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?

1,372 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.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Same advice to ignore and move on. They will likely send more notices and threat to escalate the matter. All BS IMO.

      DTD :)

    • Dan says:

      I’m no pro, but I’ve seen the pros say repeatidly ignore letters from those guys and stop infringing activities. I highly recommend vpn for everybody regardless of the legality of there online activities. Make sure your vpn provider keeps no logs otherwise they will just hand over your info.

  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?

  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.

    • JB says:

      Hello James – I’ve got 2nd set of letters from TCYK yesterday after I replied to their first letter that I do not know nor never heard of TCYK ever! As usual coz I’m the named account holder responsible, they can send me Settlement Offer Proposal and Undertaking Form before costs escalate!! I’m not the sort who panics so done my web research after their initial letter and remaining to keep my cool but it’s so annoying this is on my back adding to the volume of workload I can’t keep my head up enough above water :( Is it worth seeing Citizen’s Advice Bureau? or as most of the comments here..IGNORE? until hopefully this matter dies? But I wonder how come these companies can do this or send these letters openly? I never downloaded anything but if have people or visitors around I happily let them use my WiFi – we mostly do – don’t we? ;) Thanks v much to all.

  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. Pokemon says:

    how long after downloading does someone get a notice? also, if someone doesn’t receive one does that mean they are in the clear? also if a company asks to put a hold on your IP address with your ISP will you get notified? I know some ISPs allow for hold requests?

    • Pokemon says:

      also, will you get the standard warning letter and then after down the line possibly get a lawsuit letter for the same infringement ?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        OK. For most of the Trolls is works like this. If it is CEG-TEK or RightsCorp, you will get a DMCA notice/settlement demand (Unless you ISP removed the settlement demand portion). No law suits will follow.

          *** NOTE: Exception is for music belonging to “Rotten Records” (RightsCorp employeer) – Cases have only been filed so far in MA, NJ, & NY. ***

        If it is from a Troll/Plaintiff who files real copyright infringement law suits,you will NOT (correct me if I’m wrong) get a DMCA notice via your ISP. The real Troll doesn’t want you to stop the activity until he has been able to collect as much downloading information as possible.

        DTD :)

    • DieTrollDie says:

      No hard and fast rule for that. For CEG-TEK and RightsCorp, it is often very soon after they record the BT activity. For the mass-Doe cases (like Dallas Buyers Club), they often collect the IP addresses until they have a predetermined number (in a particular jurisdiction, i.e. Northern District of IL) and then file a case. It can take one week or a month or two. It seems for the mass-Doe cases, they are trying to keep it under a month, as they think the court will be less inclined to wonder about proper joinder of all the Does. Most of the time, the activity is around 3-6 prior to the case filing.

      As for Malibu Media/X-Art and the other single Doe cases, they seem to be monitoring for a longer period of time. In my most recent article, I mention a case where the monitoring/recording of BT activity of an IP address went on for 9 months. They did this to gather evidence on who the likely person was, their likes, hobbies, interests, and to establish that the activity likely did not come from a random person mooching free WiFi.

      As far as a hold on your info – you might get notified, but it is best to call your ISP and find out.

      DTD :)

      • Pokemon says:

        thanks for the fast reply. last question: let’s say the ISP records are held for 1 year, if someone hasn’t heard anything past that point (after the IP log has been purged) does that mean the copyright holder is out of luck ?

      • Pokemon says:

        also, if a copyright holder files after an ISP retention policy, does that mean the copyright holder is unable to prove and sue? *Sorry if this a repeat question from me as I couldn’t till if my first submission sent throug.

      • Alex says:

        I got 2 (from same file) and from CEG-TEK but the copyright is from MG Premium Ltd. Should I be worried? Didn’t look at any settlement so they couldn’t tell I accessed it at least. It’s “due” on Jume 8th. I think I’m just going to wait it out, to my knowledge no MG Premium has filed anything yet.

  13. Doe says:

    I received a letter from my isp…it was edited as well, but I also have a subscription to Netflix, where I watched said movie they said I downloaded..do these people have a clue or are the like the ambulance chasers and hoping that we will just pay them Z???

  14. amtoz says:

    Hi,
    I got a notice from CEG_TEK to settle 300$ claim they had. I honestly freaked out and paid immediately like some others two days ago. I now am panicked of their probable future emails to threat me of any thing serious that might happen to me. Now that I am looking through my Inbox I have got some previous notices of them which I accidentally didnt notice and didint pay attention to and nothing has happened to me regarding those. Some for 6-7 months ago.

    PLZ somebody gives me an advice.

  15. caz says:

    “Canada” here is some recent info about these Trolls ( http://brevi.tk/tpx2 ) which I found as I just got 7 letters for a tv show, (they say I downloaded) and now I got one for a video they claim I downloaded and are trying to bully for a settlement payment. DON’T Pay from what I read.

  16. SliceofPie says:

    ugh, I just got a notice this past monday from my ISP. Had to look up who Malibu Media was. Was surprised to see the first page of results be all about MM lawsuits and nothing about Malibu Media itself. It appears I’m a single Doe case. Any advice or suggestions?

  17. JonDoe says:

    I live in Canada. I got an email on June xx from CEG TEK saying I downloaded some porn and they wanted me to pay $xxxx. I panicked (even punched a wall) I called them, gave them my cell phone number and my name. Said that this was real and you should just pay to get it off your chest. I dug out a pre-paid visa and tried paying with that and I’m pretty sure I filled out my personal info on that aswell. It didn’t go through since it was only $100. I called them back, saw I tried paying. Anyway, I did some research and haven’t clicked on the link ever since that day. I’m pretty sure they’ve tried calling me 4 times since then but I’m not sure since they are unknown numbers from the U.S. What do you think would happen and what to do now.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Ignore and make sure the BT activity on your network stops and doesn’t start back up. Change your WiFi password and don’t freely give it out. As far as I know, no real copyright infringement cases have been filed in Canada by CEG or the content owners who signed on with them. Do not speak to them on the phone, as there is nothing to say that will get them to drop this. Plus you may accidentally give them some information they could used to scare you into paying.

      DTD :)

      • JonDoe says:

        Ok thanks. I’m not sure if it’s CEG, but I keep getting phone calls from somewhere in the United States and I never answer them. Do I just keep ignoring? Sorry, they say that I have until July 1st and I just don’t want to get in more trouble. I know I’m not guilty but since I contacted them on the phone, I’m not sure if they can bring that to court and use it against me.

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Ignore. Period. The fact that you called is NOT evidence of guilt. Don’t even go that route. Many people have paid out of fear. Don’t be one. They will eventually move on to other people.

        DTD :)

      • JonDoe says:

        What would should I do.

  18. jondoe1818 says:

    i got a subpoena from clacier films inc. what should i do go to court ,seattle or what help.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      It looks like they have filed some mass doe cases. Do a Google search and see if you can get a free consult from an attorney who knows these types of cases. Please,also send me what the ISP sent you. I will not release the information. From this I will be better able to answer your questions.

      DTD :)

      • jondoe1818 says:

        attorney told me we can settle out of court for 3-4k plus hes 700 fee. what you think

  19. jondoe1818 says:

    i got subpoena from clacier films what should i do show to court or what

  20. Anonymous says:

    I just got this from my ISP provider Pen Tele Data about paying approx. 1,500 for a few different movies. Has anyone passed their deadline with nothing happening afterwards? I really don’t want to pay this out just because I downloaded some porn. My deadline isn’t until the end of July 31. Any help would be greatly appreciated or any advice that is.

  21. Outside says:

    I’m a little confused between the difference in the advice for CEG-TEK vs Malibu Media(and Dallas Buyers Club). It seems the advice is to ignore CEG-TEK notices but not to ignore MM or Dallas Buyers Club. If I understand correctly, this is because CEG-TEK copy right holders do not sue, while MM and Dallas copy right holders do sue? Do I have this right?
    I received a CEG-TEK letter for copyright material by Girls Gone Wild from my VPN-ISP. I don’t believe CEG-TEK has my personal info. Is GGW known for suing?

  22. JonDoe197 says:

    I just got served a subpena for XX infractions from malibu media. Lawyer told me it would be best if I just settle.

  23. fkrc says:

    my deal with rightscrap is reaching a year soon. their last voicemail was a new person, sounded pleasant and informed me they can give a discount if i settle but only for that day :)

  24. doe says:

    Hello DTD, just wanna ask if Malibu Media has similar lawsuit cases ”outside” of the United States? Or they simply don’t do it because it’s not worth the hassle…Thanks

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I think Malibu Media tried to sue in Germsny, but we’re shutdown sometime ago. I will have to look into ghis. As,far as I know, Malibu Media only Trolls in the US. Even then, they only do this in jurisdictions where they have found attorneys with questionable ethics (my opinion ). They also steer clear of jurisdictions that have strong Doe defenders and courts who can see the truth of their operations.

      DTD :)

  25. James T Kirk says:

    Hi JB, I am waiting for my letter, Sky went and told them that I am the subscriber to the ip address and then warned me that I was about to receive a letter which up until now hasn’t appeared. I don’t want to advise you but I can tell you what I will do, I will completely ignore it and if at a later date they take me to court I will fight it, if they win and I doubt very much they will even take me to court after watching ACSLaw aka Andrew Crossly go bankrupt trying this scam in the uk.
    In conclusion I am a pensioner and own nothing so they will pay dearly for taking me to court, the bailiffs wouldn’t even get anything. It is a scam Andrew Crossly only won undefended cases by default as if he was to have taken anyone to court and then lost his scam would have failed.
    I am almost looking forward to TCYK taking me to court, I haven’t been to London for quite some time. By the way that is one film I didn’t download either.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. johndoe1981 says:

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

  29. 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!

  30. SRT157 says:

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

  31. 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 :)

  32. Silver says:

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

  33. Silver says:

    what was the end of the story in your case?

  34. Silver says:

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

  35. 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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