What to do if sued for illegally downloading video or music?

By Jim Maisano

A Minnesota attorney contact from Google+ has a very nice summary on his blog about the issues a defendant faces when accused of illegally downloading a movie, video or song from the internet.  Please check out the blog of Aaron D. Hall, Esq.:


Mr. Hall provides a helpful summary on how to evaluate one of these copyright infringement lawsuits, which are usually brought by a big company against a regular person, without the financial resources to battle a team of corporate attorneys.

He makes a good recommendation to communicate directly to the plaintiff’s attorney upon being sued to see if you can work out a settlement, but speak with an attorney before making such a communication to avoid saying something that could hurt you later in the litigation.

An organization with an interesting website is the Electronic Frontier Foundation – www.eff.org. It has an informative page about what to do when notified by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) that due to a subpoena it released your name to a company alleging that you have illegally downloaded copyrighted works, such as movies, videos or songs. Here is the link: www.eff.org/issues/file-sharing/subpoena-defense.

However, of course, the best advice anyone can give you is to be very careful whenever downloading potentially copyrighted items off the internet.  When in doubt – don’t download.

If you want to learn more about copyright law and rules, check out the U.S Copyright office at: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf. In general, having a copyright means a party has the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise utilize a literary, musical or artistic work, whether printed, audio or video, and that work cannot be illegally copied.

James Maisano, Esq.
(914) 636-1621

One response

  1. very very important and well informed article it is. all should know the laws. i think its really helpful to us as we download songs regularly but we didn’t no the copyrights law. thanks to admin for this nice post.

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