Since I know plenty of us have used Megaupload in the past this is a news article I wrote recently I'm throwing out there since everybody here could benefit from it.
In the wake of the Megaupload takedown and lawsuits, some disingenuous people are looking to make a quick buck on the copyright infringement leery public. Lastly there have been letters (both physical and digital) circulating from a “law firm” named “Dr. Kroner & Kollegen” of Munich demanding a settlement in the range of 150 euros or be faced with a 10,000 euro lawsuit. The letter continues to direct receivers to a digital location where they can settle the lawsuit.
Everyone please be advised that these letters are merely a scam. Though the letter claims to be official and that the “firm” represents the likes of Sony and Universal among other corporations, these letters do not ever state the particular copyright infringed (either registration number or title) and are merely hoping to scare people out of their money. Largely like an inverse of the “Nigerian Prince” scams that circulate e-mail inboxes. They are being sent to users of Megaupload so their circulation ring is high and relying on fear of the receiver in order to make a quick dollar. There is no need to respond to these messages and no need to pay them.
However, bear in mind that other corporations are sending around legitimate letters suggesting copyright infringement, often on dubious grounds, in what are colloquially called “copyright trolls.” These companies presently include the likes of Righthaven, Inc. and Getty Images. These letters SHOULD NOT be ignored as these are legitimate companies trying to scare people into settling quickly rather than paying for the expense of a copyright lawsuit. Unlike “Dr. Kroner” these are not scam letters. I have personally dealt with both these companies before and should you receive a letter from either of them I strongly suggest contacting an attorney.
For those interested I am now writing a weekly e-alert containing updates and news in the video game and anime industry in addition to Intellectual Property law. These e-mails contain up to date news regarding lawsuits, potential lawsuits, legislation and case law regarding copyrights, trademarks, patents and matters involving the video game and anime industry. If you would like to receive this e-mail let me know.