Arguably the only thing more embarrassing than being caught illegally downloading episodes of 90s sitcom Friends could be the fine you’ll now have to pay if you get busted doing it.
Following on from a recent court case in Australia where downloaders of Dallas Buyers Club are likely to be sent hefty fines from the film’s owners for allegedly pilfering it online, comes news out of the US that the owners of the rights to Friends – Warner Bros – have procured the IP addresses of people it has found to have downloaded episodes for free and are mailing them $US20 fines.
US website Torrent Freak has published a copy of the letter that was sent to one offender who’d downloaded an episode from season two of the series.
It read: “Your ISP account has been used to download, upload or offer for upload copyrighted content in a manner that infringes the rights our client Warner Bros Entertainment. Although WB understands and appreciates that you are a fan of its content, the unauthorised uploading and downloading of its copyrighted content is a serious matter.
“As part of the settlement, you agree to cease and desist from the unauthorised copying and/or distribution of WB content, including over the internet from your computer.
“The damage to WB from your conduct substantially exceeds $20, but in the interest of having you stop your infringement of WB content permanently, WB is prepared to make you this settlement offer,” the notice said.