WARNING: Virgin Media prospects despatched letters fined £ 800 – are you at risk?
Virgin media Clients receive letters from lawyers asking them to pay fines of over £ 800 in the ongoing crackdown on piracy. The letters are being sent to hundreds of people accused of copying a Hollywood movie in particular. The film in question is Ava, which stars Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain and is currently exclusively streamed on Netflix in the UK.
However, when it was first released worldwide, around 314 Virgin Media customers were reportedly involved in distributing an illegal copy of the 2020 movie via BitTorrent, which allows people to share and download files in torrent format.
The revelation that Virgin Media clients were involved in the distribution of this action thriller was first announced in September when Express.co.uk first reported it. At the time, Voltage Pictures lawyers, who own the rights to the film and had obtained permission from the High Court to contact these alleged cyber pirates, had sent a small series of letters to Virgin Media clients.
Letters sent at the time warned that “legal proceedings” could be initiated if they did not pay money to settle the matter. At the time it was unclear what these fines would be, however, piracy blog TorrentFreak has since reported letters that the fines will be £ 838.28.
And letters from attorneys warned that if alleged cyber pirates attempted to combat the allegations made against them, they could end up paying more damages.
The letters state: “If you do not agree with the above, we invite you to submit to a liability judgment in which the court is to determine the damage.
“For clarification, however, should our client be forced to file a lawsuit and pursue, he reserves the right to demand a higher amount as compensation, based on (i) our client’s lost profits resulting from the failure of Theatrical release and related loss of profit and (ii) your joint and several liability for the acts of infringement of the entire crush in which you participated. “
The letter also provides a breakdown of the compensation fee calculation based on a number of factors including loss of earnings at the box office and liability for third party infringement.
Virgin Media users were contacted directly by lawyers after the broadband, television and telecommunications giant was previously ordered to hand over subscription data to Voltage.
At the time, a Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We take the protection and security of our customers’ data very seriously. Virgin Media will only pass on customer data to third parties if this is required by law by a valid court order.
“In this case, Voltage Pictures received a successful court order which means a very small number of Virgin Media customers can now receive correspondence from this organization.
“Every customer who receives a letter should note that the court has not yet made any determinations of copyright infringement against them. This would be a matter for the court to decide in a later lawsuit. “