25 July Update – Torrent Lawyer (Cashman Law Firm, TX) article “The strange case of the Girls Gone Wild DMCA notifications (CEG-TEK).” Robert Cashman’s thoughts on the recent wave of CEG-TEK notices for Girls Gone Wild (GGW) DMCA notices. Looks like CEG-TEK and GGW owners are trying to scare people with very large settlement demands.
I don’t know if what I am noticing is based on greed on behalf of the “Girls Gone Wild” copyright holder (a.k.a., GGW Brands LLC) based on their corporate shakeup and recent bankruptcy, or whether CEG-TEK’s computer system has been going haywire sending sometimes hundreds of DMCA copyright infringement notifications for one “click” of a bittorrent file, or if there is a shift coming where CEG-TEK will be using the DMCA notices in a new way to extort larger and larger settlements from accused downloaders.
27 June Update – TorrentFreak article “Rightscorp Pressures ISPs to Hijack Pirates Browsers.” Letter Rightscorp sent to ISP RCN – Rightscorp_RCN_HijackBrowser
Piracy monetization firm Rightscorp is promoting its browser hijacking system to ISPs. In a proposal revealed by Internet provider RCN, Rightscorp suggests a gradual approach where pirating subscribers eventually have to pay a fine to regain Internet access.
21 June 2016 Update – Here is an audio recording of a CEG-TEK message to a Doe. They claim that simply being the ISP subscriber, YOU could be held responsible. All BS in my opinion. Don’t give into the FUD.
16 June 2016 Update – Not much has changed as far as the activities of the bottom feeding BT Copyright Trolls (CEG-TEK & Rightscorp). They are still sending out notices to ISP subscribers and seeking settlements for downloading/sharing their clients copyright protected content. I still believe the chance of actually getting sued by copyright owner who employees these companies is very very slim. Still, it is probably best to once notified, ensure any BT activity on your network stops and doesn’t later return. AND I suggest you do NOT contact these companies.
- Rightscorp is NOT doing well and according to a 18 May 16, Billboard article (Rightscorp Revenue Plummets, Has ‘Substantial Doubts’ About Its Future), where the company is allegedly questioning its viability.
- On 15 Jun 16, Torrentfreak reported that the US ISP, RCN was suing the music rights group BMG because of the huge amount of DMCA notices it sends out via Rightscorp. Rightscorp and its clients (BMG) claim that ISPs could be held liable for the infringing actions of their customers if they fail to take proper action. This includes disconnecting repeat copyright infringers.
The Internet provider has asked the court to declare that it is not responsible for copyright infringements allegedly committed by its customers. Among other things, RCN argues that the notices sent by BMG’s anti-piracy partner Rightscorp are flawed.
- As far as CEG-TEK, I haven’t heard anything to suggest they are in financial trouble. One recent point of interest is one of their clients, “LHF Productions, Inc.” (Movie: “London Has Fallen”) has been filing real Federal Copyright Infringement cases (Single & Multiple-Doe cases) in a bunch jurisdictions (AZ, CA, IL, CO, OR, OH, NY, NV, HI, WA, & possibly more). Torrentfreaks claims the number of John Does affected is over 1000. Some details on the LHF cases can be found at Antonelli Law.
- What would be interesting to find out is if any of the John Does in these cases ever received CEG-TEK DMCA notices/settlement demands. Historically, the Trolls that file law suits do not send out DMCA notices prior to filing cases. This may be the case; it could also be that the law suits were filed against the public IP addresses that did not decide to settle with CEG-TEK and the BT activity continued. I would love to hear from anyone with information on this topic.
Aug 15 Update – Here is a recent TorrentFreak article concerning RightsCorp striking a deal with a law firm engaged in Copyright Trolling. https://torrentfreak.com/rightscorp-deal-turns-dmca-notices-into-piracy-lawsuits-150812/
The firm is Flynn Wirkus Young. The specific Copyright Troll attorney is Jordan Rushie. So far they have only filed 6 cases for Rotten Records. I assume they will try to use the Malibu Media LLC strategy of targeting only those who have money enough to settle. If you hear from these Trolls, please contact me.
Jun 15 Update – In May 2015, one content owner who signed-on with RightsCorp (Rotten Records) filed 6 copyright infringement law suits in MA, NJ, or NY. My post on this. These are the only known instances of where a content owner who used RightsCorp has sued. For these cases, there was a large number of settlement demands made over time (which were ignored) while the BT activity continued. For a Copyright Troll to file a law suit, these factors it requires the following.
- Content owner willing to sue. 99.99% of the content owners who sigh-on with RightsCorp or CEG-TEK are not willing. The content owners get a small amount of settlement money and NO trial risks by simply allowing CEG-TEK/RightsCorp to act as a representative/agent. As they don’t pay these bozos anything, anything from settlements is pure profit.
- IP address of the offender is in a jurisdiction with a local Copyright Troll attorney who works for the content owner. BT Copyright Troll do not file cases in most US jurisdictions.
So with these 6 noted exceptions (cases), I’m still of the opinion that both of these operations are simply dogs with a bark worse than their bite in 99.99% of the time. Still – probably best not to take a chance and continue to allow BT to run on the network once notifications start.
Feb 15 Update – RightsCorp was hit by a second law suit. Fightcopyrighttrolls article. “The complaint is short and concentrates on a single deliberate violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act — harassing robocalling and messaging without the recipients’ consent. This is not a class action, and the plaintiffs seek an award of trebled statutory damages ($1,500 per each call). “
Sep 14 Update – A recording of a RightsCorp voicemail and text message sent to people accused of copyright infringement – found here.
30 Jul 14 – The Daily Dot Article on RightsCorp – Meet RightsCorp, the anti-piracy company that can kick you off the Internet
I get a good amount of emails and comments from people who receive emails from CEG-TEK International and Rightscorp. I will try to answer most of the questions people have when they receive a settlement demand email forwarded to them from their Internet Service Provider (ISP).
CEG-TEK and Rightscorp are companies that provide copyright protection services, most notably, copyright monetization from illegal file sharing. These companies monitor BitTorrent file sharing for content owned by their clients. Once a client’s content is identified as being shared, they send out a settlement demand email under the guise of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to the ISP who owns the IP address. To maintain their “Safe Harbor” status (protects them from being sued by the content owner), the ISP forwards the notice to the ISP subscriber. Their primary goal appears to be to generate low-dollar settlements (compared to tradition copyright infringement law suits) without having to open a Federal copyright infringement law suit. They do not know who you are unless you contact them and tell them. By sending the settlement demand email via the DMCA notice, they avoid having to file real cases and deal with requesting a subpoena from the courts. It is my opinion that these companies are the same as the standard copyright trolls in that they don’t care if you actually did it, only that someone is going to pay the settlement. I know of NO real Federal copyright infringement cases opened by these companies – It is not in their business model to do this.
*** If you live in Canada, please see this Web page for information on the “Notice and Notice Regime.” *** Quick Facts for Consumers
If you receive a notice of alleged infringement, it is because a copyright owner has identified your Internet address as being involved in an activity that allegedly infringes their copyright.
Receiving a notice does not necessarily mean that you have in fact infringed copyright or that you will be sued for copyright infringement.
The Notice and Notice regime does not impose any obligations on a subscriber who receives a notice and it does not require the subscriber to contact the copyright owner or the intermediary.
The information provided by the copyright owner should help you understand the details of the alleged infringement.
An objective of the Notice and Notice regime is to discourage online infringement on the part of Internet subscribers and to raise awareness in instances where Internet subscribers’ accounts are being used for such purposes by others.
U.S. copyright fines and penalties do not apply in Canada.
Statutory damages for non-commercial infringement in Canada do not exceed $5,000.
- 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, 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.’
As I said, I know of no real copyright infringement cases being opened by these companies. It is a possibility, but there is NO history to support this happening. Please email me if you know something different.