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Copyright Infringement or Hoax? Help!

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kyle2020

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#1
Right, a letter has been sent to my dad informing him of some type of copyright infringement that apparently our household has done. Yes, I download torrents, but its hardly ever for games - mainly things like Beta OS's - Win 7 for example. Heres the details of the letter and why its so weird:

1. Its claiming we have downloaded Call of Juarez - I can hand on heart say I have never heard of this game let alone downloaded it?!

2. The IP address stated to have comitted the fraud is 81.105.230.235 - this IS NOT my IP address.

3. The client / protocol - says BitTorrent. Never used BitTorrent in my life.

Then a few pages of legal rubbish, at the end of which they seem to want to fine me £565. Yeah, £565. For something I have never downloaded, using an IP Address that isnt mine under a client that Ive never used :laugh:

Is this a real claim or a hoax? Im confused, waiting for my dad to get in (Hes a police officer) to go through it with him. So am I half a grand in debt or is this some elaborate scam?

Need some light shedding on this, could be serious this one.

Thanks guys.
 
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#2
Well, if non of it matches your details, contact the company that sent and ask them to check again. Then ask them to prove you did it.
 
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#4
So what "entity" is claiming the damages?

I don't know much about civil laws in the UK. In the US, that type of letter would originate right from the company legal department, or hired law firm.
 

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#7
sounds like phishing to me....
 

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#8
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#9
Make them prove you downloaded it, or as Dan says, let them send a reminder.

Even it if was true £565 is unjust.
 

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#10
Tell your dad to unleash some epic Police PWNAGE on some jerk who picked the wrong house.
 
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#11
Also who is it addressed from? It should be your ISP.

A scan would be good, just edit out any personal info.
 

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#12
+1 you will receive a notification from your ISP first basically telling you to knock it off. dang paramount....
 
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kyle2020

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#13
its a 5 page letter - page three is awesome.

"You may 'offer to settle' this issue blah blah blah, by doing the following:

1. Promise in a written undertaking not to upload, download, make available or otherwise share the Work (wtf that is I do not know) or permit others to do the same using your internet connection;

2. Delete any copies of the Work (again, wtf) which may be resident on your computers harddrive and / or any copies saved to disc (or other media), other than those that were purchased froma legitimate source; and

3. (loads of breakdown of fees).


The letter is from this ACS LAW firm. And even on the bizzare chance that it was my IP address (I have never heard of this game up until 15 minutes ago, bear in mind) they will have a hard fucking time proving it as I have had new motherboard(s) since the date disclosed.
 

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#14
I don't think they are the one's who decide how much to fine you. It would be the court and if it was the court you would be there. As dan said if there serious expect an angry lawyer on the end of the phone or another letter with bold writing or something like that.
 

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#15
Has anyone over there in the UK heard of companies charging 565? Seems to me its not worth an attorneys time the time to print the pages...
 
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kyle2020

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#16
So, in conclusion, I could:

1. Ignore the letter, and wait to see if it is real,

2. Write to them explaining very thoroughly why it isnt me / they are wrong,

3. Let my dad unleash some epic Police PWNAGE on some jerk who picked the wrong house (cheers erocker haha)

By the way, this thread was created under the request of my dad, so the more info the better really. Anyone else ever been presented with such a situation?
 
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#17
Number one rule mate, if you have to ask us - it's probably fake.

Also, the charge kinda verifies that. They wouldn't charge you. Court would.

Oh, and the only time i've ever heard of 'Call of Juarez' was when i look on the back of my HD3870 box and it was used to show DX10 differences... lol.
 

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#19
Is there anyone over there that can verify the letter (an attorney or friend skilled in law)?

Is there an address to go to their place of employment? Can you verify the writers?

seems to me the more you respond to them the more info they get from you (purpose of phishing)

If it was real there would be a Law office or such you could verify.
 
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#20
Right this is not fake. Its more of a legal loop hole scam.

The company (Davenport Lyons) has actually created a subsidary of itself to "deal" with these issues, to dip under the radar of what they shouldnt really be doing. From what I can tell Virgin Media has been giving out info, to this Law firm that "tackles" internet piracy.

However the actual info they collect is utter BS. All they are really getting is your IP.

So VM are basically just giving the name, address and IP of users who have used P2P/torrents.

They like to make out in their letters they have a lot more info on you than they have and that they have a strong case. The actual fine amount is not far off picked from the air, and if going to court, they would decide on the real fine (Not likely to be more than the RRP of what you have "illegally" downloaded)

The fact they have got it completely wrong just shows the point, however the worst thing you can do is ignore the letter, as if in the unlikely event they do take you to court, it looks bad on you.

Easiest way around it is to write a short letter denying the claims, just giving the IP address is not enough evidence to prove you illegally downloaded something anyway.

if you want more info or help, I found this great site, (originally setup for the Parent company, but the same applies)

http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=45330&p=494241#p494241

EDIT:

Oh and by the discussion thread, ti seems they have sent these letters out to a lot of VM customers recently.
 
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#21
Shit, hope i don't get one... Virgin hate me afew i raged at one of their foreign customer service people for giving me the wrong answers...
 

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#22
Shit. I hope I don't get one.
 
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#23
Apparently even if you get one, and they manage to guess what you downloaded right, you can right back with a cheque for the retail value of what you downloaded and then they can take it no further :)

Still I only torrent for pre-release stuff (namely Windows 7) and no-cd patches for legit games I own. Mind you I still have utorrent set to encrypt everything.
 
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#24
mate thats bs just like everyone else is saying
if they are really bothered they will phone or send another letter

it must be bull shit because
A. its not your IP
B. you didnt download that game
C. they can only charge you for retail value
D. its not the developer who told them to do it on their behalf
 
K

kyle2020

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#25
Thanks for that link Alex - looks like Ill be writing a letter / saying that I havent downloaded this game, it isnt my IP address, and that I would at least be willing to pay the retail value of the game if it makes them happy.