Accused of illegally downloading movies, software, music or other digital content? If so, this page may help.
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These are some of the common questions we have received as a Torrent Defense Law Firm. This is general legal information only and not legal advice or a substitute for legal advice.
What is a Bittorent lawsuit?
Click here to watch our video that provides an excellent overview of the .
Should I respond or just go quiet?
Here is a video we created that deals with the topic of should you respond to a letter or ignore it?
How much will the settlement amount be?
The penalties for downloading a movie can vary depending upon:
- The movie production company you are up against
- Your net worth (Plaintiffs may conduct an asset search to see if you have real estate assets, cars, or other assets).
- Whether or not you have a job (if you have a good job they may believe they can get a judgement and garnish wages against through your employer, which could result in a Plaintiff seeking up to 25% of your paycheck – NOT FUN.
- The number of movies you are alleged to have pirated
- Other factors
Here is a video that shows in general what the penalties for copyright infringement can be. Downloading and sharing movies online is considered an act of copyright infringement. Click here to learn more about criminal copyright infringement.
If I don't answer can they get a judgement and garnish my wages?
As noted above, if you have a paying job (where you receive a paycheck from your employer) this is a possibility if the Plaintiff gets a legal judgement against you.
What can I do if I did not watch the movie?
You can defend yourself and make clear to the lawyer for the movie company that you did not download or share the movie and will not be held liable for it. Of course, if they don't believe you they can either file or pursue a lawsuit.
Will I be evicted from my apartment?
Many times a lease will require you to follow all “state and federal laws.” If you are sued as a “Doe Defendant” and later your name is revealed, the federal lawsuit can usually be found on the internet, or through Pacer Online. Meaning, your name can come up in a employment background search if the case is not settled and your name ends up in the lawsuit. Our firm can help you keep your name anonymous and confidential if it has not already been released.
I have a legal copy of the movie doesn't this prove I am not liable for infringement?
What legal defenses are there to the piracy allegation?
We have talked about legal defenses to willful copyright infringement in this video. A common defense is “unsecured wifi” whereby you show that some other party is responsible for the illegal download through your wifi network. This could be a friend, roommate, neighbor, etc. Realize, however, that many ISP agreements may show that you agree to be held responsible for activity on your account. But many people never read, nor specifically agree to these clauses.
How many days after downloading a movie would a movie production company seek to sue me?
This is hard to answer. The copyright statute of limitations in three years. Technically, you could get a notice of infringement any time before three years is up. Sometimes a movie company will seek to wait and let the number of infringements rack up (for example, if Malibu Media see you downloading adult porn movies and sharing them online, they might let you do this for a number of months before they seek to take legal action). To me, this is done to try to increase the infringement damages.
How long does it take to settle a case?
A case can be settled in as short as a few days up to a few months.
Will this go down on my public record?
As noted above, if your name is inserted into the lawsuit then many times this can be found on an internet search, or employment background search, which could hinder your ability to obtain future employment having to explain why you were a defendant in a movie piracy case (or worse yet, being overlooked without a chance to explain).
How much experience does your law firm have with Torrent Defense?
We have handled many cases including cases with:
- Malibu Media
- ME2 Productions
- Cook Productions
- London Has Fallen (LHF Productions)
- Dallas Buyer's Club
Contact a Copyright Defense Law Firm
We offer a free initial consultation to those facing legal action. Call us at (877) 276-5084. We offer low flat rate legal fees for most non-litigation cases. You can view our federal court experience here.