I have been contacted by CEG TEK through my internet provider to settle for illeged copyright infringement. Weather or not I am guilty I don't have the money to fight it if it ever went to court. So I guess that means I will pay. However the website is asking for my name and credit card info. Another site mentioned that this may be a ploy to get my info and sue me anyway. So does the Liability release they send you actually absolve you of any responsibility or is this another ploy?As I have already been to the site in the link and entered in the special case code they send me they already have my IP address. Knowing this, is entering in my name, address and credit card info really all that much more risky?
You should NOT provide this company with your credit card information. If this company wants to present its infringement claim against you and negotiate a settlement then it needs to do so in a professional manner. It's system is nowhere close to being minimally acceptable. Speak with your own copyright attorney before you interact with this company again.
The above response 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.
NO, that's not a good idea, generally. A better approach is to see a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction who has dealt with this particular copyright troll, CEG-TEK, before. I am 15 miles away from you in Alton and have such experience, and give free 15 minute consultations on these "copyright troll extortion letters" like you got. There are many other good copyright defense attorneys further away that also hate Ira Seigel and what he does as much as I do and have such experience. I do not suggest giving Ira Seigel (the name behind the acronym) your credit card. In fact, it is a disservice to everyone to pay him anything. This letter is indeed intended to get your name if Seigel and his cronies decide to sue you, but normally they just take the settlement money and vanish with it and you never hear from them again. However, you are then just "feeding the troll" and basically passing the problem onto the next victim. And, as to suit, if you don't handle it right that might happen. The smart play is to get your own lawyer and pay your own lawyer rather than send your money to California to the likes of Ira Seigel and CEG-TEK or their counterparts at Prenda Law in Chicago.
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
I have represented several people such as yourself who would like to remain anonymous. As you said, they have your IP address but not your name and address. They had your IP address already, which is why you got that DMCA notice in the first place, so that is not much of a difference.
If you would like to settle the claim that is referred to in the DMCA notice, then you can do so by paying the money online. Many people prefer to remain anonymous when they do so, and so several people hire me to make the payment for them. CEG Tek has my name already several times. I'm not sure exactly how big a deal this is for you, but many people would like to remain as anonymous as they can.
As to whether their release would absolve you of all responsibility, that depends. Their settlement agreement appears sufficient to discharge whatever claim is set out in the actual DMCA notice, but nothing else. In other words, if you downloaded 200 movies, but the DMCA notice you received only identifies one movie, then you would only be getting a release as to that one movie, not the other 199. There are very good reasons for this. First, it may be that no one caught you downloading those other 199 movies so no one knows about it. Second, it may be (and is likely) that the copyright owners of the other 199 movies do not have a deal with CEG Tek that would enable CEG Tek to settle those claims.
Answers and information provided here does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Paying this entity is a very bad idea---don't give them any more information about yourself. The settlement papers they ask you to sign are probably not adequate to protect your interests. Further, once you pay and they have your information, there is nothing to stop them from coming back for more. The only appropriate way to handle this is to retain a lawyer to defend yourself. Often, a single letter from your lawyer will make the trolls disappear. While it might cost more to hire the lawyer then to settle, in the long run you will be better of. Mr. Burdick is very close to you----why not hire him to handle this for you?
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