CEG-TEK’s DMCA Settlement Letters – What are my chances of being sued if I ignore?

[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.  There are significant DIFFERENCES between the way CEG-TEK handled those who ignore the settlement demand letters, and the way RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will be handling them.  Click the above link for details.]

As you can see, I am taking some time educating individuals involved in the Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK) / Ira Siegel DMCA letters being sent to thousands of individuals across the U.S. by their www.CopyrightSettlements.com system.

As a recap, anyone involved in receiving such a letter should read the following three articles I have written on their tactics:
1. Why CEG-TEK’s DMCA settlement system will FAIL (2/22/2013)

2. When CEG-TEK’s DMCA notices contain duplicate titles. Purposeful luring of defendants or not? (11/26/2012)

3. The trouble with Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK)’s DMCA scare letters. (11/2/2012)

Now, as far as the topic of this blog entry, the question people often ask is “what are the risks that CEG-TEK or Ira Siegel will sue me if I don’t settle?”

While the easy answer is that so far it appears as if they are NOT suing (remember, they are soliciting their clients under the premise that they’ll make more money by making use of their DMCA settlement system rather than by suing), that answer needs to be elaborated.  I hope you will forgive me saving time in answering this way, but I have laid out my answer below in the form of an e-mail I sent to one of the individuals who called me for assistance.


It is good to hear from you. Just to reiterate, the “case” numbers are not actual lawsuits (at least not yet). If you did not settle by their due dates, their threat is that they would file a lawsuit against you [likely for only one of the titles; knowing them, in order to maximize their return, they would reserve the other titles for separate lawsuits]. Also, my opinion is that the lawsuit would be filed in the Northern District of California (where Ira Siegel is), or the Southern District of New York (where Mike Meier is). Even though you live here in [LOCATION REDACTED] and [COURT REDACTED] would be the proper location for a lawsuit, by filing in the wrong location, they know by doing so they would push you to settle rather than hire an attorney (someone like me) to fight the jurisdiction issue on your behalf.

So far as we discussed, their lawsuits are few and far in between. In fact, up until a week or so ago, I was ambivalent whether a client ignores the letter or settles it (see below article link for what has changed). If you want to see what they are doing lawsuit-wise, you’ll find them by looking for the words “Digital Sin” or any of their other clients on the http://www.rfcexpress.com website. Alternatively, you can search for “Mike Meier” since he seems to be their top guy as far as skill in suing defendants aside from Ira Siegel himself.

It is my opinion that they are not in the habit of suing at this point, which means they are trying to “milk” the settlements for all they are worth. However, they do have three (3) years from the alleged date of infringement to sue, so if you didn’t settle, you’ll be looking over your shoulder waiting for them to have a bad day when they decide to press the button and sue everyone.

I wrote an article yesterday on my http://torrentlawyer.com website which should answer your questions as to the factors influencing the odds of whether they’ll be suing defendants in the near future, or whether they would wait the full three-years to sue everyone at once.

Once again, it drives me nuts when attorneys try to scare defendants into settling their cases.  With these DMCA “scare” letters, I am merely stating the obvious paths CEG-TEK and their attorneys can take.

For me, I think Ira Siegel and the Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK) would like to avoid suing defendants.  It didn’t seem that profitable for them the first time around, and it took incredible resources to maintain their copyright infringement lawsuits prior to the creation of their out-of-court turn-key settlement system. Then again, they are IP enforcement companies who are serving the needs of their production company clients (the copyright holders), and if the clients pay them to use their CopyrightSettlements.com system and send DMCA letters to the ISPs, they send the letters.  If the clients instruct them to sue, they sue. It is my understanding that they dislike the other copyright trolls, and that they compete for business (e.g., the production companies). Thus, if their settlement system dries up as I believe it inevitably will, they will do anything not to lose their clients to the likes of Lipscomb, Steele, or the other less credible trolls out there.

Canada begins receiving CEG-TEK DMCA settlement letters. (3/12/2015)
How time limits / purged records stop a copyright holder from learning a downloader’s identity. (12/18/2014)
CEG-TEK’s growing list of participating ISPs, and their NEW alliance with COX Communications. (11/12/2014)
The Giganews VPN Problem (11/12/2014)
CEG-TEK is now your friendly “photo” copyright troll. (6/13/2013)
CEG-TEK’s new “you didn’t settle” letters sent from Marvin Cable. (3/22/2013)
CEG-TEK’s DMCA Settlement Letters – What are my chances of being sued if I ignore? (2/22/2013)
Why CEG-TEK’s DMCA settlement system will FAIL. (2/22/2013)

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.

86 thoughts on “CEG-TEK’s DMCA Settlement Letters – What are my chances of being sued if I ignore?”

  1. That’s why I never, ever use American hosting services. I’ve been hit with illegitimate DMCA takedown notices in the past on articles I’ve written. It seems like a lot of people do not like being criticized.

    Since I host in Canada, I can ignore them. Yes, Canada has something similar, but it is based on Notice and Notice, instead of Notice and Takesown.

    FYI, I realize you are probably talking about file sharing, but illegitimate takedowns are a huge issue too.


    1. Wayne, thank you for your comment. I have been pacing the DMCA take down notices in the U.S., and I have been quietly lurking the hacker forums to represent clients who have had their websites or content taken down. It is my suspicion that many of the take downs are illegitimate based on corporate interests who are protecting rights that do not belong to them, and I’d have a ball representing a client on a fair use issue and suing a company or copyright holder who improperly took down their content claiming DMCA or copyright protection when there was none.

      That being said, this is an evolving issue here in the U.S., and it has not yet become the problem it is in Canada, at least not with people wanting to hire a lawyer to have someone like me help them object to the take down of their content. My experience is that people just shrug and give in when it is my opinion that they should object and speak up. I am itching to have our firm take on a case like this though.

      If you have any resources on the topic, I am very interested in the subject as I believe it is a ripe area for misuse and abuse.

      1. Everything I know on the American side is anecdotal, most of my contacts are in Canada (I live 8 hours north of the border). I do know of a case where a Canadian singer/songwriter has had issues with YouTube. I know Heather Dale, she’s a really talented lady, and as she says in the video, she isn’t the only one this has happened to.

        I sometimes here about things like this on Groklaw, and TechDirt.


  2. Respectfully, you indicate in your email reply as above that the suit would most likely be sued in the North District of California. Unless Ira Siegel has moved from Beverly Hills, he’d probably sue it more local to his office, no?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I actually think Ira Siegel would attempt to avoid filing the lawsuit himself altogether and he would ask Mike Meier or Marvin Cable to file it for him in their own federal courts. California is not the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction anymore, especially with Judge Otis Wright’s order earlier this month in the Central District of California (I wrote about the CACD order here).

      In which particular court he would choose to sue was not the point. Rather, Ira Siegel falls under the definition of a copyright troll, and if he sued, I understand that his intentions would not be to take anyone to trial, but rather, to extort a settlement from a putative John Doe Defendant. For this reason, I suspect he would not be sensitive to filing in locations in which the defendants resided. He was very aware of the personal jurisdiction issues when he sued people across the U.S. in CAND then; I assume he would follow suit if he started suing again.

  3. The Ira Seigel law firm is now generating multiple DMCA takedown notices for a single download. I have received 3 DMCA takedown notices via Charter for what appears to be one download. Charter is clearly simply passing on the notices without doing anything other than adding headers and footers with warnings. This is spamming, pure and simple.

    1. I’m currently going through this, and as just about everybody else that has, I’m fairly concerned and I’m unsure with what action to take. Would you mind sharing your story or how things have went for you?

      1. Having a similar issue, would you two keep us updated on the actions you take and whatever progresses out of the situation.

  4. I got two notices like others and am now past my settlement date and so far I have not received anything from Ira Seigel, I will update if anything changes.

  5. What I want to know is how likely will they choose to take legal action when I foolishly entered my case # at copyright settlements.com. They know I looked it up right?

    1. Yes. As for likelihood of taking action, it is not Ira Siegel you need to be scared of, but the copyright holders. Read my “Six Strikes” article. Will discuss further over the phone.

  6. We just received a letter from our ISP stating that an unspecified title was torrented from our IP address. There was no mention of a subpoena. There has been no other contact and this letter was dated one week ago. We did not respond to the letter. How long, generally, does it take for further action? Will they subpoena for our information for one title? And also, if we did decide to make a settlement payment, would that ensure further action would not be taken? Am just wondering very prematurely if/when I should expect anything.

    1. C, you are confusing these DMCA letters and actual copyright infringement lawsuits. The letter you received from CEG-TEK is a pre-lawsuit settlement attempt. No lawsuit has been filed, and thus, no judge has authorized a subpoena to be issued to your ISP. CEG-TEK sent a letter to your ISP saying “One of your subscribers having IP address at this date and time downloaded my client’s copyrighted titles. Please forward this letter to them.” This is how you got your letter. They usually give you roughly a month before they take the settlement down from their copyrightsettlements.com website.

      On a personal note, please do NOT run and log into their site. Call a lawyer (myself or anyone else) and speak about what they have accused you of doing. You can get in a lot more trouble (as in, them asking for more $$$$) than $200 if you play this incorrectly.

  7. I received a letter today as they sent it to my internet provider, who then sent it to me. I made the mistake of going to the website (the username and password were already typed in) and hitting enter and it showed the $200 settlement. I didn’t enter any info and would just prefer to just get it over with, but I don’t want to enter my name, address, email, etc. and give them my info and then have them try to come after me more because they have all my info.

    1. I suggest that you enter the following:

      George Washington
      1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
      Washington, DC 20500

      They’ll know it is a lie, but they won’t know who lied to them. Do it using Google Chrome, having opened a Private Browsing Window. When you close it, it wipes all the data.

      Then get all of your friends and relatives to visit the same page, and enter the information for other deceased people, preferably the more obscure, the better. If 20,000 people do this, just think of the work involved in checking all of the information out…


      1. I laughed out loud when I saw this. 🙂 This is obviously not my endorsement, but be sure to use a VPN if you try to do this yourself (just in case the transaction does not go through). Remember, CEG-TEK has upgraded their website to a flash-based website, so they can pull a lot more data now from you when you log on. And, watch out for their website form doing name verification with the credit card if you use fake names.

      2. Yes, but you should have Flash blocked anyway. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be surfing.

        Flash is one of the major outside causes of Windows Security flaws.

        Or use Firefox with the FlashBlock plug in, or go to the site using an iPad or iPhone, neither of which will run Flash. They get a ton of visitors who can’t run Flash, they’ll have to do something about it…


  8. OK, so I received one of these notices and immediately logged in. Please simplify this for me. Am I screwed already just for doing so and not paying? Or should I be reasonably assured that paying will make it go away, or increase the likelihood of further action? I understand any response is not direct legal advice.

      1. Do you think they’ll really take us to court over 6 files? I’m just curious, I think it’s a little petty overall for them to try and sue me for 250 each file… I just got the notice and logged in on accident as well. It’s 1500 overall, I’m a student so I don’t really have that kind of money, but if you think that theres a slim chance of them suing, I think i’d like to take my chances with that.

  9. Hello,
    I have same problem for web site, hosted in US. I received email from my server provider for abusing for 3 images($500 each). I don’t know what to do, because I’m not a US citizen, I’m from Bulgaria(Eastern Europe). I remove all images from host. Please, can you tell me what will heppen with me and with my site/hosting if I don’t pay?

    1. @to pay or not to pay, the issue you are dealing with is not the same issue we discuss in our website which deals with CEG-TEK DMCA letters sent to internet users for the downloading of copyrighted videos via bittorrent. Rather, your issue falls under the “photo” copyright troll category which I have written about here.

      I hope this helps.

  10. I received a Copyright Infringement Notice from CEG-TEK forwarded from my ISP. I called CEG to explain that I wasn’t aware of such infringement, but they pushed on settling for $200 for one title. Now that CEG has my name and number, how should I proceed?

  11. I’m dealing with the same issues as countless others, it seems. CEG recently sent an email to my ISP, Charter, saying that I had infringed on the DMCA. So, I clicked the link, and hit enter, as the login info was already there. I noticed then that I had 2 $200 dollar charges for the same file. I haven’t entered any personal information, but I did call their number to talk to somebody directly. I didn’t get a hold of anyone, as they were out of office. After, I started doing some research and found quite a few blogs/sites all with the same story- CEG are trolls.
    I understand any further info would best be dealt with over the phone at this point, or via email, but by calling the 24/hour line would I be able to get in touch with somebody as experienced with CEG as you seem to be? Before I shell out $400 to them and possibly have the site “fail” and my payment appear to not have gone through, I’d like to have spoken with somebody that has dealt with them before.

  12. I received a notice from them via my ISP today, though they sent the notice to my ISP a month ago so the due date had already passed. Even so, I was able to log in and see if I could still pay the settlement, which I could. Then, having no idea what to do, I called them and I’m pretty sure I gave them my name and I guess they have my phone number too now. After doing research I feel like a fool for contacting them. Knowing what I know now, I would have just ignored the notice, but now I feel like if they’re going to sue anybody, I’ll probably be included because of the info they have on me. I’m leaning towards just paying them but I don’t want them to have anymore of my info. Aside from people who tried to pay and had the site “crash,” have you heard of anyone paying and still getting harassed? Should I even pay?

    1. The same happened to me. I received the email from my ISP over a month after the ISP had received theirs from CEG TEK. I was wondering if you ended up paying or not and if you didn’t, did they pursue you any further?

  13. I’m in a similar situation as J above. I received a notice from my service provider that looked quite official. I called and spoke with one of their “professionals”. I’m on the fence as whether to pay or ignore. I assume that by me calling and saying my first name that they have my phone number and name. *Any advice? Or should I just ignore?

    1. By calling their 800 number, you have provided them your own phone number which they can reverse-lookup to find out who you are. This was probably a bad idea, but since you’re here on the website, I don’t need to tell you that.

  14. In the last 72 hours, I’ve received 35 notices of what I guess would be described as a DMCA violation. This is because while I only downloaded two torrents, each torrents held multiple files. Thus, I’m being asked to settle and pay $20 for each one, adding up to $700. I have NO idea what to do. I’m a 20-year-old student, and I definitely don’t have $700 just lying around. I don’t want to pay, because I’ve heard of people being given additional notices after settling, and if they don’t have my information- why give them anything right? But only the other hand, I feel like $700 is a large amount of money in comparison to the people who have had only 1, 2, or maybe even 3 violations. So, even though technically each violation is separate, when you add it up, it’s a lot, and I’m worried they’ll want their money. Can anyone give me ANY advise? Anyone in a similar boat?

    1. If they were asking you for $20, then the letters were likely not sent by CEG-TEK, but rather, Rightscorp, Inc. / Digital Rights Corp. My article, “Is the MPAA giant waking up and luring defendants through their $20 DMCA settlement letters?” addresses the $20 settlement letter problem, and my thoughts and red flags with settling their claims against you. In sum, Digital Rights Corp. is a very DIFFERENT animal than Copyright Enforcement Group, and their settlement agreements provided a different level of protection which might not properly protect your interests if you settled.

  15. Just curious what people in the past have done with these cases? I received notice from my ISP, forwarding the standard letter from Ira Siegel. I feel like I should settle, that way I won’t have to worry about them coming back after me (for three years?). But my worry is that if I do settle, will they then be able to find other titles associated with my account and hit me with more fees? Any of the previous posters have experience with this? Thanks!

    1. I have replied to your inquiry via e-mail. In sum, it is my understanding that many of the ISPs provide Ira the past IP addresses leased to you. From that, he does a correlation of his own bittorrent tracking to see if there is a match. If there is, when you log in, instead of seeing the one case for which you received the letter, you’ll see multiple cases, some of which have dates weeks or months in the past.

      Also, your ISP only keeps logs on which IP addresses belong to you for only a certain number of months, referred in their policy as the ISP’s “IP retention policy.” Thus, I wouldn’t worry about years, as the industry standard is six (6) months. That being said, keep in mind that every ISP has their own IP retention policy, and I have seen some as high as a year, and in some cases if memory serves me well, 18 months. Congress is also trying to mandate that ISPs keep records for longer amounts of time, so this might change in the future.

  16. I just got an notice from century link about a DMCA notice on our computers. It then listed the complaint information, involving one that apparently has given us 5 notices in the last 24 hours about a p2p source. Then it showed the link for copyrightsettlements and the information to log in and such. What should we do? Because they never emailed us the notice, I just happened to find it while digging through the century link site? Do we really need to go forth with the settlement or plead ignorance? I did click on the site, out of curiosity, but how should I proceed, because I really don’t want to spend money on an attorney or settling this

  17. hi; I am from Singapore and visited my relative in American. I am not aware of this law in usa and downloaded some files and the internet provider sent me this letter. and now I am back in Singapore. the internet belongs to my relative in usa.

    I am hesitant to log on to their website. should ignore? should I call from Singapore? since my relative is not the one downloading the files but the internet belongs to her. she is innocent and I am back here. what should I do?
    will CEG pursue my sister because she can prove she is working all day and not the user!

    please advise.

    thank you,

  18. Thank you for the info
    I just got a DMCA notice from my ISP
    I read it through and saids that I need to log in to the website and get a settlement.
    should I do it?
    also what should I do if I receive the DMCA tickets?
    I received 10 tickets using torrent.

  19. Hello, I received multiple “Notice of Unauthorized Use of Copyrights Owned by Kick Ass Pictures Inc Case” from CEG TEK International (“CEG”) represents Kick Ass Pictures Inc. I was using a USA vps service, and they forwarded the notice to me.
    I’m European citizen, so I’d like to know if DMCA law also applies outside USA.

    Can I ignore them or it’s better if I contact them asking for a negotiation?

  20. Hello, today I received a email from charter saying I have downloaded a movie illegally. Which I have not. I looked through my computer trying todo d this video. Is not there. This company which is based out of Beverly Hills is threatening to use me if I don’t settle. Is this a hoax? Do I call my internet service and explain I have not downloaded the film. Help I’m freak if out and do t have any money to give to company.

  21. I recieved 3 copyright settlement letters forwarded over email by the goldenfrog vyper vpn showing 3 files that i had downloaded. I went in and entered the case information to see if it looked like a scam. I see now it is not but my question is since my vpn was willing to share the information which i didn’t know they would how much information would they have of me and how worried should i be?

  22. I recently received one of these DMCA warnings from my ISP. I foolishly logged into the site to see what it was all about. Am I screwed now that I logged in? I really don’t want things to get worse and for them to subpoena my isp, so i’m contemplating just paying them if it just goes away.

    1. Chances are at this point, you are coming from one of the “trio” ISPs — Charter, CenturyLink, or Suddenlink. I understand that based on the information these ISPs are sharing with CEG-TEK, they already know who you are and thus, logging in won’t give them more information than they already have. Yes, you leave more breadcrumbs when you log in, and yes, you give them “evidence” that they gave you the opportunity to settle at a certain rate (which allows them to ask for more money later on if you ended up not settling), but no, you are not “screwed.” Based on who the copyright holders are, there are various pathways this can go, and I would be happy to discuss with you the various options over the phone.

    2. I would strongly recommend reading the articles on Tech Dirt about Malibu Media and Prenda Law. Both firms have gotten into a wide range of trouble in the courts.

      In fact Prenda Law has been sanctioned by the courts for lying, counterfeiting a signature, and several other things.

      Malibu Media hasn’t gotten themselves as deeply in trouble, but it appears that they may have done some of the same things, including hiring a firm that has proven to be incompetent at tracing IP addresses. Oh, and Malibu Media is responsible for over 40% of the copyright litigation in the USA.

      This isn’t advice to ignore the letter, but rather to do some research. If you end up hiring a lawyer, he or she might not know all the details, and Tech Dirt has a huge archive of court filings, which might help your lawyer understand what is happening, because it is really complex.


  23. I just recieved a DMCA notice from my provider (Charter), with a copy of the Ira Siegel letter requesting settlement through the webpage, I did click and look at the settlement amount of $250 for a movie, after getting the notice I found the files and deleted them and made sure no one can use torrent programs from my laptop since multiple people use the computers in my house. Not sure what to do from here, it says I have until [REDACTED] but I definitely don’t have $250 to fork over with the possibility of them asking for more and with that being said I certainly don’t have the money to go through a lawyer. Any advice?

    1. I have replied privately to your message. Whether or not we end up working together, when posting something online, its unwise to admit guilt to copyright infringement since your post was public.

      For your own protection, I have deleted the e-mail containing your information.

      1. My house mate showed me an email from CEG-TEK requesting a $250 settlement, and I assumed it was me for something downloaded weeks ago – a CD. After payment, I realized I paid for a settlement about pornographic material, which I am not responsible for. At this point should I just call it quits since I’ve given them my personal information? Should I worry about further transaction to my card in the future? Or should I just cancel my card?

        What should I do?

      2. I too have received at notice from CEG TEK International, via Charter, and the letter from Ira Seigel. Not sure of the current climate and who is being sued from these. Need more info please.

  24. I received a letter today from my ISP with a forwarded notice from this Copyright Enforcement Group. It claims a video was downloaded on my IP address, only I didn’t download it. I went to the website included with the letter, and it said I had to pay $300. I ended up googling these people, and came across a plethora of websites claiming they were rather unscrupulous. That’s how I found this site. I’ve read through a bunch, but I’m still concerned. I didn’t do this, but can they still come after me? I didn’t pay the settlement because I didn’t do it. How can they claim that I actually did something when they have no proof other than an IP address? What should I do to get rid of this?

  25. I just got a copyright infringement notice via my ISP, Charter. It states that I have downloaded a three part file from the sharing site bittorrent. After following the link in the email back to the Charter complaint page, I noticed that I had another complaint from CEG dated in late May of this year. I never got an email about the first one, but this one is worrying me. If they have two complaints about my IP, doesn’t that increase my chance of being on the receiving end of litigation? I have not logged into their site, but after reading your previous statements about Charter’s willingness to share information with CEG it doesn’t seem like I should. Do you have a recommendation on how I should proceed?

  26. My due date to settle for CEG TEK IRA is 24th August. Its for 1 movie title. I am inclined towards settling the notice that was forwarded by my ISP. I have checked the amount and it says $250. What should be my next step ?

    Any suggestions ?? Please help ! !

  27. My son lived here for about 2 months and between him and his girlfriend downloaded illegal stuff from my computer now i am getting calls from CEG TEK and getting threatened with supeonaing me for copyright infringement and the problem is i may have to pay this company when i didnt do anything Can anyone Help ?

  28. On 7-13-14 I received a msg from Sudden Link with a link to CEG TEK. The notice gave 4 “case” numbers. I have minor children in the home and the allegations and type of movies frightened me and I called and spoke w/ a CEG TEK representative. He then informed me that there were 2 further violations and it would cost $250.00 per claim to settle. After researching this company I am now even more concerned. What would be required to speak with a attorney on this matter?

  29. Hi–I too received the same CEG-TEK Ira Siegel DMCA Notice “scare-letter” and logged into the site solely to see what the “settlement offer” consisted of or stated…

    I see from others that I was stupid to do so (acknowledged) but I assume that only my IP Address can be determined which they already have or am I wrong? BTW, I never once considered paying-off the “$300 threat” but perhaps in retrospect should never have even been curios (human nature got the best of me…).

    Please advise and thanks both for the replies as well as the invaluable plethora of wonderful information here.

    1. More specifically, here’s an outline.

      So I recently got sent the threatening letter forwarded through my ISP, and quite frankly I freaked. Immediately paid $3,000 using my debit card, and cancelled the card the next day just to be safe. Now I’m hearing I should have just ignored it and see where it goes.

      Hypothetically speaking, if this offense was indeed a real offense, what are the chances of me being sent further letters? Letters regarding the same file, or even made up ones. If there aren’t any other potential files in question, is there still a threat?

      Also, how legal is the “Release from liability” one gets e-mailed after paying up. It appears to be legit to my layman’s-eyes, but obviously it’s hard to tell.

      Pretty much what I’m asking is this: Hypothetically, if a person downloaded a single movie illegitimately, and was served a DMCA notice (legit or not) and paid the settlement fee, what continued threat is there? Also would contacting the copyright troll (CEG-TEK) have any helpful effects, or would that just provide them with more personal information with which to harass me?

  30. Like others, a couple weeks back I got one of these notices from CEG-TEK and Ira through my ISP.
    I did not follow the email links to the website, and really can’t afford a lawyer. But here I am, looking for advice.

  31. I received a DMCA notice today from Charter. I haven’t contacted CEG or gone to the settlement site. Can you help me with how I should handle this?

  32. Today I received one of these forwarded emails as well. Considering the files named are files I would not have chosen to download and would not have re-shared even if they had been downloaded it is somewhat amusing.

    Additionally, it appears that Google took over 2 months to process and forward the email to me, so the drop dead date listed in the email is over a month in the past. Fortunately, I am rather suspicious and started research before touching a link in the email.

  33. If CEG-TEK hasn’t subpoenaed someones identity, but the ISP only retains IP information for one year, then after a year it would essentially be impossible for CEG-TEK to obtain the identity correct?

    Also, you mention that Charter, CenturyLink, and Suddenlink are sharing information without a subpoena? Are you certain about that, and if so, how did you find out?

    1. In order to understand what is going on, it is important to know who-is-who, and who does what.

      CEG-TEK hasn’t sued anyone in two years. This is not what they do. They are hired by the copyright holders to track the IP addresses of accused downloaders, to establish relationships with the ISPs (internet service providers, e.g., Charter, CenturyLink, Giganews, etc.) and get them to forward the DMCA settlement demand letters to their subscribers. They also have attorneys who follow-up with accused downloaders (sometimes asking for increasingly larger amounts of money), but lawsuits are not what they do.

      The copyright holders themselves hire out attorneys who enforce their copyrights. Sometimes the attorneys are no-name attorneys, other times, they are prolific copyright trolls such as Lipscomb and Eisenberg (best known as the attorneys for the Malibu Media lawsuits).

      ISPs generally hold IP address data (and who it was assigned to on what date) for one year — check your ISP’s “IP retention policy.” Congress and the RIAA/MPAA are lobbying to increase this amount of time.

      After the time limit passes, if there are no copyright infringement claims or legal claims or requests on a particular IP address assignment, they will destroy that record, meaning that lawsuits filed AFTER DESTRUCTION will not reveal the subscriber’s identity because it is no longer available.

      HOWEVER, most ISPs have a SECOND DATABASE — this second database holds IP address assignment records which have had claims of copyright infringement, and these are often kept indefinitely. Thus, if a lawsuit happens YEARS later (even after the IP retention policy date has expired), the data as to which subscriber had what IP address assigned to them on what date and time is retained and is available to the copyright holders when suing defendants.

      Lastly, about ISPs sharing information without a subpoena: I have discussed this elsewhere, and I wanted to focus the answer on the IP retention policy question which has not been asked and answered before.

    2. charter is not threatening subpoena it was the company that kept calling and harrassing me it has been a while now not quite a year but i think they are a scamming unit

  34. I just received the same letter myself through charter, With Ira Sigel name on it. It also has the same legal action on it, Any advise would be helpful. Thanks

  35. I just got a notice from my ISP too and logged in to the stupid site. What should i do now? There seems to be no straight answer here.

    1. I just sent you an e-mail about your matter. Please e-mail me at [email protected] if you have any further questions.

      Logging into the website (depending on who your ISP is) may or may not have given CEG-TEK more information about you, as I understand that certain ISPs are already providing them enough to figure out your identity.

  36. I have been graced with one of these letters through Charter as well. Unfortunately I made the mistake of logging in to their website before I had properly educated myself on this subject, but I didn’t give any of my personal information.

    The alleged copyright infringement was on a Millennium Entertainment property. Are these IP holders known to sue? How likely is it that they’re just after the settlement money of those scared enough to comply?

  37. Are there any laws in this country that can prevent such scumbags from trolling people? Any lawyers wanna file a class action lawsuit against them for the people for harassing and prying on people’s personal business? cuz if the answer is positive, i’m positive that many people who posted here would love to see such trolls being counter sued and pay.

  38. I got a $300 copyright settlement form form Copyright Enforcement Group , which is forward by my university’s security department email. Reason is I downloading a movie belongs to the “Digital Sin Inc” . Unfortunately, I have logged in on the CopyrightSettlements.com, but did not fulfill any credits card info. Have I already been traced? Please give me some suggestions about what am I going to do? Thank you so much!

  39. I just received a CEG settlement email forwarded by my university’s security department and logged in to the copyrightsettlements.com. Would you like to give me some suggestions? I don’t know if should I pay the settlement. It seems that if I pay they would definitely ask more, but if I don’t, there probably will be a lawsuit come to me.

  40. I recently received Copyright infringement notice from a CEG for downloading movie whose copyright is owned by Vivid entertainment.But no one have downloaded that movie and as i lives in a shared house with 4 roommates and internet connection is on my name and i don’t use bit torrent at all and has n’t downloaded that movie.2 of my old roommates are moved out and have new roommates and everyone is denying downloading it.They asked for 275$ as a settlement . what should i do?

  41. I live in Canada and I got an email from my ISP (Shaw), forwarded from CEG TEK which offered a settlement for $225 and had the name Ira M. Siegel, Esq.
    I have a couple more weeks to settle it by paying it on the website mentioned.
    I never got any warnings and this is the first email I got. I wonder how all this ended up for the people who have posted here in the past. I’m really desperate and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  42. Hi, I got one of these emails. I’m relieved to know what I have learned here, but should I reply to them? Should I tell my ISP? What should I do?

  43. Hello:

    I am in a very similar predicament to one of the posters above. As a 20-yr old college student, I received the notice from the ISP for copyright infringement on two files. The settlement claim for both was 600 dollars total. Stupidly, I logged in to the site, and also contacted them via email asking if the settlement could be reduced. I didn’t admit to downloading the files (as I don’t recall doing so), but did admit to using the client.

    Should I still ignore? I used a gmail account for the email, not my university address.


  44. Hello, I just received an e-mail through my ISP from Ira. Siegel of CEG-TEK regarding a copyright issue over a download. The settlement value is $225 CND, but I unwittingly logged in to the copyrightsettlements website to find this value out. Although it was through Google Incognito, but I doubt it blocked my IP address. My question is should I settle with the value given above? Is this a scare tactic to push for payment then come after for more? Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.

    1. You are correct that Google Incognito is useless these days, as they still track all of your activities. Incognito only doesn’t save it to your computer. The trace still happened.

      If you left a proper e-mail, I will be sending you a private response momentarily.

  45. Same issues as everyone here. Please send me a private email. Recieved the email, logged into site, sent them an email with a Gmail account without my name. Stupidly provided them my case number.

  46. I just received an e-mail through my ISP from Ira Siegel of CEG-TEK regarding a copyright infringement claim over a download. The settlement value is $300, which I found out by logging in (stupidly, I suppose) to copyrightsettlements.com. I just want this to go away and am not interested in pursuing extensive legal action. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.

  47. Hi, I received one of these notices today. I did log into the site but put in no information and have not contacted them in any manor (Nor do I plan to). However, after checking with my wife, I am 100% that the possible charges are completely bogus. I don’t torrent pornography nor do I use the client that they seem to believe I did. Are most of these accusations bogus? I know that there has been no real legal action as of yet but I’m wondering if there is anything in particular that I can do to prepare for the worst (Though I am hoping for the best). What should I be looking out for? Should I be looking for a lawyer who could help if needed? Any information would be incredibly helpful.

  48. I am an international student but not in texas. Recently I received an email from provider of my internet. He says that CEG TEK international detects I have copyright infringement on a movie and CEG TEK requires me to pay them settlement fee if I want to settle this. However, the application that I used to watch the movie didn’t have option of downloading movie, and what I have done is just watching the movie instead of downloading or sharing it. I clicked link on that email and it drives to a page of entering case number and password, but it required me to fill out my credit information after I enter the case number and password . I have searched and browsed many similar cases on internet and most of them suggest to find an attorney and let attorney pay for you so you will keep anonymously. My question is do I really violate copyright? If so, how can I solve this case and how much will it cost me?
    please I really need your help,sir

  49. Hello, I recieved one of those letters (CEG/Ira). I read through the posts here to get the rough picture, but I’m still unsure what to do now, so I sent you an email with some details. Hope you can help me, Thx.

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