits is asking the wrong question. The question SHOULD be, do any of their Copyright holders file suits?

    Just thought I’d let you know. Maybe you can hit him up.

  10. Anonymous Person says:

    you might find this “amusing” and already know it but:

    One of CEG’s clients is Manwin. What’s “funny” about that is this:

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

    They own PH! So, on the one had they hire CEG yet on the other they run this HUGE freely accessable content. Probably content that CEG goes after people for on their behalf.

    If this isn’t cognitive dissonance, I don’t know what IS. What do you make of it?

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