Recently, a company in Denmark called "Njord Law Firm" sent out about 25,000 penalty letters to Swedish citizens regarding downloading pirate movies from Piratebay, Popcorn time, or as such. They got this information from ISPs with a permission from the court. They are asking for about 4,500 Swedish Krona (~514 USD) as a fine for downloading a copyrighted movie material (on behalf of a bunch of film makers/producers). They also mentioned that if subsciber don't pay this amount, they will increase the fine and/or they will file a lawsuit against them!

The surprising thing is that they are a 100% legal company and the letter seems legit! I can confirm this is not a scam, as we contacted police and our ISP.

Considering almost all internet subscribers today have wifi routers and open internet access, its too vague who had really download such copyrighted materials. If they really file a lawsuit against the subscribers (in case of no payment), can subscibers claim they had a wifi router and they provided the username/password to so many people and its not clear who is the "guilty person" ?

  • Peer-to-peer services like Bittorrent work by downloading and uploading other parts of files. Are they accusing you of uploading to other people (redistribution), or simply from downloading from one particular source? – Brandin Sep 25 at 5:02

Literal Answer: Anyone can file a lawsuit for anything, doesn't mean you will win or that the judge will let it go as far as trial, but you can certainly file a lawsuit.

Deeper answer: Yes they can file a lawsuit assuming they have been given authority to represent the copyright holders.

The problem with succeeding in such a lawsuit is proving who is liable. This is contractual, but as the ISP customer it's possible that you signed that you would be responsible for the traffic going to your ISP. If this is not the case, it can be hard to prove who is responsible.

There is also the issue of did the movie actually download? Just because you clicked a link to download, does not mean a download happened and that could be hard to for the other side to prove.

Then there is the question of what is the intent of the letters? Do they want people to be aware that they will be caught and stop pirating or do they really want 4,500 X 25,000 Swedish Krona? Whether they sue the non-payers or not likely comes down to how many people send in the money but in any case it is in their best interest to make the public at large believe that they will be sued.

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