What can my friend do to alleviate some of the cost associated for being sued for downloading movies? 3 Answers as of March 25, 2011

Someone I knew got sued by their Internet service provider for downloading movies off the Internet while in college. This was done via bit torrent. According to my friend, the penalty is up to $200,000 USD. What can he/she do to alleviate some of the costs associated with the penalty?

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Devon & Associates
Devon & Associates | Marcia A. Devon
I recommend that she hire an experienced lawyer to represent her and to negotiate on her behalf. You did not mention that she sold the movies to third parties, so it appears she did not profit per se from the transaction (as do most infringers.) Therefore, there appear to be little or no damages to the copyright owner. A huge fine appears inappropriate for a student. She was probably young and experimenting with the technology without considering the possible legal consequences, all of which I would argue show a lack of "willfulness". If the infringement is deemed "willful", the highest penalties apply.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2011
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Well first there has to be a trial and he has to be found guilty and then there is a damage award. Negotiate is the only way to get it down.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/23/2011
DANIEL NESBITT
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
Hire the best criminal lawyer she/he can afford, and negotiate. At the least, have a lawyer assess the matter sufficiently to determine that the suit is legitimate and meritorious.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/23/2011
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