How one ISP deals with copyright enforcement

Get a look at correspondence between the owner of a Louisiana ISP and representatives of copyright owners. The ISP owner gets several of notices like this a month.

This morning I wrote a story about Jerry Scroggin, owner-operator of Bayou Internet and Communications, and why he thinks copyright owners should compensate ISPs if they want help protecting content from piracy.

To give readers an idea of the kind of requests he receives from film and music companies each month, Scroggin forwarded some of his e-mail exchanges. Those are included here.

The first is from Payartists, which according to its Web site "provides a way for copyright infringers to settle their disputes with the copyright owners" and in this case was representing the family of the late rocker Frank Zappa.

The next notice is from Safenet, an information-security company, on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Near the bottom, within the body of the e-mail from "Tommy (presumably a Payartists employee)" you can see one of Scroggin's replies, which he said is his typical response.

Note: I have removed IP addresses and some personal identifying information.

From: xxxxxxxxxx@payartists.com
Sent: Sun 12/14/2008 4:26 PM
To: Jerry Scroggin
Subject: Second Notice of Claimed Infringement
***NOTE TO ISP: PLEASE FORWARD THE ENTIRE NOTICE***

Re: SECOND NOTICE OF INFRINGING ACTIVITY Cease and Desist Infringement of Copyrights Owned Exclusively by the Zappa Family Trust
Reference#: XX-XXXXXX (M)
2008-12-14 13:01:23 PST

Dear Sir or Madam:

We are authorized agents of the Zappa Family Trust ('ZFT'). On 2008-11-30 13:01:14 PST we sent you a notice of infringement with reference#: AE-xxxxxxx. That letter also notified Bayou Internet that downloading of sound recordings of performances of Frank Zappa compositions that occurred at your IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XX on or about 2008-11-28 18:31:02 PST infringed copyrights belonging exclusively to the ZFT. As of today we have not yet received a response from you regarding this matter. You are at risk for being a repeat infringer.

The ZFT is the owner of all right, title and interest, including without limitation the copyright therein, in and to the Frank Zappa musical compositions, which are embodied on sound recordings being unlawfully copied and distributed by you at the following IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XX. The undersigned is authorized to act on behalf of the ZFT, whose exclusive rights are being infringed. The composition(s) owned by the ZFT that have been infringed at the above IP address are as follows:

Infringement Source: Gnutella
Current Infringement Timestamp: 2008-11-28 18:31:02 PST
Infringers IP Address: 2008-11-28 18:31:02 PST
Infringers IP Address: XXX.XXX.XXX.XX
Infringers Port: XXXXX

Listing of infringement(s) (Title/Filename/Timestamp/Hash):
Wind Up Workin\' In A Gas Station | 2008-11-28 18:31:02 PST | Frank Zappa - Wind Up
Workin' In A Gas Station.mp3
RE: ONGOING INFRINGEMENTS

We hereby demand you immediately and permanently cease and desist the unauthorized copying and or distribution (including, but not limited to, downloading, uploading, file sharing, file 'swapping' or other similar activities) of recordings of Frank Zappa compositions, including but not limited to those items listed in this correspondence. If you do not so cease and desist activities that infringe copyrights belonging to the ZFT, the ZFT will pursue every available remedy including injunctions and recovery of attorney's fees, costs and any and all other damages which are incurred by the ZFT as a result of any action that is commenced against you. Should we become aware in the future that you have yet again infringed additional copyrights belonging to the ZFT we will pursue every available remedy against you and we will also promptly request that your ISP enforce its acceptable use policy against you.

RE: INFRINGEMENTS THAT HAVE ALREADY OCCURED

In regard to the infringements that have already occurred and that have been described above: while the ZFT is entitled to monetary damages from the infringing party under 17 U.S.C. Section 504, the ZFT believes that it may be expeditious to settle this matter without the need of costly and time-consuming litigation. In order to help you avoid further legal action from the ZFT, we have been authorized to offer a settlement solution that we believe is reasonable. This is our second notice to you in regard to your infringement of copyrights belonging to the ZFT.

If, within the next ten (10) business days, you do not agree to settle this matter in accordance with the terms proposed at the link described below, or make other arrangements through us to settle this matter with the ZFT, the ZFT will pursue every available remedy including injunctions and recovery of attorney's fees, costs and any and all other damages which are incurred by the ZFT as a result of any action that is commenced against you.

If you choose to accept the settlement offer at the following URL, then the ZFT will agree to settle all claims in regard to the acts of past infringements described above.

To access this settlement offer, copy and paste the following URL below into a browser and follow the instructions at that website:

https://www.payartists.com/?n_id=AE-XXXXXX
Password: xxxxxx

Nothing contained or omitted from this letter is, or shall be deemed to be either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of the Zappa Family Trust's rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.

The information in this notification is accurate. I, as agent for the ZFT, have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of herein is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the exclusive rights that have been infringed.

Very truly yours,

Tommy Funderburk
President
FFS Enterprises, LLC
dba Payartists.com
6656 B Dume Drive
Malibu, California 90265
United States
+1 XXX-xxx-xxxx

**For any correspondence regarding this case, please send your emails to xxxxxxxx@payartists.com and refer to Notice ID: AE-XXXXXX. If you need immediate assistance or if you have general questions please call the number listed above.

--------------------------

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bayou Internet
1109 Hudson Lane
Monroe, LA 71201 US

RE: Unauthorized Distribution of the Copyrighted Motion Picture Entitled Gran Torino

Dear Jerry Scroggin:

We are writing this letter on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. ("Warner Bros.").

We have received information that an individual has utilized the below-referenced IP address at the noted date and time to offer downloads of copyrighted motion picture(s) through a "peer-to-peer" service, including such title(s) as:

Gran Torino

The distribution of unauthorized copies of copyrighted motion pictures constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, Title 17 United States Code Section 106(3). This conduct may also violate the laws of other countries, international law, and/or treaty obligations.

Since you own this IP address (XX.XXX.XXX.XXX), we request that you immediately do the following:

1) Disable access to the individual who has engaged in the conduct described above; and
2) Take appropriate action against the account holder under your Abuse Policy/Terms of Service Agreement.

On behalf of Warner Bros., owner of the exclusive rights to the copyrighted material at issue in this notice, we hereby state, that we have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by Warner Bros., its respective agents, or the law.

Also, we hereby state, under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the State of California and under the laws of the United States, that the information in this notification is accurate and that we are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the exclusive rights being infringed as set forth in this notification.

Please direct any end user queries the following.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Attn: Worldwide Anti-Piracy
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522
xxx-xxx-xxx -
XXXXXXX@warnerbros.com - email

Kindly include the Case ID XXXXXXXX also noted above, in the subject line of all future correspondence regarding this matter.

We appreciate your assistance and thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Your prompt response is requested.

Respectfully,

A Kempe
Enforcement Coordinator
SafeNet, Inc.

-----------------------------
From: Tommy (presumably a Payartists employee)
Sent: Sun 12/21/2008 7:40 AM
To: Jerry Scroggin
Subject: Re: FROM PAYARTISTS.COM your non response

jerry@XXXXX.com wrote:
guys you have sent me 3 threats now without proof. We all know IPs are easily spoofed. I have asked for your billing information so we can have a contract signed and full understanding of what i do. If you want me to work for you you should expect to pay. I dont work for free.

(reply from Payartists)
Please attached the reference # (s) you where given with the notices and we will attach the evidence. We understand that IP's are easily spoofed, but the notice you recieve is a result of your ISP (Internet Service Provider) investigated our claim and the ISP traced it back to your subscription.

Send us the reference # (s) and we will verify and investigate the matter further.

In regards to billing, we fail to understand what you mean with that!

Regards
Payartists.com

For more stories, see: RIAA's year-end shocker

 

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