Law Firm Dr. Heinrich Steinführer

Did you receive a warning letter from Waldorf Frommer?
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A warning letter from Waldorf Frommer is serious. However there is no reason to panic. With our experience of more than 2000 defeated cases, we will solve this issue for you most convenient and cost-efficient. Evaluate your chances of defense today.

About us

Our law firm is located right in the heart of Leipzig (Germany). We are active in various fields of law. Lawyer Dr. Steinführer is taking care of private persons as well as corporate clients nationwide. Private persons mostly require our guidance in matters of filesharing related warning letters.

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How to react on a warning letter from law firm Waldorf Frommer explained in only seconds

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Here are your options:

Do nothing

You will face a trial and high expenses

Pay the required amount

You may most likely receive further warning letters and the injunction issue will continue.

Hire a lawyer

You don’t need to take care of anything and a court trial is most unlikely

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Testimonials from our clients who were also warned by Waldorf Frommer

Entrepreneur from Munich

“I wanted the subject off the table. That’s exactly what happened, thank you!”

Pensioner from Munich

“The first interview took away my fear. Problem solved.”

Student from Chemnitz

“Mr. Steinführer eased the mood in our shared apartment and saved the budget.”

Employee from Hilbersdorf

“I didn’t know if my child had committed a crime. Top lawyer!”

An Advice for all warned people

Dr. Heinrich Steinführer

Dr. Heinrich Steinführer

Rechtsanwalt mit über 20 Jahre juristischer Erfahrung

„To solve this matter in the financially and overall best possible way, you need to react correctly. First of all: We can reassure you, because it is a mass warning and many others are just as affected as you. Based on several thousand warning cases in the last 10 years, we know that many warnings can be challenged with a good chance of success! Have your case checked without obligation using the form on this website. You can use our detailed FAQ like a small enlightenment dictionary to assess your case yourself. However, the best thing to do is to clarify the details with us, because there are many details to consider in particular. We also offer you a free online initial assessment on our website. Danach können Sie uns auch gerne in wenigen Schritten direkt online beauftragen. In this case, we will contact the warning law firm for you within 24 hours. You will no longer receive any further letters from them and you will no longer have to deal with ist yourself.”

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What you should definitely not do

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If you have received a filesharing warning because of an alleged copyright infringement, do not under any circumstances sign the cease and desist declaration sent with it. Take some time for research or get in touch with a lawyer specialized in defense against warning letters.

Many of the most common questions are answered in the FAQs  at the bottom of our page. Important: Based on our 10 years of experience with mass warnings for copyright violations by file sharing networks, we advise you, not to pay anything to the warning law firm or the company it represents. Not even a partial amount of e.g. 150 €.

Do nothing Give in to the claim Hire a lawyer

Gerichtstermin unausweichlich

Court trial likely
Court trial most unlikely

Bis zu mehreren Tausend Euro Kosten

Abmahnungsbetrag + evtl. Gerichtskosten

Costs much less than the warning amount
Litigation often spanning several years

Folgeabmahnung nach Monaten wahrscheinlich

We will respond within 24 hours
Potentially high legal fees
High fees for upfollowing lawsuits

Fixpreis für Anwaltskosten

Very high penalties for repeated offense
High penalties for repeated offense

Folgeabmahnungen können einfach übergeben werden

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How you should react instead

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If you seek more information, please have a look at our FAQs. There are a variety of possible scenarios. It is critical to a successful defense strategy that you determine which one applies to you.

To make sure that you react correctly, you can get a free initial assessment from us. Or you can forward your warning letter to us in just three steps and then do not need to worry about anything else.

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Why did I receive a warning letter?

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To the answer the “why”, we must clarifie a few facts in the background: When downloading files (e.g. movies) from the Internet, a file sharing software (e.g. BitTorrent) is often downloaded and installed on the computer. The person affected often doesn’t even notice this. By using an online file sharing servic, it is very likely, that you also provide copyrighted work to other users. In this case the offense of distribution will add up to the copyright infringement additionally.

If a movie or file has been downloaded or shared via your internet connection, your IP-address can be tracked. It will serve the plaintiff’s law firm as evidence. This way, the law firm receives the necessary data that enables a copyright infridgement to be prosecuted.

Your Internet provider will then be sentenced in an urgent judicial process to reveal the owner of the Internet connection in question and his address on the basis of the registered IP address. You will then receive a warning letter about copyright infringement – even if you may not have committed the offense yourself.

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What is a warning letter?

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Authors such as film companies, musicians and artists commission law firms to protect their works against unauthorized use. They use certain software tools to search the Internet and, in particular, register offers on file sharing websites. This way the IP address and as well as the address of the user can be determined and the alleged “perpetrator” gets a written warning.

A warning letter is a certain kind of formalized letter which is provided by law in cases of copyright infringement (§ 97a UrhG). This means that any author who feels that their rights have been violated is by the copyright law requested to issue a warning.

The typical file-sharing warning letter from Waldorf Frommer contains a cease and desist request and a payment request. The payment claim consists of legal fees and damages.

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Which strategy do we use to defend you against the warning-letter?

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We determine the facts with the help of our professional checklist (e.g. were you only a subscriber, were you at home at the time of the crime, do other people live in your household, etc.) We use our database to determine court judgments that fit your case.

We eliminate the cease and desist request, if necessary, by means of a modified cease and desist declaration – this avoids expensive urgent judicial proceedings.

We completely reject the payment claim from Waldorf Frommer for you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Following, we will inform you how to react correctly to a file sharing warning letter and what you have to pay attention to. Since the law firm Waldorf Frommer has been sending mass warnings for years, there are already thousands of people affected just like you. Accordingly, there are also empirical values on what is the best way to proceed in the event of a written warning. Thanks to thousands of cases already worked through, we are highly experienced with the law firm Waldorf Frommer. Numerous courts throughout Germany have already ruled on file-sharing warnings.

As lawyers tend to say: “It depends,” The question “Is the warning justified?” Cannot be answered across the board. Written warnings regarding copyright infringement are dealt differntly by each countries court in Germany. Furthermore, the outcome of the decision always depends on the details of every individual case. From a legal point of view, file sharing cannot be judged just “black and white” and is not entirely illegal. It is kind of a gray area with many different assessment criteria that affect a possible court decision. Nevertheless, there are already certain recognized principles to assess whether your specific written warning was justified.

Don’t panic, stay calm and don’t react too quickly! Countless others have received warning letters just like you. There are ways to handle this well and get it solved. Important: you are not alone with your problem! You can right now find out about the most important facts regarding warning letters of copyright infringement by using our FAQ. Or you can directly hand your case over to us and do not need to worry about it anymore.

“File sharing” is the exchange of files, such as movies or music, between Internet users. This mainly happens by using file sharing networks. They provide a peer-to-peer network, which “interconnects” the computers of many users. Therewith the content of certain file folders with movies or music are made mutually accessible. For this purpose, a software needs to be installed on the users’ computers. This software is often installed without the knowledge of the user when a file is downloaded from the Internet the first time. Movies or music files can then be downloaded from other users on the exchange. In this way, massive amounts of files are exchanged between all users’ computers. This exchange is then accused by the law firm Waldorf Frommer on behalf of the copyright holder.

It is about all kinds of copyrighted works such as movies, series, music titles, video games, eBooks or audio books. The copyright infringement accused by the law firm Waldorf Frommer is not based on a one-time download for one’s own use. The main reason for the legal accusation is that copyrighted works are also being provided to other users en masse via the file sharing software installed on the computer. It doesn’t matter whether this happens consciously or unconsciously. Many users receive a warning letter even though they were not aware of their role as a provider in the network. Often they don’t even know that the software is installed on their computer.

This is possible, and in some cases actually happens. The prerequisite is that not only ONE single copyrighted file but SEVERAL have been downloaded from your Internet connection in the past – especially in the last 3 months. From our experience, more than 3 months after the download, it is usually unlikely that a warning letter will be issued. In certain cases, you must even expect follow-up warnings. Then it makes sense to concider a preventive cease-and-desist declaration. Especially if you have downloaded several episodes of a series, or a larger folder of music tracks.

Depending on the case constellation, this cannot be ruled out, at least in the form of a partial amount. As the connection owner, you are liable regardless of whether you committed the act yourself or not. This is the so-called “liability for interference” of the connection owner. The reason for this is that in terms of legal traffic, you are responsible for opening a potential source of danger for copyright infringement in the form of the Internet connection. However, the penalty on “liability for interference” is mitigated than “perpetrator’s liability” and does not include damages. In addition, claims against the interferer become time-barred more quickly. Namely within the regular limitation period of 3 years.

Most likely, no. Waldorf Frommer sends its warning letters by post mail, as do other warning law firms. If you have received a warning letter by e-mail, do not acknowledge its receipt, do not reply to it and do not open attachments. It could contain a computer virus (Trojan, or similar). Wait to see if you receive a letter by post mail.

Be very careful with a “modified cease and desist declaration”! Many mistakes can be made easily and cause far-reaching consequences. The “modified cease-and-desist declaration” must also be distinguished from the “preventive cease-and-desist declaration”. A preventive cease-and-desist declaration is intended to protect you from further warning letters, whereas the modified cease-and-desist declaration does not cover this. The challenge is to explain as little as possible and as much as legally necessary. The aim is to avoid consequential problems such as further costs due to legal proceedings, which are actually to be prevented by the cease-and-desist declaration. You should declare as little as possible, as the cease-and-desist declaration has an enormous binding effect and, above all, is valid for an unlimited period of time. On the other hand, you should definitely explain as much as necessary, because otherwise the cease-and-desist declaration will not be sufficient and the warning law firm may go to court. In such a case, you will not only have to face a costly lawsuit for injunctive relief, but also equally costly urgend procedure in court. Based on our experience, we at Abmahnungsdoktor.de can only advise you not to draft a cease-and-desist declaration yourself.

There are various rights owners who have commissioned Waldorf Frommer in the past and still do, to pursue their film rights, image rights, music rights, etc. We have handled warning letters from many companies. These could for example be:

  • Warner Bros
  • Constantin Film
  • Sony Music
  • Universal Music
  • Tiberius Film
  • dtv Verlag
  • STUDIOCANAL
  • Random House Verlag
  • RTL Television
  • Getty Images
  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • Bastei Lübbe
  • LEONINE Distribution (formerly: Universum Film)
  • RTL 2 Television
  • Rowohlt Verlag
  • Majestic Filmverleih
  • Piper Verlag.

Important for you to know: Among others, the following services are NOT considered “harmless” streaming:

  • Popcorn time
  • Zona
  • Movie HD
  • Cuevana 2
  • Couch Potato.

If you use these streaming services and their platforms, you must also expect a written warning from Waldorf Frommer or another warning law firm. Apart from that, “streaming” is fundamentally different from file sharing. The technical difference is, that a file is only cached for display on the device used and not stored permanently. For this reason, streaming is basically not as problematic compared to an actual download. If however even partial sequences of the file are saved, streaming can also lead to a written warning.

In the year 2010 German Federal Court of Justice ruled that the owner of the connection must set up the usual state of the art security standards when setting up a WiFi network. If the owner of the connection does not do this and operates an open WiFi, he is liable as an interfere. However, he is not obliged to continuously update the encryption over the years. This means: If your WiFi has been hacked even though you have encrypted it in the way that was technically usual at the time the WiFi was set up, you can successfully defend yourself against the accusation.

A distinction must be made here as to whether the connection owner lives in a shared apartment with other persons or whether he himself does not live in the apartment but has only sublet it. If there is no indication of an infringement, in the first case the connection owner does not need to instruct or monitor his roommates. This has been decided by some courts in individual cases, but is not supreme court case law. In such a case, you should therefore seek professional help.

It depends: Was it a family member of legal age or a minor child? In the first case, according to the case law of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), there is generally no “liability for interference” for the owner of the connection, unless there are additional circumstances (e.g. evidence of illegal downloading – “Bearshare” ruling of the BGH). The situation is different for minor children: Here, the Federal Court of Justice has ruled that the owner of the connection has a duty to instruct minors in advance about what is and is not permitted on the Internet and to prohibit illegal downloads or participation in file-sharing networks. If there are indications that the minor child does not follow the instructions, parents as the owner of the connection must also monitor their child’s activities on the Internet (Morpheus-ruling of the BGH of November 15, 2012, Case No. I ZR 74/12). But be careful: In court, the owner of the connection has the so-called secondary burden of proof, which is subject to certain requirements. You should therefore consult a professional to help with the defense.

In the case of a private visit, the situation is different from that of a hotel or guesthouse. In case of hotels or pensions guests, the owner of the connection must instruct his guests about their obligation to cease and desist and should also document this sufficiently (for example, by means of instructions signed by the guests).

In this regard, case law has ruled that the operator of an Internet café is liable for illegal file sharing by its guests. The operator of the Internet café should therefore take precautions to prevent corresponding infringements.

This can’t be judged in general terms. The claim for damages arising from a written warning shall only become statute-barred in 10 years. The regular statue of limitation of 3 years does not apply here. However, this is only a partial claim, because the 3-year time limit still applies to the claim for injunctive relief and for reimbursement of attorney’s fees. The statute of limitations always begins to run at the end of the year.

The warning law firm demands two things in its warning letter:

  • a cease and desist declaration and
  • a payment consisting of damages and attorney’s fees.

Waldorf Frommer always addresses the warning letter to the owner of the connection, which was determined via the IP address of the terminal device used. We get contacted almost daily by people who have received such a warning letter and who are all facing the same demands. However, it is not advisable to accept the claims for the following reasons, among others: Cease-and-desist obligation too far-reaching, no reason for payment for lack of warning reason, etc.

We know how to instead deal effectively with the written warning. Contact us.

Many warning letters are contestable on factual or legal grounds. If this is carefully examined in the first step, a customized strategy can then be developed for the individual case in order to reveal the weak points of the warning letter and reject unjustified claims. This way, court proceedings can be avoided in over 90% of the cases. We can support you at this, with our many years of experience. In the beginning, we first answer your questions during a free initial assessment.

For a reliable assessment of your warning letter, we recommend to take advantage of professional help. This gives you the greatest chance to solve the matter in the financially best possible way. If we work together, it is important that we speak with only one voice towards the warning law firm. Contact and correspondence with the warning law firm should therefore be handled exclusively by us from the outset. Therefore it is crucial that you do not seek contact with Waldorf Frommer, do not sign anything and do not pay anything. All correspondence should go through us instead.

When you download files such as a movie on the internet, you receive data from a remote system and save it on your device. What many Internet users do not know is that when they use a file-sharing program, they also enable the upload of the file at the same time. This means that you make the file or parts of it available to other members of the file-sharing community. This is the focus of the accused copyright infringement. Therewith uploading causes the multiple distribution of the protected work.

The accusation towards the warned parties, many of whom are our clients, is always the same: infringement of copyright by downloading or uploading copyrighted works such as movies, series, songs, computer games, audio books, photographs, images or e-books on the Internet. The Copyright Act provides for a written warning as a reaction of the rights holder to an alleged infringement. For this reason, the rights holder commissions a law firm such as Waldorf Frommer to prosecute the infringement.

Many people who receive a written warning feel insecure in view of the large media companies behind the warning and the psychological pressure that Waldorf Frommer exerts on them with the warning letter. The warning letter aims to induce the addressee to make a quick payment and sign the contract by threatening legal action and the high payment amounts allegedly due in case of refusal. Try not to be put off by this and seek assistance from experienced lawyers. Remember that these are typical mass warnings and you are not the only one. You do have to take the letter seriously, because Waldorf Frommer will actually go to court if you do not take action. However, you can avoid court proceedings and get out of the matter smoothly with a good lawyer on your side. Therefore it is important for you to first contact your lawyer and not the warning law firm (Waldorf Frommer or similar). If you follow the step-by-step instructions in our form, our letter towards Waldorf Frommer will be in the mail within 24 hours or faster.

IP addresses of any device online to the Internet can be either static or dynamic. This is of importance for the question of provability of an alleged copyright infringement. A static IP address always remains the same, so time does not play a role in its determination. However, most IP addresses are dynamic, meaning they change at short, regular or irregular intervals, sometimes within a few hours.

Copyright infringements originating from devices with such IP addresses are accordingly more difficult to prove. At times it is not even possible to determine exactly whether the infringement originated from a particular IP address because it changes so quickly. This can be a beneficial approach to attack the warning letter. You should talk about this with an experienced lawyer.

There are companies specialized in automated and conclusively reliable investigation of copyright infringements on the Internet. One of them is the Leipzig based company Digital Forensics, with which law firms such as Waldorf Frommer work with. Such investigative firms are able to identify IP addresses of end devices by using the peer-to-peer software of file-sharing networks. All information and data they investigated is forwarded to the warning law wirm. The law firm then contacts the respective internet connection provider (e.g. Telekom) and forces them to surrender the connection owner’s postal address by means of a judicial injunction procedure.

The warning law firm received your postal address from your internet provider. Englisch leiter Your internet provider did not give out your address voluntarily. Data protection law protects you and initially prohibits the disclosure of personal data. Waldorf Frommer and other warning law firms therefore regularly go to court to apply for a court order for information about the so-called inventory and traffic data, which also include your address details. The order resolution is enclosed with your warning letter.

Such a resolution is required under the Copyright Act § 101 Abs. 9 UrhG and prerequisite for the publication of the address data. In most cases, the results of the investigation company prove in court that a copyright infringement has occurred, so that the order is issued. However, this does not mean that you are also liable as the perpetrator. Have a lawyer review this.

Any citizen can file a criminal complaint if they feel cheated. However, this does not change anything about the written warning or the fact that you should react to it. This means that you have to take action against the written warning regardless of possible charges against you. We will be happy to help you and support you professionally. Several times our experienced lawyer Dr. Steinführer was invited as an experto on Internet law issues to MDR television and RTL television.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
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Lenaustraße 15, 04157 Leipzig

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