Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK)

While CEG-TEK‘s lawyers do some “classing” copyright trolling, i.e. sue masses in frivolous bittorent lawsuits, this shakedown outfit specializes on sending small amount claims (as small as $200) to its victims and direct them to a payment site. This activity includes pursuing amateur sites that post copyrighted images and other shakedown activities in addition to targeting bittorent users. While this page is an appropriate place to discuss the lawsuits initiated by this troll group, attorney Rob Cashman has by far more expertise when it comes to the small amount claims please read multiple article about CEG-TEK by Rob and inquire advice there.

Trolls

CEG-TEK has its own “expert” (not certified, of course) Jon Nicolini.

Relevant posts
Comments
  1. anon says:

    My settlement date is coming up (no suit or litigation yet)… I won’t say I’m innocent (nor admit guilt)… All I hear is I have nothing to worry about, they are into me for about 13 titles ($2600 to settle now)… advice?

    • anonymous says:

      I am not an attorney. But, if all you have received is an email from CEG, that was forwarded by your ISP… DO NOTHING.

      If it is a subpoena, then consult an attorney.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a crap shoot. Most people say the CEG doesn’t move past E-Mails but I have seen them do so in the past. I would say if you do decide to settle then don’t do it through the weblink in the email. Don’t even log into the site. I would do so through an attorney that can (likely) get you a blanket settlement for any and all CEG clients and alleged infringements before the settlement date. Depends on your comfort level, how much you have to lose, and if you did it. It sounds like you did so you have to decide if it’s worth the risk of others finding out, if you have assets to lose, etc. Since it’s only $200 per movie now I’m assuming it is just an email with a website link telling you to login and pay. This means an actual lawsuit has not been filed yet.

      If it were me, I would do nothing and see if they actually initiate a suit against you (or a doe collective) in the future. If they do, your ISP will have to notify you well in advance of giving out data (unless it’s a fly by night ISP as they aren’t real good about timing). Comcast for example usually notifies you 20+ days in advance. If that were to happen, then I would get an attorney and try to settle before they give your info out. Aain, you want a blanket settlement/release. Be advised though, the settlement amount jumps to around $3000 per movie if they actually initiate a suit, subpoena your ISP, etc.

  2. CBD says:

    @anon

    Could you keep us up todate on what is happening. I am in the same situation as you only a few weeks behind and would be very interested on how this progresses.

    Thanks

    • anon says:

      I had an attorney settle it for me for $1000 which is fantastic compared to $2600, and I get to remain anonymous! The attorney I used was Billy Joe Mills he is suggested by this site in the Illinois section (actually his associate Ben Kailin did the leg work because Billy is out of the country right now). The law firm is called firmequity and they are located in Chicago. They charged a flat fee of $425 to negotiate a settlement for everything, and if I chose not to settle, they offered to shield me. They were very nice and professional and how it worked in my case was the whole time Ben was negotiating with Ira’s goons, he was back and forth emailing me almost auction style and then I didn’t hear anything for a bit (he did say the guy he was talking to was long winded) but then I got an e-mail saying they agreed to go from 13 cases to 5 cases and now I only owe $1000! They nor I will guarantee these results as typical but legal fees included, I get out of this thing for $1425 and I get to remain anonymous as opposed to originally owing $2600 and risking letting these goons find out who I am. Good Luck to everyone still losing sleep over this.

      • SJD says:

        You are trying to convince yourself an us that you did the right thing giving your wallet to a robber — the one who implied that he had a gun. Well, in the absence of information it would be indeed the right choice. But majority knows that the robber does not have a gun, even a knife, and his muscles are dystrophied from drug abuse. For the god’s sake, it’s not Randazza or even Prenda, it’s CEG! I’m not aware of a single instance of them inflicting any harm to anyone who did not succumb to their threats. This is CEG’s MO: to stay under radar and don’t push hard: there will always be enough people who freak out an pay.

        Of course there are people who treat $1000 as a pocket money, but for the overwhelming majority it is a significant amount.

        • anon says:

          I was mostly paying for peace of mind, like insurance money, more like mob “protection money.” I wouldn’t say the way I handled it is right for everyone by they way, $1400 is about a full 2 week paycheck, but I like to lead a boring risk free life. I know I broke rule #1 when I fed the trolls, but I just wanted to quit worrying. Sorry to disappoint SJD, I don’t mean any disrespect and I really appreciate what you do with this site. I just know that there are others like me that don’t like to take chances even when those chances are less than .01%, and I wanted to share my side to give them peace of mind. Also, I contacted my ISP Charter’s legal team and they said since I would be sued in St. Clair County, IL, a hot-bed for frivolous lawsuits, it may be best to settle. They said if I was out of this area not to worry about it, but they knew for a fact that CEG has a lawyer (actually an ex-judge talk about scum) around here that they use occasionally in these matters.

        • SJD says:

          CEG in St. Clair county? Lawyer a former judge? Are you sure you don’t confuse things? The only racket that have been going on in St. Clair county of Illinois is done by Prenda. And a former judge, O’Malley, was a lawyer for Lightspeed for a short period of time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon:
        After settling; did you hear anything else from Ira and CEGTEK?

        We got a similar notice for multiple titles of only 2 movies. Even though I know nobody in this house did it, we can still be held liable. We are thinking of settling as long as their are no repercussions.

        • anon says:

          I settled through an attorney so I got to remain anonymous. I haven’t heard from them since. If I knew for sure that I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have paid a dime and I only paid for 100% piece of mind. Good luck with your choice

      • anonymous says:

        Hey Anon,
        or anyone else who has settled…
        Did your attorney get you a release from most of CEG’s clients? My time to settle has been up for 5 months, but the reason I did not settle was fear of future letters. Anyone who has communicated with CEG please let us know if the were willing to work out a deal like that. Have you ever heard back from them? Was your release by IP (my fear is my ip is different and they will later find out another IP used by me.)
        Any advice is greatly appreciated. Prenda is small stuff compared to CEG these days, CEG actually scares people into thinking they are world class, so anyone who dealt with them your insight is greatly appreciated.
        Thanks,

        • NintenDOE 64 says:

          just carefully read the john nicolini declaration, the claims are phony. they are carefully crafted to look like copyright infringement when in reality the content holder agreed to essentially give the monitored file away. look at the complaint in this case: 1:13-cv-10315, Dore v. New Sensation, CEG, and Marvin Cable. attached is an exhibit showing that these guys were openly advertising settlement based litigation, and if you read the nicolini declaration you will find that the company doing the suing with the CEG’s assistance had “contracted” the ceg to monitor the file in question WITHOUT doing anything to prevent any such copying before any such copying has even taken place. this all being done in secret with the content owner’s knowledge is indicative of unclean hands, lashes, and aquiscence (aka secret or silent permission). thus, the work was essentially given away and no infringement happened. I understand that piracy is illegal however not every torrent download is an act of piracy, remember these guys are just preying upon the misconceptions of a hot button issue. the whole CEG scam closely resembles the auto insurance fraud scam that plagued the Massachusetts courts in the 1990′s. look at all their evidence and how they identify you, if it is an IP with a snap shot observation, then it proves nothing and is insufficient as evidence of infringement (see judge otis writes rulings found on this site). just dig, question, and never never only pick on the easy points warranting dismissal.

        • Anonymous says:

          If your time to settle has been up for 5 months then the infringement they are accusing you of is at least 6 months old.

          Read the original complaint in any of CEG’s attempted shakedowns and you will see the timestamps of all of the infringements they have attempted to discover are all fresher than that.

          Furthermore all of those cases last year were severed for abuse of joinder and CEG’s goons have not filed new court cases in more than 7 months.

          You are home free at this point. Forget it and sleep easy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi annon, i was just wondering, did CEG ever come back with more charges, after you settled?

  3. CBD says:

    @anon

    I am actually very thankful for your response. It is comforting to me to at least know what to do, to have a game plan. I don’t know how this works but would that law firm be able to also handle my situation if I live is a state north of IL?

    My situation is that I have been sent an email from my ISP informing me that they have (what I see is identical to others from this group with just different “evidence”). The ISP said they will give nothing to them without a valid court order. I did not go to the site to pay the settlement at all, not even to look but did some Google work to find out what it was all about and found this WONDERFUL site.

    So I have a bit of time until my “time is up” to settle. But if anyone has advice for me I would be VERY appreciative!

    Thanks everyone.

    • anon says:

      @SJD, maybe they were referring to O’Malley, and maybe they confused Lightspeed and CEG, either way they suggested I settle based on location. Or the more likely case is that they get a percentage of the settlement… Either way, it’s done, and I don’t regret my decision but I am also no fun in Vegas. Again, I am not advocating my way as right, in fact I often wished I took more chances, I just wanted to share a side of this that isn’t often discussed here.

    • doecumb says:

      Here are some general points, in case they are not known:

      (a) Unless there’s a court order, the “deadline” that some troll servant has set trying to turn up the fear. The trolls will maybe get around to a next step if and when they want. A common troll tactic is for non-responders is to give a follow-up notice with something like: extending the deadline, raising the amount of the demand, “asking” the Doe’s lawyer to contact them immediately. All these steps aim to raise a Doe’s worries, even when the general situation remains the same. The trolls basically have an accusation.

      (b) You only need an in-state lawyer for responding to direct court orders to you and preparing for trial. That is, for negotiating with the trolls or simply shielding you from harassing troll messages, any U.S. lawyer will do. In fact, if you and an out-of-state lawyer really wanted to represent you on the remote chance of having to go to court in your state, there’s a method for that. “Pro hace vice” is a process available in some places for a lawyer outside of that jurisdiction.

      Many Doe defendant lawyers will have an initial discussion for free. Exploratory calls can be made to see what the options are, if you are at a point where profesional legal are needed.

      (c) Do I understand your situation correctly, that the trolls have basically sent an allegation for an I.P. address at a certain time, which your ISP conveyed to you?

      If the trolls have not subpoenaed a Doe’s ISP for the alleged title, they must FIRST file a case for legal discovery, to get Doe contact information. Getting a Doe’s direct contact information is typically used for the purposes of making more demands, threatening to sue if the Doe doesn’t pay up.

      So, (unless a Doe has needlessly given trolls contact information already), the troll’s have a two step process just to BEGIN the process of approaching trial. So in a way, prior to filing for discovery, a copyright troll is making a threat that they’re going to make a threat.

      Trolls will gladly take your money at any time.If it was one of the small percent of times the trolls followed through, and if negotiation were necessary, there would be possibilities to negotiate further down an unlikely road.

      The troll method continues to be trying to get the most money with the least effort. It takes time and money for trolls to go further with an individual Doe. They can make much more money per hour going on to scare other Does than proceeding to make a case against a single Doe.

    • J. D. Victim 100 says:

      Well I fit their MO perfectly. I have a public position, am required to report any and all legal actions to my employer, I am required to report any legal investigations to my licensing board, I have a very conservative wife, I have two impressionable children. Just the threat made me lose sleep the entire time the “pre-settlement offer” was open. I did a little “Google research,” but not enough. Any public defense was high political capital risk. I hired an attorney to settle. Sorry I didn’t take the recommended action. I have learned how to lockdown my wireless router. I whole heartily support all the actions and sharing of information to shut these guys down—quickly.

      • SJD says:

        Don’t get me wrong, guys: I didn’t want to imply that I somehow have the authority to judge the actions of those who decided to settle. Every case is unique. While every time when I hear that someone has decided to bail out, it makes me sad, but not angry: I repeated many times, that there are circumstances when there is no other choice. What makes me upset is when people settle without a slightest attempt to understand the situation, to evaluate options, research, talk to lawyers. I.e. to make some effort. If your decision is informed, it’s you decision, and I have no right to insult you with my whining.

        • JD says:

          Can I ask a simple question? I know everyone is innocent here, but just for argument’s sake, does all the advice above change if a person is, in fact, guilty?

          If you are innocent and can prove it, I suppose that is one thing, but what if a person really is guilty? Is it better to just pay the “Stupid Tax” and move on?

        • SJD says:

          A valid question. My (and I thing the majority’s) position is the following:

          - First and foremost I care about the innocents.

          - Yet I do care about those “guilty”: even the punishment they already suffer (in a form of harassment, depression and uncertainty) is disproportional. 3000 is also too much. 30,000 – 150,000 is an insult to common sense. I’m OK with some fine (~ $100) if a person admits the wrongdoing, but even then the question remains: where this money goes? To sustain the racket, and I’m not OK with it. Law is supposed to reflect the society’s current state of morals, but this law, which has the number 150,000 in it, is so lopsided, it warrants a civil disobedience. If society, by overlooking the moment when statutory fines were smuggled into the law by greedy industry dinosaurs, allows such a Kafkaesque injustice, everyone has a burden of being his own judge. If you feel guilt, good: it’s a very healthy feeling. Stop doing it — a real copyright holder who wants to limit piracy and not out there for the easy money, would be happy. If you feel it’s not enough, donate to a charity or a civil right organization. But don’t pay to the vultures.

        • DieTrollDie says:

          I will agree with SJD. If you are doing this, stop it. Even if a person is guilty, that doesn’t mean he should pay what the Trolls claims is fair. There is no fairness to this situation. The Troll gets most of the settlement from this extortion and keeps the business model rolling on.

          As far as the evidence goes, please read this article that shows how hard it can be for the Trolls to prove their case even with a guilty person.

          http://dietrolldie.com/2012/12/27/the-truth-of-the-matter-or-copyright-troll-crap-shoot/

          DTD :)

    • anonymous says:

      Hey Anonymous @April 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      When I received my notices in Nov. 2012, they stopped shaking down in court just prior to that. Can you point me to a case where the date is more recent than that? I honestly thought they were still using Nov. Dates. I hope that if anything were coming from 6 months ago it would have shown up by now, so I hope I am truly home free.

      Thanks for any insight you have.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, fellow anonymous!

        By “fresher than”, I mean that the timestamped infringements that CEG accused Does of their suits last year were less than 6 months old at the time those suits were filed. There is nothing newer that you’re missing.

        Discovery costs the trolls time and money. When they could get mass cases through and ask for hundreds or thousands of of names at once, requesting an IP that had been purged, moved, died, etc. only cost them about 40 bucks so they could afford to be sloppy. It’s much harder for them now.

        You can see that in Malibu’s single Doe cases. Those cases probably cost them $6-800 for each IP they look up. So the subscribers they are suing all have most recent infringement dates within just 10 or 15 days of the time the suit is filed.

        • anonymous says:

          Hi Anonymous! @10:13pm

          Sorry for giving more questions. One last one. Because they sent an email through the ISP (however many months ago) I thought even if they filed suit 1 year later that the ISP might delete the IP record but in their (DMCA ‘sent’ folder) would see my IP and ID me through that method. Basically do you think even with a DMCA email issued to an ISP subscriber, if they wait 1 year would all record of the DMCA notice and IP log be gone forever? I tried asking but people seem to be on the fence with this one.

          Thanks again for your input!

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t know whether a ‘DMCA sent’ folder even exists, or whether it would supersede the usual retention times for IP logs if it did. The answer to both of those questions would depend on the specific ISP.

          Keep in mind how many infringements are going on. I read a CEG amicus letter to the court last month wherein Siegel stated that he sent out 3,100 DMCA threat emails from January to March for “Fat Kid Rules The World”, a indie movie that made all of 40k at the box office and you nor anybody else ever heard of. (Obviously Siegel doesn’t want to draw attention to the fact that nearly all of his trolling is for porn, so “Fat Kid” is the token movie with clothing in it.)

          That’s 40 threats a day for just ONE of his crap titles. His mass filing porn suits list scores or hundreds of IPs over a few months for a single title in a single state alone. Do the math and figure out how many hundreds of these emails must be going out every single day. Even with a cooperative court one troll can’t possibly keep up with the paperwork to subpoena that many people. They aren’t going to put what limited resources they have into scouring last year’s log whether your ISP keeps a record that long or not.

  4. Beth says:

    Two days before my Father died last year, he received a three-page letter from Prenda Law, located in Illinois. This letter said Dad, a mid-80 year old man, who hasn’t been on the internet for many many years said Dad had violated some kind of copyright law online. The letter said they would settle out of court for $4,000.00 — other wise they would take Dad to court and he would have to pay $100,000.00. Since Dad’s antiquated computer doesn’t go online and he hadn’t used his computer for five or six years, Mom also contacted a judge, her friend who attends one of her classes. The judge told Mom that these people don’t have a leg to stand on, because they do not have authority to practice in our state. He advised her to send a copy of the letter to the Justice Department, which she did.

    Over the past few weeks, representatives of Prenda Law are now calling and leaving threatening messages on my Mother’s phone–things like, “we’ve been nice up to now. Since you haven’t responded we will be taking you to court, etc.” Mom has not responded to this barrage of bullying phone messages.

    Just before these calls began coming in, Mom, who is working on other legal matters, has attained legal representation through Legal Shield. Today we are calling our lawyers to see what can be done.

    I am VERY angry about this.

  5. NintenDOE 64 says:

    If I may be allowed to play the Devil’s advocate here, SJD, with all respect intended I ask, how is it good for a downloader to feel guilt over downloading something that could have been uploaded by the copyright holder themselves. It has already been made very public that companies like Viacom, Disney, MGM, Universal, and most of the RIAA and MPAA started this whole piracy phenomena by either funding, investing in, and/or creating the programs used or by providing the works intended for copying to begin with. Mike Mozart (i believe that’s the spelling of his name) covers this really well in his “stop sopa” youtube videos. This considered, the copyright holders are essentially the trolls themselves by creating the problem, falsifying and manipulating “infringement” data to congress for sympathy, “suing” people unreasonably, and then attempting to put control over the internet into corporate hands. When all said and done it really is and was a well played scheme.

    Continuing, what about all of the people who benefit from file sharing? local musicians are able to get their music out to the public without relying on high risk and often abusive contracts with corporate producers who, often times, take all their music and leave the artist destitute. Or what of independent film producers who cannot get their films produced or advertised because they can’t get the MPAA’s approval, it is well known that the MPAA is essentially a board of censorship run by the independent producer’s competition. What of the many major copyright holders who use torrents as a form of advertising by distributing some of their works to keep their company names known and in business. Finally, what of all those companies who complain about piracy but have greatly increased profits as a result there of, statistics have shown that piracy is actually good for media corporations by keeping public interested in would-be dead franchises such as Dragon Ball Z, owned by funimation. Sure they don’t make money off of the tv episodes but they make even money off of the collectibles, costumes, and other such merchandise that would otherwise not be on the market if the public didn’t have the continued and open access to such works. What of the public who get victimized by current copyright law? Long after a work has lost it’s value, corporate copyright owners who have no interest in producing or enabling access to recently dead or long dead works complain that people are pirating it from them and it hurts their profits when they won’t even make a digital copy available for purchase them selves. the point being that the issues surrounding modern copyright law have nothing to do with protecting the rights of creators, it is solely about enabling massive corporations control what we watch/listen to, when we watch/listen to, how we watch/listen to something and how much they can bleed out of the consumers while producing more and more crap, rather than quality works that “promote the progress of science and useful arts [U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8″. This whole copyright trolling issue has shed a true light on the real problem at hand and it isn’t just the abuses of copyright law by these scam artists, but as a whole the changes to copyright law that have been pushed by corporations such as Disney and the abusive business practices that have since then followed. I am by no means a supporter of piracy generally, however 70 – 90 years of exclusive control after the death of the creator, is excessive and there are corporations, such as righthaven who made it their sole business to own copyrights and nothing else.

    Anyway, just presenting a different view, and I do mean it all with the greatest respect. I love what everyone does here and at DTD and other such sites. I too have been a victim of trolling, only to research the core issues surrounding the case itself to find, as fact, that there is no copyright infringement. the copyright holders all agreed with companies like the CEG to use their copyrighted works to engage in these lawsuits before any of the copying complained of ever happened, thus there exists an implied contract or “permission” in which their lawsuits are entirely barred by estopple as a matter of law. Let alone the failures of evidence and the other, frankly, minor details surrounding each case. In my opinion, it seems that no one wants to shed a favorable light on anyone who uses a torrent related program but the fact of the matter is that everyone being sued by these companies, assuming they downloaded the work in question, downloaded said work lawfully. Copyright law is consent dependent, when you consent to let your work be distributed or copied for the purpose of suing all who do so you have consented to the distribution and copying and thus have no right to sue.

  6. Grumpy says:

    First, thank you very much for creating your website as it has been very helpful for me to educate myself with copyright infringement issues. I am emailing you regarding a recent email I received from my ISP, who provided an email from CEG’s Ira Siegal, stating that my IP address has been used for downloading a pornographic movie illegally. With that said, I panicked while reading the email and clicked the link CEG provided. I did not use a Web proxy (due to my panic attack), though I was able to find out the settlement price of $200. The letter states that I have until the end of March 2013 to pay the settlement.

    I have a few more weeks to “pay the settlement”, but I’m not sure what to do. If I pay the settlement, CEG will have my name and the card I used for the payment.

    I was reading the comments on your website who have received emails like this, but I don’t know what has happened to them if they decided to ignore it or pay for the settlement. Should I ignore it? Or pay for it? I am currently unemployed living in California, and I don’t have much money (no assets either). Also, since I did not use a Web proxy to access the settlement link, what does that mean for me?

    I appreciate your time and advice. Within writing this email, I just received a second CEG settlement letter from my ISP, for a different pornography movie. I’m not going to click on the link that CEG provided, since it will probably be $200 again for a total of $400.

    • Anonymous says:

      Be advised there are stories of people trying to pay that settlement via the website only to have the website mysteriously “fail” while attempting to authorize your payment. Then, a few weeks later they receive a letter demanding thousands, adding other movies, etc. It seems that the website is often a ploy to get your info and then send out more threatening letters with higher amounts. Someone suggested settling through an attorney who contacts CEG-TEK so they can get a blanket release from all known, unknown, and suspected claims from CEG-TEK from the date of settlement and before. Of course this will cost you more money. My guess is if they can tie your IP to a number of alleged infringements, payment via that link will fail.

  7. Joe says:

    Hi,

    Just so other people know, I received a postcard in the mail from my ISP yesterday for a copyright infringement (CEG). Despite the panic I have not been on the troll’s website and will not. I will keep silent…
    Thanks for this wonderful website and all the information available.

  8. A Poor College student says:

    I am in the same boat. I paniced, and visited the website under the same IP address that is under fire (Unfortunately I was in panic mode and wanted to see the settlement offer, like most people). I then went to various websites which told me NOT to visit the website…I am a college student who does need to take a professional license exam in a little over a year. I have about a week to decide to pay or not on copyrightsettlements.com

    However from what I am reading, this is just “legal scam”? As soon as I pay and give my identity away, they will further pursue me, with more claims, and the price exponentially increases.

    So what I am hearing is that you basically HAVE to obtain an attorney? 1)Pay the website, I haven’t heard a case where this just ended the whole situation (if so PLEASE LET ME KNOW)
    2) Do nothing, wait for a subpoena, and hire and attorney to settle anonymously?

  9. thisdude says:

    Any update to this? Are they still sending out ISP sopeanas?

    My date for settlement is around the corner. Just wanted to know if people are in the clear so far that have ignored.

    • anonymous says:

      I ignored since Nov. 2012 (late Nov) Settlement expired End of Year 2012 (Dec) and nothing thus far. Perhaps SJD or DTD can alert us if Ira Seigel is filing suits again.

      • anonymous says:

        Siegel’s family of trolls (Siegel – CA, Meier – NY, FL, MD, Matlock – CA, Cable – MA) doesn’t appear to have filed any new federal cases since September. The relatively few (by Lipscum or Prenda standards) cases they had been filing last year were broad fishing expeditions against 50-100+ IPs at a time and nearly all of them seem to have been severed for improper joinder.

        My analysis is as follows:

        1. As Rob Cashman observed, the six strike system now blocks most of CEG’s settlement emails. Therefore it seems likely that CEG’s cashflow will dry up and they will either begin filing cases again or else the content companies they currently represent will hire new counsel who will.

        2. Either of those options will take some months to organize. That organization is taking place right now and we don’t know how far into it they are or long it will take. But when they are set up to pursue Does in court again it seems unlikely they will go after did-not-settles from 6 months ago when there are many more new infringers than they have the ability pursue being recorded every day. Old hits are that much more likely to be purged from ISP logs, moved out of the country, died, etc. in which case the trolls’ time, court fees, ISP lookup fees, etc. are lost with no return.

        3. If they were in any kind of position to go to a court and collect several thousand dollars from you then they certainly wouldn’t give that up for a $200 web payment. That they are offering that at all suggests they do not currently have the ability to follow through.

        4. So don’t pay the bastards one thin dime.

        • Another college student says:

          I am in precisely the same situation, except I haven’t visited the damn site. Legal counsel through my school suggested that I bite the bullet and pay the $200, which, he said, has been his default advice–there has apparently been a spike in these recently. And it certainly would be nice to make this all go away and be able to finish out the semester with some measure of peace of mind. I have my concerns, though, about paying through their online system, which is the only option available to me. Paying with anything linked to me seems to kind of defeat the purpose. And $200 is a fairly big hit, at least for me. The attorney said I was welcome to try my luck and hope they don’t subpoena for my information (which apparently hasn’t happened for a number of years at this particular institution), but, of course, there is always that possibility. So I guess the question is how high the probability of their pursuing the subpoena option is, and, if they should, what the implications of their having my information would be. And would it be better, after all, just to settle with them? I don’t like it, but there doesn’t seem to be a right answer here.

        • Anonymous says:

          1. If you were accused while connecting from an .edu domain, unless it’s a high dollar private school, CEG (or any subsequent troll that takes over these recorded infringements) knows that in all probability you are a broke student and they will be unable to collect a significant judgement from you. If they pursue anyone, which is already a question mark in itself, .edu domains will be last on the list. They may subpoena you (and 100 others) if they are able to get a mass Doe case through, and they may threaten you, but it’s exceedingly unlikely they will pay a local counsel several thousand dollars to actually pursue you when there is every indication you have no assets to recover.

          2. Settling for “just” $200 means doing it yourself through their website which is a TERRIBLE plan. That means giving them the same contact information they’d ordinarily have to go to court for. They now know exactly who you are so they can accuse you of other titles, or their website can “crash” while you attempt to settle for the first title. You will now get the collection agency treatment for years, or until you pay significantly to make it go away.

          If you do choose to settle, you need to do it through an attorney to keep your anonymity and ensure the release agreement which you are purchasing actually releases you from everything CEG could have on you. That isn’t going to cost $200, it will cost at least $700 and they may then tell you they know of additional infringements to drive the cost higher.

          You’re correct that there is no right answer. There is no certainty in any of this. It’s all playing the odds and those odds are only educated guesses.

          In your shoes, my educated guess would be to ignore it.

        • Another college student says:

          These are the thoughts that were going through my head when I went and sat down with this guy in legal services. He openly admitted that he doesn’t “understand how this downloading thing works,” which should have been my first clue that his advice might not be the best. He assured me that “these CEG people are real” and that he knew this from an email thread that was on the list-serv of legal counselors at universities across the country, but he didn’t seem to know how tenuous their case is.

          Thanks for the advice and for expressing my own worries about the online system. If they do follow up on their threats with a subpoena, I guess the worst that will happen is they’ll find out I’m a philosophy student–which, in addition to maybe indicating that I make bad decisions, should also let them know that I am not now nor am I likely ever to be able to give them the money to justify their trying to get to me in a local court–and then maybe harass me personally.

  10. TrollGoHell says:

    I also received settlements letters with 2 titles from ISP, 2 of these letters are duplicate with 1 title. I had such experience 2 years ago and ignored that with nothing happened.
    Now I am still scared of these and can not get along well with life and work.

    I just wanna know whether the probability to be subpedoned or sued is lower if:
    1. The movie I downloaded is more than 15 years old and probably no one else download it other than me, for it is difficult for them to file mass lawsuit;
    2. I live in a state of nowhere (Like North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Alaska), probably no such case has been filed in these area(forgive me if my knowledge is poor).
    Should I feel more comfortable or safe than other fellow sufferers?
    Any opinion about this? Thanks!

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Those factors will reduce the chance, but you are still taking one. Best not do it and be safe.

      DTD :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi TrollGoHell,

      1. Risk based on age and obscurity of the movie. It depends. So far there are three approaches that the swindlers have taken to the courts in search of your identity.

      1a. Lipscomb/Malibu’s single Doe approach. If they are going to do this then it doesn’t matter how many other people downloaded it. On the upside the litigation investment for the troll must be significant such that this is probably only a viable business model in some circumstances. It works for Lipscomb because Malibu content appeals to an upscale (well, relatively, it’s still prostitution on video) audience and is broken into dozens of titles which equals extremely large settlements. Lipscomb’s group is also large enough to benefit from significant economy of scale in filing hundreds of near identical suits. I don’t think any of these factors currently apply to CEG and the first two wouldn’t apply to any other firm that took over CEG’s clients, either.

      1b. The Prenda, fraud in state courts approach. A troll that slips one of these through can combine titles to send subpoenas to his heart’s content so obscurity won’t help you here either. Prenda’s multiple frauds catching up with them may give the other trolls pause at trying the same thing – but Prenda’s carte blanche discovery orders may also tempt them. This is the biggest unknown.

      1c. The most other trolls, federal mass Doe suits. A troll probably won’t bother with one of these for an unpopular movie where they could only demand a few names. Upside (and downside) – there is now precedent in many federal courts to sever these mass cases as improper joinder. That’s good in that it impedes this kind of extortion, but bad in that it drives the trolls to the previous two approaches which are, in their own ways, even worse.

      2. Risk based on where you live. CEG doesn’t have local counsel in most states, but if they get your identity through abuse of the wrong court (which seems the only way they’re likely to acquire identities at all) they then have 3 years from the date of infringement to hire someone in your state to individually pursue you. That’s extremely unlikely but you’re still in for 3 years of uncertainty and collections agency threats.

      Should you feel safe and comfortable? Absolutely not, none of us should, not as long as Hollywood writes the copyright statutes which let these extortionists literally demand your house over a bit torrent screen shot. But will you be the one that actually happens to?

      Almost certainly not.

  11. TrollGoHell says:

    Thanks for your pertinent reply so much.
    The 2 movies claimed by troll (Elegant Angel) are issued long time ago. I didn’t really feel any safe in the past week. I had an experience from CEG TEK and ignored according to my friend’s classmate who is an IP lawyer. he suggest that:

    This decision has to be made by your friend. I don’t think there is perfect
    solution here. My guts feeling is not to pay and take the risk of being
    sued. I think voluntarily giving up your identity and admitting infringement
    is a bad idea.

    I also didn’t feel any safe and comfort though. But I think I’ll participate in FightCopyrightTrolls instead of giving into them.
    I know a guy who is involved in the Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe case in Indiana now, case might be the same as 1:13-cv-00665-WTL-MJD. He also refer to this website and DieTrollDie to fight now. Does anybody know the new progress about that?

    • anonymous says:

      If you got the warning email 2 years ago I would not worry as your ISP likely deleted your IP logs by now. Why are you not feeling safe this past week? I do not understand the circumstances.
      Thanks,

      • TrollGoHell says:

        I just got the warning a week ago. 2 years ago was another one I ignored and nothing happened.
        Now I am just trying to comfort myself that they most probably don’t pick me, and even they pick me the result will most likely be not that bad.
        Those troll guys just throw thousands of messages out like fishing, but leaving us in the state of anxiety for a whole month or even long to a year, but most probably without any further action. I doubt if this action is legal. Even it’s not illegal, it is absolutely immorality.

        • Bob says:

          If I was lucky enough to escape with a warning two years ago I would have changed my ways…just saying. Nobody here is condoning taking things for free or getting away with something wrong, aren’t we here to fight against bad guys doing bad things to innocent people?

        • TrollGoHell says:

          I just didn’t intend to claim innocent or guilty. They won’t get me if I really did that. No doubt that taking advantage of anyone or anything is wrong. No one here encourages continuing to download but claim innocent at the same time.
          I don’t believe all the people here are innocent, but I do believe most of the people with something wrong will get away from that forever thanks to this lesson, and they should also be protected from persecution.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s a lottery drawing.

          Depending what you downloaded and from where it could be a pick 3. Or it could be a pick 6.

          But for goodness’ sake, now that the curtain is up you need to STOP BUYING ADDITIONAL TICKETS.

        • NintenDOE 64 says:

          Bob, the whole thing is a scam, it shouldn’t be about preventing actions against those who don’t download because if we really look into the matter we could show that copyright infringement didn’t even occur, thus rendering all who did or didn’t copy the work as innocent. we should be focused on ending such scams so that the only copyright infringement lawsuits in the courts are both legitimate and against an actual infringer.

        • Bird says:

          My router often drops and reconnects automatically, that might be the reason 3 duplicate letters sent to me. I live in an apartment, a couple of neighbor share my network, not sure who did this. I have no idea how many such duplicate letters will come again. I ceased their share and hid my router, hope no more letters coming again.

          Just wonder does duplicate settlement letters raise the number of lottery tickets and the rate to be drawn?

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi Bird,

          I don’t believe that duplicate settlement letters increase your risk of being sued.

          There are a number of reasons CEG could send duplicates, being charitable they are simple incompetence but considering the track record of these goons I believe they’re more malicious than that. Keeping quiet and paying the same settlement three times over is more money for them. Protesting that you only downloaded it once is an admission of guilt which they will immediately use to demand even more money from you.

          But if they take these cases to court again, a single title is a single title.

        • Bird says:

          I don’t quite worry about that they will sue me with multiple duplicates, just don’t want to get their notice focused on me. I doubt if it is their strategy pushing you to argue with them or it is the defect (or purposely) algorithm of their tracking system which tracks you each time you connect to same source. Anyone knows these guys send out emails by hand or they have an automatic system doing this for them? They probably didn’t noticed those are duplicates, but they definitely love that duplicates.

  12. DoeDoe says:

    I would rather they turn to any other method (i.e. censorship on the network or smash the seeds), and then pursuing those who try hard to broke the wall, than throw tons of threaten letters poisoning people’s nerve and mind. This makes me think of a robber robs your money and throws them away, whoever picks it up is sentenced guilty and should compensate for all your loss.

  13. When do the Doe's get their "day in court"? says:

    @NintenDOE 64 – we agree wholeheartedly. The scam needs to be brought to an end. The “strategic” procedural distractions on the part of plaintiffs and counsels are annoying. However we are allowing them to distract the community and possibly the Doe defenders and Judicial system when we loose focus that their unvalidated, unverified, improperly documented methods, procedures, evidence collection and handling, computers, and software, as well as their factually erroneous statements, oversimplifications, misleading statements and assumptions get pushed to the background.

    The lawyer we consulted with stated “everybody gets their day in court” our problem is when do we get ours?

  14. LetsFightForJustice says:

    I am curious that do the trolls have another evidence to subpena network subscriber’s other than IP address (and the files and time based on that IP address). Since I know it is so easy to disguise one’s ip address as a Computer Science field worker. Why do the judges believe those shaky evidence and approve their trick?

  15. NintenDOE 64 says:

    iit’s not just a matter of belief, it’s about establishing prima facie (on its face) copyright infringement. if one looks at the combination of evidence and the nicolini declaration, they have essentially crafted prima facie infringement, not to be confused with actual infringement it just means that it looks like infringement is plausible. The other side to it is that copyright infringement is a very hot button subject, many judges and anti troll moderators don’t want to appear “pro piracy” and so they only look to specific weaknesses in evidence rather than arguing against the whole case. the problem with the mentality of avoiding looking “pro pirate” is that it weakens the stance against the trolls by causing a “holier-than-though” type of division without realizing that since copyright infringement, in many CEG based cases, did not actually occur that everybody is innocent from the copier to the wrongfully named.

    • LetsFightForJustice says:

      It seems that you are professional, NintenDOE 64.
      I conclude that these trolls are glad to let it go and do nothing to prevent the p2p sharing. Otherwise there must be much more effective and efficient ways to protect their or their client’s works. And it is crystal clear that their reward comes from the settlement fee rather than benefits from prohibiting infringement and the corresponding revenue increase based on the protection. Sounds like creative but nasty idea.

      • NintenDOE 64 says:

        interestingly, not a professional…just done a lot of homework on the subject…a lot.
        I would have to agree with your conclusion, not exactly sure who started it but my research leads me to believe it is those who seek to turn copyrights themselves into commodities rather than legal rights, I believe this was popularized by righthaven. the best way i’ve heard the entire scam described is “the ceg does this [their monitoring scheme] in an attempt to create the technical circumstances required to have a legitimate copyright infringement claim without the need of a legitimate copyright infringement claim” complaint in case 1:13-cv-10315.

        • LetsFightForJustice says:

          These guys just try to get your information and do the further extortion stuff, and treat the court and law of this country as their weapon. It is us taxpayers (not only those trolls) support the weapon of the country. But the court and law have to be kidnapped by them as their key for enrichment all the time before they really go to court.
          Hope there will be any action to prevent these sneaky and immoral guys.

        • Raul says:

          Checked MN Pacer but could not find the case, can you double check the MN docket number?

        • Raul says:

          Never mind, recalled it now.

        • NintenDOE 64 says:

          1:13-cv-10315 Dore V New Sensations Inc, Copyright Enforcement Group LLC, and Attorney Marvin N Cable received the green light to proceed, all we wait for now is the service and responses. :D

  16. Express says:

    Yesterday (7 may 2013) I received an email (not letter) from my ISP, with email chain from Siegal. Similar to what most of you have explained: offering to “settle” for 200$, with a note saying another suspicious download looks similar to my situation so their asking me to pay for a second title. They say they can investigate and likely find more. My settlement date is early June.
    I (mistakenly) visited their site because I didn’t come to this site first. Question: I didn’t used computer but used my cellphone… But I was home… Does it likely use my ip from my router when I’m using my phone online at home?
    Question 2: it seems like everyone has stories about nothing happening. Does anyone gave stories about Siegel winning?

    My initial feeling is to ignore. It’s just 200, maybe 400. I’m guessing I’m not a big fish and not worth their time. Do you think that’s logical reasoning for these situations?
    Thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Express,

      I don’t know whether your phone uses your home wifi and would show the same IP or not, but the real harm of contact with CEG is giving them any contact information which they can link to your IP address. If you didn’t enter any information then you’re still just another anonymous entry on a list of literally hundreds of thousands.

      As far as only a handful of accused downloads making you a small fish, yes and no. Yes there are bigger fish out there, but the troll model so far (except for Lipscomb/Malibu) is threats for a nuisance value settlement and one file is plenty for that if Siegel can swindle a court into a mass discovery order.

      We don’t know what Siegel will do but we do know what he’s done so far. He sends hundreds of those emails every day, most of which aren’t even read let alone paid. He has local counsel arranged in only a few states. He filed a lot of mass discovery suits last year, all of which were eventually severed for improper joinder, and not opened any new ones since those defeats. He has actively pursued a few (very unlucky) Doe #1s from those suits.

      Most telling to me is that he offers these $200 settlements at all. If he were set up to find out who you are and scare up a $3-4,000 settlement then he certainly wouldn’t give that away for just $200.

      I would ignore it.

      • Express says:

        Appreciated.
        What states does he have legal representation?

        • Adoe says:

          Just take it easy. I was almost scared to death when I was thinking about these. Occasionally subpena some people is just their strategy to facilitate their extortion. Their big money comes from $200s, not $3000s which will cost their huge quantity of time and focus, not even to say $15,000s.
          You might think they would probably subpena you, even though that probability is tremendously minimal. But even that you still hold very good chance to let them go away keeping ignore them when they bothering you with email/mail and calls. To go further, they might file a case against you which is definitely even rare, then resist and fight back, they never appeared on the court. Sending $200 emails will cost half of their life, I don’t believe they will devote another half life on pursuing you, not spending any time with family and friends and entertainment.
          In an impolite manner, every people will get chance to ill, or even die, that probability is no higher than they suing you.

  17. WTF says:

    Well, obviously I’m a victim as well If I’m writing here..
    I read and learned many things here… the only question I have is if they ever tried to file a suit against you and look for evidence other than just the IP snapshot what all option do they have. A person/victim/accused could have formated his laptop/ desktop(knowingly or unknowingly) by the time a lawsuit is filed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty much the same options as the Bellwether trial going on now. See this RECAP link: http://ia700807.us.archive.org/26/items/gov.uscourts.paed.461508/gov.uscourts.paed.461508.49.1.pdf Additionally, they can subpoena your ISP and various search providers for records of searches made from your IP, similar material you bought on PPV, etc.

      If this sounds like an enormously complex, expensive, and invasive pain in the ass, that’s because it is. The saving grace is that it’s also a complex and expensive pain for the troll which is why three years into this douchebaggery the PA case is still the only one to have advanced that far. They’d rather get easier money some place else.

      You’re not a victim until you write Siegel a check or he serves you. All you are now is an IP that he hopes will be a gullible mark.

  18. nonameplz says:

    It would seem that WOT ranks copyrightsettlements dot com as an untrusted site and blocks it, not sure if that means anything or not, but it certainly isn’t a ringing endorsement.

  19. mawerick says:

    I have same problem, but for celebrity images on my site. They want $500 for image. It’s strange that I have 9 emails, but 6 of them are repeated. I receive email from my hosting provider. Btw I’m not an US citizen.
    Any idea what to do?

    • avix says:

      @mawerick What happened to you so far?

      I’m facing exactly the same trouble as you. it’s like recently they ve been doing more about the image copyright. I’m also a non US citizen and live outside USA. How they could get me was to ask the hosting provider where I rent in the US to forward their frighten email to me.

      Even they have my IP address but still it would be more difficult for them when I imagine how are they going to find out my name and address via my ISP when it’s not in the USA since they need the order from the court in my country to do that, so they must hire somebody who can so this in my country which cost them more time and money.

      I think most people, whom they asked by email for settlement around $200 – $500, also think about to pay them but those who didn’t do it because we just don’t want to give our names in case it get us more troubles. we can’t trust that they will really stop after they have our full info. If they are tricky by offering us to pay without giving further more information such as Paypal or E-Gold, i think maybe they could earn a lot more. I would also pay it that way to keep me sleep better.

      Thanks again for this great site. I learn much more from here. Many people read this and hope you guys also write and share your experience too.

      • Smdh says:

        avix… take a deep breath and Don’t Panic. CEG was and still seems to be toothless in the US. Even doubly so since you are in a foreign country. I would take the offending picture(s) down and think nothing more of it.

        • avix says:

          yes, you are right…there is one thing a bit funny about this. in where i live, porn industry is definitely illegal, people who make and/or sell porn are totally guilty; therefore, i have no idea how are they possibly able to claim for the right of porn movies and sex pics from the people who download them in my country.

  20. nonameplz says:

    Mawerick

    If the files were legitimately copyrighted just remove them to avoid more emails. The CEG emails are not lawsuits unless they mention a subpoena, they are requests for compensation coupled with the chance (however slim) of a lawsuit. They send thousands of these per day and could never afford to go after every one of them. You also need to look at where they are located, if they don’t operate in your geographical area your risk is lower (but not zero). It would be absolutely infeasible to pursue more than 1% of the claims they make. In fact I think that they may not even be aware that some of thier “claims” are going to the same person so I suspect it is possible that they may end up with multiple “john does” who are the same person in real life (i could be wrong because I don’t know the legal system that well).

    This does not constitute legal advice and should be taken with a grain of salt as it is entirely my opinion based on observations.

  21. mawerick says:

    I can post received letter(masked info) so everyone can see it and to be inform in future

    • nonameplz says:

      If you do this be sure to remove case/password, any form of link to their site (just to be safe), and the hash for the torrent they claim you downloaded, those are potentially identifying.

  22. Another Target says:

    Slightly different situation here.

    I’ve been targeted by Ira Seigler as well. He found that I had used a copyright photo on the blog for my ecommerce website/domain.

    Either he or an assistant troll, simply looked up my contact information (published on my eCommerce website) and contacted me by email. They sent me the initial “cease and desist, possible legal action to come” email.

    I removed the photo from my blog and (mistakenly) emailed a response reading, “Images have been removed). I should have taken the vow of silence immediately, as suggested in earlier posts.

    I received a follow-up email saying the following:

    “Removing the image only fulfills part of the request. The matter may remain open until it is settled…”

    Since I responded to the initial email, I’m certain I’ll be sent a follow-up email for a “settlement fee”.

    Had I known that these guys were predators and rarely follow through with a law-suit, I would not have responded to the email, of course.

    But now that I have… what I can expect next from these people and what should be my next move if if I receive the settlement fee letter? At this point, they have more than my IP address, I guess – they’ve got my physical mailing address, an email address, my business name, and a response email from me. They don’t appear to actually have my real name though, since my full name was never actually used in their initial emails. But being that they DO have all of the above information, would you suggest that I immediately pay the upcoming settlement through an attorney?

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting notes on this site about how they handle dmca notices:

      http://www.fedupusa.org/about-us/#Who

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I would say you will likely get another email asking for a settlement so they will not take you to court. To do that (to open a Federal civil case), they will have to file a case in YOUR jurisdiction. If Ira (CEG) is not licensed in that State, he will have to hire someone who is. Did the email notice provide you with the details on the copyright registration of the image? If so, I would check the US Copyright Office database to determine if it has a valid copyright, as well as the date of registration.

      For these “image” cases on Blog/Web sites, the proof and the copyright law make it technically easy for them – compared to the BT cases. All they need to do is show a valid copyright registration, unauthorized use of the image on the site, and then file a federal civil case. The problem for Ira and other trolls is that the costs in doing this is not part of the master plan of generating settlements. This costs them time and money and cuts into their profits. They even could end up spending a few thousand to run a case and end up getting nothing from a person with no assets. That or the judge might only award $200 for the unauthorized use of the image, as long as it wasn’t willful. If it was willful – the image had a copyright mark or it can be shown you new it was copyrighted, the min amount goes up to $750.

      The image trolling of CEG is a newer action, so we don’t know what they will do. Based on past actions of IRA, I would suggest not responding and take a wait and see approach.

      DTD :)

      • Another Target says:

        Thank you for that! Some of that makes me feel a little relieved. However, I’ll still look out for their email. Thank you VERY much! :)

  23. pete sebring says:

    it’s been discussed to no end, you receive letter from CEG TEK through copyyrightsettlements.com of an alleged violation. two days later they tack on more “commonality” violations. in my case, 14 “commonalities” at $200 a pop.
    thing is, most of the “commonality” listing dates are WAY BEFORE we had internet service, and i can prove this.
    what CEG TEK is trying to do here sounds somewhat illegal. CEG TEK is saying, “your internet address downloaded such and such in june, pay up. also, your internet address downloaded things in common with june, in march, april, may, pay up”
    we didn’t have this internet address before june. sounds like malicious intent to me.
    maybe this would be helpful in an ongoing court case. maybe it could show a lawyer’s intent to deceive for money?

    • avix says:

      yes, i also imagine if i were the copyright owner, then i allow mr.troll to explore the internet and catch people who use my vdos&pics (instead of doing myself) and to threaten them to pay; so i will not totally know whether mr.troll reports all the thing to me; he may tell me only 10% of all what he actually earn. therefore, as it should be, i, the copyright owner, shall be the one who really begin to catch them by myself, then hire a lawyer to work for me afterward… no like the way these trolls r doing; otherwise, ohh i would love to go back to the university and make a another degree as a lawyer, then i will be damn rich in a few years after graduation.

  24. pete sebring says:

    it might even show that the trolls IP address detection software could be buggy?
    i feel someone out there can use this error to their advantage

  25. pete says:

    so far, nothing has happened. but consider that the deadline to settle was aug 18 and it’s the 29th now

  26. joe says:

    seem legit

  27. jake says:

    Hi guys, if only I had found you sooner- I got a letter from Ira for a few movies a few days ago and promptly, stupidly, settled for $1,000. I freaked out. The problem is that now I have about 25 (?) duplicate email forwards with offers to settle, all for various movies that I never downloaded, and now they have my information. Has anyone settled, and got more emails?

    • avix says:

      I have heard many people got the same as you after they paid quickly. I really hate trolls. People must have settled a lot and I wonder how much trolls really pay tax a year or whether they cheat. They earn this easy money like some million bucks a year, i suppose.

      • jake says:

        Avix, do you know what happened to them after they got more notices, after they had paid (and identified themselves)?

        • avix says:

          Sorry, I couldn’t find out what happened to them but I guess if not much like some hundred bucks, then they kept paying. Meanwhile, those who ignored, most of them are fine but still have to wait until 3 years to be really free. People who settled usually are ones who can’t imagine themselves in the court, have enough money to pay and need to keep clean faces in public; but they may not really understand that actually it helps only to stop one troll (to split the troll from the copyright owner); so they never really get guarantee (no certificate or paper sign…or things like that) from the original owner who still can hire another lawyer to re-sue them or another troll to do the same…This is why we shall not let trolls feel like living in heaven, but at least not to make trolls earning too much easy… It’s civil not criminal case, so nobody will be keep in jail by this mess; the worst end i have heard it was from a colleague of my friend who was in the court and was ordered to pay 15000 but he got no enough money also his family to responsible, so it finally ended up with pushing him to pay 100 a month.

  28. Delvan says:

    If you find CEG-TEK is actually taking you to court: after first talking to an attorney (of course), you may want to drop me a line (or have your attorney send it to maintain your anonymity). Address is my first name at amaragh.com

  29. Anonymous says:

    So I just got the same thing this evening. I received a very legit looking email from what appeared to be my internet provider, however not from CEG-TEK themselves.
    I called them and while the guy on the phone with CEG-TEK was decent enough, he loved to call my internet provider morons, etc. So I am on the fence right now.
    So I am wondering what to do right now. Most everyone has said to pretty much ignore them and that they have not actually filed any suits. Any help would be appreciated.

  30. Carmine says:

    They are just the tech company that provides the data to the studios. The studios are the ones that actually file the lawsuit not them. I have been sued by a studio that uses their services and settled for a lot more money 2 weeks before my court date for 5 figures and I also was into my lawyer for $12,000. It is not CEG-TEK you have to worry about it is the studio.

    • Anonymous says:

      What was the case number, or who was the Plaintiff? I don’t know of any CEG-TEK supported cases that aren’t already a huge clusterfuck for the Plaintiff.

    • NintenDOE 64 says:

      That’s not entirely correct, you see the CEG sells the studios a lawsuit (evidence, testimony, attorney) at no cost to the studio. They need to make money somehow and what their attorneys are absolutely certain to omit is the CEG’s personal and vested interests in each of the lawsuits. The CEG never intends to prevent any copying of the works they monitor, and their clients know this as well; the CEG used to openly advertise settlement based litigation via their monitoring service. The CEG is just as guilty for the trolling as the studios and attorneys. In fact there is a good possibility that the CEG is distributing the studio’s works, on behalf of the studios, so that the studios may file their massive lawsuits. So never mind them already allowing people to have access to their works (consent), it is possible they are also just handing it away. There is nothing noble about what the CEG does, in fact they are currently being sued for their crooked, underhanded, and deceptive practices.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Has there been any development recently with CEG in Massachusetts? I recently got 33 (!!!) notices from my ISP, Charter, which we just switched to a month ago. CEG does have counsel in MA so I’m a little freaked out by this whole thing, especially since nothing was downloaded illegally here. Do I have to talk to a lawyer now or should I wait until a subpoena is issued if it even is?

  32. BRT says:

    I’m writing on here because I too have recently received the standard letter from CEG-TEK via my ISP (century link). In my initial panic, I clicked the link to see what my settlement was, only $200. But I did not enter my email, phone, name, etc. I noticed not many comments in the past few months, and was hoping for an update from others who went through this.

    Most of the advice on here is simply ignore the situation since CEG isn’t a legitimate threat. I would love to ignore, but I think the peace of mind is worth more to me. I would like to settle (through an attorney of course) since I do not want to worry about this for three years and a lawsuit against me could harm my career. Of those who have received letters in the past and didn’t settle, have you received any additional notices, subpoena, etc? Of those who did settle, did you receive additional notices from CEG afterwards, demanding more money? I know one person mentioned that if you settle online, they tend to come back and attack you for more.

    Thanks for all the help.

    • JD says:

      I am in the same boat as you…post some updates on your status. I know I have had friends receive these notices, but in my case I received three, unfortunately the infringements must have occurred in a short period of time before any subsequent offenses may have been prevented by the time a warning was issued. I’m afraid to be subpoenaed. I don’t know if I will get a warning from my ISP before that happens so I can get legal counsil.

  33. Dee says:

    I, also received an email from ISP provider (Charter) about CeG-Tek, asking me to pay $200. I’m not going to pay as a right now, since I need to educate myself more about this, and do more research. Let’s wait and see what’s going to happen. Any update on any of you guys you received the email earlier, please share!
    Thank you for this great website by the way, highly appreciate it

  34. Me says:

    I’m also a Charter subscriber and I was receiving these emails about a year to a year and a half ago. I have yet to hear anything past the initial settlement/extortion emails that I received. Charter will not release your information unless it’s under a court order and I have yet to find anything saying that Ira or his cronies have made any attempts to actually move past the initial email phase. My advice is to ignore it.

  35. Annon1 says:

    I also have this issue. I’m really in a bind. I barely make enough to live on and stupidly called CEG Tek. I wanted to remain annon without going to court and fearing that I’m going to be sued by someone other then CEG. I’ve done research not to click the link and not to pay, but that still leaves me worried about lawsuit since CEG isn’t in my location. They have my charter isp and charter won’t give out unless told to do so in mail. I’m a nervous wreck. I have a legal friend who knows the court. I don’t want to go to court and want to avoid this mess now and forever, but I seen in some cases one who did pay ended up getting harassed into paying more after paying off settlement. What I want to know is do they send it to the isp for the release if you remain annon, I refused to name myself or give out personal info.

    • Dee says:

      @ANNON1: When did you receive the first letter/email on your first warning, how long ago since mine is fresh and my due date to pay the settlement is Feb, 2014. I’m leaning towards not paying it. Am I nervous, am I worried?! Yes I am, but I’m trying to stay positive and ignore it.

      • Anonymous says:

        In a similar situation, all the info seems to say don’t respond/pay but doesn’t help that pretty much everything about this is from 1-2 years ago so maybe CEG is more serious now. Any new info would help for sure.

  36. CC says:

    Received a post card from Charter on Saturday and went to the website to see what this was but only entered the reference number and password and didn’t go any further. Settlement for a supposed download that I never downloaded. Supposedly it happened on 12/26/13 at 8:41 pm and was watched at 1:18 am on 12/27/13. Went through every computer in the home and couldn’t find anything even remotely resembling the movie the website says was downloaded. They are offering a settlement of $250 by the 26th of January. Needless to say, I have already changed the password on my wifi to a lot tougher password as a just in case. I, like so many others, am terrified of this going further than a notice/settlement. We don’t have just an extra $250 to give away for something that wasn’t done and really can’t afford an attorney to handle it either. This is ridiculous.

  37. JD says:

    It is difficult to get information because I haven’t heard what to do once the initial settlement date passes. Will the amount that needs to be paid indeed increase? I have also been noticing an increasing amount of post on forums during this time period. I don’t know if this means that they are gearing up for another mass suit?

  38. pissed says:

    All, please read and re-read the posts on this blog and on Die Troll Die concerning the trolling methods of scumbags CEG-TEK, and be (relatively) happy that it was them and not some other more aggressive troll.

  39. Anonymous says:

    CEG is no longer being represented in CA by Matlock Law Group

    • SJD says:

      Thanks, I indicated this fact by striking through the entry.

      • Dee says:

        I’m crossing my fingers and waiting, due date to pay is beginning of February so let’s see. If anybody reads this and received an email or letter from ISP similar to mine here and took no action or whatsoever, please share the story with us.

        • Anon says:

          I’m just curious as to whether you have heard anything from them lately? Do update! Thanks.

        • Dee says:

          @ Anon, as of tomorrow I’m going to meet with an attorney and I think I’ll take they’re advice and probably pay if they won’t come after me anymore. I know I’m letting everyone down with paying this, but I’m sorry guys since I seen the email I couldn’t get a peace of my mind, I can’t stop thinking about it and specially knowing that my due date is in about less than 10 days. I’m stressing myself way too much, and I can’t have it 50% 50%, if they take me to court than differently I’m screwed. I’ll share my story once I talk to a lawyer and possibly pay $250 off and never do none of this again!! It’s not worth it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dee,

          CEG sends out at least tens, probably hundreds of thousands of those scare emails every month. In a court filing last year, their lead scumbag Ira Siegel stated they sent out in the order of 10,000 of those DMCA emails in less than three months for a single straight to DVD movie that nobody ever heard of. The vast majority of these not only aren’t paid, they go to an email account the subscriber doesn’t use and aren’t even read. On top of that, many ISPs such as Comcast refuse to deliver CEG’s settlement scare language and only send the legally required DMCA information.

          Don’t confuse CEG with the Malibu horror stories here. They aren’t Lipscomb. They aren’t even a lawfirm. CEG is, quite literally, an automated spam system. The chances of something coming of this aren’t 50/50, or 99/1, or 1000.1 They’re zero to 6 decimal places.

          Torrents aren’t anonymous, if you’ve used them it was recorded and there is a (very) slight chance that you will be sued. But it won’t be CEG that does the suing and paying them money won’t make that slight chance go away.

        • Dee says:

          @Anon,

          Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate it.
          Today I met with two lawyers, and both said as a right now don’t pay and don’t take any further actions, unless I get something from court just ignore it. In case I get something from court they’ll gear up and fight it. As you said, they said as-well chances are more than minimal for something to go that direction. I’m sorry for the last reply about paying I guess reading and researching about it, it got me on the state of mind being confused and scared since a lot of people got this email/letter and nobody updates what’s going on with their cases.
          Thanks everyone who posting here, and I’ll update if anything going on.

        • Anon says:

          Thanks Dee for your update and Anonymous for the reassurance. I’m also scared out of my wits at first and have been trying to research. I’m just not quite sure if they will ever proceed to the next step if one doesn’t pay.

          Dee, do keep us posted so everyone who are facing the same issues will know what we all can/cannot do. I’m praying a smooth journey for you here!

  40. Anonymous says:

    I got the same email from charter today, from CEG, I am also in panic mode so I got onto their site at work log in by case number and pass, but never give out any info beyond that. Could they trace my info by this already? I have not seen any update to this question from above?
    I am still debating, but reading all these has already told me that I should not pay directly on their site even I opt for settlement. The settlement is 250 like everyone else.

    • Anonymous says:

      i am panic only want to avoid legal trouble, cost and process, but not admitting any wrong doing, please help.

  41. anonymous says:

    So i received the same email most people are talking about with a 250$ settlement amount, and a total of 5 emails, so a total of $1250. The issue with me though is I did the stupid thing and called them. I had not checked my email for a few months and last night I finally checked and found all 5 emails dating from november to now. I panicked and called the CEG site, i was hopped up on NyQuil and it was late so I was not thinking straight. The person that answered said there was not a representive there to handle the cases so he took down my name and phone number and also wrote down one of the case numbers. I may or may not have stated at the end of the phone call that the file was deleted and i didn’t realize til after the fact what it was. They didn’t read any rights over the phone nor did they state that the phone call was monitored in any way. They said they would call back today.

    As I hung up i realized how stupid i was and immediately started doing research. So now i’m wondering how much of a joke is CEG-TEK, could i still just ignore them from my standpoint, do i speak to a lawer now and try to settle or do I wait until they actually file a law suit to contact a lawer. Keep in mind a have a lot to loose so I’m freaking out. Thanks for any assistance

  42. Anonymous says:

    got the same email the other day, ill keep the forum updated as to how my run in with CEG goes. I didnt call them or visit the sight on the IP address they listed. Hopefully it all just goes away. If they do decide to sue do they have to file it in my state (MN)?

    • Anonymous says:

      I received these same ceg emails about 4-5 months ago. The thing is that ceg doesn’t file the lawsuit, they just collect the data. The one that files is the actual copyright owner, e.g: digital sin, brazzers, etc. if you go to rfcexpress and search your home state and or the company name,you will see how many if any lawsuits those actual companies have filed, where, and when. Seems most stopped filing anything in 2012. My guess is that it wasn’t worth their time and resources once they had to start filing independent suits vs 1000 at a time. Even then, they didn’t do so well. As of now, the only real threat out there is MM. Stay away from them and x-art.

      I myself have just ignored it and my settlement was up last October and I haven’t heard anything at all again. I also contacted a local attorney very familiar with them and he said that “it’s not even if they happen to pick you, they don’t file lawsuits” and to rest easy and consider this a valuable lesson and be thankful it wasn’t Malibu Media.

      As far as MN goes, the waters there have been muddied for any lawsuits by Steele and his cronies. The chances of some company in CA hiring a lawyer in MN to sue for one or two files is crazy. Just stop what you’re doing, get a VPN and rest easy. Just my opinion of course, but that’s what I did.

  43. Anonymous says:

    So i recently got an email from my ISP for copyrightsettlements.com for a 250$ settlement. It was for a movie from copyright owner “Axel Braun Productions Pictures”. Of course many of you have previously stated to be at ease and not pay the settlement, but i was wondering what the chances are of now, because it seems as if no one has actually been “updating” on whether the settlement just dissapears.

    • NintenDOE64 says:

      I know in Massachusetts they are long gone

      • Anonymous says:

        We live in Mass.and just received a CEg-Tek threat letter. The deadline is May 2. I see that Marvin Cable who works for them has a law office in Mass. Can you please elaborate on your “long gone” statement.

    • Dee says:

      The settlement won’t disappear, even after due date. I’ve seen cases over a year old and settlement is still there, waiting to be paid (lol). So either way pay it and make trolls rich(er), or ignore it and wait whats happening (ride the same wagon with me).

      • Scared says:

        Dee

        make room on that wagon, my $250 payment deadline is 22 Feb, I could not get any info or recommendation from Charter.com (my ISP) I am really “on the fence” as far as paying. Anxiety and stress is already killing me.

        • Anonymous says:

          Same here with Charter and my deadline was Jan. 26th. Made me sick over it but we know beyond a shadow of a doubt the supposed movie wasn’t downloaded here nor do we have any bit torrent(?) software on our computers. This, we will fight. Also read a lot about IP emulators so who is to say my IP wasn’t gotten that way? Good luck!

        • Me says:

          And this is precisely what the trolls are counting on. Trust me, I have been exactly where you are right now, wondering *if* something should happen, how much money it was going to cost, how I couldn’t afford it, etc. I went to their site after the first 2 notices I received and put in the case numbers and got even more scared, because I thought they were going to track me down. I’m talking about showing up on my doorstep and wanting money right there (what can I say…I’ve got a vivid imagination). Then I did some (well, alot) of research, and found that I’ve got a better chance of being struck by lightning and winning the Powerball on the same day than anything happening with these guys.

          As I have said before in previous posts, after about a dozen notices – most of them for the same 4 titles – and after a year and a half, nothing has happened, except for the realization that nothing will. I’ve seen recent posts about people being concerned that since nobody has talked about anything happening within the past 12 months, that things could take a turn. Trust me, if anything HAD developed out of anything beyond the initial email scam, it would be here and the fact that you’re not seeing anything except comments regarding the emails should tell you all you need to know. If you research these groups, you will see that organizations like CEG are on borrowed time as it is, since more and more people, especially in the judicial system, are becoming more aware of what frauds these cases actually are.

          And if you’re *really* bothered by it, take necessary steps to make sure you won’t get anymore of these emails. Lock up your routers so you know that anybody outside your residence won’t be able to tap into your connection. Stop using Bittorrent. Stop downloading files. If you decide that you’re still going to download files, then use a torrentproxy or other means of concealing your identity.

          Finally and above all, remember

          DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!

        • Dee says:

          @ Scared,
          First two weeks when I received the email, believe me I couldn’t even sleep, I was so stressful and all I kept thinking about was the email, the $250 wasn’t the issue, the main issue was more I was reading my mind was getting twisted. Not too many people write about what’s happening to them or how it ended up. Finally found this website to share and read whats going on with others having the same case as you and me. Talked to two different attorneys and they said don’t pay it. My due date already passed and I didn’t hear nothing. I am not a lawyer, I’m just sharing what I did and what I been through. I’m not paying it (period). So stop reading the email over and over, and stop trying to search everywhere, just to get a piece of information to make you feel better cause it will make the matter worst and you’ll get nowhere. Just ignore it and move on. As time passses by you’ll feel better and you’ll see nothing happened. On the Dark side you (if) shouldn’t do what you did, on a bright side there are thousands like you and me waiting to see what’s going on and still nothing happened, no lawsuit, no nothing, so you are not alone.
          I’ll keep reading and posting if things further develop.
          Good luck everyone!

        • bman says:

          I’m in the same boat as many of you – I got 2 notices for the same file at $250 each from CEG forwarded from Charter, payment deadline 2/18/14. After initial panic, rational thought told me that there’s no way they would spend the time and expenses to sue someone like me for one file. But it was bugging me enough that I started reading up on the subject.

          After reading more than my brain can handle – this site, dietrolldie.com, and torrentlawyer.wordpress.com, I have decided to ignore the notices, ensure that it doesn’t happen again, and move on and not worry about it anymore. I was considering getting the opinion of a lawyer (maybe the one on the above mentioned torrentlawyer website), but I think they would tell me the same thing and surely not for free.

          I will check here periodically to see if anyone has updates on their situation, and I will post if I hear anything further from them.

  44. Me says:

    The settlements might not disappear, but the trolls have up to 3 years to do anything. CEG, from what I’ve been able to find, has not filed any cases in at least the past 18 months….

    • Anonymous says:

      These scumbags have a three year legal window to open a case against you but in practice it’s much shorter than that.

      It costs the trolls money to turn IPs into names – court fees, ISP lookup charges, document delivery costs, etc. The older a case is the more likely it is that the ISP will have deleted old logs, subscriber left the country or moved without a forwarding address, etc.

      So they aren’t going to spend $50 (Prenda mass Doe fraud) to $500+ (correct single Doe suits) to run a higher chance of getting nothing at all for an old download when they could go after a recent download instead. I have never seen a court filing with an infringement as much as a year old in the mass suits, very rarely as old as even 6 months. Malibu’s expensive single Doe suits are typically for a download within 4-6 weeks of the time of filing.

      TLDR: if nothing’s come of it in 6 months then nothing ever will.

  45. Anonymous says:

    So all that stuff they say about not paying by the settlement date, and getting legal matters involved, is all a lie, and they just wait for you to pay it off?

    and if thats the case, will i continue to get spammed with settlement emails? or does it die off .
    thanks (i am the anonymous who posted the status above)

    and just for reference, the file was called “Riley goes gonzo”
    i think my son d/led it on accident, but he said he never completed it. (kids these days ._.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Sending you more spam doesn’t cost them anything so it will likely continue. Block the address or filter it to your junk folder and don’t sweat it.

      If anything serious ever comes of this, which is about as likely as winning powerball, they’ll have to do it by paper mail.

    • SJD says:

      So all that stuff they say about not paying by the settlement date, and getting legal matters involved, is all a lie, and they just wait for you to pay it off?

      Yes.

  46. anti ira siegel says:

    I had such mail June, 2013, still nothing…

  47. Raul says:

    To echo SJD’s sentiments these guys are toothless tigers, all roar and no bite.

  48. Chuck says:

    In the same boat as many others. I have four e mails forwarded by Charter. I called and they were no help whatsoever. I asked them pointedly about releasing my information if they get a subpoena to do so and they were kind of vague. I do not scare very easily, nor do I like to feel as if I am being extorted for money. I have decided to ignore my settlement dates and see what happens. It is my understanding that even if they get my information which I intend to fight that they would have sue me in my home state which I will keep to myself for the moment. I will say I do not live in any of the ones that CEG or the scum bag Siegel seems to have cronies in. Any advice would be greatly appreciated???????????????

    • Anonymous says:

      i’ve thought about that too,
      and if you think about it, the big companies have a “six strike system”
      in which the company just filters out the entire message and just gives you a “strike”.
      which means you don’t even get to see the email.
      what’s there to say thats different from that and from charter, even though you get the email forwarded directly to you.
      They never even get to see the email, which probably just shows all bluff no bite.

      • Chuck says:

        Now that kind of makes sense on the six strikes. I was of course very upset when Charter was of no help whatsoever when I called them about this. When all of this settles down as I hope it does we are done. I feel as if they should fight for those that are paying them for a service. The guy on the phone did say it was probably a neighbor that had gotten into my Wi-Fi connection and that I should change my password. I promptly did of course. I intend to post regularly here so everyone knows what is going on with my case.

        I am a disabled VET so it is difficult for me to hire and attorney so if anyone has information on how to file a motion to squash the release of my personal info it would be greatly appreciated. I of course will send a letter to any judge who may be sitting on the case if it comes to that as well. I do not make it a habit of giving in to scumbags like this nor will I this time.

        If it by chance if it does go to court and a judgment is found against me I think I can file bankruptcy and wipe the debt although I need to do a little more research on that. I of course would hate to do that, but sometimes when one stands their ground they have to be prepared to go the distance if need be. These vultures make me sick coming after innocent people with no real evidence and playing on their fears to make a few dollars. The fact that many worry about the stigma of a porn title or the embarrassment in their work place and pay them really gets under my skin as well. Seems in some cases they do not really have much of a choice and I can understand that easily enough after all in some jobs you do not need the extra aggravation and publicity. Luckily I could care less one way or the other!!!!

        Any thoughts out there???????

  49. Anonymous says:

    but how can you say ira siegel is “toothless”?
    If the copyright owner asked him to sue, than he sues.
    or am i wrong?

    • SJD says:

      Because he doesn’t. Find me a single CEG-TEK lawsuit that is not 2 year old. Threatening and suing are two big differences (as they use to say in Odessa).

      • Anonymous says:

        what do you mean difference in threatening and suing?
        because i just thought that he is presently just threating,
        until he is told by the copyright owner to pursue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Siegel didn’t stop suing because copyright owners asked him to stop. He stopped suing because the federal courts he was working in began severing his mass discovery cases for improper joinder.

      Mass suits are dead in nearly every district. Opening an individual case to turn an IP into a name for a single download costs more money than it makes – no troll anywhere even tries.

      Toothless is exactly right.

      • Anonymous says:

        but is it no reasonable per se,
        to pursue one of these ips into name,
        and claim the 150,000$ copyright infringement money

        • Anonymous says:

          $150,000 is the maximum penalty. In reality, it’s typically around $750 per infringement unless someone tries to destroy evidence, lies in court, etc.

        • Anonymous says:

          but it hasnt even gotten to court in years. Correct?
          besides malibu media and x-art.
          ceg and ira siegel, from what it seems. are a bunch of irrelevant scumbags.

        • Anonymous says:

          Right. Look on PACER or rfcexpress, they haven’t filed in a couple years and it was a real mess the last time they did so.

        • Anonymous says:

          Have any of you who have the “six strike system” internet provider,
          gotten an email forwarded to settle a statement?

          If it is true that companies like Comcast just give you a warning with no forward,
          i can only assume that the subscriber has not even gotten to see a statement, which really does prove nothing happens

        • Anonymous says:

          No, it isn’t reasonable.

          First, they don’t get to claim $150,000. They don’t get to claim anything unless they proceed in court all the way to a judgement. Those judgements have typically been defaults and in the $2000 range per download. Settlement offers are around half that.

          That’s great for Malibu with a library that splits their essentially identical content into hundreds of different titles that are usually “siteripped” 20 or 30 at a time. They can, and do, get $30-40,000 defaults, $15,000 settlements. That’s lucrative enough to pay for the individual case court process and the 5 figure hits more than cover the misses.

          CEG with 1 or 2 downloads per plaintiff? Spending $500+ out of pocket to open a case, plus hours of legal paperwork, to get $2250 when you hit and $0.00 when you don’t? There’s no profit in that.

          That’s why CEG doesn’t go to court. Not because Siegel made the choice to be less of an extortionist POS and he could revisit that choice later. Because he can’t make money at it. That’s how we know they’re not going to try it in the future either.

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