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2 Bumps

Being sued in civil law suit for illegally downloaded movie I didn't download?

I got notification from my cable/internet company that I am being named in a civil law suit for illegally downloading a movie. Now, here's the issue, I only have til Wednesday to respond and I did not download the movie. My BIL lives with us, and he's rather "off the map" but he's an adult (in fact he's older than I am, but that's non-consequential) and HE is the one who did the downloading. BUT, it's MY name on the internet account. I don't have time to get legal council because we only have til 3/23/11 to respond to the paperwork.

What I was wondering is if I contact the cable companies' legal dept. (which has their number listed on the paperwork) can I have HIS information submitted for the lawsuit rather than my own? I realize I am the one who "owns" the account, but I don't go around policing his computers as he's not my child and he is an adult (although hind sight says maybe I should have)...

My other question is what kind of cost will we be facing once the suit goes through, as I'm sure it will? Again, as far as I am concerned I feel he should be responsible, but I'm sure we will end up paying for at least most of it...

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:31 PM on Mar. 21, 2011 in Money & Work

Answers (12)
  • It most probably won't work because as the owner of the account, you are held accountable for ANYTHING that happens with your account.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:37 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I really wish that I could give you legal advice but I can't. I just wanted to wish you the best with this. How awful! I hope that the person who really did the downloading will cover the cost.

    And when you're done with this, you may want to check into Netflix. Friends of mine said it is one little flat fee (like seven dollars) a month for all the movies you want to see. If you get this, hopefully he won't be able to cause you all of the problems.

    What a nightmare! So sorry you're going through all of this!

    Answer by AlisonAstair at 5:40 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I would *think* in their eyes you would be liable as the owner of the account to monitor and maintain it's use (not that that is 100% possible but it sounds like something they could say.). If *I* was in this situation I think I would contact a law office to find out your rights. This seems like it could go either way depending on the representatives.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 5:40 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I think you have enough time to seek as many law firms as you need to starting first thing tomorrow morning...most will give you a free consultation. See what they have to say. I'm pretty sure they are going to tell you that it doesn't matter who did it...unfortunately your name is on the account so it's your fault. Not fair, but that's really what I think is going to happen. It stinks that you will have that black mark against your name though. I would be beyond furious at this point.

    Answer by MommyH2 at 5:56 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • As the account owner you are the one responsible - I would kick your BIL out on his tail and cut your losses.

    Answer by scout_mom at 6:10 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • call a lawyer for help. Like the others say you are responsibility. How could you ever proof that he downloaded it? And the law say the punishment for that is either 5 years imprisonment and/or $250.000, I think.

    Answer by LittleBirdFly at 6:16 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • This isn't a criminal suit, so I'm not facing any jail time. It's a civil suit, so at worst it's a fine. But it angers me because I've told him over and over again I don't like that. We have netflix and he's free to watch any of our movies as well. But he insists on downloading tons of junk... We would love to call an attorney but we have only 48 hours (not even now) until our information is turned over to the company that's suing... He's already said he'll take the rap, and frankly unless he wants to be homeless he will, because we're the only people willing to take him in at this point, and that's only because my DH is a sucker.

    I'm gonna call the legal dept tomorrow and see if I can put his information in, but we'll see...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:06 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • well good luck

    Answer by LittleBirdFly at 10:42 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I would block your bil from using your Internet or kick his loser butt out. Contact an attorney for advice I know you have a time crunch but I bet someone could get you in today. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:00 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Thanks ladies! I called their legal dept today and was told that because it's MY information on the bill it's MY information that has to be sent for the suit... There is nothing I can do about it. So I'm gonna try and find some legal council, but since I have no money I don't think that's gonna work out so well... I mean, we're counting penny's here, I don't have anything I can even tap in to... But, I have a lawyer friend who may do it for next to nothing...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:08 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

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