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Unfiltered Story #287269

, | Unfiltered | March 22, 2023

Once upon a time I got a letter from a copyright troll ‘threatening’ (as in it was carefully worded NOT to meet the legal definition of a threat, but yeah it was a threat) me with a lawsuit for copyright infringement I hadn’t committed, I even checked the provided IP-address against my own logs and found it didn’t match any of the IPs I had had with my then current ISP, after contacting them & being told they were absolutely certain I was guilty & that I should pay up the €800 they were demanding as compensation, I told them I am not going to pay compensation for something I didn’t do, posting my story on social media instead (they contacted me again about being aware of my social media posts on the matter, hinting at taking separate legal action because of it, I just laughed because it’s not libel if it’s true.)

While the circus above was going on I filed a formal request with my ISP for a complete record of the IP-addresses I had had in my time with them so that if the copyright troll tries to take me to court I’d have documentation to prove my innocence. The law regarding this sort of request defines in detail the manner in which the request must be done (which I complied with to the letter-) & what the options for the personal information registry owner are; either they provide the requested information free of charge, or they reply with a written letter detailing their reasons for not complying with the request.

I got neither, instead I got an email telling me they “don’t consider” my IP-address history to be the kind of information they are required by law to hand over free of charge, but that they are happy to provide the information I have requested for a price of something like €50 per hour of work compiling the information, minimum charge if half an hour. I called the ISP’s customer service & the rep I talked to said the email is correct, when I mentioned how the data security ombudsman (something like that, there’s no official English translation for the office that I know of-) had stated that it actually IS the kind of information ISP must hand over free of charge, the rep said “well, that’s just an OPINION” (no, it really isn’t, the closest it is to an ‘opinion’ is in the sense that a supreme court ruling is ‘an opinion’.)

I then asked “are you saying you refuse to hand over the information as required by law?” to which the rep said “no, nothing like that, we are more than happy to provide the information, for a price.” At that time I hung up and went on social media telling about my experience with their illegal behavior & tagging the ISP in the post(s), a couple of weeks later I received an email from high up in the ISP’s food chain informing me that they had changed their policy on this kind of information requests & that if I still want the information they could have it mailed to me in a few days.

Naturally I said yes & got something like 50 pages of IP logs in the mail, as I already knew none of the addresses matched with what the copyright troll had claimed had been my IP-address at the time of the alleged infringement, however the copyright troll never bothered me again after I got a government-paid attorney to write a letter to them on my behalf (it’s a thing here in Finland, if you are low-income you can get an attorney to defend you in court at government’s expense, meaning you don’t pay for the attorney’s services, only for court-ordered damages, which are an empty threat to someone eligible for a government-paid attorney.)

I am with another ISP now, my only regret is that while the reps I dealt with on the matter above broke the law, for the most part their customer service was better than my current ISP’s, then again my current ISP is well-known for defying market court rulings requiring them to hand over names and addresses of their customers to copyright holders/their legal representatives, meaning even if I did do that sort of thing, for the foreseeable future the copyright trolls will never get my personal information again (while the story above was unfolding I got a second letter from an unrelated copyright troll about another alleged copyright infringement, this time worth €1200 to them, I had never heard of either of the intellectual properties I supposedly torrented, the second one was a one-man operation that has never taken anyone to court so I didn’t bother to respond.)

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