I am being sued for illegal use of internet by a guest

Level 1
Hamburg, Germany

I am being sued for illegal use of internet by a guest

Dear Airbnb community,


I was wondering if any of you knows how to directly get in contact with Airbnb?


I am being sued by a lawyer working for Warner Bros. because my guests were illegaly filesharing movies with my internet connection.

I was not there the whole weekend and had my laptop with me. So there was no other PC connected to our Internet, apart from our guest ones.

Now german law says that I am responsible for what happenes over my IP address, my only chance is if I can prove differently with hardfacts. So, I aksed a lawyer, he sees a chance to somehow get me out of it, but I obviously have to pay him.

But: I would need the full contact details of my guest (which are known by Airbnb, but obviously not public)... I couldn't find a way to talk to anyone from Airbnb. I always end up in this bloody faq or with a recommendation to ask the community. So I do.. Do you know what I have to do to get a number to talk to someone?

Does Airbnb have an insurance to cover Lawyercosts if it comes to damage some users caused?


thanks in advance

4 Replies 4
Level 10
Boston, MA

@Katharina11, I'm really sorry this has happened to you (and to others, it seems!)  Once again I learn from this forum - I have now added a rule to my house rules to prohibit this type of downloading.  Thanks for the heads up!  (at least your painful experience can be helpful to others....) Susie

Level 10
Quimper, France

You may check the German community center for that topic. You get it by setting the language to German or selecting a German town in the city forums. 

You should have a rule about no illegal use of wifi. 

But you should also check German forums and the details of this lawyer. There are some scams in Germany, claiming copyright infringement, which never happened or for very obscure films nobody downloaded. Mostly with porn to shame the victim. Google the lawyers name and ckeck if he is a lawyer. And even if, he may not be mandated by the copyright holder. 

Good luck

Level 2
Sacramento, CA

Depends on your location you may call directly to Airbnb support. Here is a number close to SF - 415.800.5959

In addition you may exchange email directly with the copyright team - copyright@airbnb.com

airbnb guests caused me repeated violations and I'm about to lose my internet.

So far Airbnb done nothing aboput it

Hope this helps.


Level 10
Union City, NJ

You can do a search in the search bar above to get Airbnb contact info, but I'm not sure you'll get very far even when you talk to Airbnb.   I am 100% sure that they will not provide you with the guests contact info beyond the phone number and anonymized email that you get on your booking confirmation.


You don't have anything about illegal file sharing or downloading of copyright materials in your house rules (and it's crazy to think that you should have to) and here's something I use:


* Absolutely no downloading of copyrighted materials (no bit torrent, for example). Any copyright infringement by guest subject to release of guests info to copyright holder for further action.


I would contact the Warner Bros lawyer and give them a copy of the guest itinerary, give them the IP address of your laptop and offer some proof that you were not on your wif/internet that week.    The resposibility is still yours however, and if you search "illegal downloads" on this forum and in other forums, you'll see this is a common occurance.  There are ways to prevent this, and as I type I realize that it's something I preach, and have not yet done myself, despite being on the receiving end of similar letters/threats from HBO for bloody Game of Thrones downloads!


Take a look at this thread in particular: