What is a Copyright Infringement letter?

  • Date: July 2, 2018
  • Author: Mary Sundby - Business Account Specialist

You grab your mail and are shuffling through it.  Suddenly, you see an extra letter from DRN and when you open it, it states “Notice of Infringement.”  What is this you say?

A copyright infringement letter is a letter notifying you that your internet has been used illegally.  A copyrighted work has been reproduced, distributed or publicly displayed without the permission of the copyright owner.  In other words, your Internet is being used to download music or movies without paying for them and can result in criminal charges. Criminal charges can be a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison if the copyright holder would pursue a lawsuit. 

This may mean absolutely nothing to you and how you use your Internet but, if you have an open wi-fi network and do not have it password protected, you are liable for anyone who uses your network connection what they do online. 

Let’s look at a couple of scenarios:

Your child has a friend over.  Later in the evening they decide to watch a movie but you don’t have it.  Your guest states, no problem.  Let’s just download it from the Internet to our smartphone or iPad. 

  • You may not know this happened until you receive a letter of infringement. 

Your wi-fi network is unsecured.  You see a car pull up and park in front of your home and you don’t recognize the individual but see they are looking at their smart phone or tablet.   They could be just checking work emails or directions on their map app or they could be using your Internet connection to go to an illegal site.

  • Again, you may not know this happened until you receive a letter of infringement. 

Use your Internet wisely.  If you find yourself in either situation, make sure you contact DRN as soon as possible. We will help set up the security you need to prevent this from happening in the future. Not securing your network and receiving letters of infringement can result in losing your Internet services from DRN or if the copyright holder would decide to file charges, a fine and/or imprisonment may result.

For businesses who receive a letter of infringement, it may be for a variety of reasons.  One of your customers may have illegally downloaded music or movies on your guest network, visited an illegal website or your network and/or software may have been compromised.   In a business situation, DRN will mail a copy of the infringement letter to you and call to discuss the specifics as well as a possible solution to make sure your network is secure.  Again, multiple infringements without effort to secure your network can result in losing your Internet services from DRN.

The Internet has changed our lives with people using it as a tool for information, communication, entertainment, work and school.  If you have any questions about the security of your network, call DRN at 344-5000 today.  Take technology to the highest level knowing you are safe and secure.