Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ's)
What is copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement is the transmission or use of protected works such as songs, TV shows or motion pictures without permission, infringing certain rights granted to the copyright holder such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work.
Downloading or uploading a motion picture, TV show, or song without paying for it is often copyright infringement. Some estimates are that over 99% of all BitTorrent traffic is infringing. It is also often infringing to stream unlicensed content. If you are offered access to content, such as TV shows or motion pictures and the deal is ‘too good to be true’ then there is a reasonable chance you are infringing.
Am I being sued?
If you have received a notice of infringing activity, this does not necessarily mean you are being sued. It means: 1) someone is using your internet service to infringe; 2) the rights holder would like the activity to stop; and 3) there is a claim by the rightsholder and without a resolution of this claim a lawsuit may be filed.
I did not do anything, why did I get a notice?
When we detect sufficient infringing activity through an IP address we send a notice to the ISP. We provide enough information to allow them to identify their customer and they then forward the notice to their customer (you). If you received a notice it is because the ISP has identified you as responsible for the specific IP address which was assigned to you when the infringing occurred.
What should I do if I received a notice?
First, stop the infringing activity. Second, seek legal advice. Until any claim related to your infringing activity is resolved do not delete or destroy any evidence.
If I don’t settle will I be sued?
Maybe. We only send notices to parties we are evaluating for a potential lawsuit, which means if a notice is sent we have already considered filing a lawsuit on the infringing activity. If you do not settle the claim and you continue to infringe then odds are you will eventually be sued and face substantial civil liability. So first thing is to stop the activity and make sure you are not involved with infringing activity in the future.
I am already being sued and I still received a notice, can I settle now?
Not through the notice. This only means there was new infringing activity after the suit was filed. As per the terms of any settlement, once a suit is filed the settlement offer is withdrawn and any money paid will be applied to the final settlement of the lawsuit. If you receive a notice of a lawsuit being filed, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney. While we are still willing to work with parties to settle any claim, the costs and expense of filing a lawsuit will be included in any future settlement.
I have more than one notice, how do I settle them all?
If you respond to the notice and log in and check the claim number, IP address and specific file, any settlement offer will be for all infringing activity related to that specific file and IP address as of the time of the notice. Infringing activity for another file will need to be settled separately through a notice on that file. Any subsequent infringing activity may give rise to a new claim, notice or lawsuit.
It was my roommate / friend / other person, what should I do?
First you should ensure they do not continue to use your internet service for illegal activity. Second, please forward the notice to them to give them the opportunity to address the matter and seek independent advice. Keep notes or records and if a lawsuit is filed you may be asked to provide any evidence of their activity.
I have checked all the computers in my house, and the file is not here. Does that mean the notice was in error?
Infringement can take place through watching movies on cell phones, game consoles, streaming media boxes and tablets. Similarly, many devices will not save the file for a long period of time to make room for new content. It may take a forensic review of computers and equipment to find the records and the infringing device. As well, many of the wireless routers provided by ISPs keep a record of each device used which can sometimes isolate the specific device used to infringe.
I use BitTorrent, but I know I never watched that motion picture, am I liable?
Are you sure you never downloaded the file? Some people download more content that they can view and collect motion pictures they never get around to watching, or even delete them before they watch them (often after getting a notice). Just because you did not watch the film does not mean you did not infringe and are not liable.
I only use legal software and legal web pages, how can I be infringing?
Legal software can be used for illegal purposes. Always keep in mind if the deal is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. If software or a web site offers to let you watch motion pictures for free while they are still in theaters, then odds are you are stealing and infringing copyrights.
What if my system was hacked, and it was someone else?
While theoretically possible, in thousands of cases we have never seen any evidence of actual Wi-Fi hacking. Sharing your password or internet service with neighbors is not hacking. Sharing your internet service can lead to you getting a notice for their infringing activity and is likely a violation of your contract with your ISP and may be a crime under the Computer Fraud And Abuse Act.
What happens after I settle and pay?
After you settle and pay you will receive a release of the claim that will fully resolve the matter if no suit has been filed. Please keep this document as you may be asked for it at a later time. The most important thing after you settle and pay is to make sure there is no further infringing activity. There are many ways to enjoy content online, in the future make sure your content is legal.
What should I do?
Be cautious of free or anonymous advice online. The only advice we provide is to consult an attorney. The American Bar Association has a web page that will link you to an attorney referral service for your state. http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/