Shared Music in Internet? How to Deal with an Admonishment

In spite of better knowledge, you could not resist and downloaded some illegal files from a public fileserver. And now you have received an admonishment from an attorney? Ts. Ts. Ts.


It was, therefore, a legal consequence to be admonished. But what constitutes a correct admonishment? Generally described, admonishment is a letter claiming that you have infringed somebody’s right(s) and you are to admit in writing that you will forbear to infringe again in the future by promising a contractual penalty.

By law, it is assumed that with the first infringement you might do it again. The only possibility to stop this legal assumption is to promise a contractual penalty for the case of repeating after you have been admonished.

What amount will this penalty be? There are no statutory guidelines. It should really hurt the offender but not ruin him. If you think the penalty is too high, sign a declaration of forbearance and get legal advice. You must sign within the given time to avoid a case in court. Your plea that you first want legal advice will not save you. If you receive a letter from attorneys just demanding that you pay € 5,000 because you illegally shared files, then only sign the declaration of forbearance and request that they explain what part of the sum is damages, what is attorney’s fees, etc. After they have broken down the costs, you can ask for installments, which normally you will receive.

N.B. such matter needs immediate and urgent attention!

On top of the contractual payment, reckon that the opposing side will want to have their damages refunded. The demanded amount for damages will consist of “belated license fees” and attorney’s fees. Damages easily sum up to € 3,000 - 4,000.

What happens if you do not give in and not sign the declaration of forbearance? The opposing side will apply for a temporary injunction in court, which makes costs start to explode.

Published on the old CMS: 2006/12/21
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 899 reads

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