What is Your Story?

One new Doe made a great suggestion that some of us “seasoned” Does share our Copyright Troll experiences from start to current/finish.  This will help the newbies see how the situation unfolded for the rest of us.  I will make the first post and welcome all others to tell their story.  Be mindful not to give too much away and make it easy for the Troll to identify you.  For a majority of you that will not be an issue.  For others who have pissed off the Trolls by our actions (like myself), be safe.

My Story

In 2010, I received a package in the mail from my Internet Service Provider (ISP).  What is this?  Upon opening it, I found a bunch of papers, some appearing to be court documents, stating my public IP address downloaded/shared a copyright protected porn movie.  The owner of the porn movie was suing a bunch of the people who downloaded/shared the movie in Federal Court (located in another State).  I didn’t do this, but as I have others in the residence who use my Internet connection.  I go around and check the devices to see if the file in question can be found.  I questioned everyone in the residence, but everyone denied doing it.  I don’t find the file and as I know (as the registered public IP owner) I didn’t do anything wrong, I put it to the side.  I thought there is no evidence to support the allegation, so this will go nowhere.  Some serious family issues soon arose and I never went further with it.

Sometime later, I got another letter in the mail from a Copyright Troll.  This is when I started to get worried.  The letter stated in very clear terms that I was a defendant in a Copyright Infringement case (filed in another State) and I had downloaded/shared a porn movie via BitTorrent on a certain date/time.  The letter stated that “I” was responsible for this illegal activity and that the copyright owner was prepared to sue me for as much money as they could get ($150K + attorney fees).  I freaked!  The letter also explained that there was no excuse or defense to these allegations.  Bottom line – I was guilty (In their opinion) and if I chose to, they would be kind enough to accept $3K to make the threat of losing everything go away.

I started to search the Internet for any information on this case, and soon found the term “Copyright Trolls.”  After that the information started to follow.  I found the EFF and contacted one of the attorney on their Copyright Defense page.  This attorney explained to me that this was a legal scam to extract as much money from Doe defendants as possible.  He also explained the statute of limitation was three-years and since the case was filed in another State, the Troll would have to get someone authorized to practice law in my State to file a case against me.  He said I could get a local attorney to represent me and send the Troll a letter stating 1) I didn’t do it, 2) No evidence on my systems, 3) I will fight you in court if need be, 4) If by some odd chance you win, I will file bankruptcy.  If I didn’t want to pay an attorney to do this, I could ignore the Troll and it would likely pass.  As I didn’t have the money to spend on an attorney, I opted to ignore the Troll.

I again went around to all the systems in the house and verified that the movie was not on any of them.  I also checked on my Wireless Fire Wall/Router and determined that unknown systems/users had been connecting to it.  I took screenshots of the connected systems and then blocked them.  I keep these records and all the other paperwork on my case in a safe place, in case it is ever needed (Highly doubtful).

Soon after talking to the attorney, I had a voicemail from the Troll agent.  Same BS line as the initial letter, “My client is prepared to go forward…… If you want to settle and avoid an expensive trial…. Possible finding of $150K+ against you….. Please call me at …..”  I got a couple more voicemails and even another letter.  All during this time I’m learning more and more about this racket and what a bunch of sleazy bottom-feeders me and the multitude of Does were having to deal with.

The calls and letters stopped and I never heard from the Troll again.  Also during this time I found Fightcopyrighttrolls.com (Hi Jane!).  After getting better educated on this situation, I decided to start my own blog and try to help some of the Does.

I kept an eye on my case in PACER and soon found out that the Troll had dismissed it.  It stayed open for more than a year.  The troll claiming that “The ISPs are slow,” “negotiations were taking a long time,” etc.  I would come to find out this was the standard procedure for a Troll.  Milk a case for all that it is worth and then shut it down and move to another.  GREED!  Plain and simple.  Recent court filing also confirmed that one of the Trolls has not named/served a single Doe.  The other trolls are doing the same thing.

So I haven’t paid a Troll or defense attorney a dime and I’m still around!  The worse thing I have lost is some time I spend trying to get the word out.  The return I get in good Karma is worth it.  I’m still under threat, as the statute of limitation has yet to pass – but it will.  As I have pissed off the Trolls and some copyright owners, I don’t think it is a good idea to come out once the three-years has passed.  Not the most difficult thing for a Troll to find out a public IP address and add it to a list of “offenders.”  Proof or “Stopping Piracy,” has nothing to do with these legal actions.  Money drives it all.

15 June 2012 Update – Take a listen to this Doe talk about “his story.”  Thank you SJD for finding this.

8 Jan 2013 Update – Since my last update, some Trolls decided to name or name/serve a limited number of Does with a summons/complaint or a deposition subpoena.  These cases are usually the result of a previous mass-Doe case that the Troll uses to obtain ISP subscriber information on the Does.  The numbers are still very small overall, but you should be aware of this.  STILL, we have had ZERO cases judged on their merits in a trial.  This new tactic is designed to either get the named Doe to settle or test the water for a possible default judgement motion if the Doe does not respond at all.  If this happens, I’m of the opinion to hire an attorney knowledgeable on these cases.  The problem the Troll has with this tactic is what to do if a defendant answers a complaint with a denial or denial/counterclaims, the Troll/Plaintiff can’t easily drop the case.  The Troll doesn’t want to have the case judged on its merits – there is none.  The Troll then has to either wait for the court to dismiss it for some reason or settle with the defendant – paying off the Doe.  Even if a court dismisses such a case, the Troll knows the defendant is most likely going to motion the court for an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs.

18 June 2013 Update – At this point we have seen the start of the destruction of Prenda Law and the PA Bellwether trial took place.  I expect Lipscomb and Malibu Media will claim the trial validated all their claims and that are only attempting to stop pirates from taking their content for free.  The Bellwether trial was disappointing in that it failed to make Lipscomb/Malibu Media answer any hard questions about their operation.  It was a “show trial” agreed upon after all three defendants settled with Plaintiff.   The possible long-term effects of this trial are debatable, but Copyright Trolling in its various forms will continue.  Lipscomb/Malibu Media have tailored their efforts to minimize the risks, but if they play it long enough, they will crap out.

OK, enough of me.  What is your story?

1,336 Responses to What is Your Story?

  1. bc says:

    So like a previous poster, I too am in Canada and received a CEG-TEK letter to settle for one movie (downloaded only 6 days ago). I panicked, clicked the link and filled out my personal info (that was dumb) However the payment did not go through and did nothing more. They do have my info now unfortunately.
    I have stopped all torrent/p2p activity, Changed my IP address and using a VPN.
    What could happen now? if they contact me again should I ignore? Pay?
    Any advice would be great since I’m Panicking.

  2. Mickey says:

    Does rfcexpress.com upload court information within days of the Subpoena being filed or does it upload info on a court case within days of the court date being set? Or does rfcexpress.com not give any info on a court case until it is officially over-the verdict has been reached etc.

    Thanks to anyone who responds!!!

  3. Holmes says:

    I too got the similar letter in the mail. When I looked up the charges with the case number and password, it was a total of $900! I haven’t contacted them yet and don’t plan to do so. Is it right to just ignore it?

  4. jdoe1092 says:

    Ceg-Tek sent me a letter today, I freaked out and paid immediately not wanting to take this any futher since I don’t know if unknown people have been using my internet connexion. Only 15 minutes later I decided to make some research. That was stupid I know, I feel like i’ve been scammed.
    I want to know if there is any risk if I cancel that payment, since they still got my personal infos.
    And what if I don’t cancel, what must I expect from them?
    If I cancel what are the chances that they strike back with everything they got?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I don’t think you are at any more of a risk if you cancel the payment. They will likely tell you that they are escalating the matter, but that is all BS in my opinion. They do not sue anyone , even the ones they have the names of.

      DTD :)

      • jdoe1092 says:

        Wow thanks for the fast reply :)
        But May I ask how can you be so sure about all you say. Are you some kind of law specialist? Excuse my paranoia at the moment, understand I am really freaking out right now.
        Thanks! I live in Canda BTW

      • DieTrollDie says:

        I have been at this since 2010, and these Bozos have YET to file any real cases in the USA. I’m not an attorney, but I was an investigator in a previous career. IMO they are even more unlikely to do anything in Canada, as the damage award is maxed out at $5,000. A real trial will cost them way more than that. These guys run their operation on the cheap and filing real cases isn’t cheap. Just make sure the BT activity stops and doesn’t start back up. Rescue the WiFi password and move on with your life.

        DTD :)

  5. doe says:

    Hi I got an e-mail from CEG-TEK asking for a 200$ settlement. I paid and gave all my informations, Am I screwed? For what I understand, they will use that info to get even more money from me! I don’t know what to do…

    • DieTrollDie says:

      They could do that, but you aren’t screwed. Try to cancel the payment and ignore their efforts to scare you. Make sure you the BT activity stops and doesn’t start back up. Rescue your WiFi connection and move on with your life.

      DTD :)

  6. JustAnotherJohnDoe says:

    Looks like I’m another in a long line of similar stories. Got 2 notifications from Ceg-Tek. Same movie, two fines. Apparently because the torrent DL took 2 days, they count it twice. The total was $600. The stupid thing is I use a VPN. I just forgot to turn it on for this DL. dumb. Anyway, unless anyone suggests otherwise, I’m just ignoring it.

  7. TrollHater says:

    So I’m just beginning this journey. I’m getting emails from my ISP saying that some trolls contacted them about some porn that was downloaded using my wifi. After a serious conversation and thorough check of our household devices we have come to the conclusion that we have not committed the infringements. We are now looking to everyone else we have ever given our wifi password to. They have not yet sent a subpoena for our names.

    So far they are claiming around 60 infringements, most of which are the same movie just getting repeated as another infringement. Is 60 considered big or is this still “small time?” I’m trying to get a scale of how serious of a case they or anyone thinks they may have with that many alleged infringements.

    I’ll keep you guys updated as I go along and I would much appreciate your advice. I’m going to do everything that I can to stop then from getting my identity and that’s ask I can do at this stage.

    Also, what was the site with the examples for a motion to quash?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      If this is a CEG or RightCorp issue, then simply Resecure the WiFi connection, tell the ISP you have taken steps to make sure it doesn’t continue, and ignore the notices.

      DTD :)

  8. TrollHater says:

    It is CEG. Thank you for the advice. I’ll keep you updated if the situation changes.

  9. JDoe says:

    I too recently got an email stating I had downloaded something and I should pay them $200. I haven’t contacted them in any form. My biggest concern is that all of this information was forwarded to me by my VPN service (they have my billing address). The main network that was in use was a public network at a country I was in far far away forward to a stateside IP. I, like many others am still freaking out. I guess my question is should I even be remotely worried? (not to pay them, but to at least get me an attorney)

  10. James T Kirk says:

    If you have nothing they cannot take anything. I live in the uk and my isp sent me a letter saying they have handed over my details. I have had this before off ACSLaw that was a joke and so is this. I told ACSLaw to go and F**k spiders and I will tell TCYK the exact same. If they want to waste their money then they can. Here in the UK if you have nothing then a civil court cannot take anything or even do anything.
    In conclusion, I run linux live without a hard drive so I have nothing to show or save, so I say to TCYK, are you feeling lucky punk, come on make my day.

  11. Imson says:

    I got a email from CEG-TEK this morning that i have violated copyright rules and they have charged me $1500. What should I do? Should I Act towards it or should i just leave it and move on?

  12. JD says:

    Let’s be real here, you settled anonymously I presume, so you would have to be re-sued within your ISP’s retention logs. I received a few emails from CEG-TEK in late 2012 and nothing came of it as of now. If they were to come, they better be sure your ISP can ID you, so I would say within a year then you are in the clear. I HIGHLY doubt you need to wait 3 years to get a subpeona because you are still anonymous to Malibu if you settled anonymously. Please chime in DTD and others who might have more experience/knowledge in this area.

  13. anynomouse49 says:

    I found some information regarding your comment.

    How Long Does Your ISP Store IP-Address Logs?
    http://torrentfreak.com/how-long-does-your-isp-store-ip-address-logs-120629/

    Here is an example memorandum submitted by Jon A. Hoppe.
    “Plaintiff dismisses Defendant John Doe because of the period of time for which the Internet Service Providers keep the data records has elapsed.”
    http://copyrightletter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Memorandum18.pdf

  14. johndoe1981 says:

    I did not settle anonymously. I filled out my name and address with the credit card. Yes I was that dumb.

  15. JonDoe1980 says:

    I too received a letter from my ISP forwarded from ceg-tek about a week or so ago. In this letter it claims my ip was used to allegedly download 12 movies. Thing is, some of them are from months ago and the deadline to settle has already passed on 8 of them. Seems my ISP didn’t send the first ones out before or I would have made sure my router re-secured with a different pw. So now there is 8 that have passed and 4 still under the deadline.

    Out of these there are 10 different copyright holders. Is it now up to the individual copyright holders to pursue a lawsuit? If so, that means 10 different suits could potentially be filed? Or would ceg-tek file for all 12 at once? I looked at rfc express and couldn’t find any suits pursued by them, but over a thousand filed by MM. Are they completely entities or do they work together?

    Basically what would you think my best course of action would be at this point? I’m speaking with an attorney next week as well but just curious how others have handled this… Thanks!

  16. SRT157 says:

    can you explain to me the relevance of this information if you are contacted by a troller?

  17. DieTrollDie says:

    You are correct in that if any of the Plaintiff’s wish to file a law suit, they will have to do it. No grouping of multiple Plaintiffs allowed in theses types of cases. As this is CEG-TEK, I would still NOT contact them and go about securing your system and try to determine what happened. Keep good notes and file it safely away – highly doubt you will need it. As CEG-TEK has NO history of filing cases, I would hold off doing more. Yes, RFC Express shows the real cases filed and not the DMCA notices sent by CEG-TEK.

    DTD :)

  18. Silver says:

    Hey JonDoe1980, what did you find out at the end? what happened in your case? please guide me here

  19. Silver says:

    what was the end of the story in your case?

  20. Silver says:

    hey what is the present status of your case? did anyone come after you? please share

  21. JonDoe1980 says:

    I see, so I’m really trying my best to enjoy this holiday season but as you can probably tell, this is stressing me significantly. In your opinion with a lot more understanding and knowledge than myself, how likely is it that one or more of these will decide to file suit over one alleged movie download halfway across the country? I did look up each one and saw none of them have files anything since 2012…?

    Thanks for your time in all this, so stressed!

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