Have you received a letter from Hedman Partners?
We have sent you a letter because we have observed that your IP address has been used for sharing copyright-protected content without permission from the rights holder. Such contents may include TV series and films whose exclusive distribution rights belong to the companies we represent.
Downloading copyright-protected works from an illegal source, even for personal use, is prohibited by virtue of Section 11(5) of the Copyright Act. Even if the intention is to download content for personal use, downloading a file on a peer-to-peer network means sharing the file to other users on the network.
We have analysed your IP address on the open network together with a technical expert. Your contact information has been received from your network operator, as the Market Court has obliged them to disclose the information to us at our request pursuant to Section 60 a of the Copyright Act.
The letter you have received is not an accusation; it is a notice of an observation we have made. The purpose of the letter is to inform you about an observed copyright infringement and offer you an opportunity to settle it without a trial.
What to do if you have downloaded files illegally
According to the Finnish Copyright Act, downloading a work from an unauthorised source is a copyright infringement that results in a liability for compensation.
In the letter you received, we inform you of the demands our client, the rights holder, has for settling the issue. Once the compensation has been paid, the matter is entirely settled and we will send you a written confirmation about it. You will not receive new letters from us unless you perform another copyright infringement.
Please contact Hedman Partners if anything is unclear regarding the letter. If you do not respond to the letter in any way, we will likely proceed by filing a civil suit or making a request for an investigation to the police.
If you feel that you have not downloaded files illegally
If you feel that you have not downloaded any illegal files, you should first determine whether someone else using the same network connection is behind the act. As the owner of the subscriber line, you are the best authority on how it has been used. As the owner, you are also a party to the matter.
If you suspect that you know who is behind the downloads, discuss the matter with them and contact Hedman Partners in order to settle it. This ensures that we do not file an unnecessary request for investigation with the police regarding a copyright offence (Chapter 49, Section 1(3) of the Penal Code) or present a demand for compensation at the Market Court.
If you do not respond to the letter in any way, we will likely proceed by filing a civil suit or making a request for an investigation to the police.
If you suspect that the subscriber line used for illegal activity has not been used by you, you can ask the network operator to verify this. Please note that your IP address may have changed after the dates listed in the letter, since IP addresses change periodically in consumer subscriber lines. If you have moved house without notifying the operator, the subscriber line for the old address may still be under your name. In this case, we recommend that you notify the operator of the move and provide us with an account on the matter.
Do you suspect that someone else has used your IP address for illegal downloads?
In the vast majority of the cases that we have already settled, the person committing the copyright infringement has been the holder of the IP address or someone from their circle of acquaintances, most often someone living in the same household. However, if you suspect that your subscriber line has been used by someone else, please tell us what your suspicion is based on.
As the owner of the subscriber line, you are a party to the matter and the best authority on how the line has been used. Presenting concrete reasons that support your suspicions ensures that the matter can be investigated in the best possible way. We often receive explanations that are untrue, which is why we will verify any information provided to us. Please also be prepared to answer additional questions on the matter.
It should be borne in mind that an open network will not automatically release you from responsibility. Such claims have been dismissed in legal praxis without supporting evidence. We recommend that you contact Hedman Partners and explain what your suspicions of illegal use are based on.
Is piracy justified?
Streaming services have made watching films legally easier than pirating them. The popularisation of legal streaming services has also diluted the rationale for illegal downloads.
Earlier, attempts were made to justify piracy by claiming that it made films and TV series easier to acquire. Either the legal version was not immediately available or it was considered difficult to use. The film or TV show may have arrived in Finland a long time after the original release date. Nowadays, when series and films can be viewed on these easy-to-use services in a legal manner, with even higher quality, lower costs and in real time, this makes piracy less justified.
The only remaining rationale is the fact that people are not willing to pay to watch films or TV series. The illegal sharing and downloading of films and TV series is illegal but tempting. However, unauthorised activities are not sustainable. It will unavoidably affect how many and which types of films and TV series are made. The letter aims to be a wake-up call that makes peer-to-peer network users pay for the content they consume, like everyone else.