Have you received a copyright infringement warning letter (urheberrechtliche Abmahnung)?

Here’s what you need to know.

  1. What is a “Abmahnung”?

A copyright infringement warning letter is a cheaper out-of-court way of resolving a conflict between two parties. The intellectual property holder accuses you of having uploaded a movie, television series, image, song, sample, etc. protected by copyright.

Having received a “Abmahnung”, you have probably been using filesharing software such as bitorrent, eMule, popcorn time or any other peer to peer connection software.

According to German copyright law, the act of circulating a protected work is forbidden. When downloading through a peer-to-peer connection, you’re actually uploading fragments of the protected content at the same time, providing other file sharing software users with this content simultaneously.

  1. Can I be personally held liable?

The question depends on your individual case.

Having said that, I strongly advise you not to sign the enclosed declaration to cease and desist. You should know that you are signing a binding contract ...

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