I received notification of a Copyright subpoena. Why do they want my information and what's the process I'll be going through?
When Windstream is served a Copyright subpoena requesting identifying information on a particular IP address or addresses, Windstream is a third party to the subpoena, meaning we are required to provide certain information requested by the federal court. Windstream’s practice is to notify our affected customers as a courtesy of possible future litigation. Once we provide the information to the federal court, Windstream has completed its legal requirement in the matter.
An example of what prompts a subpoena to be served on Windstream as a third party would be a production company suspecting illegal downloads of movies or music. They supply Windstream, as well as other Internet Service Providers, lists of IP addresses that logged onto various shared file sites. The plaintiff, in this example, the production company, is trying to identify individuals via IP addresses, who are suspected of alleged downloading of movies or music in an illegal manner. The production company's motivation is to recover lost royalties as they were not compensated for the downloaded product.
When Windstream is served a Copyright subpoena, Windstream is required by law to provide the following specifics to the requesting federal court:
- Account number
- Connection logs, meaning date and time when the IP assigned to an account, as provided by the production company, logged in and then logged out (was issued and released).
- User name associated with the account
- Customer information (e.g. name, address, telephone number)
If you received a notification of a Copyright subpoena, you may decide to file an objection with the federal court (e.g. a motion to 'quash'). If you wish to do so, contact the appropriate federal court named on the letter prior to the due date specified on the Windstream notification. Objections must be filed with the appropriate federal court; Windstream cannot assist with the filing. Contact the court clerk for information on filing the motion. The court, case name, and case number are provided in the notification.
Also notify Windstream Law Enforcement Support Center of your objection prior to the date specified in the notification letter sent to you by calling 877-999-7705. You may also email us. A team member will respond within 1 business day. Simply raising an objection with Windstream will not prevent the release of your information. Windstream can only withhold information with proper notification from the federal court if they rule in favor of your objection. Windstream cannot provide more information about the subpoena itself and Windstream cannot provide legal advice to you regarding any objections you may have. Please consult with an attorney for legal assistance.