Siemens INDUSTRY SOFTWARE INC. converting NX software pirates into customers.

Siemens PLM | Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Piracy Lawsuit

Siemens Industry Software Inc. has been suing engineers as “John Doe” Defendants

Siemens Industry Software Inc. has been suing engineers as ‘John Doe’ Defendants in federal courts.  The lawsuits are for the piracy of their NX software since it was in version 7 (so far, I have seen claims against users of NX 7, NX 8, NX 8.5?, but not yet for NX 9, NX 10, or NX 11 — all of which are available on the bittorrent networks). Most recently, I have seen lawsuits focusing in on the unlawful use of the Solid Edge ST9 Foundation software.

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In June, I wrote the “What to do about the Siemens Industry Software Inc. v. Does case (TX)” article which provided specific information surrounding the lawsuit from information acquired from the Siemens Industry Software lawyers themselves. However, back then, there was much still unknown, and now (almost 6 months later), I have a much better idea of how this is happening, what Siemens Industry Software is doing to catch those using the software illegally, whether claims of piracy are leaking over to the employers of the engineers who use the pirated software at their workplace, and how they are handling claims against those defendants, both in and out of the courtroom.

What you need to know about these lawsuits is that the Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuits still deceptively look like “copyright troll” lawsuits, but they are not. I will get into this momentarily.

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*UPDATED* LIST OF FEDERAL COURT CASES FILED:

IN THE CONNECTICUT DISTRICT COURT:
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. et al v. Demin (Case No. 3:16-cv-00553)

IN THE NEW YORK SOUTHERN DISTRICT COURT:
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. Does 1 – 100 (Case No. 1:14-cv-01926)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. Does 1-50 (Case No. 1:11-cv-08469)

IN THE OHIO SOUTHERN DISTRICT COURT:
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software In v. Manufacturing Services International, Inc. (Case No. 3:16-cv-00182)

IN THE PENNSYLVANIA EASTERN DISTRICT COURT:
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. Does 1-50 (Case No. 2:12-cv-06795)

IN THE TEXAS EASTERN DISTRICT COURT:
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. BTL Machine, Inc. (Case No. 4:14-cv-00506)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. Does (Case No. 4:15-cv-00582)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. Mercury Metal Forming Technologies, LLC (Case No. 4:14-cv-00002)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does (Case No. 4:15-cv-00017)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. TWIVision Engineering Group, LLC (Case No. 6:11-cv-00679)

IN THE TEXAS SOUTHERN DISTRICT COURT:
Siemens Industry Software Inc. v. Does 1-150 (Case No. 4:20-cv-00798)
Siemens Industry Software Inc. v. Does 1-10 (Case No. 4:20-cv-00801)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-118 (Case No. 4:19-cv-02448)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-150 (Case No. 4:19-cv-00129)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-107 (Case No. 4:18-cv-02344)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-97 (Case No. 4:18-cv-00397)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-93 (Case No. 4:17-cv-01796)
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-100 (Case No. 4:16-cv-03552)

Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc. v. Does 1-100 (Case No. 4:16-cv-01422)

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JOHN DOE DEFENDANTS ARE GETTING CAUGHT THROUGH THE *USE* OF THE SOFTWARE, NOT THROUGH THE ACQUISITION OF THE SOFTWARE.

In September of 2016, I was still piecing together how a person can get caught not through the download of pirated software via BitTorrent, but through the USE of that software (that article is still available for viewing, although the picture is more clear to us now as I describe my current understanding of it here, specifically tailored to the Siemens Industry Software Inc. Software-based lawsuits).

As we’ve learned, most Siemens Industry Software Inc. NX Software available for download on the piracy websites comes with a serial number (“SN”) and an “activator” which modifies the application to allow it to accept a random password that the SN activator generated.  (Not relevant, but still interesting to know:  The serial number + details about the computer or laptop upon which it is installed creates a “Unique ID” which can be checked with valid IDs on the server; this circumvents a computer from using a “valid” registration code for a computer for which that registration code was not licensed to.  Thus, even though the serial number activator provided the software with a valid serial number, the company servers know the software is pirated.)

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This application modifier is known as a “crack,” and software which is altered to accept the serial number generated by the crack thinks locally (that is, on the laptop in which it was installed) that the software was properly acquired, purchased, and lawfully registered. Most cracks also revert the executable file used to run the file back to its original unaltered state once the software has been registered.

The problem is that even cracked software connects to the internet, for example, to access libraries in the program file which are stored on the company’s servers. In other words, for economy purposes, it would take up too much hard drive space to store every piece of a large multi-gigabyte-sized program on each person’s hard drive. Thus, companies now store core components of their software on their servers. This is generally referred to as “cloud-based software,” but what exactly is stored online with the Siemens Industry software is still unknown (and they keep this purposefully undisclosed because they track the IP addresses of the computers who run the software and access these files online).

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EVEN IF THE SOFTWARE HAS BEEN REGISTERED using a “SN and an activator,” (as provided on the bittorrent websites), when the software connects to Siemens Industry Software Inc.’s servers to access pieces of the software to run, if the registration code (or more accurately, the Unique ID, as described above) does not match a valid paid registration from their own records, that software unbeknownst to the user is flagged as being unlicensed, and the IP address is recorded.  We now understand that the software user is not made aware of this until he is implicated as a John Doe Defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

EVERY TIME that user uses the NX software, another entry of unlicensed use is recorded (date, time, etc.) and the IP address of the internet connection used when accessing the software is also logged. This is how a Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuit against a John Doe engineer can leak over to his employer receiving letters for the infringement of their software, even when the software was acquired at the accused John Doe engineer’s home.

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WHO IS THE TARGET OF THESE LAWSUITS.

I mentioned above that the Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuits look deceptively like “copyright troll” lawsuits, but in hindsight, we have learned they are not. Rather than extorting a few thousand dollars from every John Doe Defendant regardless of guilt, Siemens is looking for a particular defendant.

Siemens Industry Software wants to find the engineer who is providing “paid” engineering services, either 1) from his own laptop in his own small business, or 2) from his employer’s place of business where unbeknownst to the employer, that employee is bringing his unlicensed software to his workplace and using that pirated software at work [noting that his work does not own or pay for a license for the software].

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In other words, Siemens Industry Software wants to find those engineers who are using their software but who are not paying a license for the use of that software, and they want to turn that enterprising engineer into a paying customer. Moreso, Siemens Industry Software wants to find that company (the employer of that engineer) who is benefiting from the unlicensed use of their software, and to turn that corporate entity into a “volume license” paying customer. This is where the “big bucks” are made.

WHAT IF YOU ARE A STUDENT?

Students are a different story than paid engineers. Just as law students are fed unlimited free case lookup services and are encouraged with points and free coffee mugs for using as much of services as they can [only to be hit with a multi-thousand-dollar subscription upon graduation for what a few days ago was free (think, WestLaw, LexisNexis)], engineering students are seen as the same “cash cows” for Siemens Industry Software Inc. as law students are seen by the WestLaw/Nexis case lookup services. A poor engineering student today is seen by Siemens as a future subscription-based customer for the rest of his working career, and if not, that engineer’s employer will be a “volume license” customer which is even more profitable for Siemens.

If you have not yet figured this out, I have found that engineering students (and those individuals who are smart enough to figure out that the NX software has specific applications for use in conjunction with their 3D printers) find themselves in the spider web of these lawsuits more than anyone else. These individuals ‘mess around’ with the software in ways which do not provide them an income (what we call “non-revenue-producing use,” or “personal use”). Rather, they use the NX software (or more recently, the Solid Edge ST9 software) to gain professional skills knowing that if and when these students do find employment, use of the Siemens PLM software will become a necessity. So the students download it, play around with it, then get sued and call me fearing that their professional lives are over.

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But no attorney at Reed Smith LLP — not Robert Riddle, Andrew Bluebond, or most recently, Kate Geldmacher… and certainly not Steven Dietz — wants to end the financial life of a future customer. Aside from the fact that a student has no assets to seize, it is my understanding that Steven Dietz would rather turn that student into a loyal customer. For this reason, I have been able to accomplish resolutions of claims with students in a way in which is simply not available to the engineer who uses Siemens Industry Software Inc.’s unlicensed software for profit.

That is not to say that an engineer won’t be able to “get out” of this lawsuit — it simply takes a bit more work, perhaps paying Siemens Industry Software a settlement fee based on their particular circumstances (read that again carefully), and based on what software was allegedly used, what module add-ons were used or needed, whether the use was for personal or business reasons, and whether use of the software is still needed in the future.

The Engineer-Student Roommate Scenario

Lastly, [since I am listing scenarios I’ve seen over the past few months,] non-engineering students who have roommates or suitemates who are engineering students also have been the recipients of the subpoena letters from their ISP (most recently, Comcast). While Siemens does not see the non-engineering student or enterprising 3D printer genius as a future customer, your engineering roommate or suitemate is still seen as such, and thus involving him or her as part of the solution can easily fix a $150,000 copyright infringement lawsuit against you.

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In sum, Siemens wants to convert those illegally using their software into customers.

So as you see, Siemens Industry Software Inc. looks like a copyright troll, but they are not. Their attorneys are often not interested in merely a settlement, but in converting the accused John Doe software user into a customer (or, as a future customer). This means that settlements are accepted where there is a future benefit to Siemens Industry Software, as they are not looking to use the lawsuits as a means to “cash out” or to “punish pirates.” Obviously this could change, and there have been circumstances where it is more feasible to simply defend a client by representing him or her in the federal court rather than having him agree to anything he or she did not do, but for the most part, Siemens Industry Software Inc. seems to be straightforward on what they seek to accomplish with these lawsuits.

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OTHER ARTICLES ON THE SIEMENS INDUSTRY SOFTWARE INC. CASES:

How an attorney should handle a Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuit, on 1/11/2017.

Siemens Industry Software Inc. NX-based lawsuits – converting accused engineers into loyal customers, on 1/9/2017.

Software Developers are now tracking piracy through the USE of downloaded software, on 9/9/2016.

The Siemens Industry Software Case IS a Bittorrent Case, on 6/20/2016.

What to do about the Siemens Industry Software Inc. v. Does case (TX), on 1/16/2016.


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.

    Siemens Industry Software Inc. defendants, we can still speak AFTER your APRIL 5TH deadline.

    Siemens PLM | Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Piracy Lawsuit

    To those engineers implicated in the recent Siemens Industry Software Inc. v. Does 1-150 (4:20-cv-00798) lawsuit:

    I want to simply apologize for not being able to immediately speak to each of you.  You are all asking for appointments for the same April 5th, 2020 deadline provided to you on your Charter Communications ISP subpoena letter.  Please be patient.

    Choosing “the convenient path” before April 5th.

    No doubt, there are likely 10+ attorneys actively paying to advertise for your business. However, none of them are located here in Houston, Texas where the lawsuit is, where the courthouse is — where your plaintiff attorneys are. Thus, they will be actively soliciting your business to acquire you as a client for the purposes of satisfying the volume business they have set up around these lawsuits. I understand that it is convenient to jump and hire the first attorney who will have you as a client, but choosing the convenient path is exactly why you have been sued in the first place.

    Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

    If you have read what I have written on the previous seven waves of lawsuits (this is the 8th time they have filed lawsuits with 100+ defendants), you already know that I have successfully represented many clients against Siemens Industry Software Inc. and I have had clients that have both legitimized their prior illegal use by purchasing a license to their proprietary software. I have also had many clients who have had me explain that their use (although unlawful) was for personal use* (off of the court docket, without their names being exposed) — they paid no settlement, they purchased no license, and they were dismissed from the lawsuit and no longer worry about being sued for their past acts of infringement.

    *2020 UPDATE: While many previous clients did not need to purchase a software license, as of Siemens Industry Software Inc.’s 2019 lawsuits, they are now asking ALL defendants to purchase a software license, even if it is to a lesser Siemens software product (or an entirely different software product).

    Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

    The “cooperative” approach vs. the litigious approach.

    There are two ways to approach a Siemens Industry Software Inc. software piracy lawsuit — 1) fight each claim on the merits of the copyright infringement claims against each defendant, or 2) (our approach) cooperate with the Siemens attorney’s attempts to sort through each of the 150+ defendants to help them determine who needs a license for their past use, and who does not.

    Siemens is NOT a copyright troll (contrary to popular belief and their use of mass John Doe copyright lawsuits), and so having your attorney treat them like copyright trolls will cause you problems in your lawsuit. If you look at a timeline of their cases (which I have picked a representative set of cases over the years), you see that Siemens Industry Software Inc. pursues former John Doe Defendants, even after lawsuits are dismissed, so applying what I have taught over the years on this website and approaching their case with what I have described as the “ignore” route (as other attorneys might) is not the recommended path to resolving the claims in this lawsuit.

    The way out of this lawsuit is simply the long way out. Hire an attorney (myself of someone like me), have him represent you just as I have suggested, and have him represent you through the entire lifecycle of this lawsuit. It will be over in a few months. Just let the attorney do exactly what he has (what I have) done in the past.

    Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

    What about my April 5th, 2020 deadline? Can I file a motion to quash the subpoena?

    As for your April 5th, 2020 deadline to file a motion to quash with the court to stop them from handing out your information, again, do not be fooled here. You likely do NOT live in Texas and so a motion to quash *IS* a viable option, however, it is not the recommended option. If you hire an attorney (myself or any other attorney) to file a motion to quash because you do not live in Texas, you will likely win the motion to quash and you will [most likely] be SEVERED AND DISMISSED from the lawsuit. However, be VERY AWARE that the immediate next act would be that the plaintiff attorney [from his computer using the PACER / e-filing system available across each of the federal courts in the US] would file the identical lawsuit against you personally, this time Siemens Industry Software Inc. v. YOU, without the padding or anonymity that a John Doe placeholder status provides you, and without the padding that you might have sharing the liability of the lawsuit among 149 other similarly situated defendants.

    In other words, don’t fall for sales tactics. Stay as private as possible (you can always contest the personal jurisdiction later and move the lawsuit into your own state if you are ever sued personally in this lawsuit). Up front, this is the 8th time Siemens Industry Software Inc. has sued, and I have never needed to do this nor have I had a client named and served in one of their cases. As I said, the approach is COLLABORATIVE with Siemens Industry Software Inc., not litigious.

    Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

    Retaining me as your attorney before April 5th is a PREFERENCE, not a requirement.

    In sum, while I always PREFER to have you be a client before your April 5th, 2020 deadline before your Charter ISP hands over your information, with the Siemens Industry Software Inc. cases, *this is not required.*

    As I have written many times, Siemens (now with their Kate Geldmacher attorney) handles these cases methodically and SLOWLY. It could take weeks before they even get to your John Doe entity. For this reason, (and now understanding that you will not be filing a motion to quash before 4/5), please be patient and take my appointments on https://www.torrentlawyer.com/calendar/ as they become available. There is no rush to have me represent everybody by April 5th, nor is this even possible.

    Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

    A quick note about limited time slots and limited availability to speak to you, at least initially.

    Lastly, I assume if you have reached this article, you understand that I do not take every client that I speak to, and that there are limited time slots available (here is why). I simply run my practice in a methodical way, taking clients as I can, and one at a time. I also spend most of my time HANDLING CLIENT CASES rather than marketing for new clients.  I am simply not interested in gobbling as many clients as I can, and if you need to hire an attorney today, I will not be your attorney.

    I have done the Siemens Industry Software Inc. cases from start-to-finish SEVEN TIMES NOW. Watch my calendar for availabilities (as new ones open up), and grab them when they become available. Assuming you have read the articles on my site and are “on board” with my collaborative approach (meaning, cooperating with Siemens Industry Software and helping them sort through each of the 150+ defendants, not blindly fighting them tooth-and-nail like any other copyright infringement or “copyright troll” lawsuit), I will happily take you as a client. This is true even if we end up speaking after your Charter ISP hands over your information to the Siemens attorneys.

    Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

    I understand this lawsuit has generated much concern for you. Please understand that I have done this before. Read what I have written about the different “categories” of defendants (based on their usage) that I have hashed out over the years. Stay calm, and understand that this will be a long but drama-free process. I look forward to speaking to you and serving you as your attorney.


    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.

      Beware. Now Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons can get you sued.

      Kodi Add-Ons Users Sued For Copyright Infringement | TorrentLawyer

      2020 UPDATE: You CAN be sued for using bittorrent-based Kodi Add-ons!

      I almost fell off my chair when I read this. Kodi users are being sued for copyright infringement?!? The answer is yes, Kodi users who are tweaking the Kodi software to run Kodi Add-ons which provide copyrighted movies using peer-to-peer (P2P) or bittorrent are 100% at risk of getting sued for copyright infringement.Click to Tweet!

      Kodi Add-Ons Users Sued For Copyright Infringement | TorrentLawyer

      Didn’t I write many articles saying that Kodi users wouldn’t get sued?

      Yes.  I have been watching this topic for YEARS now on whether it is possible for someone streaming movies to get caught — not in the context of Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons, but in general.  Until recently, the answer was “no, the copyright trolls have not yet caught up with technology, and there is no way a person will get sued for streaming movies.”  

      Today I change my opinion, but as you’ll read, I do so cheaply because the cause of getting caught using Kodi is the fault of Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons developers who incorporated bittorrent into their plug-ins.

      My opinions over the years on whether you can get sued for Kodi use have changed.

      2015 – “No, you CANNOT get sued streaming videos.”

      Jumping back a bit, the first time I wrote about the possibility of internet users getting caught streaming was in October, 2015.  Fresh in the mind of the internet was the Ashley Madison hack exposing millions of internet users who had an account on their “let’s cheat” website.  The topic of whether it was possible to have your adult film viewing habits exposed to the public was fresh on the minds of internet users.  

      My opinion back then was that “you likely CANNOT get caught streaming adult films.”  Then in 11/2015, I was asked whether an internet user can get caught viewing “You Tube” like videos, and my opinion was, “maybe, but it likely would not happen because there are too many steps.”

      2017 – “It’s possible to get sued, but the technology needs to advance and the trolls are still stuck on bittorrent lawsuits.”

      Jumping ahead to 3/2017, I was searching for a common copyright troll behind each of the movie lawsuits, and I wrote a quick article entitled, “Can I Get Caught Streaming Movies Over The Internet?”  My point of this article was to say, “yeah, it is possible, but unlikely that someone would get caught streaming movies,” parroting my 11/2015 article.

      As a response, a viewer asked me to analyze Kodi and the Amazon TV Fire Sticks, and again in 3/2017, I wrote a second article on Why I would NOT put Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick.

      At the time, I was still of the opinion of “you likely won’t get caught, but beware of Amazon turning you in.”  

      [Again, this opinion had nothing to do with the Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons, as I did not suspect any developer would create Kodi Add-ons which connected to the bittorrent networks.  That would have been silly, and any developer that knew anything about piracy lawsuits wouldn’t be reckless enough to expose their users to the bittorrent networks.]

      Then in 4/2017, the Pornhub lawsuits happened, and thinking about the lawsuit (and the way the plaintiffs went about it all wrong), it occurred to me that Google Analytics could expose an internet user to a copyright infringement lawsuit.  This was possibly the first time I had the opinion that “yes, in the future, you can get sued for streaming movie content.”  Again, in the future when technology advanced further and copyright trolls moved past bittorrent lawsuits.  

      2020 UPDATE: I focused most of my articles on Google Analytics because they seemed to be the best way to track which internet user visited which website. I did not consider that in 2020, copyright trolls would use CloudFlare to expose the identity of accused internet users. This is what is behind the YTS fiasco and Kerry Culpepper of Culpepper IP sending subpoenas to disclose the identity of internet users (so that he can ask for $1,000 per alleged download as a settlement). [Click to Tweet.]

      * 9/16/2020 UPDATE *: Kerry Culpepper appears to have since hired Attorney Joshua Lee of Culpepper IP. It is Joshua Lee’s name that is appearing on the settlement demand letters, not Kerry Culpepper’s name.

      In 5/2017, I applied this line of thought to write an update on the risks of using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV stick, and I wrote that “there is another way to get sued using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick — via Google Analytics.”  So while my answer was now “yes, you can get caught,” my thought was “just block the Google Analytics plug-in and you don’t need to worry about this.”  As far as copyright trolls suing Kodi users based on these revelations, well, this was far into the future.  Once again, no mention of Kodi Add-ons.

      What changed? Kodi developers started using Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons without telling their users.

      What I did not anticipate is that there are a number of Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons which use bittorrent to provide copyrighted content to their users. Obviously if certain Kodi Add-ons are using bittorrent — and the assumption is that the Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons user is using Kodi without a VPN — then YES! Someone using Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons which connect to streamed content via “peer-to-peer (P2P)” bittorrent networks can certainly get caught!

      Why using Kodi Bittorrent Addons can be the same as using a bittorrent client

      Let’s simplify this.

      If you use Kodi with a VPN connection, and the Kodi Addons plug-in that you enable provides content to you via bittorrent, *THEN YOUR KODI SOFTWARE IS NOTHING OTHER THAN YET ANOTHER BITTORRENT APPLICATION*.

      What this means is that when your Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons connect to the bittorrent, it is *YOUR* IP address that shows up in the bittorrent swarm. Thus, when the copyright troll or their so-called “investigators” download the list of IP addresses who have downloaded a particular movie, your IP address will show up.

      At that point you have been caught downloading or streaming the copyrighted movie without a license, and you should not be surprised if you receive a subpoena notice from your ISP informing you that you have been implicated as a John Doe defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

      It really does not matter that you were using Kodi, because using Kodi with Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons which download movies for you using bittorrent is the SAME as you downloading that same movie from The Pirate Bay using a bittorrent client.

      Which Kodi Add-ons use bittorrent?

      So, the next question is… which Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons use bittorrent? (Kudos to Sam Cook, my source for this information. If anyone knows of others, please feel free to add them to the comments below this article, and I will update this list.)

      As of a few months ago, the following Kodi Addons use bittorrent:

      • Quasar
      • Popcorn Time
      • Plexus
      • Ace Stream
      • SportsDevil
      • P2P Streams
      • Castaway
      • Red Beard
      • Bubbles

      NOTE: Why some of these Kodi Addons might no longer exist

      My thoughts: Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons recently suffered a huge loss after a large number of them shut down in response to a few prominent lawsuits. Thus, these addons I pasted here from Sam Cook’s article possibly no longer exist.

      SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO NOT TO GET SUED USING KODI

      NOTE: Obviously using Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons to stream movies or copyrighted content was not why Kodi exists. However, for the purpose of this article, assume you are tweaking Kodi to stream movies.

      Before you use one of the Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons, check to see whether it uses bittorrent or some form of P2P to download content for its users. In this article, I keep referring to the add-ons which use bittorrent as “Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons,” but as you see from the list above [all of which use bittorrent], *NONE* of them identified themselves as a “bittorrent add-on.” Assuming you will be using Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons for the purpose of acquiring or viewing copyrighted movies without a license (again, not my recommendation), avoid these plug-ins and any plug-ins which connect you unwittingly to bittorrent networks. [Click to Tweet!]

      Advice from a Kodi reddit user:

      Generally speaking, if the setup or configuration of an add-on requires you to make significant changes to your environment, it’s probably to support p2p. If the setup installs and then starts showing you sources to stream from immediately without having to add/configure a bunch of extra crap, it’s just direct streaming from a web source and has no p2p/upload component to it. The only 2 I’ve seen that are “recommended” by certain people and are p2p are sopcast and acestream. anything else just blatantly calls itself “bit torrent stream” or “best torrent addon” or “p2p streams” which should all be no-go’s if you don’t already have experience masking your location.

      My Opinion: Kodi Add-Ons can get you sued.

      In sum, back to Kodi itself. It is no longer my opinion that you cannot get sued for using Kodi. If you are using one of the many Kodi Bittorrent Add-ons which connect a user to copyrighted content using bittorrent — whether you are aware of it or not –, then of course you can get sued. The reason for this is bittorrent exposes the IP address of the user who is not masking their IP address with a VPN. Personally, it is careless for programmers to make Kodi addons which use bittorrent, which is not what the Kodi software was meant to do.

      [One last time… Please “Click to Tweet!” This will help share this information with others who can benefit from it.]

      KODI LAWSUIT ARTICLES:

      GOT WARNING LETTER FOR USING KODI?” written on 7/20/2017 by The VPN Guru
      Kodi BAN – Kodi Add-On users panic over WARNING letter from US Department of Justice” written on 4/8/2017 by Express
      “P2P Kodi Addons – 2017 Updates for Kodi Users” written on 3/28/2017
      Who’s behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?” written on 2/8/2017 by The Register
      Comcast Starts Issuing Copyright Infringement Notices to Kodi Users” written on 10/21/2015 by Cord Cutters News


      [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about a Kodi copyright case and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your circumstances), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your Kodi copyright lawsuit, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

      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.

        New Siemens Industry Software Inc. Software Piracy Lawsuit.

        Siemens PLM Software Lawsuit NX

        SIEMENS INDUSTRY SOFTWARE INC. SOFTWARE LAWSUITS — “THEY’RE BACK!”

        I didn’t want to let this one slide. Remember the Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuits (where Siemens sued a number of engineers who used their NX software without a license)? Well, in July, 2018, they have filed their newest copyright Infringement lawsuit (this is the FIFTH TIME they are suing), this time against 107 John Doe Defendants (here in our own Texas Southern District Court, no less).

        Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. v. Does 1-107 (4:18-cv-02344), filed July, 2018

        I’ve already written all that needs to be known about the Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuits

        Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

        Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Piracy Lawsuit
        Screenshot from Siemens PLM Software’s website on the NX Mach 3 software.

        What happened to the Siemens Industry Software Inc.’s older lawsuits?

        WAVE 1

        In Wave 1, Siemens solicited licenses for their NX software. At first, we thought that these were bittorrent-based lawsuits like the others we have been dealing with, but then we learned that Siemens was actually tracking the unlicensed USE of the software (e.g., think “software phone home”).

        This complicated the lawsuits because they were dealing with actual evidence (rather than the “snapshot bittorrent-based evidence” we have seen in the movie lawsuits). As a result, we put together a list of steps an attorney should take in defending a Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuit, and this has proven to be an effective strategy.

        Over time, the lawsuit progressed, and eventually Siemens dismissed the lawsuit once they realized who they wanted to name and serve in their own lawsuits, and they filed individual copyright infringement lawsuits against companies they discovered were using their software without a license.

        WAVE 2

        In Wave 2, Siemens filed a similar lawsuit, this time against 100 new defendants. They surprised a number of defendants with settlement numbers of $50,000+ (eventually, we learned that they were settling licenses to their software, and they actually cost that much). This second wave lawsuit “on the books” looked to be a failure because they missed a FRCP Rule 4(m) deadline to name and serve defendants. As a result, they dismissed the entire lawsuit, however, I know that they continued after the dismissal to contact accused defendants (or their attorneys) with the intention of having those accused defendants [now dismissed] purchase a license to cover their use of the Siemens Industry Software Inc. NX software.

        WAVES 3-4 (2017 – mid-2018)

        In Waves 3-4, Siemens continued to target engineers in their lawsuits.  The purpose of these lawsuits was to “legitimize” those who were using their NX software “for profit.”  They were more reasonable this time on the settlement amounts (no settlements, just purchase of software licenses), but they allowed the defendant some leeway in determining what software title would best benefit the user, and whether Mach 3 was needed, or whether a lower-cost alternative was an option.  Siemens Industry Software Inc. also started to discuss settlement negotiations themselves (e.g., offering money to settle the claims), however, this never materialized.

        WAVE 5 (late 2018)

        Now in Wave 5, I do not yet know whether these 107 John Doe Defendants are from the same pool as the earlier lawsuits were filed, or whether these are from an entirely new pool of accused infringers. However, at least the lawsuit itself (its intentions, and what to expect) are less of a mystery, as we were able to settle a number of claims in their previous lawsuits through the purchase of a software license.

        2020 UPDATE:

        WAVES 6-7 (2019):

        In Wave 6-7 (2019), Siemens Industry Software Inc. changed their strategy, attempting to streamline the settlement process.  In previous cases, those that used the software for personal reasons (e.g., academic, training, 3D printing, designing private home uses, etc.) were considered “tinkerers.”  In previous lawsuits, Siemens did not require this group of individuals to obtain a software license.

        IN WAVES 6 AND 7, *THIS CHANGED*.  Siemens Industry Software Inc. asked most defendants to buy software to legitimize their use.  The software did not need to be the same $30,000 NX software they used prior to being sued, but lesser versions with fewer features, or altogether other software packages [at a steep discount] were presented as options.

        WAVE 8 (2020):

        Now we are in Wave 8 (2020).  In this wave, there are two lawsuits; one has 150 John Doe Defendants, and the other has only 10 John Doe Defendants.  I do not yet know whether these 150 John Doe Defendants are from the same pool as the earlier lawsuits were filed, or whether these are from an entirely new pool of accused infringers.  I suspect that the 150 defendants in the (4:20-cv-00798) case are all new defendants, and that 10 defendants in the (4:20-cv-00801) case are old defendants who did not settle the claims against them.

        As always, here is how an attorney should be handling a Siemens Industry Software Inc. lawsuit, and how we at the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC would handle your Siemens Industry Software Inc. case. This has been an effective strategy in each of the various Siemens Industry Software lawsuits, and thus I am suggesting it again with this newest wave of lawsuits.


        [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Siemens Industry Software Inc. software copyright case and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your circumstances), you can e-mail us at [email protected], you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your Siemens Industry Software case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

        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.

          Future-Pacing Copyright Infringement Tracking Amazon Fire TV Devices.

          Identifying the risks of installing and using Kodi software on an Amazon Fire TV device, and specifically, how a copyright holder can sue for copyright infringement is the subject of this article.

          amazon-fire-tv-image

          We are able to forecast and predict with accuracy what movies will be the subjects of future lawsuits.  We are able to predict trends based on filing patterns of which copyright holders have sued, where they have sued, and how their attorneys will react based on legal precedents in a particular court or with a particular judge.

          And, we have been proactive with developers of software, even getting into public heated arguments with the developers (e.g., with the Popcorn Time software developers as to why they put their customers at risk for being sued (at the time, for promoting a fake VPN feature which masked the browsing of copyrighted titles, yet exposed the IP address of a user of that software during the actual acquisition or streaming of that same movie).

          This ability to forecast the future with some accuracy is not based on genius, insight, or brainpower, but it is simply based on hard work, analyzing the data, watching the trends, and understanding the technology and seeing where things can go wrong causing people to be sued.

          How copyright holders can catch those using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Device.

          In March of this year (2017), I wrote about the Dangers of Using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick device.  I actually did this analysis as a favor to one of my readers who asked me whether it was safe to do so.

          For the last 60 days, literally thousands of you have read my article, either because you were interested in the topic, or were considering doing so on your own Amazon Fire TV device.  The conclusion of the article was that you likely would not be sued for copyright infringement from using Kodi on your Amazon Fire TV device, but doing so (even with a VPN on the router) still exposed your identity to copyright holders because Amazon.com tracks every device of theirs and links them to the account holder who made the purchase of that device.  And, even IF Amazon was trustworthy in that it protected the privacy interests of its users, I expect that they would comply with a subpoena for that same information when it is signed by a federal judge in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

          Yet some of you have asked me to further elaborate on the topic, namely, how can someone actually get caught using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV device.

          QUESTION: How would the copyright holder know that an Amazon fire TV stick had been used to access the copyrighted content?

          Pornhub lawsuit exposes the dangers of Google Analytics

          FACTOR #1: GOOGLE ANALYTICS

          It took me a few seconds to think through your good question. My whole premise in the “WHY INTERNET USERS CAN GET CAUGHT VIEWING STREAMED TUBE-LIKE CONTENT” article is that copyright holders can make use of Google Analytics to determine the IP addresses of those who have viewed and streamed copyrighted video. One of the features that makes Google Analytics dangerous is that it can tell a lot of information about what kind of ‘machine’ was used to connect to the offending web page containing the copyrighted content. Was it a PC? a Laptop? a Tablet?

          The “Why I would not put Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Device” article was a bit forward thinking, in that I am addressing a problem that has not yet happened (some would say this has been the strength of our entire site — seeing a problem and reacting to it before it actually becomes a problem).

          So far, I don’t think you WOULD get caught using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Device. But because your Fire TV device uses your internet connection, it exposes your ISP and your IP address to the copyright holders. Through that, they can subpoena the ISP to obtain the account holder who was assigned that IP address, along with other information RELATED TO the offending device. E.g., the MAC ADDRESS of the device used to make the connection to the pirate site.

          While Google Analytics does not yet identify specific devices other than “Computer,” “Tablet,” “Phone,” they are always advancing their technology to provide ever more specific demographic information about the internet user who is visiting a particular site. And as much as I love the Google Analytics platform, I trust Google ‘as far as I could throw them.’ Meaning, I wouldn’t think twice before being cautious that Google would respond to a subpoena from a copyright holder and provide demographic and device-specific information in response to a subpoena signed by a federal judge.

          Amazon Tags Devices With User Accounts
          geralt / Pixabay

          FACTOR #2: AMAZON TAGS ALL ITS HARDWARE AND ASSOCIATES ALL TAGS WITH AN AMAZON ACCOUNT.

          Also, in the above paragraph, I mentioned the MAC ADDRESS of the Amazon Fire TV device. With the MAC ADDRESS, you can identify what make and model of the device is being used. Is the device a network card in a computer? A USB dongle attached to a computer? An Amazon Fire TV device? See my point?

          Lastly, as much as I love Amazon for their amazing services offered to their Prime membership members, I also wouldn’t trust them with my personal information. Specifically, they tag EACH AND EVERY AMAZON DEVICE THEY SELL. Thus, if my Echo (“Alexa”) device were stolen and found, they know that device was sold to me. They also link my account information to each and every Fire TV device and E-book reader I purchase, so even if I wipe the device, root it, and reprogram it with a better operating system, the HARDWARE (INCLUDING THE MAC ADDRESS) would not change. Thus, if I committed a crime with that Fire TV device (or stick, or e-book reader, etc.), Amazon would immediately know that device that was involved in the ‘crime’ was sold to me via my Amazon.com account.

          ANSWER: A copyright holder can, through the courts, gain access to 1) Google Analytics, 2) your ISP, 3) your Amazon.com account, or any combo thereof to identify you as being the owner of the infringing device.

          In sum, I am not saying you will be caught today if you put Kodi on your Amazon Fire TV device. I am saying that the technology is lining up in a way that a person CAN be caught using Kodi on their Amazon Fire TV device in the near future. The tech is already in use. The companies already are known to be working with authorities to comply with subpoenas and other identifying information about their users. It is only a matter of time before Amazon Fire TV stick users start calling me (like Popcorn Time users are now) asking me to represent them in a lawsuit because they have been sued for copyright infringement.

          How, hypothetically, could I get tracked and sued using Kodi on my Amazon device?

          NOTE: I don’t like doing this kind of analysis, because invariably, some enterprising ‘troll’ attorney will follow my instructions and will start suing based on how I said it could be done.  However, because the steps to do this are tedious, and since a federal judge would be reluctant to allow a copyright holder to engage in what is called a ‘fishing expedition,’ obtaining the approval to send out these subpoenas would no doubt be met with skepticism and resistance.

          If I were a copyright holder, I would identify the Kodi links to the servers or websites which are sharing my copyrighted content.  I would then file a lawsuit naming those companies or websites as defendants, and ask a judge to have them turn over the Google Analytics data surrounding those particular pages sharing my client’s copyrighted content.  Step 1.

          Then, using the Google Analytics IP address data (technology currently available and in use), I would see the IP addresses and the demographics of which IP addresses are visiting that particular page (or downloading copyrighted content from it).  Seeing the IP addresses, I would have the judge authorize me to send subpoenas to the ISPs to discover the identities of the subscribers that were assigned those IP addresses on those particular dates and time.  Step 2.

          I would then have the ISPs provide the MAC ADDRESSES of the network cards assigned to each subscriber (I do know ISPs have the capability to provide this, as 1) I have seen it provided in certain bittorrent lawsuits over the years, and 2) my own Comcast ISP goes so far as to have “Station IDs” or names of computers which have connected to their network routers, along with identifying information about the machines which have connected to their router.  I know this when I was troubleshooting a connection issue on my own router.)

          From there, I would sort and identify the device as an Amazon Fire TV device (or an Apple TV device, etc.) based on the MAC ADDRESS or identifier of the device.  I would then (with authorization of the court) send a subpoena to Amazon requesting each individuals’ account information, specifically asking 1) who purchased that device, and 2) which e-mail addresses or Amazon.com accounts have registered the device since the purchase.  Step 3.

          If Step 2 is not allowed, or if the ISP no longer has the information (e.g., if they purged the subscriber data according to their IP address retention policy), I would alternatively get the identifying information of the infringing device from Google Analytics.  [As far as I know, as of writing this article on 5/5/2017, this information is not yet available, but the technology to capture it is present.]  I would then contact Amazon.com and follow Step 3, above.

          In Summary

          No I don’t think you would get caught using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV device.  But because you COULD get caught and sued (now, AND in the future when technology advances, even slightly), why risk it when there are ways of obtaining the same content but taking Amazon 100% out of the picture (eliminating all risk of exposure)?  As soon as you introduce the Fire TV stick (or any device registered to a company, whether that is Amazon, Apple, Samsung, or any other manufacturer), you increase your exposure to be sued.  This is true, even if you are using a VPN on the router to which that device is connecting to access the pirated content (because the manufacturer still knows that device is registered to YOU).

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