FAQ from TAC

The Basics — Chapter One

Section A:

So you got a letter from your ISP stating someone is seeking your account information.
Congratulations you have been selected as the next contestant in the new underhanded legal game sweeping the country.
Your not alone – you and 200,000+ other people have had these types of letters sent out.
Take a deep breath, relax just a little.

A company has “recorded” an IP address on the internet illegally sharing copyrighted material.
That company sold the list of IP addresses to a lawyer, who filed a “Mass John Doe Lawsuit”.
A “Mass John Doe Lawsuit” boils down to the lawyer telling the court – These people did something bad, we do not know who they are but these IP addresses will let us find out who the bad bad man/woman is.
The Judge says Okiedokie and subpoenas are sent to the different ISPs.
The ISP, by law, needs to send you a letter letting you know that someone (with a court order) is seeking your account information.
The ISP will mention you have a right to try and “Quash” (stop) the motion.
After the deadline passes the information is turned over to the bad lawyer.

You do have a right to file a “Motion to Quash”, however there are many problems with trying to do so.
You would need a lawyer with the right to appear before the issuing court which might be on the other side of the country.
The motion needs to be filed “under seal” (no peeking for the bad lawyer) to try and hide your identity.
Some Judges have ruled that because you are not being sued directly yet, you lack the standing (right) to file a motion.
The bad lawyer most likely will still get your information, and you will be out the fees to the lawyer.
You (or the person who has their name on the account) are not currently named in a lawsuit.

You might need to explain to the account holder what is going on, and this might have you coming out.
You can try to delay this step, but it is best to prepare them for what is coming in regards to the legal side.
There will be a list of articles you can show the account holder to help set their mind at ease, and our easy to explain layout of how this works will be very helpful.

The Basics – Chapter Two

Section B:

So you got a letter from a lawyer offering to “settle”.
Congratulations you have been selected as the next contestant in the new underhanded legal game sweeping the country.
Your not alone – you and 200,000+ other people have had these types of letters sent out.
Take a deep breath, relax just a little.

You have moved to stage 2.
All of the steps in Chapter One are complete.
The lawyer sends a letter/calls/emails and says he can prove you did this…
But for a “small” fee they will settle the case and not name you publicly.
The letter will point out you could be taken to court and face having to pay them $150,000 and more.
The letter will prey on your fears and try to scare you into thinking paying them is a great idea.
The letter will mention other cases where huge amounts of money were “won”.

You (or the person who has their name on the account) are STILL not currently named in a lawsuit.

The “evidence” they have of this crime quite possibly will not stand up in court.
They want you to email/mail/call and talk to them so they can get you to admit guilt, or blame someone in the household.
They will use that admission by you to pressure you even more into settling.
The other cases they use as examples of large “wins” are often cases where the people settled, the most famous one was “settled” for $250,000.
The $250,000 settlement is not actually how much the defendant has to pay, he is paying a much smaller amount in monthly payments and as long as he “stays good” and pays on time he will pay off $X (i forget anyone know I think it was 25K) and the total amount is reduced.
These “wins” are almost always settlements not the finding of a court, this is important to remember.

If your name is not on the account, they might try to get the account holder to shift the blame to you.
The downside for the account holder is they will demand payments from both of you, claiming the account holder is responsible as well for anything done on the connection they pay for.
Talking to them is always a bad thing.
They are lawyers but they do not represent you, your not in court so the rules of being truthful and giving good advice do not apply to you.
They want to get paid, and will use every scare tactic they can think of.

The Basics – Chapter Three

Section C:

So how do I deal this this letter from the lawyer?
Congratulations you have been selected as the next contestant in the new underhanded legal game sweeping the country.
Your not alone – you and 200,000+ other people have had these types of letters sent out.
Take a deep breath, relax just a little.

You (or the person who has their name on the account) are not currently named in a lawsuit.

Talking to the lawyer or anyone from their firm is ALWAYS a bad idea.
We suggest not answering the letters.
If they get you on the phone, we suggest, saying you do not understand this and your unwilling to speak with someone threatening legal action against you.

They will not give up easily.
You need to read EVERY letter they send to you, even if it is not certified mail.
There is a small chance one of the letters MIGHT say you need to appear in court by a certain date.
If you get a letter like that you need to contact a lawyer and have them make contact with the court.
The odds are HEAVILY against getting a letter like that, and there are many issues with the case that can work in your favor.

I am and remain…


No one here is a lawyer, none of us play one on tv, none of us are giving you legal advice, the only legal advice you should take is from a lawyer you are paying.
We have a long history of dealing with these types of cases, and we are giving you the best information available to help you be prepared.
When in doubt, always do research on your own. Be aware there are websites being run by some of the bad lawyers giving very bad advice without saying they are bad people.


51 responses to ‘FAQ from TAC

  1. can i kid under 18 be sued or can the parents be sued id realy like to know also how long afgter the settlement dat do you get an apeer in court letter

    • I don’t know the exact law, but based on what the Music industry did a few years ago, I beleive a minor child can be sued. As most kids don’t have the assets to pay a judgement, it would be a hollow victory for the Trolls. Saying that, the Trolls would most likely try to get the parents to settle (pay up) if they found out this was the case. Here is a post of interest – http://dietrolldie.com/2012/01/05/brett-gibbs-whines-an-end-to-311-cv-01566-hard-drive-productions-inc-v-doe-ip-address-173-55-54-77/ An adult child in the home was likely the offender and the parents decided to settle. As far as time – 3 years from the alleged offense.

      “On 8 Dec 11, Gibbs served the deposition subpoena on the Doe IP Address On 21 Dec 11, the deposition of this Doe took place. The following information comes from the voluntary dismissal (with prejudice) of the this Doe, filed on 27 Dec 11.

      The corresponding deposition of Doe 1 was held on December 21, 2011, and lasted just over two and a half hours with no papers being examined. At the deposition, Plaintiff’s counsel focused his questioning on inquiries that would likely to allow Plaintiff to identify the infringer in this case—whether that individual is Doe 1 or another individual. The deposition revealed that: (1) the subscriber was not likely to be Doe 1; and (2) it is likely that the subscriber’s adult child was Doe 1. After the deposition, arms-length settlement talks ensued, and Doe 1 and Plaintiff agreed upon a mutually beneficial settlement that would avoid any further litigation in this matter.”

  2. I’ve got a question. Say they’ve not sent an order for subpoena just yet. Can I cancel my internet service now and get out of this?

    • No, canceling internet service does not mean that your ISP will immediately delete records about you: they still have your phone and address and will release them given a valid court order. The entire ordeal does not worth going through such hassles. If you stay strong, don’t talk to scumbags, ignore mailings from them (but not from the court), 99.9% you’ll be just fine. Read, read, read and let yourself be converted from scared to pissed off.

      • So the recommendation is to not quash the order but to let the account holder name be released and wait for someone to make contact? Has anyone been through this all the way that can let me know what to expect? I just got my letter yesterday.

        • In a nutshell, it’s one of the strategies and in most cases it is the best one. Nonetheless, like anything else, this issue is not black-and-white, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you don’t perform any active steps, expect a lot of threatening calls and letters (don’t even think about engaging in a conversation with trolls). I don’t know who your troll is, but some even go as low as calling neighbors and employers. If that can impact your marriage or employment, sure you want to take some active steps. Filing a motion may or may not work, most likely it won’t. If a lawyer files such motion, the chances to keep your name private are better, yet not 100%.

          Also remember that filing a motion serves two secondary goals: to make more work for trolls and to educate your judge.

  3. I received one of those letters from my ISP. It only lists a single time and date that I am alleged to have downloaded a movie, which I honestly have no recollection of doing. Does this mean they are saying I only did it one time?

    Thanks for all the help. This website is great.

    • If one IP address and one time is listed, it’s a single allegation.Troll cases are generally for one “work” over one time period. The times periods listed have usually ranged between several weeks and several months.Look up you case complaint documents and exhibits if you can.

      The wide range in time of alleged Doe so called conspiracy is one possible weakness of the case. Defendants argue that Does could not be working together over months so granting discovery for a group is improper joinder. With time, more courts may see this point is valid.

      AFAIK, no Doe defendant knows the full details of the honeypot troll software. The trolls have avoided cases where their “experts” and software would be evaluated.

      One point raised in Doe defense is that troll reports have not included whether the alleged bittorrent connection for a Doe was one second or one bit or one day or one gigabyte.

      Remember there are various errors the troll extortion can make that identifies innocent Does. Judge Howard Lloyd’s ruling makes clear that troll actions can do “extrajudicial business against… innocent others caught up in the ISP net”….

  4. What is the usual timeline on something like this? and after the ISP releases your info how long do they have to act?

  5. How long does the whole process take? Say, if I get my ISP letter today, when should I expect to get the court letter appearance letter(chapter 3)?

  6. need a quash template for the Celestial. Inc. v. Does 1-252
    Middle District of Florida.
    When is the trial? or they are not even there yet?
    I don’t want these clowns to get my name…how can I stop this??

  7. This is the second time I’ve been approached by these people. My only statements are that I did not, nor did my any one in my household download said movie. I state it is preposterous to try to sue someone over their IP address as this is easily hacked and that I will be contacting my attorney with how to deal with their “claim” I want to file a suit of harassment. I’m sick to death of this.

  8. I’ve been reading about many of these cases the past couple days and I don’t know what my mother should do. It’s a very stressful situation as many of you know. How do I get help with type of case?

  9. Interesting thing to also note. They list a simple IP address now in IP routing we also need to know the subnet mask or CIDR used, as well as the default gateway. Without those bits of info you don’t leave your local network. I would challenge a troll to provide this as the same address but with a different subnet mask would map to two different, or maybe many more, locations entirely depending on the mask. What is even more beautiful is that this would never be encoded in any datagram so I would challenge the trolls to provide that information to show that even their weak bit of evidence of an IP is actually quite flawed. Never mind the defense that your WiFi was hacked or abused.

    Now I’m sure they think it is as simple as 1 IP equals 1 network device, but that is just not so. And the ISP has the ability with DHCP to change their masking at any time with very much ease. The only thing that could remain the same is the MAC address however that is easily spoofed and in nearly all routers that is easy to do so as in the early days an ISP would charge you for the number of computers you connect to an ISP account. Gone are those days now as even a $15 router can do that spoofing quite easily. Rather you are charged based upon your bandwidth allocation.

    I would love one of these cases to go before a court with a security professional as the defendant. It would be a field day for which I’d bring the popcorn.

    Think it can’t happen? With the wide net they cast, I’m sure it already has. Perhaps, in a spare moment I should write up the defense that could be included in a motion.

    • Trolls have been making millions of dollars. If their alleged computer “science” proof was good, wouldn’t they be able to hire someone with more distinguished credentials (and less apparent conflict of interest) than Jon Nicolini, Peter Hansmeier, or some Guardaley henchman ?

      How about some Does contacting some authorities in network and forensics, and developing an “exhibit” (or several) that a Doe or their lawyer could attach to motion ?

      (‘Declaration of Larry Ellison and Paul Otellini….’) :^)

  10. I recieved a Letter of request for informal discovery and preservation of evidence warning. Anyone else get one lately? I have had no contact with them at all.

  11. I received one of these letters from my isp on the 17th. It is from Prenda, it is in regards to cp productions inc v. doe. Says to respond by the 9th of August or my info will be turned over on the 10th. Ive been researching since then trying to figure out what steps to take. Whether i should ignore the whole thing all togther or be worried. i guess its a bit of both. The one mistake i made was to call prenda myself without legal advice. The mistake i made was to introduce myself by name on the phone when the paralegal introduced himself. Hopefully they did not record our conversation. Other then that i stayed anonymous. He never repeated my name back ever and only looked me up by my ip address. I asked him what the title of the material i was potential being accused of downloading. He told me and i had never heard of it and have no trace of it in my pc. Not to mention i went on copyright.gov and cp productions didnt even have the rights to the title he had mentioned. Though when researching the subpoena that i received other sites stated it was another title, which i also do not remember downloading, but that cp productions does have the rights to. So either these sources are wrong or this paralegal lied to me (which is highly likely), but that wouldnt make much sense. In order to get me to settle you would think they would use material that the plaintiff actually has the copyright to. Mentioning settling, the paralegal mentioned it to me. He said in some cases where the accused does not want his or her name mention in said potential suit, our client offers to settle out of court. I asked how much because whether guilty or innocent i would like to know all my options. He said $3400!!!!!! At which i scoffed. Then thanked him for his help and told him to have a good day( though i didnt mean it). After all that being said my true question is…should i go to a lawyer for a consultation atleast? Find out if i should try to quash it. Or, should i just sit tight and let it unfold? Ive been thinking to sit tight but to also seek legal consultation just to get a opinion. But I have never needed a lawyer and have never been involved in anything like this and am reluctant to see a lawyer cause i dont have that kind of money. Which is why this whole thing is so scary. ADVICE SOMEONE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

    • You are either harassed by Prenda or an attorney affiliated with the sleaziest law firm in the USA (IMHO). Take a deep breath and calm down. Your chances of being individually named in a lawsuit are minuscule and no troll has EVER taken a troll lawsuit past joinder of issue. Moreover, if you live in a state where Prenda has no presence your chance of being sued has now dropped to zero. Any questions?

      • Raul,thanks for answering back. Well i havent actually been harassed by anyone yet. But my ISP is about to give up my info on 8/10/12. Then Im sure the harassing will begin. The subpoena and letter, attached to the letter from my ISP, has the Prenda letter head, but it also mentions Matthew Edward Dumas of Hostetter & O’Hara. The Subpoena was issued by the US District Court of Indiana. I live in Nevada. My real question is, where do i begin? Should I go to lawyer now, before the 10th and try to quash, or just wait it out?

      • Yeah I was just wondering about it cause I live in PA and got a letter from Prenda pretaining to the Guava LLC vs Skylar case which is in Cook County IL. I never got a letter from my ISP about this nor does it state anywhere in the letter who exactly the company is or what the crime was(was it some kinda of media stolen, did someone password hack or what) first time ive hd anything like this come to me and not sure exactly what to do. Says i have until the 15th of august to pay the $4,000 settlement or I would become a named defendent.

        • Did they subpoena your ISP and they just complied without sending you a letter, or did Prenda somehow get your info without ever subpoena-ing to your ISP to begin with?? It’s strange how this one case is unfolding. I’m wondering if the defendant somehow has a list of names that plaintiff somehow obtained?

        • I dont know how exacty they got it, though people on the Prenda page were mentioning “bill of pure discovery”?

  12. Thanks the dude. This has been really consuming me lately. But all these sites and forums have really helped to put me at ease. I cant really afford a lawyer anyhow. Most give free intial consultations but seems like thats how they get you. Next you know youre paying them. So i guess ill just ride it out for now.

  13. “You may also be held liable for monetary damages, including attorney’s fees and court costs if a lawsuit is commenced against you. You have until Saturday, September 1, 2012 to access the settlement offer and settle online. To access the settlement offer please visit http://www.copyrightsettlements.com

    If you fail to respond or settle within the prescribed time period, the claim(s) will be referred to our attorneys for legal action. At that point the original settlement offer will no longer be an option and the amount will increase as a result of us having to involve our attorneys.”

    I received this about 2 weeks ago. A site by the name of Copyrightsettlements.com wants $200 to settle a case. What should I do? I don’t have the means to fight this at all. Does anyone know anything about Copyrightsettlements.com?

    • We were wondering when and how Copyright Enforcement Groups’s “pure bill of discovery” lawsuit discovery info was going to manifest itself. It looks as if CEG is now trying to shake out Doe settlements without the bother of judicial oversight. This is very, very sleazy which is why the settlement demand is so low. Depending on your comfort level, I say ignore, the last thing these trolls (who are in various pockets of hot water across the USA) need or want is judicial scrutiny of this blatant shake down scam. Keep in mind that if they do go to the trouble of filing a sham federal lawsuit (which is unlikely) the demand will go up to $3,500 but the case will still be the same, pure BS. If they follow up with a phone call notify your state Attroney General as this is extortion.

  14. I got a letter from CEG. My ISP forwarded it 4 months late (obviously past the settlement date). They were willing to negotiate even past the deadline for the low settlement. That’s the business model.

    • Cause of action? Where’s this coming from? They can’t just proclaim you guilty without you even knowing about it.

    • A cause of action is why they’re suing you, not the disposition of the case. Disposition is judgment. If they’re sending you shit claiming a cause of action is a judgment against you, file a complaint with your state’s bar association, the state AG, local AG, and the FBI immediately.

  15. was this an actual letter from CEG or was it an attatchment to a dmca notice that your ISP forwarded to you? the low ammount makes it sound like a dmca attatchment. if that is the case then they would still have to file a jdoe suit to get your info and until then they have no clue who you actually are. the dmca attatchments can be fully ignored. just use them as a warning that you need to stop illegally dl’ing stuff or you need to secure your internet better or slap your roomate/child.

  16. If I get a summon to appear in court and I retain a consul (lawyer). Will I have to appear in court in person or can the lawyer do it on my behalf?

  17. I got a call from Bill Hagans in LA, on my cell phone. Troll. I live in Chicago. He was doing his troll speak. Stating all the above crap. I was totally flabbergasted. So I spoke freely and openly. I didn’t say I did anything, but I did get alot of info from him. Movies, dates, ip address. Seemed real, but reading from this site, holy crap. I have read that I shouldn’t do anything, and blow off any more enquires. But he has my name and cell phone, is that bad?

    Any advise is cool


  18. Does this change at all for university networks? I am not sure how tied up my IP address is to me–would that make me more of a target since the IP isn’t connected to a wireless router?

  19. My friend got a notice for one of these for illegal porn downloads and the total of 3 downloads only adds up to $600. What are the chances of the troll actively pursuing them for such a small amount? Their main concern is that they will have their name tarnished and that it will be on their record.

  20. I have received four notices now through my provider Charter. Called and they were no help whatsoever. If they try to release my information I can promise that they have lost a customer for life. The nerve of these vultures trying to extort money from a disabled combat Vet. Then again I have a very distinct sill set so they might get a surprise one fine day if this harassment continues. So far just concerned. Any advice out there?????

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