The trouble with Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK)’s DMCA scare letters.

[2017 UPDATE: Carl Crowell has created a new entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT which has reverse-engineered CEG-TEK’s proprietary DMCA copyright infringement notice system.  Many of you have visited CEG-TEK links thinking that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT was CEG-TEK, but really they are an ‘evil twin’ competitor.  Since my objections to the CEG-TEK DMCA letters also apply to the RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT DMCA letters, this article is still relevant.]

UPDATE: Read my note at the bottom of this article for comments about IP tracing issues when you visit CEG-TEK’s settlement website.

A troubling number of people write me who receive “DMCA scare letters” (usually in the form of an e-mail from Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK) signed by Ira Siegel), and this blog generally neglects these victims because there is no lawsuit filed against anyone — just a “we might sue you if you don’t settle” e-mail which arrives from the ISP.  In the past few days, I have found that the inquiries have spiked and I am writing the same letter to a number of people.  To save time, I am posting my e-mail response online.

The letters generally ask for $200 per infringement, and there is usually only one or two alleged instances of infringement.  The problem that appeared most recently is that now Copyright Enforcement Group is sending letters for movies which appear not to have copyright protection.

Thank you for contacting me about your DMCA issue.  I’m answering you honestly because you are correct that this DMCA letter scam appears to be just that — one more way of extorting money without having to file lawsuits against anyone.

I suspect that you are correct that there is a possibility that the films are not copyrighted, but you must take into consideration that since you are referring to a film which is decades old, there is not one copyright law to watch out for, but there were multiple versions of the Copyright Act which were in effect as the statutes transitioned into its current form.  So while under the current copyright statute there might be copyright protection for a particular kind of film or video, past statutes might give different protections for it (and note that at one time, pornography was not even copyrightable).  You also need to take into consideration that U.S. Copyright Law gives copyright protection to foreign-made films, and this might be one.

As you no doubt know, with some obvious exceptions, I charge a flat rate to handle copyright matters.  For your “DMCA scare letter” issue, included in that flat fee would be to research whether there is a copyright or not, and what their legal rights are.  But to keep this simple, we both know their extortion strategy, and we both know that their online form [@copyrightsettlements.com] provides a release from claims for $200 each.  While I have never seen anyone sued as a result of ignoring their letters, $200 x 3 is still less than having me research and argue your issue (especially where there is no lawsuit and there may never be one).  That being said, if you didn’t want to deal with their website (because of the games they play where I have heard of people being sued who went online and the site failed [whether by design or by bad luck] or they missed their deadline and they could no longer settle) or you wanted me to handle the transaction, I’m happy to handle all three transactions for one small fee.

Long story short, you have some quick decisions to make before your November 4th date.  If you want me to handle this for you, let me know and I’ll e-mail you a contract for you to sign and get back to me, and I’ll e-mail you a link that you can click on to process your payment.  I’ll also need you to e-mail me copies of each of the DMCA scare letters, and I’ll take care of the rest.  Once again, I am not advocating settling this — I think this is one more extortion tool [of many] up their sleeve — but if you wanted to dispose of it quickly, this is the cheapest and most effective way to do so.  Unlike the bittorrent lawsuits, I don’t think you need to pay me to research and fight this because you have no lawsuit yet against you.

NOTE: One more note for those who are security-minded on the topic of IP tracing and CEG’s website “which sometimes fails.”  I understand that CEG-TEK tracks IP addresses who visit their website.  As a lawyer, I think it would be a bad idea for someone facing a copyright infringement lawsuit to sign onto a website possibly with the same IP address as the person who allegedly downloaded the copyrighted materials.  I would suspect that CEG-TEK is not so evil that they have an app running that if there is an IP address match, the site fails [when you try to process your payment] and they automatically send a second scare letter for $3,500.  At the very least, however, you want a lawyer to make sure that the contract they give you will protect your interests because by logging into their website and using their “secret code” to access your “secret” settlement amount, and then by entering your full name, address, phone number, and credit card information [which means that you just identified yourself as being that downloader, and so they need no ISP subpoena to identify you], that contract better release you from liability.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

181 thoughts on “The trouble with Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK)’s DMCA scare letters.”

  1. Its like a limbo contest… how low will they go.

    For anyone who has ever question the wisdom of why it is always a bad idea to contact the troll themselves, this should be a wake up call.

    Some people still seem to think that if they just tell them there has been a mistake they will say, “Oh alrighty, no harm no foul.”. They assume that the trolls have the interests of actual justice rather than actual payments.

    The trolls have decided your guilty, and even if you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt you couldn’t possibly have done it, they do not care. They will pursue you for money no matter what.

    This is yet another underhanded tactic they use to lessen how much they have to pay to pursue these, often merit-less, claims to reap rewards. They work to refine the process to save them money so they can make more.

    It would be nice if a DMCA notice required a valid copyright registration number be disclosed before it will be considered valid. Having seen multiple mass Doe suits filed for content lacking and/or ineligible for copyright and/or damages beyond actual but claiming the $150,000 statutory damages are possible, the courts really need to examine these claims and accept that some lawyers are playing fast and loose with the truth and that does not meet the standard required to file these cases.

    With the sheer numbers of these cases out there, it is also disturbing that no Judge has asked for review of the “expert” statements and software just accepting the word of people with financial incentives to have these cases move forward.

  2. @TAC is correct that trolls often claim that they only sue guilty people, but he is correct that they only want the money. Sad and true, but I do have a strategy that I have used with my clients.

    Obviously using discretion and acting in the best interests of each client, it is generally my strategy NOT to give the copyright trolls my client’s evidence of innocence (and neither should you). So even if my client has plane tickets or evidence that they weren’t even home during the time of the download, I have no reason share this with the trolls.

    Let them come name an innocent client. The evidence will come out during discovery, and then they’ll have an “oh shoot!” moment when we move for summary judgement and get a dismissal on the merits (and on that note, I’ve been working on a solution to plaintiffs dismissing a case without prejudice when they realize they have a losing case).

    1. I forget where I saw it, hey I am merely moral, but I was reading a troll filing where they claimed being away form home wasn’t going to cut it as the computer just keeps running if your there or not. Of course the problem is and remains, they can’t say what comptuer was connected.
      Its almost funny to watch how these shakedowns are having to evolve to have actual evidence involved in them.
      They still seem mostly to rest on the idea of we said they did it, it must be true. Hopefully more Judges will look at the complete failures in these cases to even meet the basic legal requirements, and ponder why they are trusting someone with a history of distortion and flat out lies.

  3. I totally agree with Rob, and the following real story explains why.

    I cheated a bit when I recently tweeted that I’ve never been in a courtroom. I forgot that I was a witness 10+ years ago. My friends’s car was unjustly towed from a grocery store parking lot while he was shopping in that store. It was an obvious mix-up, and my friend sued the store (pro se). When their lawyer called him, my friend explained that he was shopping at that time and even had a time-stamped receipt to prove it. Defendant’s lawyers asked my friend to send him a copy promising to reimburse the towing fee and repair (to add insult to injury, his new car was badly scratched) , and my not-litigation-savvy friend thought it was not a big deal to open his cards, truth was on his side, right?

    Wrong.

    The crook lawyer found a “witness,” who “saw” my friend not heading to the store after he parked (it was a patron-only lot): the reason why they called the towing company. Then they found another witness to estimate the time a shopper needs to make purchases listed on he receipt, and — boom — came up with 30 extra minutes. Case dismissed. My friend declared a liar.

    It was a very good lesson. If not for that experience I may have revealed unwanted information to my troll in an attempt to prove my innocence, but I kept my mouth shut. And everyone should do the same.

    Never offer a proof of your innocence, a weasel such as Lipscomb will have no difficulty to pervert your story and use it against you in a way even you will doubt your own innocence.

  4. I have received 24 e-mails regarding 13 individual titles from Ira Siegel. I won’t profess my innocence (nor will I willfully admit guilt). They are the pre-litigation threat letters from my ISP on behalf of CEG-TEK/ Ira… I’m wondering if I should wait for them to file a suit, and hope that a lawyer could still negotiate a low settlement early on in the proceedings (I believe $200 per title), or if I should have a lawyer try to negotiate a consolidated settlement amount (less than $200 X 13 Titles = $2600) pre-litigation. I am in St. Clair County IL and I just want some advice. How serious is CEG-TEK, do they often pursue through legal action or are they all bark?

      1. Would you mind sending me your thoughts/response to this question? I have similar situation regarding a scare letter received from CEG for 1 image that was used on a blog.

        1. I replied to your inquiry offline. One thing to note, however, is that in the past it was unusual for CEG-TEK to send “scare” letters for the use of copyrighted images (pictures). I’d be interested in seeing any documentation received by individuals regarding the infringement of copyrighted images, whether or not our firm ends up representing you in your matter.

        1. Once again, done. Sorry for all the crypto-talk here. There is really nothing secret about what they are doing. The problem is that I am a lawyer and I have nothing wrong with posting my opinions on various topics. But, as soon as it comes down to “legal advice” as to one particular person, that is something I need to judge and answer on a person-to-person basis so as not to lead a person down the wrong path.

    1. Deadline is today on mine – I’m in a similar situation. Received 5 emails for 5 alleged infringements from one holding company repped by CEG. It just all seems like a scam and a new way for these companies to make money off their titles. Any info on how to proceed would be appreciated. I know you’re familiar with CEG’s letters by now.. and the temptation to make it go away.

      1. I do not recall getting back to you via e-mail. You can e-mail me at rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com and I would be happy to answer your questions. In short, getting this close to a deadline is obviously not a good idea (hence your “Oops” tag), but it is not a dead end situation. I have been able in the past to call them up and say “fix it,” and shortly afterwards, they reactivate the ability to settle.

  5. [PERSONAL INFORMATION REDACTED FROM COMMENT] I have an identical question to anon above. I have one email which contained a single accusation. My deadline to respond to the accusation re: a copyrighted movie was on Saturday. I reviewed the cases from the accused IP– I know, bad. I forgot about the deadline and logged in today from a completely different IP to check on it, and now there are 6 more copy-written titles listed going back to April of last year. I cannot find consistent information as to whether or not CEG is serious and how much threat there is here.

    I would appreciate any timely information you have on the matter.

    1. Anon2, I have responded to your inquiry via e-mail. However, two points I would like to mention are when CEG-TEK’s deadline passes, their website often stops you from being able to settle. This is a *RED FLAG* to watch out and be cautious, as it is AT THIS POINT where people make a mistake and do something which causes them to get in trouble. The deadline can be reversed by an attorney in settlement negotiations, if that is the direction you would like to go. As far as the other titles and why they added these on (and how to handle them), I would want to make sure they weren’t playing games with you — I suspect your ISP didn’t forward all of the DMCA letters, but I would need more information to understand what they are doing.

  6. please help! my isp forwarded the same letter re: porn

    if i pay – will they come back with more?

    if i ignore – will they escalate?

      1. I got their scam via ISP yesterday, and I just clicked https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/, but didn’t log into it. Today they forward a DUPLICATE scam with different time and case account. Did they sense that I am watching on them and they prompt me to contact them?

        Could you also copy your reply for [PRIVATE] to me? Thanks!

    1. I am in the same boat. I am worried that it’s a scare tactic that borders on a scam. I have the same question as [PRIVATE], if I pay will they continue to come after me and if I ignore it will the situation escalate? I’ve read the blogs and your article and I’m still torn on what to really do.

      I received my noticed this morning. It is accusing me of one violation. I discovered the email early this morning around 3:00 AM. In a panic, I logged into their site with my case number and password, (I now know that was not a good idea) and it is giving me an option of settling for $200 by the 13th of Feb. What should I do?

      1. hostonlawy3r I am in the same boat , with the ira m segal letter being sent to my isp provider yesterday. if i pay the fee will they come back for more, or will it escalate if i ignore. advice through my email would greatlly be appreciated.. also i am in [REDACTED].

      2. I am in the same situation with having clicked on the direct link, loggin into the site with case number and pass. i would appreciate any adive on the matter

  7. Hey I actually have a similar question as well. I was sent two letters for the same movie from CEG TKE International. And it is also stating I have to pay 200 per each(even though they are the exact same title) and I have until tomorrow to pay or I will be closed out of settling. It was also sent by the Ira Seigel guy. I just have a question I wasn’t even at my place of residency when the alleged downloading occurred. So is it better to just go ahead and settle even though I never downloaded the file in question.

  8. I’ve received the CEG TEK email from my ISP. Considering the dollar amount to settle, $200, I’m considering paying it to make it go away. I’m so conflicted with everything I’ve read since I received the email, I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do. I went to the website as embedded in the email, but I don’t think that’s an admission of guilt. I do think $200 is not bad to avoid having my name slung in the mud. I’m asking if by accepting the settlement, if that actually removes any additional liability, including any law suit. Thank you.

    1. I am in the same situation and am wondering the same thing. If I ignore it, will they escalate it into an actual lawsuit, or are they just trolling for people who will panic and pay the $200? If I pay the $200, is it an admission of guilt that will be admissible in court, and would they go after me for more? Unfortunately I did log into their site with the case id and password as I wanted to see what additional information there was on their site. Seems to me like these people are the ones posting the torrent files and are just baiting people. The one I downloaded only had a few seeders.

        1. This is a common question I get. While many times we’ll discover in the lawsuit that the accused title was not copyrighted at the time of the alleged infringement, with CEG-TEK, you need to watch out for U.S. treaties and conventions, as the titles are sometimes copyrighted in countries outside of the U.S. There is more to this, but just do a quick look-up, and you’ll see what I am referring to.

    2. Hello,
      Do you mind if I ask what you ended up doing? I am in the same situation, my $200 payment “deadline” is rapidly approaching. Thanks for sharing any experience with this matter.

  9. I have not recieved a copy of the notice yet from my ISP and didn’t save a copy when I was temporarily redirected by my ISP. My provider will be sending me a copy soon. Have you heard any bad stories from people just settling with CEG TEK? It is mentioned a contract to release you from liability is presented. Could this be a trap or have you heard anything regarding CEG TEK? Again, according to provider, I will be receiving a copy of the notice. Thanks

  10. A few days ago I received an email from my ISP with a DMCA notice, as well as an embedded link containing a settlement offer for $200. I’ve read up on this issue as much as possible, but like others here, I’m still quite confused on the best course of action. Having heard the horror stories from people who attempted to pay the settlement, I opted to seek out further advice. [EDITED FOR PRIVACY]. I really just want to make this go away, and settling looks like the quickest way to peace of mind considering the cost is not outrageous. How can I make this happen without fear of some disastrous outcome?

    1. I have replied to your inquiry via e-mail. In short, I will tell you whether it is a good idea or not to settle, and what your options are based on your plaintiffs’ capabilities. The good news is that I do have all the answers for you since I’ve looked at this from all viewpoints (as much as this is possible), so what I know, I am happy to impart to you. When we speak, please be sure to remind me about the portion of your comment that I edited out.

  11. I received a notification last night and I am loath to pay $200 to anyone for anything. I did log into thier site to look at the inforamtion there. Now I know, not such a good idea.
    I would like some advice on how to handle this. Is it a scam that will go away if ignored or should I just pay and be done with it?

    1. I have my own opinions on whether this is a scam, and I’m happy to share with you my opinion offline (I lean towards “yes, this is a scam, and even though it is legal, I’m of the opinion that this is a misapplication of the law which both CEG-TEK, Siegel, and the ISPs (specifically Charter) are violating). There are some factors to balance, and it will help you figure out whether to pay or ignore.

      I don’t want to reprimand you for going on their website, but that was not the best thing to do. If anything, DO NOT contact them or talk to them, and especially DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION (because 1) they don’t get back to you, and 2) you just identified yourself whereas when they sent you the letter, the ISP sent it — they didn’t know who you were). There are hundreds of people getting the same letter as you did (for their own specific downloaded file), and there is no reason for you to single yourself out from all the rest.

      If you do end up settling, pay a few extra bucks for an attorney (myself or anyone else) to take care of it for you, because IT IS NOT THE FACT THAT YOU PAID THEM which prevents them from coming after you in the future. It is the SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND ITS TERMS which settle their claims against you. Plus, I don’t need to once again go into the point that if something went wrong on the website, an attorney can call them up to tell them to fix the problem [e.g., failed website transaction] whereas if you were doing it yourself, you’d hesitate calling them yourself.

      1. I received a letter for 19 downloads. I never saw a copyright on anything per web site of on any movie downloaded. How is one to know they are downloading protected property? Couldn’t one surmise that they were downloading from the ones who owned it?

        Also, If they were aware of the first download how can they suite back and let a person repeat offense un aware of the infraction. It would seem to resemble entrapment for a bigger suit.

        I can be reached at [PRIVATE]. Thank you for any advice.

  12. I also recieved an email from my isp and a link to settle for $250. It’s only one notice so far. Should I settle or not? Please email me with further advice.

    1. I have responded to your inquiry offline. Please see my comments to other inquiries as I may have already answered your question. Also, if anyone wants to speak to me, you can e-mail me directly at rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com and I’ll reply with instructions on how to get a hold of me without getting stuck in some queue.

  13. Hi!
    I recently paid $600.00 to be released from CEG-TEK.
    One film from 11-’12 and two early in January ’13.
    My question; how far back can these folks go?
    Is it only from using the new technology that’s available which just started being used?
    I guess I’m concerned about looking over my shoulder forever.
    Thanks!

    1. Obviously I cannot tell you with certainty what someone else will do, but they do have three years from the date of infringement to come after you. That’s a VERY long time, but it should make you feel better that ISPs do not keep records that long. Rather, according to each ISP’s “IP retention policy,” they keep records for only a number of months — it used to be 6 months, but these days I’m seeing larger numbers because Congress is attempting to give copyright holders more leeway to discover the identity of accused infringers.

      As far as what CEG-TEK will do, we simply do not know. For now, they appear to be happy collecting settlements and the lawsuits are rare these days. I’ve seen a “Third Degree Films” suit here and here, but nothing substantial. As far as CEG-TEK digging into the past, well, they do have the capabilities and the records, but the data is a bit stale. I have seen a few instances where they tried to add in extra “cases” to raise the settlement price, but in more than one occasion, the dates in question pre-dated when my clients even had internet service. So you see there are issues with that approach, and I suspect they will cut it out or people will start questioning the validity of their settlement demands in the first place.

      1. Hi!

        Wow thanks for your reply!

        The reason I’m very curious is I hear there is a huge case in St. Claire County, Illinois-very close to me.
        My Isp is Charter, do you happen to know the retention policy there?
        Also, I think it might be prudent to not even reply to the threat letters.
        With the costs involved to them and court appearances it might be just a ploy to extract cash.
        Any thoughts?
        Thanks again.

        1. The St. Clair County, IL cases have nothing to do with CEG-TEK, but rather, John Steele (Prenda Law Inc. / Anti-Piracy Law Group) is behind them. You can read more about the Illinois state-based cases here. Back to CEG-TEK and IP retention policies, this can be found by searching Google for their page. Since you mentioned both the Prenda cases and CEG-TEK DMCA letters, since CEG-TEK also sues defendant (e.g., Mike Meier, Marvin Cable, etc.), I will refrain from answering your question so as not to cause confusion with the other readers. CEG-TEK and Prenda are very different animals.

  14. Hi, I’m wondering if you’ve had any cases of anyone receiving a “scare” email with dates for settlement deadlines that have already passed. Is it possible for them to notify you of the deadline well after it’s passed?

    1. It is my experience that CEG-TEK deactivates the ability to settle once their deadlines have passed. For this reason, I usually recommend that clients get me their information before this happens. I have helped clients who’s cases have expired, and sometimes it is simply a matter of having me call them and ask them to reactivate that particular case number. Sometimes it can be more complicated but bottom line, it’s completely doable.

  15. I received a email from charter. It included a email from CEG TEK (ira m. siegel). like everyone else it requested $200 for downloading a porn movie owned by third degree. Their supposed deadline to settle is at the end of the week. I decided to wait it out, but now I’m worried. They don’t have my info. How often do they actually subpeana isp to get personal information? What does it mean if they do? Will it be to late to settle if i wait to see if they subpeanae my information?

      1. I’d like to read your answers to choices’ questions, as I too am wondering with a deadline looming over my head from the same folks. By-the-way, great job! I love this blog! You do amazing stuff on here, and you help so many people. Thank you.

  16. It’s been a over a month since my alleged 2 downloads. Two and a half months for the other. (I paid both without admitting guilt)
    Do you think I’m safe?
    Have you heard of them coming back for more?
    Or are they hit and run artists?
    Any horror stories?

    1. You’re probably in the clear, with 2 months. You’d know by now if they wanted to hit you again.
      Ever see the kids book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?”
      I got hit with one of these from a Copyright troll that is no longer around. This was 2009 or 2010, it was all new to me, and I paid a $70 (seventy) settlement. I actually did do it, and felt the settlement was justified. I got a release. The end….?

      Except, it wasn’t the end. The release was only for that one downloading instance. I got a second email from them 10 days after I paid the first settlement. I called, they explained that the Torrent was, according to their software, uploaded a second time. Two complete uploads, they said. The second settlement offer was $140. I was panicked this was going to go on and on, but I paid, and it ended. Torrentlawyer’s power lies in being able to ensure the release covers what it needs to cover. I guarantee a pro se litigant won’t have the savvy to craft a release that one of these trolls will willingly sign on to.

      In this case I came to find out that “my” guy never litigated, he only threatened. This was a couple years ago when there weren’t blogs full of advice on the subject. I see now it’s a cottage industry, and settlement is up to $500, did I see? The difference is that now it seems the trolls try to proceed to court no matter what.

      I found this blog as I got a notice today from Ira but the difference is, I stopped torrenting ages ago in 2009 or 2010 with the first time I got hit and I didn’t do this. The title they allege is NOT on cocatalog Copyright Registration System, but I doubt it matters. I also am in a jurisdiction that is the second federal circuit and Ira is in California but these guys have other firms do their dirty work in EVERY jurisdiction now, so now it’s the waiting game and then filing motions to quash, etc.

      Much as I love what Torrentlawyer is doing for us all the sad truth is that no judge is going to throw these guys out of court IMMEDIATELY, they will always let things proceed, because litigation keeps money flowing through the system. Blackmail ensures that BOTH plaintiffs’ and defendants’ attorneys get paid nicely. There is no reason for this abuse to come to an end via the heavy hand of a judge using his or her power to dismiss with prejudice.

    2. Just curious, what do you mean when you say you paid without admitting guilt? I am currently approaching my “deadline” but I am not sure whether or not I should pay… Did you just pay with your credit card? I really could care less about the $200, just don’t want to be admitting guilt of course.

  17. I am in the same situation. I received an email from my ISP (Charter) about an illegal download and the letter from CEG TEK and Ira Siegel (sp). My deadline is Feb 24 for $200. I am just looking for this to go away and I don’t have to lose sleep or anything else over something stupid that I did. My question is do I pay and cross my fingers OR ignore and cross everything?

  18. I am on the same boat, just recently got a email from Charter, below attached letter from CEG TEK and Ira Siegel, my deadline is March 6 for $200. I am very worry about this, Part of me want to pay it and make it go away, but I am afraid that once I paid up they will keep hitting me with more follow up from the past download once they had my information. I can also ignore it, but I may lose too much sleep over this.

    Any help or advice will be appreciated.

  19. Hi, I got an email from Ira Siegel from CEG via my ISP provider. At first when I checked it was only 1 item for $200 but an hour later another showed up so now it’s 2 item for $400 total. I would like this to be gone once and for all (I don’t any more extra movie to “settle” after I pay them once, if I have to). What should I do?

  20. Hi, i am sitting in it seems, the same boat as everyone else. My friend received 5 notices all for the same 200$ some may have even been duplicates.. I went on and looked at the accusation on their site from my phone, which im not sure is bad or good. But i had to see what the total dmg report is. Since none of his computers were invloved in the dl of copyright materials, and that it was a seperate computer not matching the ip of the accused statement, how can they prove that HE downloaded anything?? I would love to discuss this further with you if you have a chance. Ive read through your blogs and almost every comment here and i feel like professional advice is the wisest thing to do.

    1. Funny enough, I’ve learned that much of their system is not based on IP addresses as I originally thought, but GEOLOCATION. So if different IP addresses are running the same torrent program having the same port and downloading the same content, their assumption is that it is the same person. I’m not so sure I agree with this logic, as 1) I don’t think geolocation is that precise, and 2) unsophisticated torrent users who just install software using the same ports can end up linked together. Either way, the point is that they are tracking by geolocation, not IP address. Scary world we live in.

  21. I received an email from my ISP (Charter) about an illegal download and the letter from CEG TEK and Ira Siegel (sp). My deadline is March 15 for $200. I am not looking for, nor can I afford, any trouble. It seems like a lot of people are in the same boat as I am. Is this a legitimate threat? Should I pay? If I let the deadline pass, is there a realistic chance that action will be taken against me? I just want this to go away and to live my life like normal. An email response would be helpful if possible.

  22. Last night when logging into the Internet, century link had a notice about copy right infringement and advised it was against their terms and that the IP we use was identified. It advised our personal information was not given out and wouldn’t be unless they were subpoenaed. It then asked if the user was 18 yrs of age and the authorized account holder for century link to which both were answered “no”. Later in the evening century link sent an email at 11pm similar to all the emails currently posted with multiple film titles listed.

    The email stated a deadline to settle of Monday, February 11th yet the email from century link was sent on February 20th. It appears the original email from dmca@copyrightsettlements.com was sent to century link on January 14th, at which point only one title was listed but the email from century link had multiple titles listed. The settlement link was clicked on from a different IP but no more action was taken than that, it asked to login and already had the information prefilled with the ID and password but the login button was never clicked. So at this point a settlement offer has not been viewed.

    What is the best course of action to take at this point…I have no idea how much it would be to settle since the settlement website was not logged into. If ignored, what’s the best case scenario and what is the worst case scenario? What about the fact the Internet provider sent the email 5 1/2 weeks after they were notified and the deadline provided in the email has already passed? What are your recommendations?

    1. I recommend that you speak to me about your matter. There are too many details here to give you blanket advice without knowing more details about your particular case. Deadline passed or not, this is likely a manageable situation. Whether you end up ignoring or settling (fighting is a silly option at this point because there is no lawsuit against you), either route I am good with. I’d be happy to walk you down the various paths of each option, what the considerations are, and what the risks are of each.

  23. I also received an email from my ISP (Charter) about an illegal download and the letter from CEG TEK and Ira Siegel. My deadline is also March 15 for $200. Should I just pay the $200 and make it go away? and will it go away after I pay? I have since secured my connection so hopefully no one can hi-jack it. I wasn’t at home when this allegedly happened. I don’t have the funds to fight this, but I am a worrier non the less. What do you charge to pay this $200 and make it go away? Thanks for reading.

  24. I just received a letter forwarded to me by my ISP from CEG TEK. The IP address specified is incorrect.

    My deadline is March 27th. If I were to pay the $200 fine CEG wants me to pay, would that prevent them from further legal action and make me immune? If I were to ignore the settlement offer, would they subpoena my ISP? I can’t afford to go to court for this.

    1. Same person as anonymous here, I found out the company they are representing has an actual claim to the content (but not necessarily a copyright).

      1. Same person as before. One final thing I forgot to mention. To reinstate my internet access with my ISP they required me to send an email to them stating that I had deleted the file in question and uninstalled the file sharing program (I have already sent this email).

        Has CEG ever moved forward in a case like this or do they only threaten?

    2. Anonymous, I will be sending you an e-mail momentarily asking you to set up an appointment with me via http://torrentlawyer.genbook.com to answer your questions. In short, I think you have taken some good steps to educate yourself. I think you probably also have some intervention by your ISP as being part of the Six Steps Program (or their version of taking steps to stop copyright infringement) which will likely not get back to Ira Siegel or CEG-TEK.

      1. Hi

        I got a similar letter/email forwarded by my ISP(charter) with march 25th deadline for settlement. Will there be any chance to settle when I get a notice from ISP about a subpoena against me? or will it be too late then?.

        Please let me know.

  25. I also received an email from Charter with a letter from CEG TEK, during a period when our internet was cutting in and out and we believe someone was hi-jacking our wireless. In our panic, we paid the stupid thing off to avoid legal problems since we figured it would be the cheaper route. Now that I am reading all the warning about CEG TEK, am an worried we made a big mistake. Do you have any advice you can email me regarding what I can do at this point to protect us against any future actions CEG TEK might take now that they have our contact information? We just wanted to pay it off and deal with the internet problems, and figured it would only get more expensive if we let it wait 🙁

    1. Rarius, I replied to your inquiry by e-mail. I have never seen CEG-TEK sue a defendant who ended up settling. What I detailed in the e-mail, however, was that if their clients end up asking them to sue for other things they find after you settle (e.g., downloads that take place after a settlement), well then yes, you could be at risk for being sued if you haven’t locked down your router with WPA2 encryption and a good password (not your child’s birthday) and your neighbor continues to use your account to download his videos.

  26. I just received an email from my ISP Charter with a letter from CEG TEK. After reading various posts, I have avoided in clicking the link at this time and would like to remain anonymous if possible. What is my best course of action at this time? My deadline is at Mar 27th so I have a while to proceed in any direction.

    1. Remaining anonymous is something I have been able to do for our clients. CEG-TEK and Ira Siegel do not yet know who you are — they sent their settlement demand letter to your Charter ISP along with a note that “so-and-so IP Address downloaded my client’s copyrighted files,” paid them their fee, and Charter forwarded to you their e-mail.

      In sum, yes, we can keep you anonymous. I’ll explain how on our call.

  27. HI!
    I read today that the big five have 85% of the market.
    Any thoughts on how the 15% are affected?

    Also, any idea how far back these folks are looking?
    Any updates on charters policy?

  28. I got one of these CEG TEK letters from Charter and after reading all of these comments, what is the best way to handle this? Should I pay it or ignore it? I just want this to all go away!!!

  29. I received emails forwarded from Charter and paid 2 of the 3 I got. The 3rd one I received is due tomorrow and when I went to the settlement site 38 other cases had been added to the settlement, totaling $7800. I sent them an email regarding the added cases, was this the wrong move on my part?

      1. I just got a reply from them saying “Please provide a telephone number and we will have someone reach out to you directly about this matter.” I’m guessing I should ignore that, right?

  30. So, same boat for me. Received a single notice this evening from my ISP. I mistakenly logged into the CEG-TEK site to view the settlement information, but have not contacted them, nor will I. I have locked down my router to further protect my account. I fear what will happen next, and would love to hear your advice for next steps.

    1. So they know you logged in to their website. Whether you log in or not has ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with whether you are the one who did the download. All it does is correlate one IP address to the accused IP address for their geolocation purposes.

  31. Hi

    I got a similar letter/email forwarded by my ISP(charter) with march 25th deadline for settlement. Will there be any chance to settle when I get a notice from ISP about a subpoena against me? or will it be too late then?.

    Please let me know.

    1. The settlement amounts CEG-TEK have been asking for in their lawsuits for one file are $2,500-$3,500 (+/-). Here they are asking for $200 for that same title. I have sent you an e-mail and I would be happy to discuss with you the particulars of their accusation against you.

  32. Hey, I got another similar notice from Charter. CEG-TEK is asking for $200 for a settlement by April 3rd. It seems that it is a bad idea to pay … so is this something I should just ignore?

      1. Hello. I’m also in the same boat. I received an email from my isp about a copyright infringement case from CEG TEK. I did not log in with the provided username and password so I am not aware of how much the settlement offer is. I do know that my deadline is on the 24th of April. I have read through your comments in this thread and I would like to personally hear from you to resolve this problem. Please send me an email on how we can go about this. Thank you in advance.

  33. I am in the same boat as many other people. I got the notice through my ISP having restricted my internet access until I agreed to Terms of Service. I also clicked on the link so as to view the settlement amount ($200) but did not enter any other information or call them. I am very worried about this. Can someone please tell me what to do? I would probably pay the money, but only if I could get a blanket release so that they could not come after me for anything else (up to this date of course) and they had to maintain my confidentiality. It seems people on this site have some experience. Could someone please advise me?

    Thank you very much.

  34. I know about the process for scheduling an appointment, but the soonest available appointment is on the same day as the online settlement is due. The post says something about paying you a small fee, and you handling the payment on our behalf? That is something that is my #1 choice right now. Is there any way that more information can be obtained before April 11?

  35. OK, I’m in need of the same advice…sorry I didn’t read the last half of this entire page (it’s very long!). If you could e-mail me, I’d appreciate it. I got one letter with about 10 items, many were duplicates. Maybe 6 different files altogether. Should I just ignore it at this point? The letter I got was a “warning” letter from my ISP, but the ISP forwarded the “case numbers” of the various downloads. Thanks for your help!

  36. Hello,
    I am in a similar situation as pretty much everyone else commenting here. I have received one of these scare letters forwarded by my ISP from CEG-TEK, signed by Ira Siegel, asking that I pay a $200 pre settlement fee or get sued. I also made the mistake of entering my “case id” and password they emailed to me from the accused IP address. In my case, there was only one title that was infringed upon, and they are only asking $200 for it. Can I set up some sort of consultation?

    Thank you for your help.

  37. Curious if anyone that has experienced the ceg website “crashes” recognized if there might be a “yeah, that doesn’t surprise me” epiphany.

    Such as…putting in anon info, a nonexistent address, a name that a behind the scenes checker does a deed search for that address, etc.

    Also, if the “crashes” were apparent or if all seemed fine then…..bam….surprise letter in the mail

  38. Hi,

    I’ve gotten the same $200 notice as above and would like to know what your experience has been for people who have either ignored or payed the settlement. Does CEG escalate these notices to legal action in every case where the settlement is not paid?

    1. I’m sure the answer here is NO. The issue is, however, that CEG-TEK shares the information of settling and non-settling parties (IP addresses, whatever people post into their web form, and anything they could scrape up (e.g., the geolocation data of the router)) and shares it [along with their own forensics data tracking the downloads] with their clients (the production studios). Now whether you think Ira Siegel is ethical or not, he is not your problem — the problem are the production studios and the copyright troll attorneys they hire. Remember, a number of CEG-TEK’s clients were Lipscomb & Eisenberg’s clients first (e.g., Patrick Collins, etc.), so I assume his gang is who they will return to.

  39. I’ve made a mistake of thinking of settling and the transaction failed when I tried to settle. I’m worried that now they have information and will go after me. What should I do now?

  40. Hi,
    I also am in the same situation and have received one of these scare letters forwarded by my ISP from CEG-TEK, signed by Ira Siegel, asking that I pay a $200 pre-settlement fee. I also made the mistake of entering my case ID and pw. I also not well aware of the situation called them and only gave my name and phone number with the case number but did not give any further information. I would like to set up a consultation. Thank you for your help.

  41. I rcvd 3 emails in quick succession for a total of $600. I have read many of the posts here and need some guidance on how to proceed. I did enter their website. I will pay it if I can be certain it will ‘go away’, but, like many others here, I worry that this will not be the end of it.

  42. I sent you an email. Of course I got one of these letters. Went to the site to see the settlement……they want 200 for one title. I sent Ira an email stating I had no knowledge, etc. (exact wording was sent to your email address). They contacted me back asking for my number. I have not given out any personal info at this point and told them I was advised not to give out my number. There is a chance they may have my name…but I am not sure. Advice? Thank you in advance.

  43. I have received a similar email about possible violation of copyright infringement laws. Please help me houstonlawy3r, I have sent you an email.

  44. Same as some of the others. I was just blocked by my ISP, they sent me one notice, but the notice had 10 emails with 10 different items. They want $2k, some of the dates go as far back as april, but I got the notice today to pay by tomorrow. Funny enough, I know streaming websites have the same crap I just downloaded. Any advice or information would be helpful, as I have other lawyer issues at the moment and I don’t want this being one of them, or hoping it won’t be one of them. I can go into more detail with an email.

    1. also, on a side note, like others, I freaked out, didn’t know it wasn’t a good idea to log on to see what was going on

  45. Hi please help
    CEG-TEK sent me an email saying that a water marked picture on my blogger site broke copyright laws and they and I can pay them $500 to settle out court. I tried to make an appointment but my phone number was not valid since I am from the U.K.

  46. I’ve made a mistake in starting a settlement before really doing an extensive research.

    The emails seems shady but like so many others it scared me to jump the gun.

    Now I am furious. What should I do?

  47. Hy i dont really have the same predicament as the others i have gotten two letters in the mail stating that i have a fine for $1750 dollars for downloading a file im not sure if this is ligit so if u can please get back to me as fast as you can the dedline is coming up fast and i dont know if i should pay it

  48. Just received an email via ISP from CEG-TEK by Ira Siegel, asking that I pay a $500 pre-settlement fee for using a photo for Albums on my site that I receive from a site allows Creative Commons Licenses for reuse. Photo in question is from 2009, In 2010, I was caught in a copyright infringement troller with threats of shutting my site down. A group filed a lawsuit against this created firm for a major news Corp, long story short, they caught hell in the courts with the major issues that the law firm couldn’t sue for copyright infringement as owner of the works (News Corp turned it over to them to troll), plus the manner of which they were using shot gun methods to fish for guppies. The judgement went against them and they were order to send out what amounted to an apology and that the suit which was national to forfeit the suit but a counter suit couldn’t be brought against them thus quashing the matter.
    I’m thinking this is of the same matter, I have a month to settle which I have no plans to but I’m wondering what are the ramifications to disregarding the notices, awaiting the date to past and how does this effect my relationship with my ISP whom I’ve been with for years and should I contact them about the matter at all

  49. I too am in the same predicament as everyone else on this forum. I sent you an email explaining a little more thoroughly. Supposedly I have 60 days to pay $800 for supposedly downloading “A Haunting at Silver Falls”, which I’ve never even seen, 4 times. I could definitely use some help, and would definitely appreciate it!

  50. I contacted a lawyer he plainly stated they are a scam dont worry about it and that they cannot prove that anything was downloaded and that they cannot sue an ip address

    1. Wow, and that lawyer was who? And will he represent you for free when he’s wrong? I don’t want to knock any attorney, because from a BIGLAW point of view, he is correct that this is sort of a scam (lawyers asking for money, threatening a lawsuit when they themselves wouldn’t be the ones suing, etc.). He is dead wrong, however, about the “they can’t prove anything” part, and the “they cannot sue an IP address” part. CEG-TEK is known for having good evidence, and all the “John Doe” lawsuits ARE lawsuits against an unknown internet subscriber having an accused IP address. They don’t sue the IP address; they amend the complaint and sue the subscriber.

      I am sorry to everyone for giving such a long answer repeating much of what many of you know from actually reading the articles on the site, but it appears as if this guy was given some reckless advice from a lawyer who didn’t care if he was right or wrong.

  51. I got this email from CEG-TEK earlier and I must admit I panicked. I am now stricken with paranoia because I recognize that giving them my information was a mistake. Do I have more to worry about and are there any further steps I should be taking?

  52. houstonlawy3r,

    I really appreciate the information contained in your letter and the posts below. Unfortunately, I am in this very situation (CEG-TEK sent a threatening email to me via my ISP Charter). I wish I had read this thread first, since I had logged in (though nothing more) to the settlement website.

    Since I still have a month left, I was wondering what advice you would give? I had first considered paying the $200 fee, but then I saw that they had also lumped in two additional case. Though I had done some preliminary research, it would be comforting to defer to an expert.

  53. I am in the same situation as many others here. I have received a scare letter from CEG TEK International for supposedly downloading copyrighted materials, each instance being charged $200.00. I have made the same “mistakes” too of calling them, and although I didn’t give out my phone number now I am getting multiple call backs to my cell phone. I also logged in and put in my case # and pw. I would appreciate an email with information about the services you provide to help resolve this issue.

  54. I recently recieved a letter from CEG regarding a single title listed twice. I haven’t made contact with CEG, but I have clicked on the link to see the settlement (this was done before I did hours of research and found out I shouldn’t have clicked anything). Everywhere seems to be saying that ignoring this is the best way to proceed. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. HI,

      I have the similar situation. Received a letter from CEG regarding a single title until now (which I received today). But, I also clicked the settement link and logged in but didn’t proceed anymore. Do you think you would be able to tell me what actually happened latter. Did you receive any second letter before/after deadline or any other kinds of notice.

      Any kind of information will be greatly appreciated !!!

      Thanks,

  55. I received one of these today, for 10 “violations” about half of the settlement deadlines have already passed… and I logged in to the site to see what was up, before realizing that was not the best move (I just looked at the list of settlement amounts, gave no personal info) Info would be appreciated, thanks

  56. I too received the CEG warning letter for 6 infringements. One I title I did download that is not currently copyrighted and all of the others I know for fact i did NOT download. Unfortunately, I did click on the link.

  57. Unfortunately, I am in this very situation (CEG-TEK sent a threatening email to me via my ISP Charter) for downloading copyrighted materials. I wish I would have seen this website/blog a little sooner though. I did click on the login link provided in the email to look at the settlement amount of $200, however, I did nothing else. My settlement date is 9/27/2013. Any information on what the best route to take would be greatly appreciated.

  58. Any update on legal action taken by C.E.G?
    Bit torrent was running in the background on a machine I was asked to “fix” because it was slow. Isn’t there a counter notification, once sued, that exempts maintenance and repair of computers? I took me a week to clean out the malware/trojans that they put on the computer as part of their entrapment strategy.

    1. The problem is not CEG-TEK. They haven’t sued anyone since last year. The problem is the copyright holders and what they refer to as their “intellectual property rights.” My guess is that if you run a computer business where are fixing machines for your clients, inevitably one of the “slow” computers will be infected with malware or will be running software that is slowing it down. As for alleged copyright infringement occurring on your network, I need more information before I answer you, so let’s follow up this topic over the phone.

  59. I have 9 Infringements for porn :/ totaling 1800.00 I logged onto the website with the password they provided which I realize now was a bad idea. Meh, should I pay it then?

  60. Hello,

    I have made the mistake in accessing their website and logging in using the ‘secret account/password’. And saw the extortion of $200 per infringement. I am leaning to not pay. What would be your quick advice if any?

    1. Quick advice: Don’t get quick advice.

      1. Look into who the copyright holder is, research whether they’ve sued before (e.g., http://www.rfcexpress.com). Learn what their intentions are.

      2. It is much harder for someone who has not sued to begin suing (as opposed to someone who has sued before, but has simply stopped while they are trying out the CEG-TEK http://www.CopyrightSettlements.com settlement system to see which way they make more money).

      If you want to speak with me about your case, I am happy to be of assistance.

      -Rob

  61. So I just got a abuse letter, I also made the mistake of accessing their site. I also have had this problem before…I paid them last time. I was told to by someone who is a relative where there offices are in FL. What are you thoughts? I can’t find that i’m being sued. Thanks.

    1. I also got a letter. 3 actually. I’m inclined to just pay the fee. I have not yet accessed the website but was wondering what it would cost to pay this on my behalf so ensure the proper release in completed so I don’t have to worry about them coming back to me later. Unless you think this is not an issue and I could just pay on my own through the website, but I don’t like them having my information.

  62. I received one of these letters from CEG-TEK via my ISP and I have been researching them on the best course of action. It does not seem that they file lawsuits. I was just curious on what should I do?

    Thanks

    1. You must make the distinction between CEG-TEK (merely an “agent” of the copyright holders), and the activities of the copyright holders themselves. Copyright Enforcement Group (“CEG-TEK”), Ira Siegel, Marvin Cable, Mike Meier [and any of their other attorneys that I am not aware of] are not suing and have not sued in over 18 months. However, there is more depth to this than CEG-TEK because the copyright holders themselves are often affiliated with their own “copyright troll” attorneys. Depending on your copyright holder, we know who their attorney(s) are based on who has sued before for that particular copyright holder. This is best a topic that I’d be happy to discuss over the phone (I’m not listing who to ignore and who to beware of on a public forum website — not even my own website).

      1. They are back in business. Looking for $250. They even contacted my Internet provider. The email was to a email service we rarely use. The email was sent on December 18

  63. We recently received two of these notices, 2 days apart, for the same title. (4 parts to this one title) The alleged downloading, if it actually occurred, was done by one of my minor children. The time stamp on the second notice was one when no one would have been downloading anything. The time stamp on the first notice was theoretically possible, but not probable.

    I did visit their settlement website after reading the forwarded notice Charter sent me, but left no personal info and did not pay. I visited their website using the same IP address listed in the notice. Can they get any info on me from that alone? I’m afraid now to settle, because they might hit me with more stuff once they have my info.

  64. I received a DMCA notice by my ISP recently, from CEG-TEK. I have a few weeks or so until my settlement date expires. I have not been working in over a year, and cannot afford the $250 settlement. Besides, I am very leary of giving my information out, as I am not the one who downloaded the file. I, in desperation, logged into the settlement site, but did not leave any information. I am really worried about it and unsure what to do. I am trying to find the “friend” that watched our house and did the torrent. Thank you for any advice.

  65. I was hoping I could get your personal opinion on just the same issue that everyone else has asked. I have recieved 3 of these email and noticing that they have not sued in over 18 months gives me some relief. But just to weigh all of my options, what you would recommend that I do?

  66. I received an email from my isp (wildblue/viasat) with settlement info from ceg-tek in regards to two downloads. The settlement is for $250 each. They are from Third Degree Films and RLD Distribution. How should I go about handling this and what would happen if I ignored them? If I pay will they come after more?

  67. Hey, I already sent you an email (hopefully that’s ok before posting a comment). I’ve read pretty much every comment and some of your related threads. Like anybody else getting one of this emails I’m rather worried and would love to have some direction.

  68. I just paid $800 for 3 videos they said I downloaded. I guess I’m screwed now that I have paid them. I’m not sure who downloaded the movies cause I have several roommates but it’s my internet service

  69. I am in the same boat as all these people here, I got a email from my ISP from CEG TEK Int. about one infringement, and I have read that they could send more letters from other, infringments or same infringments multiple times. In a panic I visited there site but have not payed yet, my deadline is 4-29-14, would you be able to help me?

  70. Hello, I have the same issue with CEG-TEK and have received a forwarded email from my ISP from Ira M. Siegel notifying me of an infringement. I would greatly appreciate advice in my next step in either settling, waiting it out, or hiring an attorney

  71. Got an email this morning forwarded by my ISP. The want $250 for a single incident. I already accessed their website, but did not provide any information other then my IP address.

    Do you think that I can negotiate this down on my own or should I just pay it or maybe even ignore it?

  72. I have received an email for one title. How to deal with it? It has a deadline after about 25 days. I am a newbie in this matter. I was contacted by my ISP and contacted CEG-TEK tollfree number already! They’re asking for $300 settlement fees.

    1. You are correct. I too am seeing $300 settlement fees per title where just a few days ago, the same titles would settle for $250 (and correspondingly, a few months ago, the same titles would settle for $200). CEG-TEK is notching up their settlement prices.

      Otherwise, I responded to you privately to your e-mail address.

      1. I received three of these letters, one first and then 2 the next day from my ISP. I too made the mistake of going on the website and logging in with the id and password but I also called them and left them my personal cell phone number, the internet provider and the name of the person whose name is on the internet service (it’s an old relative who doesn’t speak english so he had me call, but doesnt know what kind of materials were downloaded). I feel terrible now. but I’m kind of inclined to pay to make this go away and not cause more harm. the bill in total is $850 now for the three files. when they called back I told them they had the wrong # and that I didn’t know the person they were asking for. if I pay can I do so anonymously so they dont have a way to track us?

      2. I have also received an email for one title for a $300 settlement with a deadline of about 20 days or so. I have entered in the case number and code on their website but nothing more. I’m new to this as well and am very concerned. I am not sure how to proceed.

      3. Hello. I received 6 emails regarding a file I allegedly downloaded. One file, 6 inquiries on it. There was no request for payment. But my situation and questions seem to be like everyone else on this page. I would look forward to a response from you as everyone else on how to handle this, or if it should be ignored. Thanks. Below is edited version of what I was sent. Name and IP have been withdrawn for security reasons.

        Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Subscriber:

        Comcast has received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works made on or over Comcast’s High-Speed Internet service (the ‘Service’). The copyright owner has identified the Internet Protocol (‘IP’) address associated with your Service account at the time as the source of the infringing works. The works identified by the copyright owner in its notification are listed below. Comcast reminds you that use of the Service (or any part of the Service) in any manner that constitutes an infringement of any copyrighted work is a violation of Comcast’s Acceptable Use Policy and may result in the suspension or termination of your Service account

      4. The Comcast notices do not forward the CEG-TEK DMCA letters that were sent to them. Thus, you only have the Case numbers that Comcast provided you (which is useless to you if you cannot access CEG-TEK’s website to view the claims against you). This is an issue between CEG-TEK and Comcast, and you are stuck in the middle of it. The claims are still there, even if you cannot see them, and it is probably in your best interests to have an attorney contact them on your behalf to obtain the passwords so that you can see what they have against you — this is only if you are thinking of settling the claims against you.

  73. I got the threatening dmca notice after the date expired by three months. Still payed the 200 dollar fine, like an idiot. got the copyright settlement stuff printed out, but what good does that do me? I just identified myself, for a single download. Probably not something they are actually going to take to court, given the cost of doing so. Still the timing is something of a joke. What should my next move be if they do decide to attempt to take me to court?

  74. I am a little rattled here, as I just found out about my situation an hour ago and have been doing research since. I am at a university which is its own ISP and they forwarded me the email sent by CEG-TEK about one title for $250. I can pay that if I must but not any more than that. They do not have my personal information but i did visit the site to view the amount. I quickly left the page without going further. I am of the somewhat firm opinion so far that they are just phishing, and if i ignore it no malice will come. But still, I would really like a third voice here.

    Can you email me with your advice?

  75. I have received a CEG-TEK email for one title, but they’re not asking any settlement fees. Just Link and password for settling. I received an e-mail from charter. Charter said that ISP did not provide my contact information. I did NOT click any link or logged in anything. I still have about 3 weeks for the deadline.

  76. I received one of these DMCA notices a few days back accusing me of downloading The Expendables 3. I did not click on any of the links or call any of the phone numbers because I got lucky and read some helpful articles on the internet first. At this point, I don’t even know what the settlement offer is, but through some articles I’ve read, it’s probably $300. But there are a couple of things that concern me. I read some articles about how there was some copy of this particular movie which as leaked before it even came out in theaters. Because of this, they have hired some companies to go after individuals to try and recuperate some of their lost revenue. So is being accused of downloading this particular movie put me in more danger than if another movie as far as having an actual law suit filed or getting more heat/push from CEG TEK? Also, there is a part of me which wants to just pay the settlement fee if it’s just $300, but I’ve also read that by actually making the payment just puts you at risk for them coming after you for other things. What should I do at this point?

    1. Doe2000, I have replied to your questions via e-mail. In short, Millennium Films (the producer for The Expendables 3) is using CEG-TEK to recoup what they call “lost ticket sales,” however, there is no reason to think that every person who downloads a film online would have purchased a ticket.

      That being said, often just paying a settlement doesn’t solve the problem, as many accused downloaders have reported being contacted by the copyright holders asking for more money (e.g., $3,500, something they would have received as a settlement in their prior lawsuits). This is not true for all copyright holders, but it is something that one needs to be aware of. I apologize for saying “this is why you hire an attorney to handle your settlement,” but this is why you hire an attorney, as we prevent the copyright holders from contacting you after the settlement is complete.

      NOTE: Millennium Films is a copyright troll, and they have EVERY INTENTION of suing downloaders as they have done in the past. See this article for details, and then contact me to figure out what to do from here. http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/expendables-3-producer-we-want-to-go-after-10-million-who-illegally-downloaded-movie-1201308942/

    2. I also just got a notice from CEG-TEK speaking for millennium films. They are also accusing me of downloading the expendables 3 and other movies (no i didn’t download them-I haven’t even heard of those movies prior to their letter). I have looked on rfcexpress.com and can’t find millennium films or CEG-TEK filing a single case.

      1. Try the search again and you’ll find it. As for CEG-TEK not suing, as a general rule, they do not sue (however, the issue is that they provide information to their clients [the copyright holders] and leave it up to them on how to follow-up to collect what they believe is owed to them. CEG-TEK merely serves the function of providing copyright enforcement services to the copyright holder.

  77. i just got a scare letter from ceg for 300 for one movie. and im wondering the same thing??? what in the world? is it real? and will they really sue?

  78. Hi, I’m another computer owner who received a CEG-TEK letter from my carrier, Charter. Allegedly someone at my address downloaded a movie that was allegedly protected by a copyright. My mistake (I know now) is I called the phone number provided by CEG-TEK to find out what it was all about. I gave the my name, case # and phone # for them to call back, but gave them nothing else. I did not hear from them right away, and then conducted my on line search re CEG-TEK, which led me to this site. I only wish I had done this sooner, before calling what appears to be trolls. What should my next step be?

  79. Yup, I made a huge mistake by clicking the link and figuring it was easy to settle than getting scare letters for the rest of my life. I filled in all my information and the payment did not go through? I don’t know what to expect next?

  80. I got the first email from my ISP in regards to the activity, logged in and paid the $300 and then later that evening i received 7 more emails for settlements. How screwed am i?

  81. Hello, the house I live at has received such a scare letter. It was of the standard form as described above, where CEG-Tech has requested an ISP (metrocast) to forward a letter to the owner of the account holder (not me in this case), accusing someone on the IP address with downloading a film from Giant Media Group, inc DBA Devil’s Film. There are 3 charges for the same title of $300.00 a piece a total of $900.00. The letter has stated the the owner of the account has until July 14th 2015 to settle before the offer is taken away. I was wondering if you would be able to review the rights of the settlement, and advise me in a course of action. I am willing to pay the settlement charge if it will make the situation disappear. However I am concerned of the “out of the frying pan into the fire” thing. And the person who is on the ISP has no way of accounting for any other activity, so the concern is paying this will divulge the identity of the payee, and open up other accusations directly to the person who paid…Thank you for your time and I appreciate your blog posts they have been of great help so far! 🙂

  82. I received an email from my ISP in regards to the activity. I logged in and seen they want me to pay $300 for a title that has allegedly been downloaded from my ip. What should I do? I really didn’t understand what I read above.

  83. Hey, I recently got one of these emails from my ISP. Unfortunately, I logged into the provided website, and saw it was for $200 x1. I felt that I should just pay and get it over with. So I proceeded to the next page, and entered my info, but stopped after the Postal Code. I then Canceled what I was doing, and logged out of the website, and closed my browser. After which I found this site as well as many others warning not to even go to their website, let alone login. I am now praying, hoping I won’t receive another email from my ISP. In your experience, how screwed are people after logging in, and not paying. Also I should note I live in Canada. Many posts, and article’s claim that Canadian residents should ignore them, and only think of them as warnings, and nothing else, due the the new law implemented earlier this year. Can you assist me at all?

  84. Hy. I’m completely stress!
    I recevied a letter from CEG TEK, and I pay the money they asked me…
    Will it have any further consequences (except the money I lose)? How can I protect my self from now on?
    Thank’s for any anwers.
    (and sorry for my english)

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