File Sharing

File sharing: Waldorf Frommer targets TV series with new wave of warning letters

TV series fans are in for a shock! The law firm Waldorf Frommer has been instructed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Germany GmbH to send a new wave of warning letters for exchanging TV series on file sharing websites.

The TV series targeted include “How I Met Your Mother”, “Modern Family”, “New Girl” and “Homeland”.

The warning letters require suspected file sharers to submit a declaration to cease and desist and pay several hundred euros. The number of episodes contained in each warning letter varies. The warning letters can also refer to either the German or English versions of an episode.

Confusion over copyright law

Internet users sometimes believe that once a series has been shown on television, it can be freely shared on the internet without committing copyright infringement. Unfortunately, this belief is mistaken. The fact that an episode from a series has been shown on television, does not automatically mean that a licence to disseminate the episode has been granted. In such cases sharing such files infringes copyright and is illegal. This applies whether the episode is in German or English.

Legal advice on file sharing

If you have received a file sharing warning letter from Waldorf Frommer that contains one of the above-mention TV series it is highly advisable to seek legal advice.

You should not sign the declaration to cease and desist or pay the sum of money being demanded.

If you have received a warning letter and are unsure of what to do, our team of German lawyers can give you an assessment of your position and advise you on how to defend your case. Contact us for a free initial consultation on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0 or info@wbs-law.de.

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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