Download a copyrighted movie using the popular downloader BitTorrent? That action is considered copyright infringement. Movie studios are becoming increasingly active in protecting their copyrights, requesting courts to approve their subpoenas on internet service providers to find out the personal private information about people who are supposedly tied to IP addresses of infringers. Movie studios believe that they have access to a flawless method that matches the apparent infringing IP addresses with true infringers; most people understand that there is no such thing as a fail-proof method. However, that is not preventing the studios, through their lawyers, from shipping these settlement letters to anyone their programs establish has illegally downloaded a copyrighted movie.
These settlement letters typically ask for 2-3 thousand dollars in return for peace of mind. If the alleged infringer pays the demand, the movie studio and its lawyers will not file a Complaint in court against the person who is assumed to have infringed.
Attached below is a real settlement letter (with private information blocked out), which was sent on May 16, 2011 by the lawfirm Steele | Hansmeier, PLLC to someone who was believed to have downloaded and shared the a pornographic movie produced by First Time Videos through the popular BitTorrent client. This particular letter asks for a payment of $2,900 in exchange for the studio to drop any future claim against the infringer based on the downloading and sharing of a movie that seems to be titled, Madeline.
If you receive this type of letter and do not know what you should do, I am happy to provide an initial free consultation. Please feel free to use the contact form on the right side of this page.