It is well known that some software products "call home" to inform their distributors how the software is used and whether it conforms to their licensing terms.
When someone pirates that software, this method might be used by the copyright holder to gather information about the user, and send the user a warning/threatening letter about the fact, and ask for payment, threatening legal action in case of non-compliance.
However, what is considered sufficient evidence for that legal action to have any standing at all? Would the word of the copyright holder (and their server logs, which in theory could be faked) be enough to prosecute the supposed copyright infringement?
My misunderstanding might come from the problem of what this evidence consists of. It is just a message sent by a software to their server. It's just data somewhere on a machine, under full control of the copyright owner.
A) Is the copyright owner implicitly believed? In this case it would be easy for such a company to go rogue, and make up copyright claims. For example, they might allow a free (as in beer) software to be downloaded, but having an expensive, non-free software too. The user installs the free one, it "phones home" with information to identify the user with, they edit the logs, and sue the user for using the non-free version.
B) If the data gathered by the copyright owner is not implicitly believed, then how can they press their claim if the user denies everything? By the time they obtain a warrant and show up with the police to search the premises of the supposed pirate, the evidence might have long since been destroyed. (and usually it's in a different country, making the process even more difficult and expensive)
If it's (A), how are users protected from frivolous lawsuits? If it's (B), then how can copyright owners exercise any of their rights? I would guess it's mostly (B), and the copyright owners just scare users into paying, and if a users refuses, there is not much they can do against him, besides threatening to start a lengthy and expensive lawsuit which the copyright owners have no real hope of winning, but would be so costly and time-consuming for the user (especially if the user is a private person or a much smaller company than the copyright holder) that he rather pays than to be dragged into it.
Is my understanding correct, is this how it works? The copyright holder has little to no chance of winning, but proposes a settlement of a few hundred or few thousand $, and threatens a lengthy legal process for maybe millions if not complied, and the users are scared of that lengthy process and they rather pay the smaller sum instead of going for the very low risk of having to pay millions in legal fees?