So, first, the direct answer to your question is no, they don't have to prove that the file is on your computer to sue the company. They have to believe that the file is on your computer to sue the company. The lawsuit is a formal opportunity for them to try and prove that the file is (or was) on your computer. If they *believe* the file is on your computer, then can sue the company. If they *prove* the file is on your computer, they can win the suit. If they *can't prove* the file is (or was) on your computer, they will lose the suit.
So the question becomes, are they willing to move forward with the suit and *try* to prove that the file is on your computer. If this company is like all the others, it is highly unlikely that they will actually try to move forward and prove something after you deny it. That said, they might.
Either way, that is what the litigation process is for. They say something. You say something else. The Court figures out who's right.
Good luck. I know some very good lawyers in Colorado who work in this area.
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It's the other way around. They sue the company and then they have to prove it.
In your case, they may be hoping that you're the infringer or that you'll pay up to make it go away.
Either way, you'll need a Colorado attorney to help you determine what your options are. In most cases, you are not responsible for someone else's copyright infringement.
Probably half the people who are threatened or actually sued (often as John Does) did not do a download. They did not password protect their Wi-Fi routers and a neighbor did the infringement using their router.
But you cannot wholly ignore this threatening letter because you may get a judgment against you, a big one. Get a lawyer to look over the papers you have and give you advice. And secure your router now.
Licensed in Maryland with offices in Maryland and Oregon. Information here is general, does not create a lawyer-client relationship, and is not a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney on the specifics of your situation.
And how do you know this use occurred? I'm wondering if you do know more than you claim to know, and if you think that deleting the illegally downloaded movie will exonerate you. Usually copyright owners sue first, and then issue subpoenas to find out the IP address of the illegal downloaders so they can serve them with their lawsuit, and the ISps in turn send notices to their customers that their names/addresses have been subpoenaed. So if you didn't actually download this movie and haven't actually been served with a subpoena (and notice from the ISP), I don't know how you could know this.
Some of these suits have been dismissed since they target downloaders of porn movies and the lawyers try shaking down the downloaders for a few thousand dollars so they can avoid the embarrassment of being accused of downloading porn, whether it's true or not. Some are suits by legit movie producers such as those responsible for "Hurt Locker," which won Oscars but didn't make a lot of money at the box office so the producers are trying to compensate for that by using the legal system to chase freeloaders.
Anyway, as my colleagues suggestion that you hire a lawyer is good. Seek one who's licensed in the state and located in the city near the court listed on the subpoena.
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NO, of course not, they can sue a monkey for a banana if they want. And they likely have certain proof the movie in question was downloaded through your modem (they have the IP address and time and content all pegged). That's good enough to sue, but may not be good enough to win, depending on who they sue, for what, under what cause of action, and where. You can't just ignore this or you will spend lots more. You need to get a copyright defense attorney to fight it. I am sure several will respond to your question. Call any of us.
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.