File Sharing

Number of file sharing claims rises dramatically

Many people in Germany receive warning letters for allegedly illegally exchanging copyright-protected material on file sharing websites. According to new statistics for the first half of 2013, the number of file sharing court claims has now risen dramatically.

Number of file sharing claims increases dramatically © AK-DigiArt-Fotolia

Number of file sharing claims increases dramatically © AK-DigiArt-Fotolia

File sharing statistics

Although not wishing to be an authoritative collection of data on file sharing in Germany, a study published by Initiative AW3P covering the first half 2013 shows some interesting statistics as far as file sharing warning letters and court cases are concerned. The data is based on information from 35 law firms in Germany.

General information shows that the number of visitors to the self-help website www.abmahnwahn-dreipage.de increased from 26,675 in January 2013 to 34,527 in June this year. The specimen declaration to cease and desist was downloaded 8,315 times and the e-book “debt collection guide” 3,010 times in June alone.

From these statistics it is clear that people who have received file sharing warning letters are looking for information to assist them.

365 file sharing court claims

According information collected from the 35 law firms, 7,425 new file sharing clients were taken on in the first half of 2013.

Also worrying is the number of court claims brought during the first half of 2013 by opposition law firms against alleged file sharers in an attempt to enforce the claims made in warning letters. This reached 356 and compares to 569 court claims brought for the whole of 2012 and just 171 in 2011.

The increased claim activity means that recipients of warning letters now face high costs if they choose to do nothing. A pre-formulated declaration to cease and desist received by the opposition law firm should not be submitted. Instead it is highly advisable to seek legal advice.

File sharing information

For more information on how to react to a file sharing warning letter you can access our file sharing special or download our file sharing handbook for free.

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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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