Declaration to cease and desist

We offer advice on undertakings to cease and desist

If you have received a copyright infringement warning letter from a law firm, we advise you not to sign and submit the declaration to cease and desist that is enclosed. If you were to sign the pre-printed declaration to cease and desist, you would, in some circumstances, be submitting a signed recognition of the obligation to pay the compensation being demanded.

Furthermore, the law firm which sent you the copyright infringement warning letter would be in a position to continue to send you warning letters for other files which have been downloaded in the past.

This is why it is advisable to submit a modified version of the declaration – a so called modified declaration to cease and desist.

This modified declaration should be written by a lawyer with experience in the field of copyright law.

Can’t I just download a declaration to cease and desist from the internet?

It is not advisable to submit a declaration to cease and desist which has been downloaded from the internet. Not all of the declarations found on the internet are accepted by the copyright holders. It is often the case that examples of declarations to cease and desist, found on the internet, do not properly reflect the facts of the current case and have been incorrectly modified in the first place.

If this is the case, it then starts to get expensive! If an incorrect declaration to cease and desist is submitted, it is treated as if no declaration to cease and desist had been submitted at all. The copyright holder is then entitled to seek an injunction against the internet connection owner. The loser of injunction proceedings will then face a bill of several thousand Euros.

Even if a declaration to cease a desist from the internet is accepted, the law firms active in sending copyright infringement warning letters could still send such warning letters for other previously downloaded files. Specialist advice should be sought on how to reduce this risk.

I printed and submitted a declaration to cease and desist from the internet. What should I do?

To minimise the risk of facing an injunction and to reduce the possibility of receiving further copyright infringement warning letters, it is advisable to submit modified declaration to cease and desist in addition.

By submitting a modified declaration to cease and desist, the risks attached to an unaltered declaration printed off of the internet are kept to a minimum.

Where multiple music, film, game or audio book data have been exchanged, there is a risk that law firms could send multiple copyright infringement warning letters. In this case, it is advisable to submit a so-called preventative declaration to cease and desist.

What is a preventative declaration to cease and desist? Are they also available on the internet?

Preventative declarations to cease and desist and just the same as a normal declaration to cease and desist. They can be sent to law firms active in file sharing warnings before they have sent a copyright infringement warning letter.

Once a law firm has received a preventative declaration to cease and desist, they are no longer able to send copyright infringement warning letters in the same fashion. This is because the law firm is no longer permitted to charge legal fees.

By sending a preventative declaration to cease and desist the risk of continually receiving copyright infringement warning letters for files downloaded in the past, is dramatically reduced.

As far as pre-prepared preventative declarations to cease and desist are concerned, the same reservations as above apply.

Our copyright specialists are happy to give you an initial free consultation on your file-sharing case. Please call: +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0.

Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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