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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 15777
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I've received a copyright infringement notice on Friday from

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I've received a copyright infringement notice on Friday from Robert Fechner - asking for me to complete a cease and desist - plus payment of 5001 Euros (which I can't afford to pay). I'd appreciate some help.
JA: Do you have a registration record?
Customer: I have no idea
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: No and not that I'm aware of
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have a deadline of 13th May to return the cease and desist

Hello, this is Jim and I’m a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) happy to help you today.

That German law firm have done the same to a number of customers on this site. The issue for them is that you are in the UK and they are abroad - they use threats to get you to pay their claim. If they had to sue, they would be unable to claim back their legal costs (as legal costs in the UK for a small claim are not recoverable - a small claim being £10,000 or less). You should reply to them, tell them you will comply with the cease and desist, that they have incurred no financial loss as such (your infringement is unlikely to have caused their client a financial loss) and that you cannot afford to pay them in any event (this means they are less likely to sue, if there is doubt about their prospects of recovering money from you).

I hope this helps? If I have answered the question would you kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), the question will stay open and any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Based on advice I saw on here I sent the following response last Friday: I do not admit to violating any copyrights. The image in question was not used commercially nor was it used to promote a genuine/legitimate business.Whilst I will consider signing an agreement in the interest of settlement, I will not do so unless you specify the exact legal fees you are claiming.I also require for you to include in the agreement that if there are no violations I owe no other money and payment of those fees are full and final payment.Luke Blackmore

Thanks, ***** ***** say, they use threats to get their money back. There has to be an actual financial loss incurred by their client for you to be liable to pay them.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My only concern was that if they don't return the cease and desist before this 13th May deadline - it presumably could go to court. Therefore - I was wondering if I ought to return a version of the cease & desist - but without the financial part included

You can cross out the financial part and initial it. Then ask them to accept the revised copy as an end to the matter. I doubt they will sue - it would cost them a lot of wasted fees (they cannot their fees from you) and with the pandemic it would take months for there to be any decision by the court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in short - I should just wait it out now?

Yes, that's the best plan of action - make it clear you have no means to pay the sum, which is not admitted in any event and the claimant is put to proof of their financial loss incurred.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. Thank you very much for your help. I'll be in touch again if I hear anything back.

Obviously if they do pursue then come back to this site - it would be a small claim so easy to deal with. All they could claim for is the 5,000 euro, plus court fee and interest. If the worst case occurred, you'd be looking at 9-12 months from now - they win and you have a further 30 days to pay (it only gets registered with credit agencies after that 30 day period from the court judgment). I doubt it will come to that though.

JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 15777
Experience: Senior Associate Solicitor
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. After somewhat of a delay - I've received further contact from Robert Fechner.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Case: 542-00142Via E-Mail to:***@******.***Reminder Letter: Bathory / Luke Blackmore (542-00142)Dear Mr. Luke Blackmore,In the case Bathory / Luke Blackmore I refer to the previous correspondence. Unfortunately, I did not receive any payment within the allowed time. I therefore call on you again to take the chance to settle extrajudicially. If it comes to court proceedings at the District Court of Berlin, the legal costs will be much higher.I strongly suggest you take a look at the judgement of the European Court of Justice from October 3rd, 2013: http://photoclaim.com/en/verdicts-and-orders/ if you assume that in United Kingdom in a matter of copyright infringement on the Internet the lawsuit cannot be filed in Germany.The Court of Justice of the European Union has decided on 22 January 2015 under the file C-441/13 that, in the case of copyright infringements on the Internet, the court of each Member State is competent within the EU in the place where either the infringement has been carried out (place of action) or in the place where the website with the copyrighted work was made available (place of success). Therefore, the court at the registered office of the injured party is responsible, as long as the infringing content was available there over the Internet. According to the ECJ, it is not a matter of whether the website in question is "directed" to the Member State of the court seized, but its mere accessibility in a Member State justifies the jurisdiction of the court in that Member State. Naturally, it is also possible for my client to claim his rights in front of the national courts through one of our international partners. The costs occurring in such event, however, will be much higher for you.Should you suspect that we cannot enforce a verdict in United Kingdom even in the event of a successful trial, I would like to draw your attention to the European Order for Payment procedure. It is no longer a problem to enforce payments within the European Union; borders do not stop the process.Possible risk of process costs in Germany (1st court; 9,504.25 EUR):Attorneys’ fees (plaintiff), § 13 Abs.1 RVG, Anlage 1 VV 2300 13/10 907.25 EURAttorneys’ fees (respondent), § 13 Abs.1 RVG, Anlage 1 VV 2300 13/10 1,532.13 EURCourt fees, §3 GKG, Anlage 1 1210 30/10 666 EURTotal risk of process costs 3,105.38 EURThe outstanding balance is not included in the risk of process costs.Bear in mind that you are in default since the deadline of my previous letter and additional costs in the amount of 5% above the basic interest rate published in the German Federal Gazette by the German Central Bank arise daily.Payments that are made on the account above until 19/06/2020 can prevent a lawsuit. Should you fail to meet the outstanding balance in the amount of 3,662.40 EUR, including interest of 158.15 EUR, within the given period, my client asked me to institute proceedings.Should you decide to settle out of court, please include the case number ***** the title of the transfer for us to identify the payment. This will also allow us to send you a confirmation of settlement as soon as possible.We hope that we can find an amicable solution to settle out of court. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.Yours faithfully,Rechtsanwalt Robert Fechner
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was also a reminder letter attached. Can't seem to upload on here at the moment - but I've uploaded it to dropbox should you like to take a look.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/i68w5yio7a59y6g/542-00142-RF%20Reminder%20Letter.pdf?dl=0

Thanks, ***** ***** going to struggle to look at this today and tomorrow unfortunately - I will have to opt out to let another expert assist you with your question going forwards. Please do not reply to this message as the question will stay with me and there will be a delay with the reallocation.

Many thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find continuing a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'd really like an answer ASAP if possible...

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in the UK. The reason you received this letter is because you responded to the initial letter. The way to deal with an extortionate demand, which this is, is to ignore it. They won’t sue you either in the uK courts or the German courts. This is as near to a scam and you can get. They make their money by terrorising people into making a settlement with them. Because you didn’t use the image for a commercial purpose too means that there is no jurisdiction in Germany. Ignore all further communications. I hope that helps to answer your question. Please leave a positive rating on the star rating system which is usually at the top of your screen. That will allow JustAnswer to credit me for helping you today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** sure this is more or less a scam? I’ve read in a few places they’re legit - with previous advice on here being to respond. Since first contact from them I’ve had 3 different settlement quotes (£5k, 2k...now 3k). With a new settlement deadline for later this week. Will follow your advice and not respond to future comms- but it felt like a reasonably legitimate legal doc to me (I’m no expert though)

It is not illegal but it’s extortion and as you’ve seen they make it up as they go along. I have been dealing with copyright matters for many years and have never seen anyone sued. They rely on people’s fear. I hope that helps to answer your question. Please leave a positive rating on the star rating system which is usually at the top of your screen. That will allow JustAnswer to credit me for helping you today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help. Will leave a positive review