BitTorrent Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I received a letter and a copy of a subpoena from my ISP that says I infringed on someone’s copyright or illegally downloaded a film, photo, image, music, or video game. The letter says I need to file a motion to quash or motion to vacate by a specific date. What should I do?
A: There are several things you can do at this early stage of litigation. You can proceed anonymously through our law firm and we will file a motion with the court on your behalf in an attempt to either quash the subpoena served on your ISP or get you dismissed from the case. This motion will be filed under your Doe number or IP address in order to keep your name confidential. Call us today to speak with an attorney regarding your rights.
Q: If I ignore the letter will this go away?
A: Not necessarily. There have been cases where the plaintiff has aggressively pursued Doe defendants after obtaining their information and called the defendant at their place of work or called family members of the defendant to inform them of the defendant’s infringing activity. Other plaintiffs have not gone to these lengths. It is important from the early stages of litigation to defend against these allegations.
Q: I ignored the letter from my ISP and now the plaintiff is contacting me, demanding that I make a monetary settlement. What can I do?
A: At this point our law firm may still enter an appearance on your behalf and file a motion with the court to attempt to get you dismissed from the case. Even though the plaintiff knows your name, phone number, and address, and possibly your MAC (Media Access Control) address and Global Unique Identifier (GUID), once you are represented by our office the plaintiff is directed to discontinue all contact with you and deal solely with our law firm regarding this matter. At this stage settlement may also be discussed.
Q: I ignored the letter from my ISP, the phone calls from the plaintiff, and now I have been served with a summons and complaint. What are my options?
A: In this situation you should take the summons very seriously. You should immediately seek legal counsel to protect your rights.
Q: Can I fight the plaintiff’s allegations anonymously?
A: If you hire an attorney after receiving notice from your ISP you can proceed anonymously if a motion is filed before the ISP is due to release your information. Your name may remain confidential until such time as the court rules on your motion and orders your ISP to disclose your information to the plaintiff. In the event the plaintiff obtains your information, the plaintiff should not contact you directly as you are represented by legal counsel. In some cases we are able to obtain agreement of the plaintiff to continue to pursue you anonymously, through counsel, even though they have become in possession of your personal identification information.
Q: Can you help me negotiate an anonymous settlement with the plaintiff?
A: Yes. We understand that although you may have not downloaded the material there may be a reason why it may be desirable for you to settle the claims against your IP address and your good name. The decision to settle is completely up to the client, but our firm can counsel the client when making this decision. You may remain anonymous providing your information was not already released to the plaintiff. Even if your name was released, we may still execute a settlement agreement on your behalf that does not name you, but only includes your IP address and Doe number. Also, we offer to process the settlement monies through our Attorney’s Trust Account to further protect your anonymity and to maintain control of the settlement process.
Q: What are my chances of being severed or dismissed from this case?
A: We cannot determine what your chances may be. This area of law is evolving and with no clear controlling decision on point. Different judges yield different results throughout Florida. However, we can tell you that the recent trend in the MDFL and SDFL has been favorable to severing all but one Doe Defendant from these actions.
Q: I am being sued in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court in relation to downloading copyrighted material but I am not being sued for copyright infringement. Can you help me in this instance?
A: You are most likely involved in what is referred to as a “Pure Bill of Discovery” case. These cases are filed in an attempt to obtain your personal information from your ISP without having to file a claim for copyright infringement in the federal court. Our law firm is of the opinion that the plaintiff’s use of the pure bill of discovery process to seek third-party discovery is being improperly used. We have experience in handling these state court actions and is currently accepting representation in these matters.
Q: What is the legal fee for representation?
A. Please contact us for a free telephone or email review of your case at (727) 378-3657 or [email protected].
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A: Please call (727) 378-3657 or email [email protected] today for a FREE consultation and fee quote.
WILLIAM R. WOHLSIFER, PLLC, DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT OUR FIRM CAN OBTAIN ANY SPECIFIC RESULTS IN YOUR CASE. LITIGATION IS HIGHLY UNPREDICTABLE.