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Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Regularly draft and negotiate IP contracts/deals.
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Received two notices of copyright infringement from copyright

Resolved Question:

Received two notices of copyright infringement from copyright settlement group. They claim an adult movie was transmitted from my IP address. I have beefed up security to restrict wireless access and have not received anything since.
I don't feel I should have to pay $400 (I didn't do it and, when I researched the video was $10!), but don't want to have a bigger, more expensive problem on my hands down the line.
Two questions:
1) Is this a legitimate group?
2) What is my best course of action to avoid a bigger problem?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  MShore replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. Were you contacted by the law office of Ira Siegel?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No.

The notifications I received were forwarded from my ISP.
I called my ISP who could not verify the legitimacy of the group. Below is one of the notifications:


Dear Charter Internet Subscriber:

Charter Communications ("Charter") has been notified by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, that your Internet account may have been involved in the exchange of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material (e.g., music, movies, or software). We are enclosing a copy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice that Charter received from the copyright holder which includes the specific allegation.

Under the DMCA, copyright owners have the right to notify Charter’s register agent if they believe that a Charter customer has infringed on their work(s). When Charter receives a complaint notice from a copyright owner, Charter will notify the identifiable customer of the alleged infringement by providing them a copy of the submitted DMCA notice. As required by law, Charter may determine that the customer is a repeat copyright infringer and reserves the right to suspend or terminate the accounts of repeat copyright infringers.

It is possible that this activity has occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, a minor who may not fully understand the copyright laws, or even as a result of a computer virus. However, as the named subscriber on the account, you may be held responsible for any misuse of your account. Please be aware that using Charter’s service to engage in any form of copyright infringement is expressly prohibited by Charter's Acceptable Use Policy and that repeat copyright infringement, or violations of any other Charter policy, may result in the suspension or termination of your service. You may view Charter's rules and policies, including Charter’s Acceptable Use Policy, under the policies section of charter.com.

We ask that you take immediate action to stop the exchange of any infringing material. For additional information regarding copyright infringement and for a list of frequently asked questions, please visit charter.com/dmca.

If you have questions about this letter, you may contact us at 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX. Representatives will be available to take your call Monday through Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am - 5pm (CST).


Sincerely,


Charter Communications Security Resolution Team
http://www.charter.com/security


--- The following material was provided to us as evidence ---



-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

***NOTE TO ISP: PLEASE FORWARD THE ENTIRE NOTICE***
August 22, 2011
Re: Notice of Unauthorized Use of Registered Copyrights Owned by Combat Zone Inc
Case #: P6612877

Dear Sir or Madam:

This notice is intended solely for the primary Charter Communications internet service account holder. Someone using this account has engaged in the illegal copying and/or distribution of pornographic movies. This notice may contain the titles of those movies, and therefore may contain text that is offensive to some readers.

Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC, ("We") represent Combat Zone Inc. Combat Zone Inc owns all right, title and interest to the registered copyrights listed below.

Evidence:
Infringement Title: Secretaries
Infringement File Name: Secretaries [dvdrip]
Infringement Hash: b8763f20b7ae30d411b83035aaeb2269024bfeec
Infringement File Size: XXXXXXXXXX bytes
Infringement Protocol: BitTorrent
Infringement Timestamp: 2011-08-22 11:19:50 North American Eastern Time
Infringers IP Address: 75.143.81.100
Infringers Port: 28762

The following files were included in the download:
File 1: Secretaries [dvdrip]/c1.avi
File 2: Secretaries [dvdrip]/c2.avi


You are hereby notified that your unauthorized copying and/or distribution infringes the registered copyrights of Combat Zone Inc under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 106. In this regard, demand is hereby made that you and all persons using this account immediately and permanently cease and desist the unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the registered copyrights listed in this notice or otherwise owned by Combat Zone Inc.

You may also be held liable for monetary damages, including attorney's fees and court costs if a lawsuit is commenced against you. You have until Wednesday, September 21, 2011 to access the settlement offer and settle online. To access the settlement offer please visit http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ and enter Case #: P6612877 and Password: 5jahr. To access the settlement offer directly please visit https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/?u=P6612877&p=5jahr.

Settlement Information:
Direct Settlement Link: https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/?u=P6612877&p=5jahr
Settlement Website: http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/
Case #: P6612877
Password: 5jahr


If you fail to respond or settle within the prescribed time period, the claim(s) will be referred to our attorneys for legal action. At that point the original settlement offer will no longer be an option and the amount will increase as a result of us having to involve our attorneys.

Nothing contained or omitted from this correspondence is, or shall be deemed to be either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of the Combat Zone Inc's rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.

The information in this notice is accurate. We have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by the registered copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. We swear under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of Combat Zone Inc.

Sincerely,

Dale Spislander
Copyright Enforcement Agent

Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC
XXXXX Suite 220
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Local: XXX-XXX-XXXX Ext. 2
Toll Free: 877-5-COPYRIGHT (XXX-XXX-XXXX)
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.copyrightsettlements.com

- ----Start ACNS XML
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<Infringement xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.movielabs.com/ACNS/ACNS2v1.xsd" xmlns="http://www.movielabs.com/ACNS" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<Case>
<ID>P6612877</ID>
<Status>OPEN</Status>
<Severity>Normal</Severity>
</Case>
<Complainant>
<Entity>Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC</Entity>
<Contact>Dale Spislander</Contact>
<Address>Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC,XXXXX Suite 220, Beverly Hills, CA 90211</Address>
<Phone>XXX-XXX-XXXX Ext. 1</Phone>
<Email>[email protected]</Email>
</Complainant>
<Service_Provider>
<Entity>Charter Communications</Entity>
<Contact></Contact>
<Address>12405 Powerscourt Drive, St. Louis, MONNN-NN-NNNNlt;/Address>
<Phone></Phone>
<Email>[email protected]</Email>
</Service_Provider>
<Source>
<TimeStamp>2011-08-22T11:19:50-04:00</TimeStamp>
<IP_Address>75.143.81.100</IP_Address>
<Port>28762</Port>
<Type>BITTORRENT</Type>
<UserName></UserName>
<Number_Files>1</Number_Files>
</Source>
<Content>
<Item>
<TimeStamp>2011-08-22T11:19:50-04:00</TimeStamp>
<AlsoSeen Start="2011-08-22T10:27:26-04:00" End="2011-08-22T14:32:43-04:00"></AlsoSeen>
<Title>Secretaries</Title>
<Artist></Artist>
<FileName>Secretaries [dvdrip]</FileName>
<FileSize>1459378176</FileSize>
<Type>Movie</Type>
<Hash Type="SHA1">b8763f20b7ae30d411b83035aaeb2269024bfeec</Hash>
</Item>
</Content>
<History></History>
<Notes></Notes><Type Retraction="false">DMCA</Type>
<Detection>
<Asset>
<OriginalAssetName>Secretaries</OriginalAssetName>
</Asset>
<HashMatched>true</HashMatched>
<MetadataMatched>true</MetadataMatched>
</Detection>
<Verification>
<VerificationLevel Type="DT">2</VerificationLevel>
</Verification>
<TextNotice><![CDATA[***NOTE TO ISP: PLEASE FORWARD THE ENTIRE NOTICE***
August 22, 2011
Re: Notice of Unauthorized Use of Registered Copyrights Owned by Combat Zone Inc
Case #: P6612877

Dear Sir or Madam:

This notice is intended solely for the primary Charter Communications internet service account holder. Someone using this account has engaged in the illegal copying and/or distribution of pornographic movies. This notice may contain the titles of those movies, and therefore may contain text that is offensive to some readers.

Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC, ("We") represent Combat Zone Inc. Combat Zone Inc owns all right, title and interest to the registered copyrights listed below.

Evidence:
Infringement Title: Secretaries
Infringement File Name: Secretaries [dvdrip]
Infringement Hash: b8763f20b7ae30d411b83035aaeb2269024bfeec
Infringement File Size: XXXXXXXXXX bytes
Infringement Protocol: BitTorrent
Infringement Timestamp: 2011-08-22 11:19:50 North American Eastern Time
Infringers IP Address: 75.143.81.100
Infringers Port: 28762

The following files were included in the download:
File 1: Secretaries [dvdrip]/c1.avi
File 2: Secretaries [dvdrip]/c2.avi


You are hereby notified that your unauthorized copying and/or distribution infringes the registered copyrights of Combat Zone Inc under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 106. In this regard, demand is hereby made that you and all persons using this account immediately and permanently cease and desist the unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the registered copyrights listed in this notice or otherwise owned by Combat Zone Inc.

You may also be held liable for monetary damages, including attorney's fees and court costs if a lawsuit is commenced against you. You have until Wednesday, September 21, 2011 to access the settlement offer and settle online. To access the settlement offer please visit http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/ and enter Case #: P6612877 and Password: 5jahr. To access the settlement offer directly please visit https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/?u=P6612877&p=5jahr.

Settlement Information:
Direct Settlement Link: https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/?u=P6612877&p=5jahr
Settlement Website: http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/
Case #: P6612877
Password: 5jahr


If you fail to respond or settle within the prescribed time period, the claim(s) will be referred to our attorneys for legal action. At that point the original settlement offer will no longer be an option and the amount will increase as a result of us having to involve our attorneys.

Nothing contained or omitted from this correspondence is, or shall be deemed to be either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of the Combat Zone Inc's rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.

The information in this notice is accurate. We have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by the registered copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. We swear under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of Combat Zone Inc.

Sincerely,

Dale Spislander
Copyright Enforcement Agent

Copyright Enforcement Group, LLC
XXXXX Suite 220
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Local: XXX-XXX-XXXX Ext. 2
Toll Free: 877-5-COPYRIGHT (XXX-XXX-XXXX)
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.copyrightsettlements.com]]></TextNotice>
</Infringement>
- ----End ACNS XML

This is an automated email. If you have questions or concerns, please visit us at http://www.copyrightsettlements.com/contact_us.html. Replies sent to [email protected] are not read.

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Expert:  MShore replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX only a demand letter. You should reply in writing disputing the allegation and expressly noting that you have taken security measures to prevent future hacking of your account, and offering what you find reasonable to resolve the matter but not as any admission of wrongdoing or liability, and not more than $100. Please let me know if you need additional guidance.
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