Received a formal notice for file sharing? Tips from a lawyer!
Have you received a formal notice for file sharing? The reason behind this is defined by one term - copyright infringement. Without the copyright holder's consent copyrighted material may not be used by everyone.
In this case, the accusation in a file-sharing warning refers to your Internet connection
What does this mean, and how can you defend yourself against high costs or unjustified accusations? And when does a cease-and-desist letter for file-sharing become time-barred?
Your specialist lawyer for industrial property rights knows the answer.
1. When do I receive a formal notice for file sharing?
2. What can you do when you receive a filesharing notice?
3. What does such a notice look like?
4. What should you never do in case of a notice?
5. What exactly is a cease-and-desist declaration?
6. Is there a statute of limitations for a cease-and-desist letter for file sharing?
7. How can an intellectual property lawyer help me?
Whenever it is alleged that you or someone else has used your Internet access to download copyrighted material, it can be family members, co-workers, or roommates: the number of end devices used does not count. What is decisive is the shared Internet connection.
A file-sharing notice is usually about downloads from the areas of music, games, series, or movies. Texts can also be protected by copyright and fall under the comprehensive intellectual property right.
Even if the letter from the law firm seems intimidating, one thing is essential: stay calm and do not rush! Check what you are accused of specifically. In what period is the copyright infringement supposed to have taken place? Is your address correct? What exactly is the specific accusation?
In this context, you should also observe the specified deadlines, which will give you time to take a closer look at the infringement notice in peace.
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The formal notice for file sharing must contain meaningful data. This refers to the rights holder represented by the law firm issuing the warning.
- Software producers, film studios, authors or record companies must be explicitly named.
- In addition, the exact definition of the work and the formulation of the infringement are the content of the formal notice.
- The cost of the notice must also be clearly stated in the formal notice.
- The legal fees incurred for the formal notice and claims for damages are also part of the formal notice sent in writing.
Once you have recovered from the initial shock of the often intimidating letters, it is crucial to keep the following points in mind:
Never admit the alleged infringement!
This also applies to a call to the law firm issuing the notice. Not to clarify anything, not to make any admissions of guilt - never call there! And do not transfer the demanded sum of money hastily and without checking.
An essential point in a file-sharing notice is the cease-and-desist declaration.
It is not uncommon for the so-called cease-and-desist declaration to be attached directly to the formal notice. At first glance, this seems less controversial than the costs for copyright infringement. However, you should never underestimate this point!
By signing a cease-and-desist declaration, you agree to refrain from the warned behavior in the future.
In concrete terms, this means that you may no longer distribute the copyright holder's works on the Internet. In the event of a violation, you must expect exceptionally high fines.
In this case, the so-called contractual penalty promises amount to 5,001 euros and more in the case of formal notice for file sharing, already issued. And that for each new infringement!
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The goal of a statute of limitations is legal peace. This is not a question of guilt or innocence but rather an expiration of claims that are no longer valid in court after the expiry of the period. In the case of a formal notice to cease and desist due to file sharing, the so-called standard statute of limitations applies. The standard limitation period is three years in the German Civil Code (BGB) under § 195.
For a file sharing notice of discontinuance, this period is concerned with when the claim arose. Under § 199 defined, the statute of limitations for a file-sharing notice begins at the end of the year, and the court can send out the notice in January or November.
Many of those affected react with dismay and uncertainty to a formal notice. With this comprehensive overview, we provide you with initial assistance. You can inform yourself and receive important information on the topic. However, there is no patented remedy for the proper reaction - the cases are too individual, the file-sharing formal notices too different.
You are always on the safe side with representation by an intellectual property lawyer. Contact us, we advise and help with competence and efficiency!
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