So, you're being sued for piracy

What's that? You just got a letter asking for money because you downloaded a movie? Here's what you should do.

By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World |  Networking, piracy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has assembled a list of defense resources for people who have been contacted by their ISP or by a copyright troll. The list includes a number of lawyers in 33 states who will be willing to assist you, and who have experience with these types of cases. Neill, who is named on the EFF's list, recommends contacting a lawyer in your state or in the state in which you are being sued.

What If You're Innocent?

What's that? You've been contacted, but you have no idea what they're talking about? You've never downloaded a song or a movie in your life, and you use your computer only once a week?

Unfortunately, you should still contact an attorney. Even if you are truly innocent, you'll need someone to defend your innocence. Plus, copyright-troll groups are usually spearheaded by attorneys--U.S. Copyright Group, for example, is a business registered by the law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver.

It's worth noting that copyright trolls do not want to spend money for nothing. Rosenfield says these groups are "terrified of losing," and will thus probably not move forward unless their case is airtight. Still, Rosenfield says, you'll want to back up your innocence with proof (such as evidence that your Wi-Fi was stolen), if you have it.

Consider Settling

If you're not innocent, you may want to consider settling, depending on the settlement offer. Your attorney will be able to coach you through this decision, but it can help to look at some past cases for precedent.

In 2005, Jammie Thomas-Rasset and Joel Tenenbaum made headlines by being the first two people who received settlement letters from the RIAA and refused to settle, which forced their cases into court. Unfortunately, the tactic didn't go over too well: Both have had multiple trials, yet still face extremely large fines.

In the case of the Hurt Locker group lawsuit, the judge overseeing the case is a former RIAA lobbyist. In other words, although she pledges to be unbiased, she may not be terribly sympathetic toward alleged file sharers.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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