got this email "Infringement of Meta Platforms Intellectual Property", a scam or real?

orangpelupa

Elite Bug Hunter
Legend
not sure where to post this. The sender domain is not from any meta/facebook controlled domains. it also didnt CC to emails on facebook/meta controlled domains.

they want me to change some stuff to my app.

the problem is

  • i dont even know its real or not
  • i no longer have the key/sourcecode/whatever off the app i made (i basically forgot everything! its been so long! like.. app made ~3-5 yrs ago) so i would only be able to fulfill some parts of the changes they wanted.
 

AlphaWolf

Specious Misanthrope
Legend
I am trying to figure out what the angle is for someone to fake that email. Seeing as you can't comply anyway I don't see how it matters, but just tell them you are having legal review their request. It will probably buy you a few months.
 

Malo

Yak Mechanicum
Legend
Supporter
Is it from a legal firm? There are phishing firms where their only purpose is to scare you into paying some kind of fee for a supposed violation.
 

orangpelupa

Elite Bug Hunter
Legend
the sender address seems to be from a real legal firm.

i wonder if i can simply delist the app and it will solve this?
 

BRiT

(>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
Moderator
Legend
Supporter
Do not react to it at all. They do NOT know that you received the email. Treat it as if you never got it.

If it's anything legit they would send you something by certified mail/certified delivery.

There are some "real legal firms" out there that do nothing but shake down people for settlement money.
 

digitalwanderer

wandering
Legend
Do not react to it at all. They do NOT know that you received the email. Treat it as if you never got it.

If it's anything legit they would send you something by certified mail/certified delivery.

There are some "real legal firms" out there that do nothing but shake down people for settlement money.
Listen to BRiT! Don't react, definitely a scam.
 

orangpelupa

Elite Bug Hunter
Legend
im too chicken. i unpublished my apps.

they are a legal agency that work in behalf of Meta. and knowing how litigious meta is... yeah... i chickened.
 

Malo

Yak Mechanicum
Legend
Supporter
im too chicken. i unpublished my apps.

they are a legal agency that work in behalf of Meta. and knowing how litigious meta is... yeah... i chickened.
Well if your app does in fact impinge on their technologies in some way and it doesn't seem the app is critical for your livelihood, then that's probably the best course of action. It's entirely possible it is legitimate and that the only primary method of being able to contact you initially is via a contact email associated with the application.
 

dobwal

Legend
A cease and desist letter is not a legal document. If it’s real and with a determined intent to stop whatever your app is doing. They will go to the courts and request a cease and desist order or go through whatever legal process is required by your country.
 

Cyan

orange
Legend
Supporter
looks like a scam to me. Are you a big fish regarding the apps you work on or something like that? If not, most likely they are trying... who knows. People receive a lot of messages "from their bank" as of late and things like that, scams are like or daily bread.
 

Shifty Geezer

uber-Troll!
Moderator
Legend
A scam takedown seems unrealistic to me, short of a direct rival wanting to remove the competition. From orangpelupa's post, it sounds like he looked up the firm and they are associated with Meta. I see no benefit to someone faking this firm to request changes to an app!

If they have specific requests for changes, it's probably legit. It won't be a legal enforcement, but it could see a legal enforcement enacted if not followed and the fear is insane legal costs. The current legal system in many nations , particularly the US, affords power to money and can price people out of justice. This is one reason cases are settled out of court, not because the defendant knows they've done wrong and wants an easy out, but because they can't afford to defend themselves and a settlement is the cheapest option.
 

BRiT

(>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
Moderator
Legend
Supporter
That scam is if they attempt to force you into a one time payment settlement.
 

Shifty Geezer

uber-Troll!
Moderator
Legend
That wouldn't request changes to the app though, would it? Wouldn't the scam be claiming a license fee/settlement payment is required?
 

BRiT

(>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
Moderator
Legend
Supporter
That wouldn't request changes to the app though, would it? Wouldn't the scam be claiming a license fee/settlement payment is required?
Maybe that's how they get you to bite, claim you're infringing their IP. When you reply to the email is when they know they have a fish on the line. They may respond with a number for you to call to discuss the matter. That is where it's easier for them to get live feedback to what pressure tactics work.

Or maybe part of what they wanted you to change was using some other api library, maybe one that's infected with malware upstream.

I'm not saying this situation is a scam, but it doesn't feel exactly on the up and up either. It seems very bizarre that it would take them 5 years to get around to this.
 

Shifty Geezer

uber-Troll!
Moderator
Legend
It seems very bizarre that it would take them 5 years to get around to this.
I think it's quite reasonable. As IP maintenance, they can just do sweeps every once in a while. Monitoring every single app all the time is unrealistic. I think Nintendo has a tendency to do nothing and then clean sweep, taking down long-running fan content etc. Generally speaking so long as you are flying under the radar, companies don't chase down their IPs as it's more costly than it's worth, only targeting those clearly monetising or damaging the IP. But there could well be house-keeping IP protection just to maintain precedence.
 

BRiT

(>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
Moderator
Legend
Supporter
I think it's quite reasonable. As IP maintenance, they can just do sweeps every once in a while. Monitoring every single app all the time is unrealistic. I think Nintendo has a tendency to do nothing and then clean sweep, taking down long-running fan content etc. Generally speaking so long as you are flying under the radar, companies don't chase down their IPs as it's more costly than it's worth, only targeting those clearly monetising or damaging the IP. But there could well be house-keeping IP protection just to maintain precedence.

Perhaps. But at the same time I would expect it to be far easier to go through when you have an API into the services which require it to specify the application that is doing so. They don't need to chase down individual apps when they have an up-to-date list of every app signed up that can be cross-referenced to the live API usage logs. Though maybe someone just started using this ancient app and so it showed up where as before it wasn't being used. 🤷‍♂️

 
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