The copyright infringement warning letter from the law firm U & C
What is U & C demanding from you?
By sending you a copyright infringement warning letter, the law firm U & C is seeking the immediate deletion of the work named in the warning letter and the submission of a declaration to cease and desist. Furthermore, instead of a compensatory amount and legal costs, U & C demand a payment in settlement, which depending on the number of works named in the warning letter, can be €650 or more.
Detailed explanation of the copyright infringement warning letter from U & C
On the first page of the copyright infringement warning letter U & C name the copyright holder (artist or music label) in whose interest they act.
U & C also note the time and date the alleged copyright infringement took place; i.e. when the music file was exchanged via the IP-address which has been assigned to you. This IP-address is variable and cannot be double checked.
U & C explain that they went before a district court to obtain a court order in accordance with the civil-based right to disclosure of information contained in paragraph 101 IV of the German Copyright Law (UrhG), which permits your service provider to release your details.
On page two, it is explained that as the connection owner, you are liable for copyright infringements conducted via your internet connection, even if they are perpetrated by a third party. U & C point out that their client has several claims against you, including: a cease and desist claim and claims for compensation as well as destruction of the file.
You are then requested to remove the file from your computer and submit and declaration to cease and desist. To make it easier for you, U & C even attach a unilaterally-drafted, pre-printed declaration to cease and desist, which they require you to sign and send to them within a very short deadline.
It is then explained that according to paragraph 97a I UrhG you are obliged to pay the legal costs which have arisen for pursuing the matter to this point. The claim value is listed as €25,000. It is made clear that paragraph 97a II UrhG is not applicable in the current case, as it is not a “simple case”. U & C draw your attention to the fact that their client is entitled to compensation for the damage caused and as a result they make an offer to settle the case.
On page three U & C set a deadline for paying the settlement amount and list their bank details.
U & C assert that if you refuse to sign the declaration to cease and desist, the claim will be brought and enforced through a court action. They also mention that an extension of the date can only occur in exceptional circumstances and that any questions should be in writing and sent either by fax or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On pages two and three the following appears: “In the name and on behalf of our client we can offer to drop the civil-based claim against you, if you make a one-off payment of €650 and submit the enclosed declaration to cease and desist.
By paying this sum and submitting the declaration to cease and desist all claims for damages arising from the stated copyright infringement (paragraph 97 UrhG) as well as lawyer’s costs will be settled. This amount includes the costs of the copyright infringement warning letter, the claim for damages, lawyer’s fees, court costs arising from obtaining the court order, the costs of the internet monitoring firm which was used to investigate the copyright infringement and the internet service provider’s costs incurred as a result of complying with the court order (in accordance with paragraph 101 II UrhG).”