Canada begins receiving CEG-TEK DMCA settlement letters.

3/16/16 UPDATE: I have heard that CEG-TEK has retained an attorney who is filing the Dallas Buyers Club / Voltage Pictures bittorrent lawsuits in Canada to sue on behalf of their clients (it appears it may be James Zibarras).  Apparently they are doing it as a proof-of-concept to teach that Canada’s limited statutory damages ($5,000 CAN maximum) is per studio. CEG-TEK also claims that there were six months of warning letters (no settlement requested) before they started sending the settlement request letters.  Can anyone in Canada confirm or deny this?

“There is an untapped market of internet users in Canada who could be accused of copyright infringement and forced to pay thousands of dollars in settlement fees… or is there not?” -Copyright Trolls.

Canada until recently was a country which took steps to curb copyright trolling. They limited damages for copyright infringement to a maximum of $5,000 CAN (as opposed to $150,000 here in the U.S.). They set provisions where [with exceptions,] the plaintiff attorney in a lawsuit would need to pay their own attorney fees (as opposed to U.S. Copyright Law which allows a “prevailing party” to collect attorney fees from the non-prevailing party), and things were pretty good for the downloaders and pretty bad for the copyright holders. Who would ever sue in Canada?

Then it was explained to me that certain ISPs were sending what sounded like our “DMCA copyright infringement settlement letters” that we have seen from companies such as CEG-TEK. This evening, Techdirt wrote an article on the topic entitled, “More Copyright Trolls Rushing In To Take Advantage Of Canadian Copyright Notice System Loopholes.”

So apparently what was done to protect the Canadian internet users from copyright trolls has for the moment been undone. “Carte blanche, carpe diem, go get em tiger!” one might think. But I suspect this is only a temporary loophole. In an honest world, those who protected the internet users will continue to protect them, and attorneys will continue to defend against those who are accused of copyright infringement in Canada.

When I heard about what was going on this afternoon, I sighed, “O Canada!” Originally spelling it “Oh Canada,” I quickly found on Wikipedia under the “O Canada!” entry that there is actually an interesting distinction between the English version of the national anthem and the French version. The English version seemed passive (as I understand many mistake Canadians to be).  In my opinion based on my own family in Canada, the real character of Canada could be better found in the French version of Ô Canada! Where the English says, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee,” the French version says “[We] will protect our homes and our rights. The French version also says, “As is thy arm ready to wield the sword, so also is it ready to carry the cross.”

In short, Canadians won’t stand for the copyright trolls, and I suspect this will be only a temporary problem which will be remedied by the legislature as quickly as a copyright troll might pop his head out from under the Pont de Québec and say “boo!”

A Translation of this article into French from a valued Contributor (just for fun): 

Le Canada jusqu’à récemment, était un pays qui a pris des mesures pour freiner les “copyright trolls” ou “pêcheurs à la traîne de droits d’auteurs”. Le Canada a limité les dommages pour violation de copyright à un maximum de 5000 $ CAN (par opposition à $ 150 000, ici aux USA). Au Canada, un demandeur victorieux doit le plus souvent payer ses propres frais d’avocat dans un procès (par opposition aux États-Unis ou la législaion permet à une “partie gagnante” de collecter ses frais d’avocat auprès de la partie perdante), et les choses étaient assez favorables aux téléchargeurs et assez mauvaises pour les détenteurs de droits d’auteur. Qui aurait jamais pensé poursuivre au Canada?

Ensuite, on m’a expliqué que certains FAI envoyaient ce qui ressemblait à nos “DMCA Copyright Violation Letter” comme celles que nous avons vues de la part de sociétés telles que CEG-TEK. Ce soir, Techdirt a écrit un article sur le sujet intitulé More Copyright Trolls Rushing In To Take Advantage Of Canadian Copyright Notice System Loopholes.”

Donc apparemment ce qui avait été fait pour protéger les internautes canadiens de copyright trolls est devenu chose du passé. “Carte blanche, carpe diem, go get ‘em tiger!”  On pourrait le penser. Mais je soupçonne que tout ceci est seulement temporaire. Dans un monde honnête, ceux qui protégeait les utilisateurs d’Internet vont continuer à les protéger, et les avocats continueront de défendre ceux qui sont accusés de violations de droits d’auteurs au Canada.

Cet après-midi, quand j’ai entendu parler de ce qui se passait, j’ai soupiré, «Ô Canada!» Originellement épelé “Oh Canada” j’ai rapidement trouvé sur Wikipedia l’article correspondant sous le titre “O Canada!” Article Wikipedia qui montre qu’il y a effectivement une distinction intéressante entre la version anglaise et la version française de l’hymne. La version anglaise semblait passive (les Canadiens sont parfois perçus comme passifs, à tort). À mon avis et basé sur ma propre famille au Canada, le vrai caractère du Canada pourrait être mieux trouvé dans la version française du Ô Canada! Là où les Anglophones disent: «O Canada, nous nous tenons sur nos gardes pour toi,” la version française indique ” Et ta valeur, de foi trempée, Protègera nos foyers et nos droits”. La version française dit aussi: “Car ton bras sait porter l’épée, Il sait porter la croix”.

Bref, les Canadiens ne toléreront pas les copyright trolls, et je soupçonne que ceci est seulement un problème temporaire qui sera corrigée par le législateur aussi rapidement qu’un copyright troll pourrait montrer sa tête sous le Pont de Québec et de faire ” boo! “


UPDATED COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT GROUP (CEG-TEK) ARTICLES (from this blog):
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)

[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, and since I am getting hits from our site’s analytics that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is also sending copyright violation notices to Canadian ISP subscribers as well, this article is relevant.]


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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.

43 thoughts on “Canada begins receiving CEG-TEK DMCA settlement letters.”

  1. From Canada. Got one of those letters by email the other day. With Ira M. Siegel name at the bottom. Thinking of ignoring it. Advice?

      1. I received an email today in Ontario. Any advice yet? Should I be paying the settlement or holding off?

        1. The answer is based on 1) who your copyright holder is, 2) whether CEG-TEK has any agreements with the ISP (e.g., Shaw, Bell Canada) to provide geolocation data of where the download took place (e.g., address), and 3) what your personal circumstances are.

      1. The lawyer appears to be James Zibarras, but we are still waiting to see whether he starts filing lawsuits in Canada against individual downloaders. Look to Voltage Pictures and Dallas Buyers Club lawsuits in Canada to see how these things develop.

  2. also got one of these letters for allegedly downloading some adult material, should i be worried? what grounds do they have in canada? should i just pay the money and settle?

  3. Evidence rules for Canadian civil court are also sometimes stricter or looser than US court. Prenda and a few other “copyright trolls” have been caught “honeypotting” https://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-helps-to-expose-copyright-troll-honeypot-130604/ and if they were breaking a law or pre-publishing a file before it was even legally released, this is going to clash badly with Canadian precedents. Some aspects of honeypotting may count as fraud, extortion or even unauthorized use of other sharers’ systems, it’s all very untested in court.

  4. I got about 4 of these. Is there any confirmation that Ira M. Segel indeed works for CEG and whether he’ll be suing.

    1. Confirmed. Ira Siegel is a founding partner of CEG-TEK. His plan is not to sue people, but rather, to provide his forensic data to the copyright holders and have them decide how to follow-up with the accused downloaders.

  5. Any further info re: this in Canada? Just got two separate emails for the same file. Lots of $$. Are we paying these people?

    1. It’s a mixed bag. Some are settling, some are not. The copyright laws in Canada are more internet friendly than those here in the US. However, some people are afraid that CEG-TEK will disclose the identities to the copyright holders and they could be pulled into a lawsuit here in the US. We can talk about whether this is a concern or not once I learn more about your circumstances.

  6. i got one too. I made the mistake of checking my case # at copyrightsettlements.com or whatever it is. they can track you if you do this or contact them in any way. guess i’ll find out april 18 what their strategy is

  7. Got a series of CEG notices in Canada and weighing the options. If one was to settle early, would it make sense to get legal representation like yourself to ensure proper releases? Or is this even an option at this stage?

    1. Yes, but let’s first chat about the ignore route first before you jump into settling. You might still decide to settle (and yes, looking at your ISP we can make this an anonymous settlement), but let’s weigh your options first.

  8. I am US based and recently received a DMCA notice from CEG TEK through my ISP. I received 2 notices about 2 alleged downloads from a company named Evil Angel. I clicked on the link in the email and signed in using their username and password they sent me, but I didnt fill out any additional information. I then later called the number to see if it was a actual business but then hung up immediately after the generic recording. Wondering if I’ve given away too much information already, and also what I should do in the matters of the DMCA notice? Are CEG TEK/Evil Angel known to sue? This is the first EVER DMCA notice I have received and you could imagine that I am a bit worried. You seem like very knowledgeable people and I respect what you are doing here. Please get back to me at your convenience. Thank you.

    1. I have replied to your inquiry via e-mail. Evil Angel is a copyright troll. The call you made to CEG-TEK was a toll-free number (which means that now they have your phone number). Let’s chat about your options moving forward.

  9. Hi,
    Interesting blog. Do you exclusively deal with US cases or will/do you consult about Canadian cases? If no, who would you recommend north of the border?
    I got a letter this morning. My ISP sat on the notice for a month, and now I have 1 day deadline to respond.
    Thanks

  10. Hello, I received the first notice on April 18 and 3 more on April 20. All the same infridgement claims by CED TEK and 1 paticular studio. I did not receive any letter or email in the last 6 months. Those were the first ones. I’m aware of the new law here in Canada as of January. Any advice on how to proceed? I only click on the settlment link but did not fill up any information. Thank you.

    1. I received the letter today for 1 file downladed. I didn’t received any letter before today’s one. I clicked the link but didn’t fill anything. On the website, they have listed 2 downloads(same day). I didn’t provide any more information. What did you do? What should I do? Thanks

  11. Hey, I’ve received 4 of these letters in the past week or so and I’m not sure how many more are to come. Should I be worried that they’ll be more likely to sue should they send more letters? It seems as though they are scare tactics here in Canada but I’m still unsure about what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

  12. Hello, I also received a settlement request from CEG TEK, and I am wondering if I should settle or not. Got the email this morning, and checked the link they provided me in the e-mail but didn’t give them any personal information, nor did I call their business line.

  13. I’m in Ontario – I’ve received two of these notices in the past two weeks for adult material that neither my wife nor I had ever even heard of, let alone downloaded via Bittorrent. We’ve double checked that our wifi is secure and even use a VPN at home, so we believe these notices to be fraudulent. Does anyone know what our best course of action is.. a) to maintain our anonymity for the time being, and b) to stop these people from contacting us in the future as we believe they are using our ISP to harass us?

    1. It might literally be the VPN provider itself which caused you to be implicated as being the downloader of the film. Look up “Giganews VyprVPN” on my blog, and you’ll see what I mean. Otherwise, if you still need my help, I’ll write you directly in just a sec.

  14. Hey, just got a notice from CEGTEK for an adult movie from Wicked Pictures. Just wondering if it’s alright or just ignore it or settle? Thanks for the information.

  15. I received a notice last week. It seems as though many of these threats from CEG TEK are baseless, but I am worried that I might be contacted by the copyright owners (as some have been). Is there any chance that they acquired my personal information if I only logged into their settlement site (I did not enter any of my personal information)? I’m currently with a big name ISP which will not disclose any of my personal information unless ordered to by a court.

    1. Also, if it changes anything… I clicked on the direct link to copyrightsettlements from my email. So I don’t know if they are able to infer my email from my having clicked their website link from my email account. This doesn’t seem plausible, but I don’t know enough to safely rule it out.

  16. Hi. I’m in Ontario as well. I just received a number of these emails from my ISP. These are the settlement requests from CEG-TEK, no actual letters saying they are suing. Should I settle or ignore them? Get legal representation or not?

  17. how is CEG TEKs practice not tantamount to extortion? are they actually hired and retained by the copyright holder? or just extort you by threat of sharing your violation with the owner?

    also can it be proven that you actually downloaded the files within a torrent file rather than just open the torrent file in the client? i mean once youre in the peer pool for having opened it but not actually transferring anything youre still marked as having your IP associated with that torrent and its contents. I have also heard that lots of torrents also contain text files with information about the film and no one claims ownership to those. By just downloading that text file that is in the same torrent that contains a copyrighted video file are you then also ear marked as being a violator?

  18. Hi,

    I live in Canada and I have received a letter from my ISP about copyright infringement. I made a dumb mistake panicked a bit and paid some of it because I did use torrent and downloaded few contents. Now I found most people say to ignore their emails and they will go away. Now they have my card info and address, I am not sure what to do and I do not want to pay the rest. What options do I have ?

  19. I got the email from my ISP recently and I made the mistake of going to the CEG website and logging in with their given case # and password but I didn’t do anything after that (no phone calls, no information provided, etc…); I didn’t know what was going on so I went to the site to see if I could figure it out. My question is if I’ll be in any danger of the company getting my personal information (name, address, phone #, etc…). In addition, what’s the best course of action for me to take?

    Thanks!

  20. I was recently sent a letter by CEG TEK, and I’m in the dark as to how to proceed. They have only my IP but they have evidence that I was a part of a stream that was uploading their copyright holders content, or at-least I think. It would be a decent amount of money to settle as they’ve got me for multiple “infringements” so I want to get a proper assessment before proceeding.

  21. I just got some messages from my ISP from this Ira Siegel person. I received 3 e-mails, for downloading adult material. Two of the emails seem to be related to a same file (but they are two seperate files under the same name). What should I do? I went on the site…and based on what I’ve read here, that was a no-no. I even so as to went to input the case# and the password. Am I screwed now? It’s $225.00 each x3 = $675.00

    It won’t kill me, but I certainly don’t want to be sued or have a lawsuit or criminal record of any kind. Please help. Just received this notice(s) yesterday/today.

  22. Hey, I received one of these notices from my ISP who was notified by CEG-TEK for one piece of infringed material from Third World Media, signed by Ira Seigel. They want a settlement of $225 for the one video, which I think is ridiculous. I’ve seen they tried mass sueing John Does but only in the USA (Im in Canada). A little worried and a little paranoid. I’m Canadian, my ISP is Rogers cable, I went to the settlement website and logged in with the case # and password from the email but did not fill anything out upon seeing the ridiculous price of the settlement. Any advice on what actions I should take would be really appreciated!

    1. Also, if Third World Media ever did decide to sue, can they sue me outside of Canada? or would they have to travel here?

  23. Hello, I received a settlement request from CEG TEK, and I am wondering if I should settle or not. Got the email this morning, I have not checked their web site to verify the amount ,etc. Any advice would be helpful.

  24. Received two of these so far. Didn’t click the link or anything as I didn’t want to give them any info. I just want to know, is it looking like they’ll take anyone to court? Or is it too early to tell?

  25. Hi,

    I received 3 notices from CEG TEK. The first one was on 27th July 2015 and the other 2 on 16th & 18th Aug. These notices are regarding downloading of Evil Angel(2 files), Marc Dorcel(1) and New Sensations(1).
    The offered settlement amount is CAD 900 i.e. $225/- per title. The last date for settlement online is 25th Aug for one of the notices.
    Being new here in Canada, I’m not sure should I settle or should I wait to get sued?
    This is keeping me up at nights.
    Any advice would be highly appreciated.

  26. Hey guys, I’ve been wondering if I could get some help and information on an email I received.

    Email from CEG saying the IP listed pirated pornography, etc also at the end of the message you get:

    “Sincerely,

    Ira M. Siegel, Esq.”

    This is regarding adult material.

    “In Canada, the unauthorized copying, performance, and/or distribution of Rights Owner’s Work is illegal and is subject to civil sanctions (with statutory damages of up to ,000 or non-statutory damages that could be higher) and/or criminal sanctions, and is a violation of the Canada Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42). The recent amendments to the Copyright Act, which came into force on November 2012, have confirmed Rights Owner’s right to have its copyright protected in Canada.”

    I really need help, and am actually paranoid and scared.

    please message me

  27. I just received a notice this morning. Unfortunately, i checked out the settlement page before reading this blog. What new information do they now have that they didn’t have before if I visited their site via the specific case number link on the notice from my home computer but didn’t fill anything else out?

    Also, my notice is on behalf of Millennium Films, which according to the rfcexpress website you mentioned in the blog has not been the plaintiff in a copyright infringement case in the last 5 years (I didn’t bother checking prior to 2010). What kind of harassment do you think I’ll get if I ignore this here in the land of maple leaves? Thanks

  28. I just got one of these from CEG TEK. Accidentally opened the link and logged in, so I guess they know who I am. What’s the general procedure in Canada for these type of situations?

  29. Hey I just got one of those letters also but made the mistake of paying on my own and my credit card company won’t cancel the transactions. I’ve resigned myself to the loss of that money, but i want to make sure that paying the settlements doesn’t bind me in any way to pay anything else……..or any further repercussions.

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