I got a "alleded copyright infringement" letter from Midcontinent ( my internet Company ) What does this mean?
3 attorney answers
Some lawyers have found a new way to make money–prey on people of being exposed for allegedly downloading copyrighted materials, especially allegedly pornographic movies. While I certainly frown upon copyright violations, often the allegations are without merit and simply an attempt to extort a settlement. It may be that a neighbor was using your wireless access or that it was some other unauthorized use. The basic gist of events is that you will get a notice from your internet provider saying your internet “IP” address is associated with the download of a movie or some other type of file that is allegedly copyrighted. You may also get a letter from an attorney representing the copyright owner seeking to settle with you. I have represented a number of folks dealing with this exact complaint and encourage you to contact an attorney to review this. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some interesting info about the tactics being used. https://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls. Again, your issue may be very different so you should contact an attorney.
This means that a law suit has been filed alleging copyright infringement someone using an internet protocol address associated with you. The suit was filed against one or more unknown "john doe" defendant. The Court has now allowed the plaintiff to submit a subpoena to your internet service provider which would require it to notify the plaintiff that your name is associated with the internet protocol address at issue. This means, in plain English, that you are being accused of copyright infringement, and you need to get a lawyer. You may have valid defenses to this claim---for example, that someone else was responsible for the illegal download. But guilty or not, you need to defend yourself. If you fail to defend yourself in this situation, you could face potential liability of up to $150,000 for each work allegedly illegally downloaded, plus costs and attorneys fees for the plaintiff. Most of the time these cases can be settled on an economically reasonable basis. As frustrated as you may be about this, you need to lawyer up.
It means that you need to see a lawyer. This is telling you that as part of an intellectual property protection program, some entertainment firm or law firm has determined that you have downloaded intellectual property without paying the holder of the intellectual property rights.
You should consult counsel about what response to make if any. Of course, this could also be a scam to get passwords etc.