CEG-TEK, Rightscorp., Etc.

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.

DTD 🙂

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Previous RightsCorp articles – 123

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.‎

My Advice

  • 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.

DieTrollDie 🙂

1,467 Responses to CEG-TEK, Rightscorp., Etc.

  1. doe says:

    Hi I received a notice and open their link in my same IP address . Tried paying off the amount and get out of the trouble enterd all my details but the payment didn’t go through . Later I read all these advises and now please let me know if I didn’t pay will they sue me since they have all my details

    • Shawn says:

      Hello.
      You have made couple of mistakes. They might find you. Try to not stress about it.
      Important to understand that no legal action has been taken against you at this time and you are under no obligation to respond to their notice.

  2. DH says:

    Just an update- I received a notice from CEG-TEK in October of 2014. I did not click on it, or go to their site. I ignored it completely and went on with my life. For the record, and not that anyone cares, no illegal downloading had occurred before or after the notice. Most likely an insecure connection.

    Regardless, I never heard from them again. And I know I never will.

    PLEASE don’t make any contact with them. DTD is doing a true service to the community here. I really want to thank him/her.

  3. Doe says:

    I received an email from CEG TEK also it is a 2nd notice and says I must respond by early November. It is one case and they want 300.00. I opened the file of course it scared me and before I read all these comments… Ever heard of that????

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I assume the email was forwarded by your ISP and was not sent directly to you by CEG-TEK. Standard advice applies. Make sure the BT activity that is happening on your network stops and doesn’t start back up later. I suggest changing the WiFi password and not freely giving it out to people. Tell anyone using your network not to run a BT client and/or download/share copyright protected content. Ignore the Troll and move on with your life – don’t pay them anything. There is a very small chance that a CEG-TEK client “Could” file a law suit. Currently we only have one client (London Has Fallen (LHF), the movie) who is filing law suits in some jurisdictions. I know of NO information indicating that if this is a LHF notice, failure to pay will lead to a law suit.

      DTD 🙂

  4. doe says:

    No it said the movie was XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX… Never seen it…

  5. Doe says:

    I had posted on here a while ago stating that I received a notice from rightscorp and paid an initial $30. After I had done this, they had contacted me about several other files. I have since ignored all contact with them as per your advice. I recently received this email:
    Dear XXXXXXXXXX,

    I have been extending the settlement option for your case for some time now and we have yet to receive a response,

    Please understand we are simply offering you the option to settle as a pre-litigation communication and obtain a release of liability.

    Once our client revokes the settlement option we can no longer assist you,

    If there is any financial hardship we will work with you, if you believe there is a mistake regarding this case please notify me immediately.

    I need your response immediately for the settlement being offered, once the settlement has been taken we will send you the release and close your case.

    Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions you would like our company to address in order to have this resolved,

    Is your advice still the same in this case?
    Thanks.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I’m still of the opinion that the best course of actions concerning Rightscorp or CEG-TEK, is to not respond back to them and resecure your WiFi Internet connection. It is also a good idea to make sure that any authorized users of the network are not using BT to download/share copyright protected material. If you consider the history of Rightscorp, there have only been a a very small number of people in the US, where a case was eventually filed against them. Compared to the VAST number of notices they send out, the percentage chance of anything happening is likely less than 1%. Remember that the Copyright owner is the one (NOT Rightscorp) who would have to get an attorney (in YOUR jurisdiction) to file a case. Majority of the copyright owners who emply Rightscorp do NOT want to file any law suits. That is why they signed up with Rightscorp. It costs them nothing to join and IF Rightscorp gets a settlement, they liekly get 50% of it. That is free money for the owners. Of course Rightscorp is going to tell you the owner is going to sue – if you don’t settle, they don’t get paid. GREED. Nothing has changed. Ignore is my suggestion.

      DTD 🙂

  6. Doe (Don't Use Real Name) says:

    Are you aware of any legit lawsuits taking place right now for the download of Olympus has fallen through any apps? I have been sent a notice of behalf of LHF Productions. I’m being asked to settle for $4900 now or it will increase. Please contact me directly if you can. I could really use some help and have no idea if this is real or not.

  7. Edoe says:

    DTD please advise on why I should do!
    So I was contacted by Rightscorp today and ended up paying. I should have done research beforehand but I freaked out! They have my info and called today to complete the payment. Now I’m wondering if I should call my bank and cancel the payment and ignore any threats from here on out, or if that is a bad idea since they have my info already. I am very worried. Basically I just want to know if I’m at more risk if I cancel the payment.

    • Edoe says:

      Also am I screwed because they have my info now?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Please email me what they sent you (dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com). I assume it came through your ISP and you called them? Historically there have only been a very small number of Rightscorp clients who have actually sued people. I don’t have an exact number, but it may be around 20 total – and only in a more limited number of jurisdictions. So IMO, the chance of anything coming from this if you try to cancel the payment via your bank, is very unlikely. Please understand that for 99% of the clients who employ Rightscorp, they have NO interest in sueing people that don’t pay. Rightscorp gets them some money from settlements and they incur ZERO risk of a law suit going bad. The lawyers and Rightscorp also know that running a real case and trial is very very expensive and even if they win, the Defendant may not have the money to pay any award. So then the client would have to pay for his own legal bills and possibly get ZERO from a Defendant.

      Are you screwed? No. If you cancel the payment, they will continue to call, email, text, etc., with threats that they will sue. Again, very small chance IMO that it could happen – very limited history of this. It all comes down to what you can handle in stress. Keep reading and also send me what you have. I will get back to you with my thoughts.

      DTD 🙂

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