Explanation of Rasch’s copyright infringement warning letter
By sending you a copyright infringement warning letter, the law firm Rasch is seeking the submission of a declaration to cease and desist. The declaration must be enforceable by a contractual penalty for non-compliance. Furthermore, instead of demanding a compensatory amount and legal costs, Rasch demands a payment in settlement. The settlement amount demanded can vary depending on the number of files named in the warning letter and can be €1,200 or more.
Detailed explanation of the copyright infringement warning letter from Rasch
On the first page of the copyright infringement warning letter Rasch names the copyright holder (artist or music label) in whose interest they act.
Rasch also notes 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.
Then, Rasch makes the following demands of you: 1. where files belong to the named client and where the named client has not given express permission to use their files, you should refrain from making the copyright-protected files available on the internet or from exploiting the copyright-protected files in any other way. 2. You should agree to pay a contractual penalty of €5,001 in the event of future violations.
On page two of the warning letter Rasch explains that it represent the copyright holder named on page 1 and that they have engaged a monitoring company (Ermittlungsfirma proMedia Gesellschaft zum Schutz geistigen Eigentums mbH) to monitor file sharing websites for copyright infringements. Having obtained a court order from the relevant district court, Rasch was able to receive information on the address where the IP-address is registered. Under part III Rasch explains how the copyright holder’s rights have been violated through the file sharing procedures.
On page three Rasch explains what claims the copyright holder has against you including: a claim to cease and desist, a claim to compensation and a claim to disclosure of information.
Cease and desist claim:
The first claim Rasch has against you is a cease and desist claim.
Rasch writes the following:
“The claim can only be legally satisfied by the infringer submitting a declaration to cease and desist, in which the infringer makes a legal promise to pay a contractual penalty in the event of a future infringement.”
To make it easier for you Rasch encloses a copy of a pre-printed cease and desist declaration (on page 5) for you to submit.
Under section 2, the law firm Rasch explains the claim to compensation its client has against you. Investigation costs of up to €300 and lawyer’s costs amounting to €1,580 per music title are mentioned. Rasch holds the view that the cap of €100 on lawyer’s costs, contained in paragraph 97a II UrhG does not apply to the current case, as it is not a “simple case”. Rasch makes it clear that it has a claim for compensation against the perpetrator of the copyright infringement.
Despite the possible claims against you, Rasch makes a settlement offer. The following appears on page 4 of the warning letter: “Therefore, in order to satisfy the claim for compensation which our client has acquired as a result of the copyright infringement, we are prepared to make a settlement offer. This settlement offer can be accepted through the payment of a settlement amount of €1,200.”