Information package for letter recipient

Hedman Partners regularly sends letters to internet connection owners as a result of infringing activity carried out using their connections. The owner of the connection is always a party to the infringement and obliged to endure investigation of the matter and may be targeted with different legal measures. The owner of the connection also has the best information on how her connection has been used.

The intention of our letter is to notify the detection of illegal use and to offer a possibility to compensate the infringement without court proceedings and costs associated to it. The matter is fully settled after payment of compensation and we will provide you a written confirmation for the settlement.

In case you have questions regarding the letter, we shall reply all of those by phone and email. We have also gathered an FAQ for your convenience.

Frequently asked questions:

What is BitTorrent?

BitTorrent is a decentralised filesharing technology. The aim of BitTorrent is to distribute files as efficiently as possible to unlimited number of recipients. According to the operating principle of BitTorrent, all its users distribute the file in their possession starting from the first piece to other users. Also those users who have intended to download a file using BitTorrent have given their consent in distributing the same file for other users. The technology is itself legal, but its illegal use is unfortunately common.

Where is the information gathered from?

The IP address and other technical information are gathered from public peer-to-peer networks which anyone can access.

The name of the internet connection owner is acquired from the internet service provider (ISP) offering such connection. The ISP is obliged to disclose such information as a result of a Market Court verdict based on Copyright Act Section 60 a. The ISP must according to law comply such verdicts and this affects all operators.

My IP address does not match with the one in the letter?

Consumer connections use so called dynamic IP addresses. If the current IP address is different, it is probable that the IP address has changed. The ISP has given the information on who has had the IP address at a specific time of the infringement. Please note also that your computer’s IP address may be the local area network IP address. You can check your public IP by using for example this site: https://www.whatismyip.com/

How is the compensation determined?

Illegal distribution of creative work must always be compensated as set in Section 57 of Finnish Copyright Act. In Finnish court practice it has been emphasized that compensation is an integral part of the sanction system and it aims to effectively prevent copyright infringements.

In higher court verdicts in Finland the compensation for BitTorrent distribution has been from hundreds to thousands of euros depending on the number of users in each BitTorrent swarm. Unlike today, in these cases the maximum user amount was always 10,000 users due to the limitation in the Finreactor tracker used at the time. Here are some examples of the compensation granted by courts:

1272 euro compensation for distribution of five mobile games (Supreme Court KKO 2010:48, the compensation is not visible in the version published in the yearbook of the court.)

2651,80 euro compensation for distribution of three computer games (Rovaniemi Court of Appeals verdict no 204, docket number R 07/421, given 4.3.2011)

8000 euro compensation for distribution of computer operating system (Supreme Court 30.6.2010, docket number R 2008/72, 1399)

10,000 euro compensation for distribution of computer game (Supreme Court KKO 2010:47 chapters 45 – 48 of the verdict considering a person who was not an administrator, but a regular user, this part is not published in the yearbook)

Hedman Partners has together with right owners evaluated a reasonable and standardized possibility to compensate the infringement. The amount of compensation is in proportion of the amount of titles and right owners infringed.

In court proceedings the amount of compensation can be assessed differently with more emphasis on the potentially large user amounts of the swarm. All the receivers of the letters have distributed the works in considerable manner due to the threshold of the Section 60 a in the Copyright Act.

How is downloading to one’s own use assessed?

Downloading of copyright protected content to one’s own use from illegal source is not legal according to Section 11.5 of the Finnish Copyright Act. However, when downloading from peer-to-peer networks, one simultaneously distributes the files to other peer-to-peer users, which is much more harmful than mere downloading to one’s own use.

What repercussions can there be if the letter is ignored?

We recommend to react to the letter immediately after receipt. Neglecting payment of compensation without giving an acceptable explanation will likely result in Hedman Partners taking the matter further into civil proceedings or reporting the suspected offence to police. If you have any remarks regarding the letter, we recommend to contact Hedman Partners to mitigate potential legal costs and if the protection of your legal rights so requires, to contact own attorney.

Has Hedman Partners any court cases pending against letter recipients?

Hedman Partners has taken legal actions against letter recipients in court of law.

Pending civil cases can be inquired from Market Court: http://markkinaoikeus.fi/en/index/yhteystiedot.html

Pending criminal cases are not public before prosecutors’ decisions to press charges.

How can I be sure that the contact information and bank account actually belong to Hedman Partners?

Hedman Partners contact information in copyright matters are by phone 09 4242 8799 and by email copyright@hedman-attorneys.com

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