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?

1,607 Responses to What is Your Story?

  1. Doe says:

    Advice for non-LHF CEG-TEK DMCA notices from ISP still to ignore?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I suggest not to contact CEG-TEK ever. Doesn’t matter who owns the content. You should also stop the BT activity on your network and make sure it doesn’t start back up later.

      DTD 🙂

  2. Randoe says:

    I’ve been reading through your website and I’m still confused on what I should do. I received the copyright letter from my ISP last night that I infringed on LHF productions. I called a lawyer on the EFF page and she told me that if I settle it would cost 3-4K. I, like many others, don’t have that type of money. I know your stance has been wait and see if they go as far as to sue me but if they do then how much would it cost me. I can’t afford it costing more. I was even sweating when I thought it would be $300.

  3. Randoe says:

    Paperwork sent

  4. Thatguy says:

    After about a month and half of ignoring. I finally got a ‘Notice of a lawsuit and request to waive service of a summons’ . Not sure if I should keep ignoring or not. This is for the LHF case, in Washington.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      OK. IF you sign the Waiver of Service you will have 60 days to “answer” the complaint (send an “answer” to the court) in which you have to admit, deny, or say you don’t have enough information to answer each of the claims in the complaint. IF you fail to do this, then the Troll can ask for a default judgement against you. IF you don’t sign the Waiver of Service, the Troll has to pay a process server to serve you. IF that happens, you only have 21 days to answer the complaint. If the Troll does not serve you, they he cannot motion the court for a default – UNLESS they he can show they have tried various ways to serve you, but that they can’t find you. It is my opinion (non-legal advice) is NOT to sign the waiver. If he is going to serve you, then let them pay for it. YES, I know they can simply add the expense to any default award request, BUT that is EXACTELY what the Troll doesn’t want to do. WHY? Because it cost him (or at least the Plaintiff) real money to do so. A waiver only cost them a little bit of time. Also, a default award is in NO WAY as desireable as getting real money voluntarilly from a Doe. A default judgement still has to be collected. The Troll knows that if a Doe is willing to let a case go default, they probably are not to worried about collections efforts to get the money. Plus, it will AGAIN cost Troll/Plaintiff more money to try and force the collection/garneshment, etc. For some of these cases, trying to collect $3-5K defaults is going to cost them more. Now they could sell the debt to a collection agency, but that still only gets them pennies on the dollar.

      It really depends on your situation and if want to answer the compaint or let it possibly go default. For many of the WA BT Copyright Troll cases, the courts are only awarding $750 statuatory damages and them fess/costs (est. $2-3.5K).

      DTD 🙂

      http://copyright.infringementadvisor.com/2016/03/dallas-buyers-club-cobbler-nevada.html

      • Thatguy says:

        Thank you so much for your answer DTD. The case has 11 people on it in Washington, and one of those is my fiance. I dont want a default judgement put against her and showing up on her credit. Would it be worth it to pay an for an attorney? The Attorney around here is charging $750 flat fee for a defense.

        I’m very much leaning on ignoring it, but dont want to have that judgement put against her and showing up on her credit. Thanks again for providing peace of mind! 🙂

      • DieTrollDie says:

        The use of an attorney to settle is a matter of personal choice. In my view, if you are going to pay the asked settlement amount you don’t really need an attorney. I will caution people that in talking with the Troll, never discuss ANYTHING about how it happened. You simply want to settle and move on with your life. An admission or giving the Troll ANY other information is NOT required to settle. A Settlement is simply a payment in exchange for being release from the case (Not sued). Do NOT discuss the details of the incident/case. Where I do see an advantage of using an attorney is IF you can’t handle the stress of it OR if the attorney can get the settlement amount reduced by at least the amount of his fee ($750).

        Of course your fiancé could simply write the Troll and tell them she is the ISP subscriber and she didn’t do this. The Troll will of course not believe her, but sometimes a simple response is necessary start. The Troll will then want her to tell them who else has used the network and if they run BT on it. What it will come down to is if she ignores the Troll, THEY will have to decide what their next step is. For many of the Trolls, that is turning out to be amending the complaint with the true names of the ISP subscribers and serving them. The Waiver is just a cheaper way to serve a person. The Trolls will negotiate – but it isn’t likely to be easy. A voluntary settlement is PREFERRED by the Troll. I have seen various default judgements in WA in which the court ONLY awards $750 plus fees/costs (est. $2-3.5K). This is often less than the settlement demand AND it is only a paper victory until they can collect the money. If a Doe is willing to let a case go default, there is a good chance he/she isn’t going to worry about paying the Troll anything. Plus, forcing a collection requires the Troll to expend more time and money – this affect their bottom line (profit).

        Please keep me informed on what happens

        DTD 🙂

  5. Doe says:

    I did get a subopena from Cell film holdings. I am pretty sure none of us in our residence downloaded the movie. This to me looks like a legal scam. Any one in WA know how to deal witht this?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Please send me what you have recieved and I will get back to you in private – dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com

      I assume you recieved a copy of the subpoeona to the ISP for YOUR ISP subscriber information. Please note this is NOT a scam, but a real Federal Copyright Infringement law suit – send me the paperwork and I will verify. YES, the Trolls are abusing the legal system (my opinion) to extort money, but do NOT simply ignore this. If you do that, there is a good chance it will end in a default judgement against you.

      If you are not 100% sure that nobody is using BT on your network, I would go around to all the computers and make sure. I would also change the password on the WiFi firewall/route and not freely give it out. Make sure you tell everyone in the residence that it has to stop. I do suggest you contact a knowledagable attorney in your jurisdiction and see if you can get a free consult to discuss options.

      DTD 🙂

  6. doe says:

    You just told my whole story from beginning to end..i told them i didnt do it id take lie detector test sign do anything I can honestly say I didnt do it but I settled out of court got me for 4000.00 dollars I told them my husband passed away i don’t have no money but they still threaten law suit and garnishing my wages. I’ve made my self sick over this mess.

  7. doe says:

    Just got a notice from my ISP that LHF is request my information for a movie called “London has fallen”. This is first time I heard it, I was surprised, but again, I host on Airbnb and has open Wifi for my guest to use. What is my next step? just wait and see? or I can ask my ISP not to release my info?

  8. One of the Does says:

    Received via certified mail….Offer to compromise rule 408 from an attorney.
    Re: Copyright infringement lawsuit “London has fallen”
    They list me as one of the Does in this lawsuit. In the Eastern District Court in North Carolina.
    They also has sent a waive service of a summons.
    The big issue i have I do not live in that district. According to the complaint paper work, i must reside in that district for them to legally bring me to court. I reside in the western district.
    I have not send the paper work back.
    The court has taken the following ” Order on motion for leave to take discovery prior to rule 26(f) conference”
    My I.P. does not match the one sent to me via the attorney letter. I know they change.
    The court should see Improper venue, and it has NO personal jurisdiction over me.
    The BitTorrent activity may have happen, can’t verify that because many people have access to my wireless internet, i do have a password on it now.

    Waiting, just wanted to add my experience to this forum.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      So had you previously recieved a settlement demand letter from the Troll? If so, please email me a copy (dietrolldie@dietrolldie.com). I generally don’t recommend (non-attorney recommendation) signing a waiver of service form. If they are going to serve you (sometimes they will not) make them pay for it. If the jurisdiction is wrong, you will have to maotion the court to dismiss the case because of this. Note: The Troll could still refile in the correct jurisdiction against you. I don’t know the NC cases (Troll attorney), so it is hard to say if they will amend the complaint to formally name you as a Defendant – so Trolls will and other will not. I would get a PACER account and monitor your case – look at the docket at least once a week. If the Troll never amends the complaint to the true name of the ISP subscriber, then they will not be able to serve you with the complaint/summons. You could also write the Troll and tell them that you did not infringe upon Plaintiff’s movie, you don’t know who did, and you did not authorize anyone to do so. I will caution you that in talking to the Troll be very careful in what you say – don’t make any admissions or say it is your responsibilty because your name is on the ISP bill – DON’T. The Troll will likely want to know who was using the network duing the entire period they recorded – likely to have recorded BT activity on your network over a couple months. They are not likely to believe a one time guest was responsible. The recorded BT activity will also have a list of the many other files that were being shared via the BT client on your network. They will try to identify who these files are likely associated to – and then go after them. Soi unless you can give them an easy target to go after, they will likely claim you are responsible and unless you pay, they will take you to trial. Here are a couple articles to read – https://dietrolldie.com/2016/06/15/the-dangers-of-talking-to-the-bt-copyright-troll-they-are-not-your-friends/ AND https://dietrolldie.com/2016/05/06/copyright-troll-poker-or-how-to-survive-this-troll-no-limit-game/

      DTD 🙂

  9. Help a doe out says:

    A relative ecently got a letter from their ISP for the illegal download of LHF and is being sued by David Lowe at LHF productions. According to the package they sent is to give the prosecutor his name and info today. So if I understand right after that they will send him the option to settle. I talked to the same lawyer as “Thatguy” and am in the same boat as a few of the other people on here. So far I haven’t done anything (email the prosecutor, talk to comcast, etc.) was hoping you could give some advise or let me know how things went for the other people that talked to you about this issue and what they ended up doing (ignore, settle, hire lawyer). They don’t have a lot of money and would like to do this a cheapest way possible.

  10. Thatguy says:

    It’s been about a month since I received the Service to Waive Summons. I’m guessing the next step would be for them to serve me. I got a PACER account to keep track of the case, would I see an update prior to getting served? Is it something the troll has to clear with the court first? I was in the process of getting an attorney, but decided to wait and see if they serve since it really doesn’t matter if I do it before or right after.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Yes, the Troll will have to first amend the complaint and name the ISP subscribers (change it from John #1 to Real Name). Look for an “Amended Complaint” of “First Amended Complaint” on the docket. After that they have to have a summon issued by the court for each named ISP subscriber. After that it is up to the Troll to get a process server to serve the person. If the complaint is not amended, they cannot serve people. Now they could also ask the court to allow them to depose the ISP subscriber without amending the complaint, BUT this is unusual for the overall BT Copyright Troll cases. If you are served, you will have 21 days to answer the complaint – via an attorney or by yourself (Pro Se).

      DTD 🙂

      • Thatguy says:

        So I have been named to the lawsuit, on the same day there was a MOTION for Extension of Time to Serve Complaint. Are you saying that after this, there should be another entry in the docket saying something about summoning the person specifically? Would you advise to still wait?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        After this there MAY be another entry where the Troll requests a summons be issued. Here is an example from a current case. Example The Troll wants more time to work on the settlements and not necessarily to “serve” people. Saying that, serving people sometimes has the effect of getting them to settle. The risk is a small number of people will answer the complaint with or without an attorney. Once answered, it is not as easy for the Troll to cut and run.

        Waiting for what? Settle or get an attorney?

        DTD 🙂

  11. Thatguy says:

    Wait to see if I get served, or get an attorney and handle it now?

    I have an attorney at hand, I was just thinking about waiting to see if I get served and then get my attorney to go on the defense. I also wonder how many attempts they will make to serve me if they do do it.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      It is hard to say. My opinion is to wait; if it doesn’t happen (served), the Troll will eventually dismiss everyone remaining and close the case. If you are served, you can still settle or file an answer via an attorney or yourself (Pro Se). A process server will make multiple attempts to reach you.

      DTD 🙂

      • Thatguy says:

        Thanks so much for the advice and peace of mind DTD! I’ll keep you updated.

      • Thatguy says:

        Just got a docket update that says PRAECIPE TO ISSUE SUMMONS. I’m guessing there should be one that will eventually follow that grants that PRAECIPE TO ISSUE SUMMONS before they can start?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        There is usually a request for a summons for certain named Defendants. Once the court issues them, it is up to Troll/Plaintiff to have them served.

        DTD 🙂

  12. watzdoe says:

    I just got back from a 4 month vacation out of the country and found out that I have a doe lawsuit with my IP address, however I wasn’t even in the same country! I left in August and whomever did this did it in October and I was supposed to answer by December 2nd, but I arrived on the 6th, so I have no idea what happens now since I LITERALLY didn’t do this!

  13. DoeCase says:

    Hello DTD,

    I got letter yesterday from my ISP saying that there is a federal lawsuit that was filed by I.T. Productions. The letter said “the court has ordered Comcast to supply your name, address and other information to I.T. Productions, Inc. in the attached Order and accompanying Subpoena. The case has been assign Docket Number (docket #) by the court…. contact an attorney for questions” and info to I.T. Productions will be released on in Jan 2017. I have been stressing over it all this time and contacted an attorney and they said that filling a motion to quash is not worth it, and my options were to settle or do nothing (she said they’d send a couple of letters once they got the ISP subscriber’s name) and see what action the company would do, so I said I’d look into my options and call if I needed more answers or if I needed their business (which would cost an additional $1000 if they were to pick up the case). Reading your article made my decision to ignore the troll more relieving. I was reading through the comment section to see if anyone else who had been in the same situation with I.T. Productions, but so far haven’t seen anyone while reading through the comments. I am planning to ignore the troll and hope that it passes, just like you suggested because I did not do anything to lead to this notice. Do you have any knowledge of I.T. Productions, Inc? I looked them up, but did not really see anything about them. Would you just suggest ignoring as much as possible like with the other cases (aside from MM)?

    Hope to hear back from you, thank you.

  14. Bruce says:

    These are the same clowns that issued me a subpoena last year for London Has Fallen in Northern Illinois. Glad a class action is finally happening.
    https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-trolls-hit-with-class-action-lawsuit-for-theft-by-deception-170104/

  15. John Doe says:

    My experience was in 2012. I received an email accusing me of downloading several porn movies I had never heard of. I searched my hard drive and did not have the files on it and showed the email to my wife and asked her if she had any idea what happened. I called the number in the email and they insisted I had downloaded the movies and owed them $2,400 for six movies. I refused to pay.

    I received several more emails stating I was being taken to court, then received an email that they would settle for $600. We decided to do this, but insisted that we had not downloaded the movies.

    After paying the $600, I received another email accusing me of downloading 8 more porn movies, telling me I owed them $3,200. I flat refused to pay, then received another email claiming I had downloaded four more movies, upping the amount owed to $4,800. I again refused to pay, and changed my ISP, got a new modem, and never heard from them again.

  16. Creed Wait says:

    It seems to me that the bigger problem is that those folks who download movies illegally have likely done it multiple times. Therefore these trolls could come after these guys again and again and again. Pay them once and it means that they have found a lifelong victim. Pay them once and I bet that it would never end.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      That can be an issue with Rightscorp or CEG-TEK, as there is a chance that these companies represent multiple copyright owners. They like to get their hooks into people for a small amount and then hit them with additional claims. Once a person has paid, they figure it is likley they will be too scared not to continue paying. Even then I say ignore and don’t pay. BUT also to make sure the BT activity that caused this stops and doesn’t start back up later.

      As far as the real copyright trolls, I have only seen a couple cases where the Doe/Defendant had allegedly downloaded/shared two spearate movie owned by the Plaintiff (It was voltage Pictures). Otherwise the the Troll/Plainitff can only use the list of “other” BT files that were being shared as an example of long-term BT usage.

      DTD 🙂

  17. Jack says:

    I gave the experience from 2012 above. The issue with me is that I NEVER downloaded the movies that CEG-TEK accused me of downloading.

    • Jack says:

      I wonder……how many other people that they threaten to sue are innocent as well. I did not even know what BitTorrent was before all the accusations I started getting.

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