Here we go again--another potential client accused of wrongfully downloading copyrighted materials. There are literally hundreds of examples on AVVO of people who ask the same question. You s should read many questions and answers---but the bottom line is that you need to retain a lawyer--and this will not be easy or inexpensive for you.
Here is the standard answer. Don't handle this by yourself---you need a lawyer. You can move to quash or vacate the subpoena, but you will probably lose the motion. Here is your problem--your IP address was associated with an illegal download. This is prima facie evidence of copyright infringement. The purpose of the subpoena is simply to find out who owned the IP address who infringed. Courts rarely grant motions to quash.
The real issue is this---if you downloaded this movie (porn or not), then you engaged in copyright infringement. If so, you need to admit this and settle the case, paying damages. If you did not engage in infringing conduct, then you may wish to fight this. But you need to retain counsel either way.
The statutory damage for copyright infringement could be as high as $150,000 per download if the court or jury finds that the infringement is willful. You need to be realistic here--someone engaged in illegal conduct using your IP address. You need IP lawyers to defend you in this, because you face a financial mess if you do not deal with this now. And get your check-book out. You will have to pay lawyers to help defend you and a significant amount to settle this case. That is reality Don't shoot me, I am just the messenger. I defend these cases all the time, and prosecute them to. And I practice in NY and Jersey. I am available for you if you decide to hire counsel.
My firm can either try to negotiate a settlement for you, or make a motion to quash, dismiss, and maybe sever.
You can contact my colleague Ty Rogers at 718-544-3434 ext 1# or email@example.com
Attorney Ross hit on all of the key points - retain a lawyer, decide how much you want to fight, and be prepared to pay a bit to settle. In my experience, these cases tend to fall into three categories: (1) you did it, you know you did it, and you do not have a good defense; (2) there is no way that you did it; and (3) you didn't do it, but you have a more or less open network. In case (1) your best bet is to settle - expect to pay between $2500 and $4000, although every case varies, and in case (2) you need to communicate the facts to your lawyer, back them up with evidence, and tell him to get you out with no payment - I have been successful in all such cases I have handled. Case (3) is the most challenging - the copyright enforcement groups have been unsuccessful so far in establishing this as contributory copyright infringement, but I suspect they will keep trying. My suggestion in case (3) is to fight for a lower settlement than you would have to pay in case (1) and get it done.
If you can avoid it, you really do not want to litigate one of these cases unless you have a lot of money. Copyright suits are certainly not the most expensive suits, but $25,000 will go well before you get to summary judgment, and if the case goes to trial, expect to shell out in the vicinity of $100,000. The amounts that the different Media groups want is pretty small in comparison (which is why this works for them).
All of that said, you need counsel - I would contact a NJ attorney ASAP, and get a consultation setup as soon as possible.
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This same question has been asked and answered many times before. Read some by clicking the link below.
The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
There are often legal defenses to these kinds of lawsuits, however the technicalities of how to properly defend against them are such that you absolutely should hire an attorney familiar with this type of law. Attorney Beckerman, listed above, is well known for copyright issues involving the entertainment industry.
The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Dan's expertise lies in the electronic entertainment (video game) industry, as well as complex internet law issues, electronic free speech, entertainment law, copyright and trademark law, and computer fraud. He primarily represents game developers and founders of emergent internet technologies.