Help me: i was caught illegally downloading in Germany

We all have our reasons to turn to illegal download in Germany. For some it’s about binge-watching the latest HBO hit series, for others it’s about getting their hands first on the latest Coldplay album. Some even want to get their hands on a rare 1991 version of the Star-Wars trilogy. Whatever it is, you might have gotten away with it in your home country. However, illegally downloading copyrighted content in Germany is severely  condemned by law and is frequently enforced by private law firms who send cease and desist letters.

If you are reading those lines, you are probably holding an Abmahnung letter from a German lawyer asking you to pay a hefty fine because you were caught in the act. I will ask you not to panic and will reply to the many questions you have right now.

Warning letter illegal file sharing germany

Here is everything you want to know on how to respond to a warning letter for illegally downloading copyrighted content in Germany.

Illegal download of copyrighted material in Germany, the basic stuff

What am really guilty of ?

German laws concerning file-sharing are pretty strict and clearly condemn any kind of file sharing activity related to copyrighted content. While both download and upload are condemned by law, it’s really in reality the uploading part of the process that will be rewarded with a warning letter. Using services like torrent clients makes you automatically share the file you are downloading. This is why torrent and other P2P clients users receive a lot of letters from German lawyers.

Since April 2017, users of illegal streaming services (also broadcasting of live events) can also get in trouble because of a decision from the European Court of Justice. It established (here) that users of such services are indeed acting unlawfully. However, unlike P2P, it’s very difficult to identify users of such platforms as IP adresses are often not stored by these platforms in the long-term, making the enforcement unlikely. Only premium users can easily identified.

On the document, you might see a reference to the set of laws dealing with copyright infringement in Germany; Urheberrechtsgesetz” or “UrhG”. The article making it illegal is § 19a UrhG.

Who is responsible and who should pay?

German courts have stated that the owner of the internet access is in theory responsible for any wrong-doings happening on that network. They are responsible for securing it so other people don’t use it to download copyrighted content in Germany. This might bring up tensions if you are living in a WG and it’s not your name on the internet provider’s contract. In that case, the owner can “discharge” the fault onto the real culprit to be cleared of all charges if necessary.

How did they could identify me and find my address?

Those German law firms sending warning letters usually hire specialized third-party services that are scanning P2P nodes and clients, recording IP adresses that are currently downloading illegally in Germany. They are then authorized by law to ask your internet provider to disclose any information linked to that IP adress. This is how they obtained your private details.

Again, this is why law enforcement is really much more difficult to apply for illegal streaming services users. IP adresses are not stored on servers on the long-run and if the police should request a list, it’s only after a considerable amount of time. Beware however premium users; if you are paying a fee on one of those platforms, your IP will definitely be stored on the server, thereby increasing the risks of getting caught.

If you want to protect your traffic and use all services privately, you can get a VPN that will hide everything from anyone else. You can use NordVPN for example, which often considered one of the bests out there, especially since streaming works well with it and you connect up to 6 devices with one account (switch to English in the footer if needed).

Do they really have the right to fine me so much? Can it really go to court?

There is no clear set of rules that puts a figure on the fine you have received. It might be 900€ per illegally downloaded song in Germany or 2000€ for downloading a movie in Germany. The figure is entirely up to them. We will see later how it is possible to bargain it down a little. Although they do threaten to take this to court, it’s relatively quite rare it happens. It mostly an argument to scare you into paying fast and without asking any questions.

However, make sure to see the difference between the different fees mentioned in this document. There are fees for sending you this Abmahnung, the contract penalty & the fine mentioned as repair for their clients. Also note that a law passed in 2013 should limit Abmahnung and legal claim fees to 150€ & 450€ respectively.

Offense repairs on streaming cases are much lower, making it less profitable for law firms to pursue; legal claim fees remain the same as for P2P cases but the fine per film can only be 5 to 10€.

Is this a real German law firm and not a scam? Do they really work with the copyright holders?

Now this is a little tricky because it is true that some scam letters (e.g from non-existing “Kroner & Kollegen” law firm) have been sent around and they are not entitled to represent the copyright holder. However, most often than not, the warning letter for illegally downloading copyrighted content is a real one coming from a real law firm who represents company like Viacom, Sony, 20th Century Fox, etc.

Here are some law firms sending cease and desist letters in Germany (hat-tip to
Auffenberg, Petzhold, Witte; Baumgarten & Brandt; Bindhart , Fiedler, Zerbe; CSR; Daniel Sebastian; Denecke Haxthausen & Partner; Fareds; Johannes Rübenach; Kornmeier & Patner; Lihl; Lutz Schroeder; Marcus Meier; Marko Schiek; Negele; Nümann und Lang; Paulus; Philipp Marquort; Rainer Munderloh; Rasch; Reichelt, Klute, Aßmann; Sasse und Patner; Schalast & Patner; Scheuermann,Westerhoff, Strittmatter; Schutt, Waetke; SKW Schwarz; U+C; Vahrenwald & Kretschmer; Waldorf Frommer; WeSaveYourCopyrights; Winterstein; Zimmermann & Decker.

Rule number 1: Don’t panic and don’t send anything back

What is this “Unterlassungserklärung” document and what should i do with it?

Together with the warning letter establishing your identity and the content, there is another document called “Unterlassungserklärung”. This is the German equivalent to a cease and desist letter that the law firm wants you to sign to prove that you recognize yourself to be guilty of the accusations. Do not sign this document and do not send it back! By doing so, you would give more legal ground against you and would have to pay.

Cease and desist letter file sharing germany
Cease and desist letter for Downloading Deadpool (source:

Now tell me what can i do about this warning letter

There are different courses of action you can take at this point and i guess it depends on how bold you are and how good you are dealing with a possibly nerve-racking situation.

1- Pay-up right away

Let’s be honest now: those letters are an attempt at scaring you off and pressuring you into paying the full amount. This is even more impressive for a foreigner that doesn’t understand German completely. You shouldn’t panic and pay-up without asking any questions as there is room for negotiation. After all, you have to remember that it is not the government sending you those letters; the fine hasn’t been set by law.

2- Do nothing

While curling yourself in a ball and hoping that it will go away might not seem like the mature and adult thing to do, this reaction might still have a few arguments for it. Reacting this way is basically counting on the weaknesses of the system; those German law firms are very busy you see. They send hundred of thousands of warning letters a year to the average Joe for illegally downloading movies in Germany. They know very well that they won’t be able to handle each individual case manually so they might no simply follow-up, should you not reply to their first Abmahnung.

Then again, there is also a good chance that you might be part of the chosen ones for whom it doesn’t go away. If they do follow-up, additional legal fees might occur and it can be enforced. This is a risk you take if you pick this option.

Doing nothing is a viable option but it can back-fire at you

3- Seek legal counselling

They come at you with legal weaponry? It’s then maybe time to gear up with some of your own and get in touch with a lawyer. Judging from the cases i have heard around me and in forums around the internetz, this seems to be a popular option. It’s a good compromise between costs, stress & time spent dealing with a fine for illegal file sharing in Germany. Sure, it’s not cheap but you might in turn save hundreds of euros for negotiating a cheaper fine or even not paying it all.

What a lawyer will do is to send a modified cease and desist letter in your behalf that basically says that you are sorry for what happened but you still don’t recognize that you are guilty and that you won’t do that in the future.

Fees for doing so with German lawyers specialized in copyright infringement cases can vary. It’s really worth it in a lot of cases. 

I wish you good luck in fighting against the odds. I hope this post helped you understand your situation.

Also, if you want to use your internet access as you want, don’t forget you can fully hide your traffic with a good VPN like NordVPN. Considered one of the bests on the market, safe and easy to use, it works well for this kind of use too.

Edit 1: This question was asked many times in the comments:

“I used torrents or streamed this piece of content [insert movie or music here], and i didn’t know about the rules in Germany! What are the chances to be caught and receive a letter?”

Answer: There are no rules defining the probability that you could get caught, and also no way to tell the delay with which you can receive this letter. Only time can tell.

Edit 2: This question was asked many times as well:

“I used another service download content (Gdrive, WeTransfer, some random platform, etc), what are the risks?”

Answer: This post is about torrenting and streaming. I cannot answer about any other means or technologies.

Disclaimer: this post is purely for informative purpose about what to do when caught illegal file sharing in Germany. It doesn’t replace the counselling for a professional attorney. Please make sure you fully understand your situation before taking any action. Better safe than sorry <3 <3 <3.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Also a big thank you to Oliver from the Frankfurt Expat blog, whose post on the legality of streaming helped me fine tune some details of this article.
If you are living near or around Frankfurt, check his blog out, it’s a good read to discover the city.


  • Reply VLad 25/01/2018 at 21:01


    I fucked up solid.
    I moved to Germany 2 months ago, I didnt know about this law, but I didnt have bad intentions or intent to share the movies….
    I’ve watched around 30 movies so far over Popcorn Time….and got 2 letters….One is for around 500 euros, and the second for 900….
    My salery is 1300 euros….
    Wish me luck guys….. 🙁

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/01/2018 at 09:55

      Good luck !

  • Reply Mark Bernt 24/01/2018 at 16:16

    hi Bastian
    Recently I have downloaded an ebook pdf from

    Could you please tell me if I am in trouble..?

    Thank you so much

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/01/2018 at 09:49

      Hi Mark Bernt. Please read the note towards the end of the article again.

  • Reply George 24/01/2018 at 12:12

    Hi, is it illigal the downloading from we transfer ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/01/2018 at 09:48

      Hi George, using WeTransfer is not illegal.

  • Reply Claudia 23/01/2018 at 23:14

    Hello, I got cought for downloading and I received the letter with the fine. I payed without asking anything because I got scared and in the document was written that after paying and sending back the declaration of discontinuance all claims would have been cleared and the disputed completely over. So I did it. Do you think I’ll be ok now? Because I’m your article you say not to send it back but just pay. In the letter is stated to do both thing to be cleared of charges though.
    Thank you.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/01/2018 at 09:44

      Hi Claudia. In the article, i wrote to not send back anything and also not to pay anything. I can’t tell you if you are going to ok now without seeing the letter but you are probably going to be fine if all the conditions were fairly laid out in the letter.

  • Reply Yazan_n3 22/01/2018 at 23:19

    If i watch movies and episodes online and dont download them they will never catch me right ? Is it the safest way ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/01/2018 at 09:36

      Hi Yazan. I cannot tell you what the safest way, i can only tell you what’s legal or not.

  • Reply sedki ben haouala 22/01/2018 at 02:07

    hi Bastian i downloaded a video from youtube on the deturl platform .. is that considered illegal ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 22/01/2018 at 18:31

      Hi there. Is it illegal? Yes.

    • Reply David 24/01/2018 at 21:05

      I just arrived in Cologne and I’m staying for 4 months, I am a big football fan and I watch football nearly everyday, but in Germany, since I know about the rule I don’t dare to watch it but my question is, can I be punished for consulting the site I’m watching football on? I never downloaded anything, it doesn’t upload/download anything, it’s live football, can I get a fine for that? Thanks

      • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/01/2018 at 09:51

        Hi David. The answers are clearly written in the post. Read it again please.

  • Reply Ahmed 20/01/2018 at 19:17

    I live in a WG and I’m leaving Germany after 15 days and Yesterday i have received a letter 950 euros for a movie I watched 3 weeks ago and i have watched 4 more movies the same way before receiving this letter (torrent) but didn’t receive a letter about them yet. Can they still make me pay from another country in the EU. And what would happen if my landlord receive more letters after i leave, can they still charge it to me?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/01/2018 at 09:53

      Hi Ahmed. You have committed something wrong during your time in Germany and for this yes, if they find you, they might chase you in other countries.

  • Reply LITTLEMISTAKENEVERAGAIN 14/01/2018 at 02:47

    Hi! Thank you all for the advices in the post and in the comments. I read a lot of them, but no one of the cases is similar to mine.

    I was in Germany few days ago and, totally ignoring the situation and using my host’s wifi-connection, I downloaded two episodes of a TV-serie (less than 600MB in total). The source was the site… and I used the browser Chrome from my tablet.

    In your opinion, am I at risk of getting a fine or am I safe? I suppose that that peculiar site does not use a p2p connection, right? Was it a direct connection or did I uploaded something accidentally by downloading that files?

    Thank you for the support

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/01/2018 at 08:51

      Hi there. If i’m correct, this website is a streaming platform. So refer to that section in the post.

      • Reply LITTLEMISTAKENEVERAGAIN 14/01/2018 at 13:53

        Yes, it is a video storage implemented with a streaming platform. So you can stream or download directly the files…

        I have not streamed the file, but downloaded it from the source.

  • Reply Mihail 13/01/2018 at 16:48

    how about if i download a free online game ? ( hearthstone) its that ilegal or ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/01/2018 at 08:50

      Hi Mihail. Dude, if the license allows free downloads, it is not illegal.

  • Reply SHAHIN 12/01/2018 at 23:30

    Hi! i downloaded some music and game in germany 2 months ago. still did not get any letters. is there a chance that i will not get letter? how much time it takes them to catch me and send letter?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/01/2018 at 08:42

      Hi Shahin, as mentioned in the comments and on the post already, there is no rule for this so it is impossible to give you an answer.

  • Reply varun 12/01/2018 at 00:22

    I downloaded a video song from a website which i got after searching in google..will i be sued for this?? Cos i m new to germany

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/01/2018 at 08:38

      Hi Varun. This post is about getting caught for using Torrents or streaming. Direct download for a server are not concerned by these rules.

  • Reply Totallyfukked 10/01/2018 at 20:35

    I illegally downloaded an album 3 years ago and got a letter. Hired a lawyer and was told if I don’t hear from them in a year, then everything was fine. 3 years later, I get a later saying they will take me to court if I don’t pay 4,000€ in 14 days!!!! But I received news of this letter a week later, so in actuality I have one week to come up with 4000€! What would happen if I hired a lawyer again? Would I be taken to court?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/01/2018 at 22:55

      Hi Meili. Hire a lawyer again, that’s probably your best bet for now.

    • Reply Bleyr 03/05/2019 at 04:40

      What happened in the end??

  • Reply Prakash 06/01/2018 at 23:45

    Hi I use Amazon Prime and Netflix paid account to stream movies or seasons but I wish to know if it is okay to watch the full movies on youtube and also the streaming websites for free. Thank you for your answer in advance. Happy New Year 2018!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/01/2018 at 11:16

      Hi Prakash. All the answers you need are in the post.

  • Reply Marko 03/01/2018 at 02:17

    Hi, I was visiting a frend in Germany and used her WI-FI to download a movie but the movie only downloaded 3% when she told me it was illegal so i stopped the download and deleted the torrent from my phone. Can I still be charged for illegal download although I didn’t download the movie in full?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/01/2018 at 17:16

      Hi Marko. Please read the post again. The dowloading part doesn’t matter. Only the uploading part. But yes, it doesn’t matter how much you shared.

  • Reply faris 27/12/2017 at 23:42

    Hai, I come just for a visit in Germany and I didnt know the law here in Germany until today. I have downloaded a few movies here, the reasons is because I came from a country where downloading illegal things are normal. Is there any chance I could write an apology letters to the authority.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/12/2017 at 16:58

      Hi Feris. As said many times in the comments and in the post. There is no way to assess the probability to receive a letter.

  • Reply Oscar 19/12/2017 at 13:21

    I have question is that I am not using torrent to download, but I’m using IDM (Internet Download Management) which is a site grabber software to download some movies. So can I get caught by using this software?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/12/2017 at 17:03

      Hi Oscar. I don’t know about this software. This post is only about streaming and Torrent clients.

  • Reply Kostas 18/12/2017 at 00:59

    Hello there! i have a question. I downloaded a porn video directly from the website ..from the wifi of a restaurant. Do you think I am gonna have a problem? The boss of the restaurant knows me. I am a bit anxious thats why j am asking.. thanks a lot..

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/12/2017 at 21:33

      Hi Kostas. This comment is to unclear to do a reply.

  • Reply Emma 13/12/2017 at 16:55

    Hello, the ish is i currently live in a country were you can download and upload illegally and i currently run an illegal downloading site for games were i upload games to sites like rapidgator and mediafire and share the link to my users. Im currently planning on relocating to germany soon so i was wondering if my business could be continued there. Also, i use a vpn when downloading from file sharing sites and uploading to mine. How safe am i?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/12/2017 at 22:48

      Hi Emma. I cannot give you advice on this particular topic i’m sorry.

  • Reply Simona Lidia 28/11/2017 at 19:34

    Hello, I have a question: I received a fine “Abmahnung” of 915 euros because they claimed I downloaded a movie from 21:04:10 until 21:04:52. The fact is I downloaded the movie this summer on the 08/08 from another country but it remained on utorrent. I resent a letter to them stating that I did’t do such thing and that I don’t accept the charges. Do you think I should do anything else? Should I contact a lawyer or is there anything else I could do by myself?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/11/2017 at 20:46

      Hi Simona, all the advice i can give is in the post.

  • Reply Mariana 27/11/2017 at 23:24

    Hi, thank you for the valuable information.
    I recently got a 1500EUR fine to pay. The situation: I downloaded some episodes in Mexico to watch on my way back to Berlin and forgot to delete and close the torrent when in Germany (I don’t fully understand how this works so…)
    The worst part, without realising it, I was walking around with my laptop and now 2 more houses (families that I visit for babysitting) got the bill as well 🙁
    Is it considerate 3 different cases/bills? Or can I take care of the situation as one? (I’m hoping so…)
    I’m seeing a lawyer thursday but I’m very very anxious and embarrassed about the situation of involving others. So any information you could give me on this, would be gold. Thank you in advance! Cheers

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/11/2017 at 20:37

      Hi Mariana. You already made a good first step by getting in touch with a lawyer; listen closely to what they say. I can’t replace the advice of a professional.

  • Reply T0m.7865 27/11/2017 at 19:50

    Hi. Should I contact the legal firm who have issued the letter? I recieved a letter today and was going to contact them. Thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/11/2017 at 20:36

      Hi Tom, i would not try to contact them without proper legal advice.

  • Reply Haithm Al-Afif 27/11/2017 at 16:42

    I received two fines for two movies, 915 euros each movie, the fines came with the landlord name on them, not my name, I told the landlord that it was me, then he gave the case to his lawyer, the lawyer reduced it to 750 euros for each movie. Now the landlord asked me if I want to pay him this and he will pay it by his name or to take the case to my name and pay it myself.

    I was thinking if there is a way that the landlord can say that the wifi is shared between the tenants and them and they don’t know exactly who downloaded the movies, then maybe he would just get fined less. Then I can pay what he paid.
    Please tell me what you think.

    Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/11/2017 at 20:35

      Hi Haithm, i can’t tell you anything that is more trustworthy than a lawyer’s professional opinion.

  • Reply payam 25/11/2017 at 15:47

    Hello, are there anyway they can track downloads servers from other countries? not torrent but countries that do no follow copyrights rules

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/11/2017 at 20:25

      Hi Payam. This post is about applicable law in Germany, not other countries. What outside of Germany is not the same jurisdiction.

  • Reply ali 23/11/2017 at 18:53

    I am new in Germany and have downloaded 4 movies and 6 episodes of one drama serial with torrent. I just got a letter with 915 euro fine for one movie. My question is i have to pay on each file i download or this is just one time.

    • Reply Suicide? 10/03/2019 at 10:47

      What was the end? How much did you pay?

  • Reply Kapil 23/11/2017 at 10:43

    My brother from other country uploaded software in google drive and i download it, and after going through your blog i am afraid now .Is there any chance of getting fine ??

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2017 at 18:51

      Hi Kapil. Still illegal but it’s not torrents or streaming is it.

  • Reply Ashish Talasadar 20/11/2017 at 23:10

    hello what if we downloaded the some crack files directly from the chrome ? do they charge for that

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2017 at 18:13

      Still illegal but you can’t get caught the same way you do with torrents.

  • Reply Daniel 14/11/2017 at 22:16

    So, i downloaded music from SnapTube and some online converter it’s illegal? And my friend which it is from another country send me a hack for a game via Skype, it’s that legal?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 15/11/2017 at 10:41

      Hi Daniel, both are clearly illegal but the question; can you get caught? With direct downloads from servers, the chance is very low.

  • Reply abed marei 12/11/2017 at 21:37

    Im student in germany my roommate is the responsible for the WIFI we got a warning letter to pay 915euro for downloading movie
    How we can know in which laptop this movie has been downloaded? Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/11/2017 at 17:44

      Hi Abed, it’s not possible to know on the information provided by the letter. Only the owner of the internet access (who signed the contract) is responsible before the law, he is identified by the IP address.

  • Reply Nora 08/11/2017 at 17:40

    Hello, thank you for this article.

    I have recently downloaded few pictures to use in presentation in university but there was no copyright thing issued upon them. I usually also download pictures from websites that give free downloads if l credit them. Are these two cases also problems and would l be fined for it?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/11/2017 at 18:01

      Hi Nora. This article gives info on video and music files downloaded via Torrent or Streaming. Images are another topic; credit is best practice for images yes.

  • Reply A.H 08/11/2017 at 15:58

    Hi i want to ask if i download something from other country website is it still posible that i get caught? And how do u know that u are being caught except that u got the warning letter?


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/11/2017 at 18:10

      Hi Alvina. German practices do not represent coypright holders everywhere in the world as laws are different everywhere.

  • Reply Daniel 08/11/2017 at 07:42

    I’m sorry I just want to know if I downloaded couple of videos using opera browser is it considered to be illegal and will get a fine?
    Thanks in advance

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/11/2017 at 18:06

      Hi Daniel, it is like the rest illegal yes. Will you get caught? It is unlikely as direct downloads from servers are much harder to track.

      • Reply Christian Bläul 25/11/2017 at 00:24

        Opera used to include a torrent implementation, so be very careful, as Opera might upload the very videos you were downloading. However, the page and URL will usually say ‘torrent’ (which you should avoid if there is copyright on the videos). If it doesn’t say ‘torrent’, it is a direct download and Bastien’s answer applies.

  • Reply Gabriel 02/11/2017 at 17:31

    Hello Bastien i am in desperate need of a good word.
    I recieved today a letter that i have to pay 915 euros for a movie that i downloaded by torrent.
    But the letter showed that the movie i had downloaded it’s from 2 months ago so if i downloaded 20 movies until now? Can i recieve a letter that says i have to pay a huge sum for all of them? I have downloaded from public torrent site piratebay.
    I am afraid to don’t have to give all those money 915 for that one movies and the next month i may have to pay 20.000 euro for all shit i have downloaded from piratebay and other public websites.
    Is it a lower chance of being caught if i download the movies from private tracker sites like ?
    I will go for a lawyer to ask for assistence better than pay or doing nothing.(if i pay that much money i won’t have money left for food next month)
    Is it possibly to go to jail if i don’t pay?
    Thanks alot and sorry for my bad english i hope you can give a piece of advice…

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/11/2017 at 10:06

      Hi Gabriel, I’m afraid i can’t answer your question precisely because we don’t know if you got caught or not. If you get caught, there it will be an additional offense yes. You can in theory go to jail, but i don’t think it’s actually ever happened; it can only end up in court. The website where you find your torrents don’t matter because the same torrent can be listed in different websites and different torrents can use the same trackers and nodes.

      • Reply Gabriel 03/11/2017 at 17:38

        Thanks for your reply.
        I will pay this problem. Yes i got caught because it gave me precisely info what torrent and date…
        But what do you advice me to do if another one comes with a bigger sum or the same sum because i know i downloaded about 20 movies and i live in fear to stay in Germany because i work to give them money…
        They will track me if i will leave to England? (and leave problem unpaid here)
        I am waiting for your answer.

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 06/11/2017 at 18:55

          Hi Gabriel, i suggest that your lawyer should include a clause that whatever you pay now for the first offense is clearing you of any other wrongdoings in the future. That might protect you. Can they track you in England? Possibly. Will they spend money and time to chase you down there? Not so likely in my opinion.

    • Reply Mila Panchevska 12/12/2017 at 22:48

      so did you get caught for the 20 movies you downloaded Gabriel ?

      • Reply Suicide? 10/03/2019 at 10:52

        How did you end?

    • Reply Miladin 10/02/2018 at 16:28

      and to me it is the same as yours. How did your case go, did the problem resolve and what did you do? gabriel

  • Reply Woganfan 26/10/2017 at 23:48

    Just curious as to if this includes a jail broken Amazon fire stick for example, plugged in to the HDMI on a fancy tv?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/10/2017 at 15:49

      Hi there. No idea; are you using Torrent clients or using illegal streams with it?

  • Reply Don 19/10/2017 at 01:11

    This might sound stupid but I’m really working myself over it right now. I was watching something on a stream website and all of a sudden an add pops up. I clicked to remove it and in a matter of a second I got redirected into another tab and it started downloading some random Adobe Software setup on it’s own. I canceled it right away but I really wanna know if something can happen because of this?
    Thanks in advange

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/10/2017 at 19:05

      Hi Don. This page is the wrong place to ask. What happened has nothing to do with it.

  • Reply Tory 18/10/2017 at 16:31

    Hi Bastien,

    Thanks for writing this super informative article! A friend of mine went to Berlin half a year ago and stayed at an airbnb place. A month later, he received a message from the host that he got fined for downloading a TV show at the time my mate stayed at his place.. He is sure he didn’t download anything. But what if my mate, by accident, did download the show. Can this be proven? I know IP is linked to adres. But is it possible for the law firms to receive more detailed information about who downloaded something on a network?

    Thanks in advance mate!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/10/2017 at 19:03

      Hi Tory. This is only just opinion but i think yes, more details can be passed on, especially the time and date it happened, which can fit with the time your friend stayed there.

  • Reply Sarah 16/10/2017 at 00:02

    I’ve heard before from my German teacher that downloadin is illegal in Germany so I’m so carefull about it! But my question is about the photos on the internet. For example can I save (download) a photo from google, Tumblr or Pinterest?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/10/2017 at 22:13

      Hi Sarah, any wrongful use of copyrighted material is by nature illegal. The real question is rather how can you get caught?

  • Reply Toma 15/10/2017 at 15:03

    Hi Bastien. I was living in a country where you can download torrents with not worry. I came last week to Germany and when i connected to the internet muy qtorrent automaticly pops up. I turn it off and removed it from my computer. It was like 30 seconds to minute time that qtorrent was on, i wasnt downloading anything, but i think one file was there for seeding. Im not sure if there was a connection with torrent or i was turn it off on time. Can you tell me please if i can geth cought for that, becouse im very worried. Thank you for your answer

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 15/10/2017 at 16:55

      Hi Toma. Like for for all the others asking here; there is no way for me to tell that in advance. You just have to wait and see.

    • Reply Hrco 15/02/2018 at 21:13

      Toma did you get a fine for those 30 seconds?

  • Reply Nina X 14/10/2017 at 19:33

    Hi. Thanks for your article. I’m new to Germany and I downloaded an episode after 3 days of it coming out. They sent me a letter just like the one like the Deadpool movie but they’re suing me for 620€ for just one episode and the lawyer company is Waldorf Frommer. Is there anyway possible that I don’t have to pay anything or little? Thanks again.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 15/10/2017 at 16:52

      Hi Nina. I know you are worried and you want advice but all your answers are in the post.

  • Reply Ellen 09/10/2017 at 07:50

    Hi Bastien,

    Thank you for your very informative article. I recently downloaded a PDF of a copyrighted German text book from a site Now I’m pretty scared about being prosecured. Do you think this is something I should be worried about however, as I don’t think it that I actually shared the book so my info wouldn’t be stored the same way tormenting would? If I were to be prosecuted, how much would I be fined do you know?

    • Reply Ellen 09/10/2017 at 07:54

      Also, I did this using the cellular data on my mobile phone- which is still registered in my home country. Do you think that makes a difference?
      Again, thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/10/2017 at 10:51

      Hi Ellen. Direct download cannot be tracked the same way as torrents nodes, it’s just an opinion, but there is very little to be scared about.

  • Reply Emma 07/10/2017 at 17:10

    But what about pictures? Is it also illegal to save a picture from tumblr or pinterest?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/10/2017 at 10:56

      Hi Emma, in general yes, it is illegal to use pictures without the agreement of its owner; but who is there to track that?

  • Reply DSp 03/10/2017 at 18:41

    Has anyone really used VPNs to download files from Torrent?

  • Reply Ruben 03/10/2017 at 17:41

    I’ve got some old torrent trackers left on my PC, do you think I can load them in uTorrent or will I then be screwed aswell?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/10/2017 at 16:33

      Hi Ruben, don’t load them in, i think you are still at risk.

  • Reply Santiago Bogacz Morales 30/09/2017 at 13:40

    I have also been watching some anime online from this website:
    Is that ilegal too? Am I totally screwed?!! I just got here on Monday and had absolutely no idea!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/10/2017 at 14:31

      If this is streaming, then it’s probably fine.

  • Reply Santiago Bogacz Morales 30/09/2017 at 13:38

    Hello Bastien!
    I got here on Monday and did not know absolutely anything about this. Yesterday I download through soulseek a whole 20-song album and uploaded 2 Bill Evans songs to YouTube. I instantly got 2 emails from YouTube that the videos were now blocked because of copyright (though they appear on the website).
    My question is:
    – Will I get sued because of my uploads to YouTube?
    – Will I get sued because of downloading from Soulseek (its a P2P program) or can I use Soulseek?

    Thanks man! Now I’m scared to death!!!!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/10/2017 at 14:31

      Hi Santiago. Can’t answer for the YouTube case and i’d say that you take risks with Soulseek. Both were illegal of course.

  • Reply iAnonymous 23/09/2017 at 23:52

    My Facebook Friend had sent me a link of a video from a Facebook Group. Upon clicking, it is one of the latest Hollywood Film. I closed it immediately because of fear of being caught. Is it okay to watch it?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/09/2017 at 11:20

      Well done for the anonymous email. ;). It is legal and moral to watch it? no. Can you get caught: very likely no, when it’s not torrents.

  • Reply Tens 20/09/2017 at 21:04

    Hello.I live in Germany,But i want to download one old game without torrent,if i download without torrent but from another website,everything its okay or im gonna have trouble ?Thanks :d

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/09/2017 at 09:58

      Hi Tens, Please read the post again. The answer is there.

  • Reply Gamyy 19/09/2017 at 14:57

    Hello, can I download music from And can I download movies that already published 1-2 years ago from a website (not torrent, streamt, pirate, etc.) Just a normal website like watchfullmovies, pinoymovies, openlood…

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/09/2017 at 08:30

      Hi Gamyy, can you do that without getting caught for now? Yes. Is it still illegal? Yes.

  • Reply Laura M 14/09/2017 at 20:36

    Hi, I live in Stuttgart and NEVER download or upload anything. But I see movies and tv shows from my country quite often. For your knowledge am I at risk of getting a fine for this or am I safe? Or in alternative do you have any official reference to suggest me in order to get very precise information about this? Thanks for any help you might provide

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 15/09/2017 at 16:03

      Hi Laura. This is a vague question because you give no information on the channel you use to watch these shows. I can’t answer that question.

  • Reply S. Aziz 09/09/2017 at 20:25

    Hi, will there be a problem if i download games from google drive links in germany?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/09/2017 at 19:53

      Direct downloads from a server cannot be tracked.

  • Reply iuly 09/09/2017 at 19:06

    Hello , I am new to Germany , i have a seedbox with vpn , it is legal to watch movies streaming with plex or downloading direct from seedbox ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/09/2017 at 19:56

      I am sorry, i’m not knowledgeable with seedbox, but if you have a VPN to protect your traffic’s privacy, it should be fine.

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