Head’s up, movie downloaders! Authorities are on another copyright infringement war path, and they’re in search of bittorrent abusers. According to a report by TorrentFreak.com, so far in 2011, over 200,000 people in the United States have been sued for sharing protected materials online.
ED2 network users were hit particularly hard — over 1,200 of them got caught downloading The Hurt Locker. Violators received a letter in the mail; the violation notification presented two options: 1) pay a $2,500 dollar fine now and all is forgiven, or 2) go to court and prove you did not violate copyright laws. The letter reminded citizens of the $150,000 fine associated with a guilty copyright infringement lawsuit; it also stressed that the accused would be responsible for paying court fees, as well.
But here’s the rub: Since wireless networks are notoriously easy to hack, is it fair to intimidate people with “gotcha!” letters when they could actually be the victim of a hacker?
If you’ve received one of these notices and are innocent of the crime, don’t be intimidated by the letter and simply pay the $2,500 dollar fine.
Firstly, it could be a hoax. Have an experienced Internet lawyer look over the letter to make sure that you’re not actually sending your money to a “Nigerian Prince.” Secondly, as stated before, since wi-fi hacking happens, there’s a good possibility that your accuser will not be able to prove that you were the once who actually did the downloading. And if authorities can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did the crime, you can’t be found guilty. And if you’re found innocent you won’t have to pay the $150,000 fine or the court fees.
The average attorney won’t be much help with a matter like this; you want a lawyer who is well-versed in Internet law and technology. The Kelly Law Firm focuses on Internet law issues, and we’ve helped hundreds of people and businesses navigate through technology-related lawsuits. Our team of attorneys, programmers and online marketing experts has the knowledge that will help you win your case. Contact us today to make your issue go away.