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ISP Subpoena & Copyright Defense, BitTorrent lawsuits, Retain Antonelli Law

Antonelli Law is one of the leading law firms in the country defending BitTorrent copyright infringement lawsuits. Antonelli Law has represented more than 1,500 clients since 2011 dealing with copyright trolls and satellite piracy trolls in nearly every federal court these cases have appeared. We can represent you in your federal copyright infringement defense no matter which state you live, and no more expensively than a local attorney in nearly all cases.

Click here to contact us for a free attorney consultation or call us at 312-201-8310.

What is a "Copyright Troll" Lawsuit and How Did I Get Involved?

Companies that believe their copyrighted movies (or sometimes software) are being downloaded or "shared" on the Internet without their being paid a license fee will hire companies who monitor BitTorrent traffic to learn the IP addresses associated with the downloads called BitTorrent "swarms". But only having an IP address is pretty meaningless. How can they sue an IP address?

Read the following for details of the lawsuit steps or skip down to the section titled "The ISP Letter - Your Notice of the Lawsuit."

The Filing of the Lawsuit - "John Doe" Defendants

The companies first hire law firms to file copyright infringement lawsuits in federal courts around the country. In the lawsuit's Complaint and motions filed with the Court they allege:

1) They own the registered copyright to a protected "work" in copyright legalese (meaning usually the movie), and

2) They have the IP address(es) involved in the download/swarm, but need the court's assistance to uncover the internet account subscriber who is associated with the IP address(es) involved in the downloading/swarm.

Note: Since the company does not yet know the identity of the person they believe is responsible for the copyright infringement activity, the lawsuit title (called "caption") is Plaintiff against one or more unnamed Defendants usually called "Does" as in John Doe, Jane Doe, or Does 1-15.

So, the lawsuits are often filed with captions such as:

Malibu Media LLC v Doe
LHF Productions v. Does 1-15
Criminal Productions v. Does 1-15
Cell Film Holdings v. Does 1-15
Fathers & Daughters Nevada v Does 1-15

Others will file against unnamed defendants in the following ways:

Popcorn Time Users 1-10

Does 1-10 in Swarm Hash File Number

Motion for Expedited Discovery

In the next step, the company asserting the copyright, called the Plaintiff, files a motion with the court requesting special permission to issue a subpoena to the ISP that their database says services that IP address (this is the non-technical explanation). Under federal rules (Rule 45), a subpoena can normally only be issued much later in the development of a lawsuit.

Because the Plaintiff believes it cannot serve its lawsuit onto the person who pays the internet bill, called the Internet "subscriber", until they know who that person is, the Plaintiff has to file a special motion to expedite discovery. If the Court grants the motion, the Court will usually do so but will provide a number of rules that must be followed. See this example of a Court order allowing a special subpoena to an ISP. This will result in a letter to the ISP subscriber often referred to as "the ISP letter", which is often your first notification that you are becoming the target of a federal copyright lawsuit.

The ISP Letter - Your Notice of the Lawsuit

Once the Court issues its Order allowing expedited discovery permitting the Plaintiff to issue subpoenas to the ISP (Internet Service Provider), once the ISP receives the subpoena it will then send you a letter informing you: 

1) A subpoena has been received to reveal your identity in relation to a copyright infringement lawsuit. 

2) If you do not file a motion to quash or vacate the subpoena, then after a certain amount of time such as two weeks or 30 days, the ISP will then turn over your name to the Plaintiff who filed the lawsuit.

3) Sometimes, the ISP will advise you to speak with an attorney such as those listed with the EFF Subpoena Defense which Antonelli Law is.

What Do I Do After Receiving the ISP Letter?

As described above, you should consult with an attorney experienced in BitTorrent copyright defense. Copyright infringement lawsuits are serious business because they involve potentially large statutory damage and attorney fee awards. But don't panic. There are ways to deal effectively with the lawsuit, protect your identity in many cases, and even settle the lawsuit before you are ever served with the lawsuit. You can also discuss with your attorney how to begin planning to defend against the lawsuit. 

Once you receive the ISP letter, the Court believes you are "on notice" of the lawsuit and therefore you have a duty not to delete or get rid of anything the Court might believe would be relevant to the lawsuit. Examples of things you must NOT do are: erasing or reformatting your computer hard drive, or throwing the computer away.

If you receive a letter from your ISP call Antonelli Law for a free initial consultation at 312-201-8310
or use our contact form or email us for an immediate reply to get started.

Why Should I Hire Antonelli Law?

Our high level of service sets us apart. If you need to speak with an attorney about receiving an ISP notice or summons about a BitTorrent copyright lawsuit anywhere in the country, call us for a free initial consultation with an attorney at 312-201-8310 or use our contact form or email us for an immediate reply to get started.

We appreciate the confidence other attorneys have shown referring their clients to our firm for this niche area. We are available to attorneys around the country for co-counsel assistance.

ISPs That Receive Subpoenas to Reveal Subscribers' Identities

ISPs that receive subpoenas to reveal the identities of Internet subscribers based on their IP address include:

Hawaiian Telecom
Time Warner

.... and more.

An Overview of BitTorrent Copyright Infringment

"Copyright trolls" are law firms or individual lawyers who adopted a lucrative scheme to profit from copyright infringement allegations through what many call extortion. Copyright trolls represent holders of copyrights on movies (mostly pornography), software, and electronic books. We have represented many people targeted by these firms and know what you are going through.

To get an overview of this type of litigation and what you might expect to experience, c
lick here for Jeffrey Antonelli's article
Torrent Wars: Copyright trolls, legitimate IP rights, and the need for new rules vetting evidence and to amend the Copyright Act published by the Illinois State Bar Association's Intellectual Property section, October 2013.

The article "John Doe Copyright Suits' No.1 Target" quoting Jeffrey Antonelli is also helpful to understand the rise of BitTorrent "John Doe" copyright lawsuits, including by Malibu Media LLC.  

Recent Press on Antonelli Law

Our Legal Services

We offer a reasonable Flat Fee for motions to quash, helping you settle and remain anonymous in many cases; and reasonable fees for defending you if you are named as a defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Selected severe financial hardship cases are handled on a reduced or pro bono basis. Attorney Antonelli has more than a decade of solid litigation experience in a broad range of commercial litigation as plaintiff and defendant, and every attorney at Antonelli Law is admitted to federal court.

In addition to being highly experienced in BitTorrent defense litigation and complex litigation in general, the attorneys of Antonelli Law are remarkable human beings with compassion, honesty, and integrity in their very fabric and give exemplary attention to our clients. We hope these qualities are as helpful to you in your case as our legal expertise. A
t the time your BitTorrent matter is resolved, we hope you will confidently feel we did the best possible job for you. Many client return to us for other legal issues in the future, and a number of left positive reviews on Yelp, Avvo, and blogs focused on this area of law. 

We have years of solid litigation experience representing consumers and businesses and concentrates in representing people accused of BitTorrent copyright infringement.
Our last complex trial involved computer firewalls, sophisticated commercial networks, and a Microsoft certified expert. in short, Antonelli Law provides serious legal advice for your copyright troll defense.

Attorney Jeffrey Antonelli is admitted to the federal trial bar of the Northern District of Illinois, the Central District of Illinois, and all the federal courts of Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. We have co-counsel for federal copyright infringement cases in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. When a case calls from other states than these we proceed with pro hac vice admission as we have numerous times.  

Hiring Antonelli Law Is No More Expensive than Hiring a Local Attorney in Your State

Hiring Antonelli Law to represent you in your federal case is not more expensive, or more difficult, compared to hiring a local attorney assuming you could find one experienced in BitTorrent copyright infringement defense. Federal court practice allows us to represent clients in any federal court in the country.

Why isn't it more expensive? Federal courts require attorneys to file their papers electronically and often conduct hearings by telephone. This makes frequent trips to the courthouse unnecessary. Also, we do not charge for airline flights or flying travel charges. Clients pay only for the normal travel time to the courthouse any local attorney would charge.

Finally, we have affiliated local counsel in a number of states who have earned our trust and can appear in court if necessary on an expedited basis. We will make arrangements to be in court personally when necessary such as non-routine hearings or a trial.

Recent Antonelli Law Updates

- Antonelli Law announces affiliation with Maryland  and District of Columbia federal attorney Mark C. Del Bianco
- Antonelli Law obtains rare order from Judge   Kendall allowing defendant to proceed anonymously for a limited time in Malibu Media case 13-cv-07297 (Illinois)
- Antonelli Law and local counsel win order granting all does but Doe 1 to be severed and dismissed, as a result of our reply in support of motion to quash and motion to quash in New Jersey Malibu Media case 12-cv-0694
- Antonelli Law and local counsel defend innocent party in Illinois Malibu Media case 12-cv-03211 (Springfield) 

Comparing Lawyers?

If you are comparing lawyers, ask if they are admitted to the federal trial bar? Ask if they are admitted to the federal district your court case is in? Have they ever had an actual case in that court? And most important of all, do they answer all of your questions with depth and concern so that you feel confident in them? We have those credentials and more to back up our advice and settlement postures and the other side knows it. We have the experience to deal with unexpected problems. They may not.

Looking for Satellite Piracy legal defense? Click here for our Satellite Piracy defense page.

For case specific information, click on the Plaintiff below:

Should I File a Motion to Quash?

Visit our Motion to Quash page for important details.

We do file motions to quash and believe they can work. But answering the question "Is it worth it?" turns out to be a little complicated. We won't just "fire you up" to file one without thoroughly explaining what motions to quash can and cannot do. We will honestly advise you so you can make up your mind what to do.

Should I Settle? 

Visit our Should I Settle page for important details.

Be sure you have enough facts to believe you are reasonably informed before you make your decision. For you, a settlement buys you peace of mind and, if you settle through an attorney, the ability to settle and make payment anonymously. But it also ensures the plaintiff a profit. Again, we want our clients to be sure they have the facts they need to make an informed decision: to settle, to fight, or to do nothing and wait.

Can I Just Do Nothing and Wait?

Yes. You can also do nothing and wait. I have often described this phase as a game of chicken (a horrible game in real life) where you  either don't spend a dime because the case goes away (or they don't get to sue you for some reason), or if they do sue you it will cost you more for defending it, to settle the case, or both. You should reflect on how you feel about these outcomes since nobody is in your shoes but you.

probability of actually being sued and served with a lawsuit varies considerably from plaintiff to plaintiff. Our experience with these cases across the country helps us to advise you on changes in plaintiffs' behavior in this regard. 

Don't know what BitTorrent is or how you got involved with this?

See if your neighbors or household members use Popcorn Time, BitTorrent, uTorrent or VUZE software (Transmission or Ubuntu for Mac) or if they visit any of the following websites: Pirate Bay (Eg.,,, ISOHunt, Torrent project, KickAss Torrents, BitWiki or 1337x.

BitTorrent Background

We highly recommend performing your own independent research on the copyright trolling phenomenon, if you are able to do so. Two excellent sources of news and opinions are FightCopyrightTrolls and DieTrollDie ("DTD"). In particular for those new to this kind of lawsuit I recommend taking a look at the FAQ/newbie page at DTD. 

BitTorrent file-sharing lawsuits  - often called copyright troll lawsuits - allege infringement of copyright with accusations of uploading or downloading a movie, e-book, or software without permission.

For even more information and research materials, visit our Reading Room page.

ISP Subpoena & Copyright Defense, BitTorrent lawsuits, Retain Antonelli Law

Call attorney Jeffrey Antonelli for a free initial consultation at 312-201-8310 or email him at This is a swiftly changing area of law and we continually follow the latest developments. Comparing lawyers? We're no johnny-come-lately to tech law. Our last complex trial involved computer firewalls, sophisticated commercial networks, and a Microsoft certified expert.

Many people are receiving notices from their ISP (Internet Service Provider) informing them a subpoena was received demanding their name and address. If you do nothing, the ISP will release your name and address to the plaintiff's attorneys on the date indicated in the notice. People are also receiving Summons in the mail requesting waiver of service of process. Call us for a free initial consultation if you receive either of these.

CEGTEK aka Ceg-Tek or CEG

Ceg Tek aka CEG is a corporation hired by copyright holders to help them fight piracy by going after individuals using BitTorrent and other software to illegally download music and movies. Many have received notices from CEG TEK relating to the movies "London Has Fallen" by LHF Productions and "Criminal" by Criminal Productions through their ISP through the DMCA process demanding $300 as a settlement.

If you wish to settle these claims anonymously you can hire Antonelli Law to conduct the settlement negotiations and pay the settlement amount through the law firm's client trust account. This way Ceg-Tek does not have your payment information.

Click here to contact Antonelli Law attorneys to help you settle these claims anonymously or call us at 312-201-8310. Our legal fees are flat and very reasonable. If you have only one claim to settle our fee is $250. Fees for clients with multiple CEG TEK claims are quoted on an individual basis. The more claims to settle at once the lower the legal fee is per claim.

Digital RightsCorp (Rightscorp, Inc.)

Digital RightsCorp (Rightscorp, Inc.) is  sending what may be an unprecedented number of DMCA notices to individuals through their ISP, demanding settlement of copyright violations in the amount of $30 per work. These notices are sent via email to the household's ISP subscriber in an email that begins "Unauthorized use of Copyrights Owned Exclusively by...Your ISP has forwarded you this notice. This is not spam. "

If you prefer to settle these claims anonymously through an attorney, or have a very large number of Digital RightsCorp alleged copyright infringement claims and want legal counsel and negotiation assistance, call attorney Jeffrey Antonelli for a free initial consultation at 312-201-8310 or email him at 

FreePlayMusic LLC and TuneSat LLC

We have heard of a lawsuit complaint that alleges that YouTube users are enticed to download free music for YouTube videos, only to be accused of copyright infringement. If you receive a demand or complaint relating to or TuneSat call attorney Jeffrey Antonelli for a free initial consultation at 312-201-8310 or email him at 

Solidworks 3D Software

Solidworks produces CAD design software that some have been accused of obtaining illegal copies of using BitTorrent file-sharing software on the Internet. If you receive a demand or complaint relating to Solidworks call attorney Jeffrey Antonelli for a free initial consultation at 312-201-8310 or email him at 

Getty Images

Many businesses have received letters from Getty Images demanding to be paid for what it alleges is unlawful use of its copyrighted images on a website. Press reports indicate very few businesses who refused to settle in the past have been sued. However, early reports in 2014 show several business have in fact been sued by Getty Images.

If you or your business
receives a letter demanding money and threatening to sue due to alleged copyright infringement of Getty Images's photographs, call attorney Jeffrey Antonelli for a free initial consultation at 312-201-8310 or email him at 

AT&T copyright infringement letter
CenturyLink copyright infringement letter
Charter copyright infringement letter
Comcast copyright infringement letter
COX copyright infringement letter
Frontier copyright infringement letter
Hawaiian Telecom copyright infringement letter
Optimum copyright infringement letter
Time Warner copyright infringement letter
Verizon copyright infringement letter
Windstream copyright infringement letter

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35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1875
Chicago, IL 60601

Tel (312) 201-8310



Torrent Defenders by Antonelli Law

Antonelli Law Copyright Attorneys

Jeffrey Antonelli

Melissa Brabender

Amelia Niemi

Byron Ames
Local Counsel for Nevada & Utah

Tristan Robinson
Local Counsel for Texas

Mark Del Bianco
Local Counsel for Maryland & DC

Leslie Farber
Local Counsel for NY, NJ, Pennsylvania

Peter Glazer
Local Counsel for Virginia

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