The media group RTL has recently started sending warning letters for alleged copyright infringements. The warning letters concern the TV series “Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten”. Recipients of the letters should not be intimidated into reacting too briskly.

RTL sends file sharing warning letters © Benjamin-Duda-Fotolia
RTL sends file sharing warning letters © Benjamin-Duda-Fotolia

RTL and file sharing

An internet user represented by lawyers at Wilde Beuger Solmecke recently received a warning letter from RTL (Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH) claiming to be copyright holder and represent the interests of RTL interactive GmbH and RTL Television GmbH.

The warning letter accuses the internet user of having illegally made the TV series “Gute Zeiten, Schlecht Zeiten” publicly available on file sharing websites.

In the letter RTL asserts that it has not issued the internet user with the relevant rights to disseminate the work and as a result the actions amount to a copyright infringement.

The letter further asserted that through the use of the series logo, the internet use has also breached German trademark law.

RTL demands from the internet user that he remove the TV series from all file sharing host websites and any other websites offering access to it. The letter also requires the internet user to submit a pre-formulated declaration to cease and desist, containing a contractual penalty which becomes payable in the case of future breaches of copyright in relation to the work.

How to react to a warning letter

This warning letter is one of only a few letters in which the alleged exchange of TV series on file sharing websites is pursued. With the letter, the copyright holders are attempting to strengthen the position of the own online video portals.

Recipients of such file sharing warning letters should not react too hastily and should not submit to pre-printed declaration to cease and desist received by RTL. Instead, it is highly advisable to seek legal advice from a lawyer or a consumer association. We are also available to answer any questions you may have.

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