CEG-TEK’s new “you didn’t settle” letters sent from Marvin Cable.

[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 the two entities operate almost the same way, this article is relevant.  Once thing to note.  The “you didn’t settle” letters that Marvin asked for here will no doubt be copied by Crowell.]

Back in November 2012, I wrote an article about CEG-TEK’s CopyrightSettlements.com web site “crashes” where following a failed settlement transaction (purposeful or not), accused infringers received letters essentially saying, “[B]ecause you have decided not to settle, we will be moving forward against you in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Please pay us $3,500 or else we will sue you.” These letters were apparently sent from Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK), a software brainchild of Ira Siegel.

Now it appears that CEG-TEK is “stepping up” their game again, and more letters are being sent out, but this time from CEG-TEK’s local counsel, Marvin Cable. What is particularly concerning is that this letter appears to be sent out to:

1) ANYONE WHO CALLED IN TO CEG-TEK, BUT DID NOT SETTLE (they are scouring the CALLER-ID RECORDS and matching them with publicly available contact information), and

2) ANYONE WHO ENTERED THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION ON THEIR WEBSITE (e.g., to process their credit card payment), but the website “crashed,”

3) ANYONE WHO LEFT “BREADCRUMBS” WHEN INTERACTING WITH THEM, BUT DID NOT SETTLE.

NOTE: I have personally heard reports of 1) and 2), but 3) is a catchall for items I have not yet heard about, but expect that they are doing.

In sum, as I suspected when the Six Strikes System was put into place, with the big ISPs no longer forwarding their “$200 per title” settlement letters, their settlement stream of cash has started to run dry. As such, their production studio clients are forcing them to do whatever they can to “monetize” their clients IP (here, scrubbing the voicemail records, the caller ID records, and website tracking records, and putting names to those traces left by accused internet users), or else sue. In order to keep these clients, we see examples of letters such as this one:

[scribd id=131868392 key=key-v3kkn86k16ertw216iv mode=scroll]

Just to be clear, for a long time, when people ask “Should I settle or ignore CEG-TEK’s DMCA letters? What are my chances of being sued if I ignore?” I have been telling people that they could do either, and I laid out the factors to consider.  I am still of this opinion, namely that 1) Neither Ira Siegel, Terik Hashmi, Marvin Cable, or Mike Meier have sued anyone in MANY MONTHS (since July, 2012 to be exact), and 2) the purpose of their CopyrightSettlements.com website was to convince production companies that it is easier for them to sign on with CEG-TEK and run a settlement “IP monetization” campaign, rather than to sue everyone in a copyright infringement lawsuit.  I assume they are still trying to salvage this system, especially with the renewed efforts to find those who have not settled.

And as always, if you haven’t read my previous articles on the topic, I am still getting reports of website transactions not working (website “crashes,” failed transactions), and so once again, be smart and protect your contact information. Know that when you visit a website, unless you are using Tor or you subscribe to a private VPN, you share with that website your IP address, and when you call Copyright Enforcement Group’s phone number to inquire about your matter, you leak your phone number which can easily be cross-referenced back to you.

In other words, be careful with your information, and the “breadcrumbs” you leave when you conduct your daily life.  These breadcrumbs can be traced back to you, and next thing you know, you’ll be on the phone with me asking how to defend a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against you and 200 other Doe Defendants.


UPDATED COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT GROUP (CEG-TEK) ARTICLES:
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.

57 thoughts on “CEG-TEK’s new “you didn’t settle” letters sent from Marvin Cable.”

  1. I keep seeing comments that ISP’s are no longer forwarding the emails from CEG, however I just received one today, of course asking for the usual sum $200. As a result I’ve spent the last four hours on the internet searching for any information. While it is comforting to hear much of this, how can you say that they are no longer forwarding these emails if I just recently received an email from charter about a supposed torrent incident that occurred over a month ago? Above all, am I safe? Is there any chance of being sued, or have they completely stopped suing as you said in this blog post?

    1. Charter and CenturyLink do not appear to be participating in the Six Strikes program. Rather, they are doing their own thing, and that includes getting paid by CEG-TEK to forward their “scare” letters to their own subscribers.

      1. Thank you very much for your quick reply, I did as you requested, I’ve also read just about every one of your posts regarding this material, some even twice, as well as any other information available online. However, since the appointment date is so far off, I was hoping you could assuage my fears, as much of the information available online is rather spotty and doesn’t provide much conclusive evidence. What are the chances that I will actually get sued?

        1. I look forward to chatting. If I didn’t answer your questions, there is a possibility that there is no answer. A lot of analysis is simply balancing competing factors to come to an educated decision based on how much risk you are willing to accept. More on this when we chat.

    2. you will be fine. do not give in to their demands. it is what it is, a SCARE tactic they cannot do jack to you, never submit, never surrender.

    3. I too have just received a forwarded email from CEG TEK International from Ira M. Siegel, Esq. asking for the usual sum of $200. I was hoping both you and houstonlawy3r could write a little bit about what you chatted about so I could be more informed as well.

  2. Hi Mr. Cashman,

    I have been following CEG Tek for some time now looking for new cases (mass doe/multi doe) cases in particular (after getting their 200 dollar email) and see none in the state I reside. However have they had success in getting away with “long arm” jurisdiction claims lately? Or do you think if they want to get at some people they will be in the right state? I know Cable Law is in MA and his cases there (usually less than 200 does) seem like proper jurisdiction, but how do they scare people with lawsuits when they are only in a handful of jurisdictions? Any insight you have as to does in his suits is greatly appreciated, since you work against them day in and day out. Also what are your thoughts on the most active trolling companies lately (Malibu Media) are there others still very active?

    Thanks in advance for any information you provide.

  3. I received one last night. I made the mistake of logging into the website but did not enter any information. After a night of reading all I could I went to sleep. Today I logged in again using Tor. Apparently they have added another $200 for another infraction. I have Suddenlink and they have a policy where If I receive multiple DMCA letters then they cancel service. Suddenlink notified me last night with a suspension of service and now I’m afraid that since another one was added they will receive another letter thus canceling my service. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  4. I’ve read all of the posts related to the copyrightsettlements stuff, and I admit I am very scared. I have gone through a lot of the comments, and have spent several hours going through websites about the very same issue.

    My main issue is that the soonest phone appointment that can be set up is April 11th, that is when the deadline for the copyrightsettlement payment is due. I have read from several sites that you are the most educated on copyright infringement, and I have no idea what to do.

  5. I got one of the settlement notices back in early March asking to pay by April 1st, I only went to the website but did not type in any information or try calling them, I have not heard anything from them and they have not tried to contact me in any way or subpoena my IP for information.

  6. Hi, I got my letter from Ira early this morning. I paniced and typed in the case# and password to find out how much I owe, but I did it from my phone. I didn’t pay anything or enter any information, but I am worried they might trace my IP address to back to my phone. Do you know if Verizon gives out personal info to Ira and friends?

    1. All they know is that the person identified with the account accused of infringement logged in using the case number and password. At the very least, it is proof that they offered you a low settlement if there was a lawsuit. I’ll give you more details on our call.

      1. Hello ,I know this is an old answer but I exactly did the same as [PRIVATE]. I received too a letter from CEG. I am scared . I read all your blog post but I dind’t get any clear answer of what to do…(I am sorry for my bad english)

  7. I recently recieved an email through charter. I didn’t download the files not do I even have torrenting set up… They mentioned it was a BitTorrent. I panicked and entered the case number in the site and called and left a name and number, which could be anyone’s, but they have continued to call me daily. I’m not talking with them because I didn’t download any of the accused files and the files don’t even exist on any of the network’s computers.

    I’m kind of freaked out but I feel like I shouldn’t be..

    1. I have sent you an e-mail responding to your inquiry. I cannot say this strongly enough — it is a VERY BAD idea to call them up or send them e-mails because then THEY HAVE YOUR NAME, YOUR ADDRESS, AND YOU ARE IMMEDIATELY LINKED TO ALL OF THEIR PAID DATABASES so they immediately know everything about you. Remember, the most recent set of “You Didn’t Settle” letters were sent to those who CALLED them (they did a reverse-lookup on the phone numbers from their caller ID and matched it to the so-called downloaders in their system).

      Obviously we can take care of this and get them to stop calling, but there is good reason to be freaked out. You were anonymous (one of THOUSANDS) before you called them.

      I look forward to chatting.

  8. I had a contact from CEG-Tek Through IP provider and included was the name of the company that was said to own copyright. Names of Movies were included, I was confused at first as it sounded like a cookbook. Turned out it was porn, which was divided into 4 parts in torrents. Seems like since the torrent was in 4 parts & they are asking for payment for 4 infringements, but when reviewed was said to be just 1 movie in reality.

    I am angry, to put it very mildly. I never heard of this movie and have never seen it. I did a lot of searching online to find out about the Movie, on Google there were perhaps 10,000 results. Page after page were links to torrent results. I did not ask for torrent results, these results were just in order that Google placed them in. After about15 pages I at last found a low grade site that was trying to sell this movie. It had preview images, and the images were of some very unattractive actors and actresses. Can not imagine anyone wanting to see the Movie, it is ultra YUCK! Hey I have no problem with porn, if there is something of some kind of artistic value, great. I will watch a good porn video, although most have little value of theatrical merit.None the less, at least some porn has attractive players and so some beauty is possible.

    I then reviewed the company that claimed copyright, & at first glance it seemed an American Entertainment company, however after following blind leads for about 3 hours, at last I found out the company headquarters was in Dubai. I reviewed that site & realized they did no movies, they had just bought copyrights from others on videos that had flopped. All disgusting films, that no one would buy – (My Opinion). I created a logic tree & reviewed data & came to the conclusion that – at the very least the company from Dubai is creating a situation that must be considered Fraud.. First off the movie is not available or for sale on any valid site. I mentioned earlier that I found a site that was offering this video, however all links were dead to any movie on that site. Weighing the fact that there were 100s of torrent sites listed when doing a search for this video and no way to legally buy the movie, raises an eyebrow. This video company might actually add their videos as torrents for the sole purpose of creating a violation of copyright & collecting cash from people in the USA. The fact that the video was ADULT in nature could cause some people to settle due to an embarrassing potential porn factor. Not me! I could care less about what people think, and would be even willing to put up a sign in my front yard that I’m seeking porn movies so the whole neighborhood could get a laugh. To be honest, I have no need for porn, this was just arguing to the point of absurdity .One of my neighbors just settled a similar case & that was about downloading the original “Wizard of Oz” movie. They did actually admit to the download, however they had purchased a prior copy of that movie but it had some block or other form of programing which stopped the movie from being downloaded into the computer from the dvd disk, so as to leave the owner of the disk stuck with only watching it directly from the disk, which can lead to un-needed premature failing of the dvd drive as well as wear out the dvd.

    It seems like users of the internet are risking extreme potential financial damages if they continue using the net, after this event I am very concerned about my civil liberty rights, as I seem to have no recourse about how many of these fake copyright notices could be in my future, imagine a foreign nation able to shut down any user in this nation from the net. Yes I am considering ending my use of the net as I will not pay a penny to any foreign nation that falsely accuses me, and I will not settle with Thieves, and fraud artists. So if they pursue this into the courts, I will go all the way to the supreme court as I do believe my civil rights are being abused. I feel this activity violates my Freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Anything that removes, or causes to be removed, the right to communicate via the net, is an attack against the United States, it’s Constitution, and their citizens directly,

    I will not sign this with my real name, but will check back, time to time. But as to the main question, My Answer is no, do not settle. This is a financial attack against our nation, and against many nations, One person at a time will fall if we do not stand together.

    1. This happened to me recently. I got the email, panicked and checked the website and then filled out a form for their ‘contact us’ section, saying there was no way I could have downloaded these files. I don’t own a bittorrent downloading program, and the only other person with access to my wifi via the password has android devices. Someone would have had to hack my wifi in order to download the file. I of course put in my phone number, and answered when they called, even arguing with the man over the phone. I explained to him again that there was no way I could have done this, plus I was at work at the time they were downloaded, 40 miles away from my computer. He flat out told me I was lying. So I swore a little bit and told him I had nothing illegal on my computer and no money to pay him with. After reading this article I’m thinking I screwed myself a little.

  9. Thank you so much for this informing page, I have been panicking for a month since I received two letters (for the same movie) from Ira, but it is strange because I got two emails from him and when I went to look at the settlement page, I was getting “charged” for a third (email never came for the third). I deleted the letters and hope nothing comes out of this. It is really reassuring to hear that Ira has not sued anybody in months. Thank you again, my heart rate has been so high this pass month and has gone a bit down after reading your page.

    1. Umm.. I’m writing you a detailed version of this comment right now. I hope you can find a way to un-delete that message, because the third title was likely based on CEG-TEK correlating the IP address history your ISP probably gave over to them with their own records from historically monitoring the bittorrent swarms. They front-load everything, which is why a person sometimes gets one letter for a download four days ago, and then when they log in, they see (e.g.) six titles from a few months ago.

      If you do not have those e-mails you received from your ISP then I probably cannot help you, which is why I suggested that you try to dig them up again (or contact your ISP if they still have the notices of infringement).

      Also, let’s be explicitly clear about this — it has been explained to me that Ira Siegel is not suing anyone, neither is Marvin Cable, neither is Mike Meier. They (CEG-TEK) are not your problem as far as defending lawsuits. Rather, it is the copyright holders who are your problem, because they may have been suing people before they also became CEG-TEK’s clients for their settlement system (e.g., from Lipscomb & Eisenberg), and those lawyers still ARE suing people. Check the http://www.rfcexpress.com website with the name of your copyright holder (not CEG-TEK) to see if they’ve sued people before.

      So dig up your paperwork and I’m happy to explain the circumstances to you. Without that though, there is nothing I can do for you except hold your hand.

  10. I too am in this boat. I made an appointment for a phone consultation with you because I am super worried. If paying the $800 is the best option, I’ll do it, but I’d prefer to remain anonymous while doing so. Also, have you heard of being able to bring the ‘settlement’ amount down in price? I look forward to your call.

    1. I was in the same spot as you not too long ago. Making a phone appointment with Cashman law firm was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Rob walked me through all my options allowing me to make an informed decision ungoverned by fear. If you’re being hounded by trolls Rob is going to be the best friend you ever had.

  11. I have just recently found myself in the same situatiion that many people here are facing, or have faced. Yesterday, my ISP forwarded an email from CEG TEK which accuses me (or rather, my IP address) of illegeally downloading one video file. This whole situation worries me greatly. I did NOT go onto CEG’s website and I did NOT sign in. I have still over a month left on the deadline, and I assume that the monetary fine is $200. I would prefer not to settle, but after searching different forums about the issue it seems like it would be the best course of action.

    1. CI, I just responded to your comment via e-mail. While settling may or may not be the best option, careful what information you give them. I have written a few articles specifically addressing the problems of giving CEG-TEK (or more accurately, the copyright holders) your contact information. We’ll chat about your options in detail on our call.

  12. Hello,
    I got allegations for 400$ in regards to Ira. I called and only left a phone number with them to ‘call me back’. After researching I want to know how to proceed, or if I should cancel my phone number or say a friend used my phone to call them?

    1. FYI, by calling and leaving your phone number, you availed them of your personal contact information, and they could correlate this information with public records to learn all about you (think spokeo.com, just a bit more advanced). Remember, we understand that in order to send out those “you did not settle” letters demanding $1,750 rather than the usual $200 per title, they are using reverse-lookup to scour their phone logs. I’ll tell you more about this when we chat.

  13. I recently received an email claiming copyright infringement and settlement, I panicked and called the company, I wanted to know if there was any advice I could get on the best course of action to take

  14. I have received a CEG TEK letter from my ISP listing numerous copyright violations from CEG representing numerous copyright owners. I take it that my ISP does not take part of the “SIX STRIKE” system of notification as they have forward me DMCA letter for settlement on my first notification. Would that be correct assumption?

    1. Yes, that would be a correct assumption. BTW, even Comcast (a 6-strikes participant) has returned to sending CEG-TEK’s DMCA letters. I suppose it was just too profitable for them to continue saying no.

  15. Is their any way to send a settlement payment without exposing yourself to these “you didn’t settle” problems? Also, I have heard stories of people occasionally STILL being sued after settling with some companies. Is this a risk with CEG TEK? I frankly just want to pay the money and get the whole thing over with.

  16. My dad got these email forwarded from our ISP (charter) about allegedly illegally downloading movies the beginning of the month, so far he got three emails for two titles/production companies. They are from ceg tek/ira siegel. The dates that alleged downloading are days no one is home and IP address is not the one we have. We have until next month to settle (200 each) or risk a lawsuit. I told him to not contact or click on the address link, but to contact charter to see the issue. Should we ignore them or try to settle. At the moment no name or subpeona have been said

  17. In the last 2 days I have received three letters from Charter… with letters from Ira (Ceg Tek) Asking for $200 per download…which is a total of $600. I am not going to their little website and giving them any credit card info or payments, but I would like this to go away, the cheapest and most secure way. Can you please help me?

  18. Hi, I didn’t find your website until this morning- I settled on the website for a total of $1,000 (including including duplicate copies) yesterday. I have also received around 25 other forwards from Charter with links to more settlements for titles I have never heard of or downloaded. Some were from last night when my computer was sleeping! I ave no bit torrent service on my computer any more. Should I try to cancel this credit card transaction? They also now have my info.

    1. okay, this noob didn’t understand that the infraction date(s) were from weeks ago, before the notifications are forwarded by Charter. Anyway, I still have settlement offers from titles I never had, but I have settled for those others. Is there a way to legally get in front of the others, or getting sued by the studio?

  19. I recently received an email from charter about copyright infringement. Under the email was a section labeled — The following material was provided to us as evidence —. After this point an email from CEG TEK was attached. The email was sent 9/20/2013 from Charter and in the CEG TEK email the last day I could settle online was 8/4/2013. Why would Charter send me this email over a month after hearing from CEG TEK?

  20. I have just received this letter from century link but the due date has already past on the date posted. I got the email on 9/23/2013 and the due date for Ceg Tek was for feb 25 2013 and aug 16 2013. I haven’t gotten any letters from Ceg Tek so I’m unsure what is going on. The only one that didn’t state a date was from rightscorps. I haven’t gone to any of their site.

  21. I have received one of these as well, it said I had a lot of “cases” against me. Email me and I’ll explain more in detail.

  22. I recently received an e-mail from CEG-TEK and Ira asking for $250 per download. I entered my case number and called CEG, hanging up immediately once I heard someone pick up. What should I do? I don’t really have the money to pay the settlement, but I also do not want to have to deal with a lawsuit. Please help!!! What are the chances that they never contact me again and this whole thing goes away?

  23. A couple days ago, I received a letter from charter and a forwarded email from CEG TEK about 2 illegally downloaded movies. I visited their settlement website and entered the account number and PW they provided. I needed to do that to learn they were asking for $250 per offense ($500 in my case). I haven’t given them any credit card information or anything like that. I really want this to go away, and am willing to cooperate, but this process seems so shady and I don’t see any promise they’ll stop even if I pay the settlement. Please help!!?

  24. My university sent me an email notifying me of such a CEG TEK pre-litigation letter. I have not responded to said letter. In general, advice pretty much everywhere reccomends silence, however I was informed that the University provided details down to the MAC address level of my computer, my full name and campus email. Although I’m upset about that information being disclosed prior to a subpoena, I would likely have wanted to do the same if the situation were reversed. I am wondering whether the abovementioned information disclosure would warrant any further action on my than it would have, had the alleged infringement occured.

  25. I recently received one of those letters from charter. At first I panicked and used I believe it was my cell phone to go to their website and saw they had 3 of the same movie for $300 each. Did not do anything else. I don’t have that torrent website thing but I believe someone that had just arrived to visit for the holidays did as it was thanksgiving. I have never heard of that movies nor do I have torrent on my PC. Later in the day I called Charter and was told to just make sure that whoever had torrent turned it off and eliminate that program and that it should be ok. He also told me that apparently they had other emails that where in the system to be sent to my account for the same movie. I’m guessing every time that computer was opened in the few days my visitor was here before receiving that email.
    I and still nervous as the first date to settle is this Dec 22 and I don’t know what I should do.
    I appreciate any advice you can give me.

    1. Concerned, I have sent you an e-mail response to your inquiry. In short (and I am writing this also for others who view this), going to CEG-TEK’s CopyrightSettlements.com website via your cell phone doesn’t make you anonymous. It also gives them evidence that ON A CERTAIN DATE, AT A CERTAIN TIME, ONLY YOU (who was given the username and password) LOGGED IN AND VIEWED THEIR OFFER TO SETTLE. If you ended up ignoring (and we could discuss the implications of doing this over the phone) and you were sued, Ira Siegel now has evidence that they offered to settle and you refused that offer by choosing to ignore. Thus, in that case, it would have been better not to login in the first place.

      A note about Charter: Their representatives who answer the phone are used to sending out DMCA letters which simply say “delete the infringing content and cut it out.” What they don’t realize is that many of Ira Siegel’s clients are COPYRIGHT TROLLS who use the federal courts to extort thousands of dollars from each accused downloader. Thus, when they say to “ignore,” this is legal advice they should NOT be giving you. Only a lawyer (me or someone else) can advise you of the risks of whether to ignore or settle, and whether THAT PARTICULAR COPYRIGHT HOLDER has known plans to sue, or whether they have explicitly stated that they won’t sue. This is something a Charter rep cannot tell you.

      1. I ran afoul these copyright trolls a year or so ago and was in the same spot you are. I researched my predicament over the next few days and became increasingly concerned and, quite frankly, terrified. I also used my cell to check out the settlement site before I thought about the ramifications. The first bright light in the whole affair came when I stumbled across this blog. I set up a phone meeting with Rob at Cashman Law Firm and he laid out my options for me. After someting like twenty minutes of talking with Rob I had a plan of action to deal with it and an overwhelming sense of relief. If you have yet to retain legal services I highly recommend Cashman. They took care of everything and protected my anonymity. I know that they’ll give your case the same attention and consideration that I recieved. I’ve never needed a lawyer before or since and was way out of my element but Rob had my back and helped me through every step of the process.
        Good luck my friend.

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