We've covered in the past how companies like Digiprotect convince the entertainment and software industries to sign over copyright licenses to allow them to purposely load file sharing networks
with their content -- and then send anyone who downloads the content a threat letter demanding payment. The idea here is not to actually take anyone to court or to stop file sharing. Not at all. The idea is to profit from these threat letters. And, as it turns out... it's quite a profitable scheme. TorrentFreak has some numbers from a music industry presentation
discussing how these extortion-like enterprises can pay quite handsomely. Basically, this one group, DRS, sends out emails demanding €450 ($650) per offense, with the company getting to keep 80% of any proceeds. Furthermore, DRS claims that approximately 25% just pay right up, which means for every infringement letter DRS sends out, it can expect to bring in $162.50, with 20% going to the
rights holder. That's $32.50 that the rightsholder can expect per infringement
, on average. That sure as hell beats a few pennies per download. No wonder such programs are becoming so popular. Of course, that doesn't make them any more ethical. Purposely putting files online and then sending out threat letters isn't exactly the moral high ground here.