Troll Ira Siegel was ordered to disclose how much money he extorted from Does

Posted: August 25, 2011 by SJD in Copyright Enforcement Group
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Ira M. Siegel

Ira Siegel is one of the most sinister and cynical figures on the copyright trolling arena. He participates in setting up shameless honeypot schemes to profit from alleged copyright infringement and his lawsuits list thousands of Does.

One of the cases this troll filed last year was “On the Cheap v. Does 1-5011”. The latest developments on this case are summarized by E-ttorney at Law™ Stewart Kellar in his blog: he wrote this post in anticipation of today’s hearing by the magistrate judge who had ordered Mr. Siegel to show a cause why his case shouldn’t be dismissed on the grounds of improper joinder and wrong jurisdiction. And today’s hearing was very interesting as expected.

Stewart Kellar did a fantastic job reporting real-time from the courtroom via Twitter — see the copy of the transcript below.

Judge Zimmerman was skeptical and visibly annoyed — not good news for the troll. But the resulting order has exceeded my expectations: among other things, judge Zimmerman has ordered to disclose the total amount plaintiff had received in settlements from any of the doe defendants. The reply is expected by August 31. Plaintiff has also been ordered to provide a copy of any form letter it had sent to any doe defendant offering a settlement:

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a judge forces a troll to disclose the extortion details. In other words, the troll was ordered to show up in the bright spot of light, and this is great: trolls’ fear of light is even stronger than their lust for money.

Twitter report by @ettorneyatlaw (Stewart Kellar)

Date: August 24, 2011
Case No: C 10-04472 BZ
Case Name: ON THE CHEAP LLC v. DOES 1-5011
Plaintiff Attorney(s): Ira Siegel
Defendant Attorney(s): for Amicus: Corynne McSherry

  • At the On The Cheap Order to Show Cause hearing. Ira Siegel is here as well as Corynne McSherry from EFF. Updates to come.
  • The On the Cheap hearing is starting. Ira Siegel and Corynne McSherry and Julie Samuels from EFF approach.
  • Judge Zimmerman is “concerned about how this case is developing, or not developing.”
  • Zimmerman has read “decisions from other courts that trouble me” and Does that have filed here raise questions.
  • Zimmerman asks the publication date of the registered copyrighted work, methods of distribution.
  • Siegel says film has been sold and is for sale. Judge heard from some of his colleagues that some films have been created just to be shared
  • Siegel “takes umbrage” that Judge Zimmerman is insinuating that this strategy is a front to share films online and sue people for it.
  • Zimmerman points out that a substantial portion of the alleged downloads happened before the copyright registration.
  • Siegel says his clients engaged Copyright Enforcement Group (Dunlap, Grubb, and Weaver) to log the IPs. Clarification: yesterday I mistakenly said Copyright Enforcement Group was Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver (USCG). They are not, DGW is not CEG AFAIK
  • Judge Zimmerman asks why the Northern District was chosen when both Siegel and Client are in LA.
  • Siegel says “based on our math” venue is proper. Zimmerman says, let’s do the math.
  • Siegel reads from a card to insult EFF as wanting “freedom from the tyranny of having to pay for content.”
  • Zimmerman brings up copyrightability of the film and whether it is a Constitutional “useful art.”
  • Siegel says to Judge Zimmerman that he intends to name defendants in October. Zimmerman asks about the form demand letters.
  • Judge wants know how a torrent swarm subjects one to jurisdiction. Siegel says being on a swarm subjects people to jurisdiction nationwide.
  • Siegel says everyone knows that most adult films are made in California. Judge Zimmerman questions that notion.
  • Zimmerman is very skeptical about Siegel wanting to conduct jx discovery on 5011 defendants.
  • Zimmerman is concerned about Siegel holding IP Address holder liable for anything that happens on their account.
  • Siegel says discovery will be complete by September and will name people by October. Will dismiss many outside of California.
  • Zimmerman asks “how would you feel” if you were being accused and don’t know if and when you’ll be named?
  • Siegel compares torrent downloading to “flash mob violence.” Says if people say they didn’t do it but say someone else did, he will sue them
  • Judge Zimmerman asks if any Circuit has ruled on these cases. Ms. McSherry says these cases aren’t filed intending to bring them to trial.
  • Judge Zimmerman says this looks like an effort to extract settlements from as many people as you can. Siegel says “this is not fair.”
  • Zimmerman has a problem saying it is purposeful availment of every state by being on a torrent. He is more troubled by jurisdiction motions
  • Zimmerman has a problem with Siegel’s basis for jurisdiction, wonders aloud whether it is subject to Rule 11.
  • Zimmerman wants to know “what happens now?” Why hasn’t anyone been served? Is concerned about improper joinder, jurisdiction and managing it
  • Zimmerman: “how do I fit 5000 defendants into my courtroom.” Siegel says he’s trying to figure out which ones to sue and where by October.
  • Siegel says “I don’t believe a class action in this type of case is appropriate.” Judge Zimmerman thinks Siegel sees the problems here.
  • Siegel says this Court “should wait to see who we sue come October.” Zimmerman says each defendant is entitled to a 7 hour depo of plaintiff
  • Zimmerman has never had subpoenas that have been out for so long. “Why don’t you just dismiss this case and bring it again when you’re ready
  • Siegel: if we name 100 here, it’s one thing if we name 5000 it’s another. Let us use our wisdom to decide who to sue.
  • Zimmerman has a problem with arguing that joinder and jurisdiction issues are premature. Says Siegel is being oxy-moronic by saying…
  • “The more unmanageable I make these cases, the more time the Court should give me to figure out what I’m going to do.”
  • Judge is bothered by the notion that Courts are being used as collection agencies. Not sure what is “just, speedy, and efficient” about this
  • Siegel says “when we have our list of defendants and the Court sees what we are doing, then they can judge it…
  • Please don’t put any hurdles in front of us yet, wait until October.”
  • Judge Zimmerman takes this case under submission.
  • @Prod_By_BLACKK Judge Zimmerman will Rule sometime [hopefully] before October. He seemed skeptical about the case and could maybe dismiss it
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Comments
  1. John Doe says:

    Holy !@#$ this is some great news. Thanks for the update. :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was watching Kellar’s twitter update yesterday as well. Siegal was trying to settle with me for $1900.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Looks like this posting made its way into Siegal’s reply to the judge’s order. He basically makes a veiled threat of defamation against this blog. What an idiot.

  4. [...] screenshot from fightcopyrighttrolls.com, a website that reposted my Twitter feed along with some colorful commentary about Mr. Siegel and his tactics.  He uses this post in an attempt to demonstrate that he and his [...]

  5. [...] his order where Stewart Keller brilliantly live-tweeted (see his twitter feed which was re-posted here). As a result of the hearing, the judge asked Siegel some pretty specific questions and ordered him [...]

  6. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as [...]

  7. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as [...]

  8. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as [...]

  9. [...] Ironically, while critics FightCopyrightTrolls Siegel. For the anonymous domain WHOIS enforcement of copyright to prevent Siegel with companies in these cases the field of protection of same [...]

  10. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as [...]

  11. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman voiced unhappiness with a skip of swell in a case, as good as a [...]

  12. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman voiced unhappiness with a skip of swell in a case, as good as a [...]

  13. Joe says:

    I would think that once you upload the content as copyrightenforcementgroup does, you are releasing your rights by making it available for free via that medium.

    • That is reasonable from a common sense viewpoint, but I have no idea if this argument will fly in a court. I just don’t know, have not seen any precedent, so if anyone points me to something like that, I will appreciate it.

      Nonetheless, as I understand, uploading files does fall under the “unclean hands” doctrine and can be a valid defense. The only problem is that to use this defense a defendant should acknowledge that he shared the file in question, which is risky, and as such is not advisable. This is a fallback strategy, so to employ it one should first request a stricter proof of alleged infringement from plaintiff. IP address alone is NOT a strict proof and most likely won’t be considered by a court.

      Lawyer Jason Sweet replies to my question about unclean hands here.

  14. True says:

    [sophisticatedjanedoe] I did not simply delete this comment in order to illustrate how low copyright trolls and those lawyers piggybacking on their scam can fall.

    So, read these lies and don’t succumb to fears; it is pure bluff, and being confronted with a slightest resistance, trolls’ arguments melt like frozen urine.


    It really really stinks but people are getting sued all over the country in federal AND state courts. The federal ones are the only ones that you can search, but I got sued in state court and ended up settling for $7500 with US Copyright Group. I could have gotten out for $3500 with the letter I got but I went ahead and agred to the $7500 settlement since my attorney wanted $10,000 on retainer just to file an answer. Take my advice: settle early, and try to do it yourself. Call the law firm and tell them you have an unsecured router, and offer them $1000 less than what they ask for and see if they will take it. You might be pleasantly surprised, and if they won’t agree, you arent out ANY MONEY. The copyright defense lawyers are just as bad as the ones doing the suing. This site definitely has it right: www legalcopyrightreform com I wish i’d seen it 6 months ago before i rolled the dice and blew the whole thing off. I keep reading “don’t feed the trolls, don’t settle”, but the people shooting that off arent going to be there to pay my attorney when I get sued. it is easy to just say “don’t pay” but they don’t have to deal with the conseuqences. I am all for this coalition group’s stance–they need to revise the whole copyright act!!!

    • WTF is legalcopyrightreform com ? This site starts on a good note cursing copyright trolls and piggy-backers but then suddenly turns 180° and advices to settle with scumbags, OMG! A fifth column. I’m going to do anything I can to bring this site to the light of day. It was a big mistake, Malloch O’Brennan, to bring this link to my attention.

  15. Baxter says:

    Regarding “Copyright Enforcement Groups”, please check this out and enjoy:

    http://www.ceg-intl.com/p2p.php

    “The flagship service of the Copyright Enforcement Groups allows content owners to monetize peer-to-peer (P2P) activity and realize revenues from an unexpected source, internet piracy. Infringers are tracked 24/7/365, automatically receive a “pre-settlement” offer by email and process payments or purchase goods via Copyright Enforcement Group’s branded collections website at http://www.copyrightsettlements.com.
    [...]”

    Look also at their partners: http://www.ceg-intl.com/partner.php

    “Law Offices of Ira M. Siegel
    United States law office concentrating in Intellectual Property Protection & Enforcement – Patent, Trademark And Copyright Law.

    Schulenberg & Schenk Rechtsanwalte
    European law office based in Germany with areas of practice that include copyright, media, press, new media, and more. ”

    Take care and many greetings from Germany, Baxter ;-)

    • Thank you! I’m aware of that (did not dig deep yet though), that’s why i wrote that Ira Siegel “participates in shameful honeypot schemes”. He was offended by that, what a hypocrisy! Truth hurts. If I would make totally bogus claim, for example that he never brushes his teeth and stinks, he would just ignore me.

      I’ll probably cover CEG in a separate post.

  16. Baxter says:

    Well, it also sounds like the typical “Turn Piracy Into Profit” slogan, created by DigiProtect (also ripping people in the U.S. off).

    And here is an overview on how it works. So, if you are interested, then please take some time and check out the following documents:

    – A presentation (english) on how the business modell can work for them:

    http://www.webfact-test.de/hc/english/ppt/praesentation_en_gesamt.ppt

    – A document, which gives an impression of the dimension we are talking about. We actually need to think globally! In this case it’s some correspondance adressed from Germany to Great Britain. VERY interesting!

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/digiprotect-fax-udo-kornmeier-an-brian-miller-davenport-lyons

    – Here is a leak of a “framework benchmark agreement” between DigiProtect and John Stagliano / Evil Angel.

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/framework-benmark-agreement-digiprotect-evil-angel

    – And here you can find an interesting article on BBC-online. Title: “Cash demand over ‘porn downloads'”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/technology/newsid_7766000/7766448.stm

    Including an interview with John Stagliano with regards to those leaked contracts (see above). Example:
    ———————–
    “Many of the letters seen by Newsbeat indicate that DigiProtect is acting on behalf of one of the biggest adult studios in the United States, Evil Angel, run by American porn mogul John Stagliano. When contacted, Mister Stagliano appeared to be unaware of the £500 DigiProtect is demanding from alleged file-sharers to settle out of court. “It’s not my understanding that they ask for anything near that. I think the amount was $50 (£34) or €50 (£43),” he said.
    “I would be very surprised and I wouldn’t be happy because it would mean it was completely misrepresented to me.”
    DigiProtect refused to comment directly for this article.
    ———————–

    OK! That’s it for the moment. I still have tons of information material, if anyone is interested!? Please don’t hesitate, because the CRIMINAL is in fact not on this side of the table.
    The Judge Zimmermann case could be a big chance. I hope that the attorneys keep on demanding the information. I would be a big success…I almost guarantee! A no-brainer, so to speak… :-)

    Anyway, just let me know if I can do anything in order to help.
    The email adress I put in is correct, communication is possible…

    Take care, Baxter

    —————————————————————————

    P.S.:
    I noticed, that you also comment on “BaseProtect”. Maybe you are interested in this nice leak:

    A service contract between them and a German attorney:

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/schutt-waetke-baseprotect-service-contract

    And “Baseprotect” is actually the same as “Logistep” and “Guardaley”. Speaking of… please take a look at this (your honeypot schemes are actually confirmed…):

    http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/massachusetts/madce/1:2010cv12043/132951/55/9.pdf
    ;-)

    ——————————————————————————
    Last but not least regrading the “Copyright Enforcement Group” another link:

    –> http://digitalantipiracyagency.com
    –> Services are almost )or exact) the same: http://digitalantipiracyagency.com/services.html
    –> And the support is done by….? Exactly: supportteam@copyrightenforcementgroup.com (see below)
    “If there are any questions regarding this Privacy Policy you may email us at: supportteam@copyrightenforcementgroup.com, or send a letter to:

    Digital Anti-Piracy Agency
    875 N. Douglas Street
    El Segundo CA 90245″

    http://digitalantipiracyagency.com/support.html

    • Oh, thank you so much! This is a wealth of information. Bringing scumbags to the light of day is not my main occupation in life, and I’m a bit busy these days, but I do want to dig into this and sure will communicate with you. Thanks again!

      J.

      Alternatively, if you would like to write a post on this blog I will be more than happy to accommodate that.

      I have one question right away though. Is another German IP-harvester, Media Protector somehow related to the others you’ve mentioned? Media Protector was employed by (or the other way around) Andrew Crossley, as by my troll Gill Sperlein.

  17. Baxter says:

    OK, just a quick one as it is very late over here (2 am, Wednesday morning) and I need to get up for work in approx. 4 hours… I will answer your question in detail tomorrow, O.K. (takes a little longer… ;-) ).
    In general, they are all the same. One big “family”, if you like. Even with the same “software”. To me they are only tax saving companies generating some IP adresses from their own (honeypot-)servers.

    Until tomorrow, please feel free to read the follwing documents regarding “MediaProtector” (aka. webphalanx.de, ….):

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/media-protector-declaration-of-michael-eichner-filewatch-10-august-2010

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/media-protector-email-leak-email-an-acs-law-testdownload

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/acs-law-email-to-media-protector

    And here is a short movie-clip about “Logistep”. They also use the software named “Filewatch”:

    Listen to what the CEO of Logistep, Richard M. Schneider, is saying:
    “We don’t watch what they are doing, we only watch what they do with us”

    –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfGrmsNQHf0

    Good night!

    _________________________________________________________
    –> more links: http://pdfcast.org/pdf/bunte-tuete-15-07-2011
    (a whole bunch of of english and german documents)

  18. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as [...]

  19. jd says:

    In the rulings the judge does not tell plaintiffs to notify isp’s that subpoena’s are quashed and to notify the isp’s as such. Also tells plaintiffs to notify anyone he already has names for, or anyone’s name plaintiff obtains in the future, that they have been released. Usually the the judge would include this in their orders. Does this mean the outstanding subpoena’s are still valid? If so this is open ended, meaning that plaintiff can keep receiving names / addresses so implying they can keep harassing john / Jane defendants. I agree he was direct, falling barely short off saying extortion. Is this what the judge intends on taking care of on 09/09/2011? Many deadlines are 9/11/2011. If everyone except 17 was severed how can this be right that plaintiff can still get does identity? Is it possible that subpoena’s can still be allowed to obtain personal information of individuals no longer being sued

  20. Baxter says:

    sophisticatedjanedoe,

    I’ll put something together for you. Please don’t mind, that It takes a little bit to consolidate all the information properly. I’ll definately come back on this subjet matter.

    Until then I can offer some stuff ,you probably know already (?).:

    1. Email correspondence, Media-Protector (Germany) – ACS:Law (Great Britain):

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/media-protector-email-leak-email-an-acs-law-testdownload

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/acs-law-email-to-media-protector

    2. Declaration of Michael Eichner (which you probably know quite well… ;-)

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/media-protector-declaration-of-michael-eichner-filewatch-10-august-2010

    3. As Media-Protector pretends to use “File Watch”, I also add a short video clip. It’s a (BBC-)presentation of “Logistep” (also using “File Watch”). The CEO, Richard M. Schneider, gives some interesting interviews.
    He says things like this: “We don’t watch what they are doing, we only watch what they do with us”.

    To me, this is rather a confession… It also matches with the Media-Protector email correspondance (see above, first link):

    “Dear Terence,

    regarding the test monitoring in BitTorrent: can you please specify whether you require us to being able to distinguish whether the user was downloading OR making the work available?
    If this distinguishing feature is required we have to conduct testdownloads.
    We will be able log higher numbers if testdownloads are NOT required – yet we would not be able to distinguish whether the user was logged because he downloaded OR made available the work to us!”

    ————————————————————————-

    *BINGO*! Well, I would send those leaked emails definately to court… ;-)

    Take care, Baxter

  21. Baxter says:

    Sorry! Forgot the link… Here you go:

  22. Baxter says:

    @sophisticatedjanedoe, quick question:

    Are you not authorizing certain comments, or what happend to my comments with regars to “Media-Protector”?

    Thanks, Baxter

    • Thank you, I know some of the stuff you just told, but not everything, so your input is invaluable.

      As for the delayed comments, it’s not my fault, seems like a WordPress’ bug: I set comments to maximum openness (i.e. no pre-moderation), but surprisingly sometimes comments are held for moderation. Have no idea why. I receive emails when it happens, so if I’m near my computer, I react promptly.

      Also sometimes comments go to spam, and in this case I have to proactively browse the spam folder. So if anyone commented, but his/her comment is not appearing for long time, shoot me an e-mail.

  23. Baxter says:

    OK, thank you… and Sorry!

    I apologize for those double postings, probably due to this worldpress issue, you mentioned. I promise to be more patient next time.

    Good night, Baxter

    • No need to apologize. I clean up when I see double posts. Given the wealth of information you provide, these small inconveniences don’t deserve mentioning.

      Good night.

      • jd says:

        I don’t get it, now the judge has cancelled the subpoenas for under seal does. How can the other does subpoenas still be valid? I thought you had to be involved in a lawsuit to be subpoenad? He, like I thought is still allowing early discovery of dismissed does…. Any insight as to what will ultimately happen?

        • I think that subpoenas are still valid. If Ira obtains a list of Does from a particular ISP now, he can still in theory pursue that Does in the future, but for doing that he has to file new lawsuit(s). My conclusions came from looking at the latest documents on the case:

          1. Judge Zimmerman granted a couple of motions to quash filed semi-anonymously (i.e. with Doe# and IP address specified) on 9/12, 6 days after his famous order to severe all defendants except one. So the fact that the judge granted motions to quash implies that subpoenas are still valid. I don’t know if there are any pure anonymous motions pending on this case.

          2. I see a bunch of motions filed this week, all of them under the seal: I expect them to be granted soon. Usually I advise not to use your IP in a motion, even under the seal, because historically such motions were denied and the risk that an IP address becomes known to a troll was very high. In this particular case (and other judge Zimmerman’s cases), though, I’m sure it is safe to file a motion under the seal using your IP address – it is implausible that judge Zimmerman won’t grant them all, especially if you reside not in Nothern California.

          I hope that judge Zimmerman’s actions create a good precedent, and if other judges follow his steps, my advice against using IP address in motions to quash will be modified.

        • jd says:

          I filed a motion to quash or modify subpoena and sent a copy to my isp. They said they would not release my info as long as I sent one in. They said they would not send it in and another subpoena would have to be issued. Does that sound right? I filed with only doe number and isp #. Was not completely sure how to do it under seal pro se. With what my isp told me I felt reasonably safe doing it this way. Any thoughts? Should I work on reading it under deal? In it I mentioned that I was dismissed from this case, so my subpoena should be invalid.

  24. [...] a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as [...]

  25. [...] una audiencia el pasado Agosto, el Juez Bernard Zimmerman expresó su inconformidad con la falta de avances en el caso, así como [...]

  26. [...] niega a decir ante la corte que tan rentable son los acuerdos con BitTorrent. | Tecnocápsulas on Troll Ira Siegel was ordered to disclose how much money he extorted from Doeslarry on Updated Motion to Quash or Modify Subpoenasophisticatedjanedoe on Updated Motion to [...]

  27. Doe DOA says:

    I received a notice today saying I downloaded some porn or something from my ISP. My wife opened it. And I have no idea what the hell it is. I don’t even use torrents, I could watch it for free on a website with no penalty. Why would I download?

  28. Doe1490 says:

    I have the same issue and received this subpoena today – what do we do now – we are scared and dont know why this is happening.. my wife has isp acct and im so worried – any advide or direction is appreciated – WE NEED HELP – god bless

  29. [...] what I meant back in September when I said that Ira Siegel participates in shameless honeypot schemes. Any accusation of copyright [...]

  30. [...] justice abuse, mass bittorrent lawsuit, troll, unethical lawyer 0 Remember how judge Zimmerman asked troll Ira Siegel uncomfortable (for a troll) questions? Siegel refused to answer those questions: I [...]

  31. Chad says:

    So I totally screwed up before i did any research, logged into their site, checked the numbers, even called and left my name and number and asked to be called back. Can’t find anything about this guy more recently than 2011, can anyone shed some light on whats currently going on?

  32. MQIG&^## says:

    I just got this e-mail from Ira:

    Notice of Unauthorized Use of Copyrights Owned by AKM Images / GSI Media, Case #: W457958‏

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
    Hash: SHA1

    *** Note to Peer 1 Dedicated Hosting: please forward the entirety of this notice to the owner of XXXXXXXXXXXXX.com ***

    July 22, 2013
    Re: Notice of Unauthorized Use of Copyrights Owned by AKM Images / GSI Media, Case #: XXXXXXXXX

    CEG TEK International (“CEG”) represents AKM Images / GSI Media, who owns all right, title and interest, including copyrights, in and to the work listed below (hereinafter the “Work”). (Some individuals may find certain words in titles of works to be offensive. CEG apologizes in advance if this is the case.)

    CEG has detected the unauthorized use of the Work listed below. CEG’s records and those of AKM Images / GSI Media indicate that you do not currently hold a proper license to display, reproduce, or otherwise use the Work on newsnumerology.com.

    Evidence:
    Work Title: Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green bring their Baby Bliss back to Hawaii, Image 3677
    Copyright Owner: AKM Images / GSI Media
    Unauthorized Domain Name: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.com
    Unauthorized Page URL: http://XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.com/category/natal-chart/
    Unauthorized File URL: http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2012/startracks/120709/megan-fox-240.jpg
    Timestamp: 2013-06-24 16:16:35 EDT
    PDF Evidence File URL: https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/evidence/?u=XXXXXXXXXXXXX;p=XXXXXX

    You are hereby notified that unauthorized use of AKM Images / GSI Media’s Work on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.com is a violation of the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 106. In this regard, request is hereby made that you either:

    (i) SETTLE & CEASE AND DESIST –
    CEG informs you that you may be held liable for monetary damages, including court costs and/or attorney fees if a lawsuit is commenced against you for unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the Work listed above. You have until August 21, 2013 to access the settlement offer and settle online.

    (ii) PRODUCE PROOF OF LICENSE –
    Produce proof of license for your use of the Work by emailing it to: support@cegtek.com. If you are in possession of a valid license from AKM Images / GSI Media for the use of the Work, CEG apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. AKM Images / GSI Media has a diligent protection policy to ensure consistent, optimum value and quality for its loyal customers.

    If you do not already hold a valid license or settle as described above, CEG informs you that you may be held liable for monetary damages, including court costs and/or attorney fees if a lawsuit is commenced against you for unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the Work listed above. You have until August 21, 2013 to access the settlement offer and settle online.

    If you fail to respond, settle, or produce proof of license within the prescribed time period, the above matter may be referred to attorneys representing the Work’s owner for legal action. At that point, the original settlement offer will no longer be an option, and the settlement amount will increase significantly.

    Nothing contained or omitted from this correspondence is, or shall be deemed to be, either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of AKM Images / GSI Media’s rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.

    The information in this notice is accurate. CEG has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. CEG and the undersigned declare under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of AKM Images / GSI Media.

    Sincerely,

    Ira M. Siegel, Esq.
    Legal Counsel

    CEG TEK International
    8484 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 515
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    Toll Free: (877) 526-7974
    Email: support@cegtek.com

    July 22, 2013
    Re: Notice of Unauthorized Use of Copyrights Owned by AKM Images / GSI Media, Case #: XXXXXXXXXXX

    CEG TEK International (“CEG”) represents AKM Images / GSI Media, who owns all right, title and interest, including copyrights, in and to the work listed below (hereinafter the “Work”). (Some individuals may find certain words in titles of works to be offensive. CEG apologizes in advance if this is the case.)

    CEG has detected the unauthorized use of the Work listed below. CEG’s records and those of AKM Images / GSI Media indicate that you do not currently hold a proper license to display, reproduce, or otherwise use the Work on newsnumerology.com.

    Evidence:
    Work Title: Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green bring their Baby Bliss back to Hawaii, Image 3677
    Copyright Owner: AKM Images / GSI Media
    Unauthorized Domain Name: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.com
    Unauthorized Page URL: http://XXXXXXXXXXXXX.com/category/natal-chart/
    Unauthorized File URL: http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2012/startracks/120709/megan-fox-240.jpg
    Timestamp: 2013-06-24 16:16:35 EDT
    PDF Evidence File URL: https://www.copyrightsettlements.com/evidence/?u=XXXXXXXXXXXXXX;p=XXXXXXX

    You are hereby notified that unauthorized use of AKM Images / GSI Media’s Work on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.com is a violation of the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 106. In this regard, request is hereby made that you either:

    (i) SETTLE & CEASE AND DESIST –
    CEG informs you that you may be held liable for monetary damages, including court costs and/or attorney fees if a lawsuit is commenced against you for unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the Work listed above. You have until August 21, 2013 to access the settlement offer and settle online.

    OR

    (ii) PRODUCE PROOF OF LICENSE –
    Produce proof of license for your use of the Work by emailing it to: support@cegtek.com. If you are in possession of a valid license from AKM Images / GSI Media for the use of the Work, CEG apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. AKM Images / GSI Media has a diligent protection policy to ensure consistent, optimum value and quality for its loyal customers.

    If you do not already hold a valid license or settle as described above, CEG informs you that you may be held liable for monetary damages, including court costs and/or attorney fees if a lawsuit is commenced against you for unauthorized copying and/or distribution of the Work listed above. You have until August 21, 2013 to access the settlement offer and settle online.

    If you fail to respond, settle, or produce proof of license within the prescribed time period, the above matter may be referred to attorneys representing the Work’s owner for legal action. At that point, the original settlement offer will no longer be an option, and the settlement amount will increase significantly.

    Nothing contained or omitted from this correspondence is, or shall be deemed to be, either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of AKM Images / GSI Media’s rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.

    The information in this notice is accurate. CEG has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. CEG and the undersigned declare under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of AKM Images / GSI Media.

    Sincerely,

    Ira M. Siegel, Esq.
    Legal Counsel

    CEG TEK International
    8484 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 515
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    Toll Free: (877) 526-7974
    Email: support@cegtek.com

    • doecumb says:

      (Usual disclaimer: This is not to be construed as legal advice and is for discussion purposes only. I am not a lawyer.)

      (1) Leave out any identifying information in future posts, for now.

      (2) It’s better to know more. Regrettably with these things, some time educating yourself about these things is necessary, even if you are fully represented by a lawyer.

      Make sure you’ve read the FAQ here, at DTD, at EFF and other places.

      http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/faq-men/

      http://dietrolldie.com/newbie-noob-start-here/

      https://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls

      (3) Your ISP has either its own legal department or an outsourced representative. Call them for information, but be wary of taking any advice they “offer”. Some ISP reps have given advice that is misleading or worse in the past.

      See if you can find out if they “just” forwarded an email at CEG’s “request”, and what, if any information they released to the trolls. Find out if any court case has “compelled” your ISP to release your info.

      (4) If the troll does not have your information but were passed on the CEG threat letter, then CEG would have to file cases both to get your information and then to make the allegation. This would be one step further away than a more common case for Does.

      A more immediate Doe either has been directly identified by the trolls, or is awaiting a court ruling about whether his/her ISP will disclose personal information.

      The low settlement offer seems like the phishing-type scam where trolls have no information but are emailing/having emails forwarded blindly in hopes of getting quick, easy cash. We don’t know of CEG taking any of the blind phishing cases further. They get cash just by demands recently. They are avoiding the bother and risk of getting the civil court system involved, even in a first step.

      (6) If the troll has direct info about you, things are further along. Get more info fairly quickly.

      (7) Even at an early stage, it may be useful to get a free consultation from a lawyer who has experience pushing back against trolls.

      (8) Avoid speaking to and contacting the trolls. It’s usually risky with nothing to be gained. Or see the RPR tactic:

      http://dietrolldie.com/2013/03/14/update-to-the-richard-pryor-response-or-what-to-tell-the-troll-when-he-calls/http://

      (9) Thanks for giving information (with personal identifiers redacted) about recent copyright troll scamming.

  33. Ed Peterson says:

    P.P.S.: I’d TOTALLY be interested in filing a class action suit against this extortionist!!!

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