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?

1,222 Responses to What is Your Story?

  1. stridentdefender says:

    So I recently got sent the threatening letter forwarded through my ISP, and quite frankly I freaked. Immediately paid using my debit card, and cancelled the card the next day just to be safe. Now I’m hearing I should have just ignored it and see where it goes.

    Hypothetically speaking, if this offense was indeed a real offense, what are the chances of me being sent further letters? Letters regarding the same file, or even made up ones. If there aren’t any other potential files in question, is there still a threat?

    Also, how legal is the “Release from liability” one gets e-mailed after paying up. It appears to be legit to my layman’s-eyes, but obviously it’s hard to tell.

    Pretty much what I’m asking is this: Hypothetically, if a person downloaded a single movie illegitimately, and was served a DMCA notice (legit or not) and paid the settlement fee, what continued threat is there? Also would contacting the copyright troll (CEG-TEK) have any helpful effects, or would that just provide them with more personal information with which to harass me?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I wouldn’t bother contacting CEG-TEK, as it just gives them an indication your worried, as well as more information on you. If your IP address is the same as the first time, they could figure out who you are. Otherwise you are just a number to them.

      DTD :)

  2. John_Doe_1865 says:

    Hey everybody. I received a notice earlier this February from Ceg-Tek about settling for Copyright Infringement, typical stuff. Initially, I had opened the link on my phone but never logged in. Did some research online and sorta freaked out. I actually paid Robert Cashman for his services ($1000 + $250 on untraceable VISA card) to settle the issue. Never heard back.

    I received another Copyright Infringement notice earlier during the summer around mid-July (yeah should’ve learned my lesson). I really did not feel like paying so much money again, so I decided to take the chance of not doing a single thing. No clicking on the link. No answering of any phone calls with numbers I didn’t recognize. Not doing a damn thing. My settlement date was August 15 and I have yet to hear anything. No mysterious phone calls from anyone. I honestly do not know if I am out of the situation, for all I know they could be getting my information now, but I have not had any issues from ignoring the settlement notice so far.

    Anyway, that’s my experience with this so far. If you have any questions, I’ll try to reply to the best of my capabilities. Good luck to all! You’ll make it out of this and be just fine!

  3. rome23 says:

    I am an attorney in Michigan, and have settled several of the cases vs. Malibu Media. I notice most folks just want to settle and get on with their lives, which is understandable. However, I would really like to take one of these cases all the way. Let me know how I can help.

  4. rome23 says:

    I am an attorney in Michigan, and have settled several of the cases vs. Malibu Media. I notice most folks just want to settle and get on with their lives, which is understandable. However, I would really like to take one of these cases all the way. If you are facing Malibu Media in Michigan, feel free to contact me. http://wptanner.com/index.html

  5. need advice says:

    Hi i received a letter from my Internet co. Saying there giving up my name and ip to malibu media. Today I received a letter from United States District court, me vs malibu media delivered to my place. And I singed for it and everything is that bad? My intention was to not do anything hopefully it goes away. It’s a bunch of legal words and copyright act #s. In the back the names of movies with dates. Can this be ignored? I not sure what to do with this.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      No I would not simply ignore the situation. I would recommend speaking to an attorney who works these types of cases. Also educate yourself on Malibu Media and Copyright Troll law, suits.

      DTD :)

  6. need advice says:

    Well I’m poor so an attorney Isn’t in my budget. I was looking for advice on how to deal with this. But if you advice is for me to contact a lawyer then that’s what I’ll need to do. If you have anymore advice that could help I’d appreciate it.

    Thank you

    • DieTrollDie says:

      See if you can get free consult. The local attorney will have good info on the local Malibu attorney. Also, if you are that poor, you could call the Troll and explain that getting non-existent money out of you is not an option. Each situation and Doe is different, so a generic answer doesn’t work. Malibu is the more serious Troll out there, so simply ignoring it may end in a default judgement.

      DTD :)

  7. JLhnDoes_3659 says:

    Dear DTD,

    I received two e-mails forwarded from Charter, my ISP. CEG wanted $500 on two movies I downloaded a week ago. I clicked on the links but didn’t make the payment. I used a library computer in my town to send an e-mail to support@ceg trying to argue I purchased the torrents and I paid the copyright share (with an anonymous email). Then after I found out this website and realized what I did was so stupid I closed that e-mail account immediately. The Charter account was registered under my girlfriend’s name but with a typo (1 letter different from her real name). The two e-mails was signed by Ira M. Siegel.

    What should I do now? Will Charter disclose any personal info to them? Will I get any criminal records? Do I need to format my hard drive? I was worried if I do pay they will know my personal info. Besides I don’t want my girlfriend to know about this. We live in the same apartment but I have the mail box key. I see a lot of websites say under this circumstance I need to keep silent and keep all the important documents.

    Do you have any other important advice for me?

    Thank you very much.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      First, make sure the BT activity stops and doesn’t start again. Then ignore these Bozos. As there is NO Federal Copyright Infringement case, your ISP is not going to release your info without a subpoena. No case = No subpoena. This is not even a Civil or Criminal case issue, just a turd company trying to generate settlements from people. Sorry, I can’t help you with your girlfriend. :( Use this as a learning experience.

      DTD :)

      • JLhn Does_3659 says:

        Dear DTD,

        Thank you very much for your reply. I have stopped downloading from utorrent but I have some follow up questions. Will they start a case? I live in a college town with a little population.
        So do I just need to ignore the email, and keep silent? Is there anything else I need to do? Do I need to wipe my hard drive?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Ignore and move on with your life. There is no history of them actually filing cases.

        DTD :)

  8. Johndoe1981 says:

    I foolishly did pay for two titles. Reading their disclaimer later I realized that they pass the info on to the other parties, and they can sue for other files. If other files were downloaded how likely am I to be sued? Technically the dates to pay had passed but I paid anyway. Now I’m basically having a panic attack.
    The two notices were apparently forwarded to us months after the supposed infringements took place. There could have been many files or just the two. I could be facing a million dollar lawsuit for all I know. It’s very confusing.
    Any lawyers in the Kansas City area want to help me out on this one?
    I really don’t know what to do.

  9. Tettchan777 says:

    Hi, just want it some advice and to tell my story, first let me start by saying that I lived in Japan, ok so today I came back from work and notice I had and envelop in the mailbox from ISP, inside was a bunch of papers one then was from the now infamous Dallas Buyer Club LLC, the ISP is basically asking for permission to give all my info to this firm. I admit I panic at first but, I didn’t even know what company was this, later I found out that is the title of a movie (that I didn’t know it even existed) and that they want to sue for illegal download, also a lot of people have and are been sued for the same allegations. I don’t know how far can this trolls reach but still I’m a little worried. Any advice? should I ignore then or try to get in contact with them? Thank you

  10. SCDoe says:

    I’m so nervous now :/ I’ve been ignoring the calls from RightsCorp for a few months (I’ve previously forked over $20 to them, two times, before I found this site) and then yesterday I received this email:

    I am notifying you concerning the copyright infringement violations that occurred under your IP address.

    As previously discussed, your case has now been escalated.

    The amount of time to settle the copyright infringements is now limited and at the mercy of the Copyright owner.

    Once the settlement is removed by the copyright owner, we can no longer help you reach settlement at $20 per copyright infringement.

    It is urgent that you contact me at my direct line below or any agent at (310) 751-7510 to settle the copyright infringements and show the copyright owner that you are cooperating.

    Thank you,

    Georgia

    Any advice? Should I cave and pay them? They’re saying that they have evidence of 6 infringements, for one song, which doesn’t make any sense but I’m afraid to keep ignoring them.

  11. HolyCrap951 says:

    I recently received a call from Siemens PLM that said they had received information that my Small Business (my garage) was using their Software with a cracked license. They ended up sending me an email they got from my webpage that had the mac address, ip, timestamp of one of my computers. They said the software was valued at $300,000.00 and that I need to reply in 7 days after my own internal investigation. I believe the email they sent had return receipt to prove it came from the same computer. Any advice?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I don’t have any information on Siemens PLM, but I would suggest you start looking into the allegation. If you do find that the software is running on a system, I would assess if it was a valid purchase. If not, I would suggest that you stop using it. Many expensive applications contact their home company to obtain updates, as well as to keep track of any unauthorized use of the program – cracked, etc. If it is a valid purchase and you do have documentation, I would contact Siemens (don’t use the contact info they provided – research and make the call) and try to resolve the issue. I assume if it was an unauthorized installation, they could file a law suit of some type, but often that is not cost-effective if the person/Company take steps to stop the activity.

      DTD :)

  12. Arch Man says:

    I received a letter from my ISP stating they will give up my information to the court since Malibu Media has filed a federal lawsuit in my area and I was identified by IP address. The letter comes with a few looked-like court documents, with a Docket No.

    Should I worry about this letter and seek a legal advise or I could ignore it? Your advice and help are really appreciated.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Recommend you consult with an attorney who has worked these cases and knows about Malibu Media.

      DTD :)

      • Arch Man says:

        Is that bad?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Malibu can be serious, but as I don’t know the details of your case/situation, I can’t say much more. By consulting with a knowledgeable attorney, they can give you better advice. I would at least make sure any BT activity on the network stops and you resecure the WiFi Internet connection.

        DTD :)

    • rome23 says:

      DTD is correct. You definitely want to have an attorney look at the documents you received as soon as possible. Ignorance is not bliss in these Malibu Media cases.

  13. JoDo2 says:

    Does CEG still have to subpoena to get your identity? I was reading on the Houston Lawyer blog by Cashman that because ISPs are forwarding the CEG emails, that the anonymity is gone. Here is his quote: “With the cooperation of the ISPs in forwarding CEG-TEK’s letters to accused downloaders, there is no longer an anonymity barrier between the accused downloaders and the copyright holders as there once was when CEG-TEK would need a court order to access the identities of the accused downloaders”.

    Is that something to worry about? Cashman seems pretty well respected in these matters, which has me wondering if they are changing tactics at all. In the letter I got it had the file name, hash, IP, and port. Is this what is in all the letters? Thanks for your help.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      CEG-TEK (as well as the other Trolls) will only get your ID by Two ways – as a general rule. 1) They obtain some sort of subpoena that they present to ISP telling the ISP to disclose the ISP subscriber information for a certain IP address on a certain date & time. 2). CEG-TEK is able to get the person the ISP forwarded the email notice to somehow disclose their name and other personal details. This could be voluntarilly done by the ISP subscriber when they fill out any Web CEG Web pages, enter credit card information, or when they call and talk to one of their representatives.

      I believe the anonymity barrier attorney Cashman is speaking about is only the fact that some ISPs forward these settlement emails under a DMCA take-down notice.

      DTD :)

  14. fkrc says:

    rightscrap update. emails and robocalls continue. i start blocking all. they start using spoof numbers (hawaii and georgia) and different email accounts. the blocking continues :)

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. johndoe1981 says:

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

  18. 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!

  19. SRT157 says:

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

  20. 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 :)

  21. Silver says:

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

  22. Silver says:

    what was the end of the story in your case?

  23. Silver says:

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

  24. 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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