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Advise/Help on illegal download fine

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by mickaveli2001, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. mickaveli2001

    mickaveli2001 Byte Poster

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    A friend of mine was recently sent a fine for £509.98 for an illegal download of an album downloaded back in April 2008. It says he has 21 days to respond, and looks pretty legit, the lawyers are genuine. Is this a fear tactic, or is it best to ignore it, or take it to court and claim he owns a retail copy of the album and was merly downloading it for digital backup purposes? What would you suggest? thanks
     
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  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I dont know if saying the download is a backup will wash but I would tell your friend to seek legal advice immediately. He doesn'y want £500 turning into £5000
     
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  3. flounder10

    flounder10 Nibble Poster

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    If he "owned" a retail copy of the album already, why would he take time downloading a copy of the album as a backup/copy? Why not just insert the CD and copy from there...

    Somehow, i don't think that particular exuse will work with them :)
     
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  4. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    But what about if his original CD was damaged? But then again, did he actually do it?

    To be honest, the best advice would be from someone who practices Law, maybe the CAB?

    -Ken
     
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  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    IF its genuine (and I've not yet heard of a scam along these lines - though it surely can't be that far off) then the company concerned will have gone to the ISP and obtained the necessary records he is bang to rights and should either pay the fine or decide whether he wants to be a test case for copyright law (the relative merits & demerits of which constitute a discussion I won't get into here).

    BTW, the 'defence' you have outlined would be laughed out of court - largely because copyright law, as it stands does NOT allow you to make a backup of ANY digital media you own legitimately, for ANY purpose.
     
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  6. skuzzy

    skuzzy Bit Poster

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    If it is out of Laws than you should pay that cash, but if it is a backup or something like that you'd better get contact with the one who sent that mail to you!
     
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  7. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    It is probably a scare tactic in that if they send letters to 1,000 people and 10% pay up without a fight, they may consider that a decent result.

    Then they have to decide if they want to incur the costs of actually collecting the rest.

    If it is through the courts or via debt collection, the fees add up really quickly and they only get a small amount back.

    Take some legal advice...
     
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  8. mickaveli2001

    mickaveli2001 Byte Poster

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    If he could purchase a cheap second hand copy of the album and show as proff that he does in fact own an authentic copy of the album, and claim he bought it brand new, I wouldn't see the problem in downloading it as a backup, if he says his windows media player was occupied or faulty at the time, because that licened software, which comes with almost every PC has the capability to burn and make backups of purchased CD's
     
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  9. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    Who was the letter from ?
    Did he download what they say he downloaded ?
    Was the letter sent recorded delivery ?
    Can they prove "he" dowloaded it ?

    Grim
     
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  10. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    I was reading about something similar last night over on thinkbroadband.com.
    This linky takes you to the start of the post.

    HTH

    NB
     
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  11. newkoba

    newkoba Byte Poster

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    does he have an wifi AP? if so does he have it encrypted? if not then prove that someone wasn't hi-jacking his connection and downloaded it along with all that porn they've found too.
     
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  12. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    yup exactly why i asked can they prove it :)

    i remember an article a few weeks back where a couple of pensioners got a similar letter except they didnt even own a computer.

    Grim
     
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  13. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I didn't realise this was a Davenporn Lyons letter :)

    Take legal advice straightaway - they are going down a very, very slippery slope. Check this post out from El Reg:

    Very, very naughty

    This indicates that they are trying to use an old ruse to blackmail people into coughing up for fear of being embarrassed - one that Roald Dahl wrote an excellent short story about this kind of distasteful practice called "The Bookseller"
     
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  14. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    ok how i see it so far..."A friend of mine" that we'll just call for arguments sake mickaveli2001 has been sent a letter accussing him of what we first believe to be copyright infringements but has turned out to be for file sharing gay porn. am i still on the right track ? :wink: :p

    Grim
     
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  15. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    lol Army ****ers :blink
     
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  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well, see, that's where the problem lies... the average Joe doesn't see any problem with downloading it, but Copyright Law doesn't grant Joe the right to do so. So, ultimately, it doesn't matter what you or I think is "right" or "wrong", "OK" or "not OK"; if the owner of the Intellectual Property doesn't explicitly grant you the right to download the music, you are breaking Copyright Law when you do so.
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Doesn't matter if someone hijacked his connection or not: he is responsible for the security of his access point. If he was leased IP address 1.2.3.4 during the time period in question, and the packets went to IP address 1.2.3.4, he's legally responsible for it. At that point the burden of proof is on him: to prove it wasn't him, he'd have to find the person who DID download it and prove it.
     
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  18. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Get some legal advice and tell your friend not to download illegal files ever again! :biggrin
     
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  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    They might indeed be trying to blackmail him... I guess the question is this: did he indeed download the music? If so, I'd recommend he find a way to settle the case (or find legal representation who can get you out of trouble - and next time, stop downloading stuff off the Internet from P2P sites).
     
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  20. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    I'm not a legal expert, but here is how I see the situation:

    1. If your friend refuses to pay the fine, then the organisation will have to get a court order to make him/her pay it. Check the background of the organisation that sent the letter in the first instance to assess how much legal power they carry. Secondly, have they specified the action that would be taken if you don't pay within 21 days? If not, it's unlikely they actually have any real weight to cause real problems.

    2. Don't they have to prove that you are in possession of the downloaded content either by seeing it or your friend's own admission? If neither, then simply deny any knowledge until you have confirmation that they can prove otherwise. As pointed out above, because your line was used doesn't mean that you are the culprit.

    The second point could be a problem if regular downloads were made, though.
     
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