Profitable 'Pay Us Or We'll Sue You For File Sharing' Scheme About To Send 30,000 More Letters

from the and-here-we-go-again dept

Remember ACS:Law? The shakedown organization that appears to have taken over where Davenport Lyons left off (including using some of the identical documents), and who has "partnered" with DigiProtect, the company that gleefully admits that it purposely puts files on file sharing networks just to collect the IP addresses of anyone who downloads, is asking for the identifying info on 30,000 UK users. To put that in perspective, in the years long campaign by the RIAA to sue people for file sharing, they apparently requested info on about 35,000 IP addresses. Of course, when spreading such a big net, it's no surprise that tons of innocent people get caught in it. But that's really of little concern, since no real lawsuits have been filed. They're just hoping a bunch of people feel that it's easier to pay up. It's not about stopping piracy or getting people to buy -- it's about shaking people down for as much money as possible.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:00pm

    Hopefully the backlashes would be enough to put the RIAA in jail. Oh heck, who am I kidding, governments hardly ever act in the best interest of those they govern.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    It's worth clicking through to the TF article

    I think this part of the linked article is valuable, and that this information should be replicated in as many places as possible:

    It is worth noting that ISP account holders are not liable for copyright infringement carried out on his/her connection if a) they did not carry it out themselves or b) did not authorize any infringement. If they did neither they can simply write back to ACS:Law explaining that the accusation against them has been made in error.

    Furthermore, if the account holder does not know who did carry out the infringement, they should state in their reply that is the case. It is then up to ACS:Law to find the real infringer based on their evidence they hold. This is impossible for them without the account holder pointing the finger.


    Stay sharp, kids.

     

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  3.  
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    refuse, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 7:31pm

    everyone refuse

    stop paying and lets have press about 30000 lawsuits they said they would not be doing anymore.

    YUP HOLLYWOOD TERRORISM STRIKES AGAIN

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 9:37pm

    If Digiprotect has received permission from the copyright holder(s) to put material up on file sharing networks, then *BY DEFINITION* they had permission to be distributing such works, and it is no more copyright infringement for somebody to be downloading the work from them than if the copyright holder on the work had made it similarly available himself. This is tantamount to police deliberately changing the speed limit signs in an area to read more than the actual speed limit, and then fining people for going over what the actual limit is supposed to be.

    Contrary to what companies like Digiprotect might think, file sharing is *NOT* against the law. Copyright infringement is... but sharing files that you have permission from the copyright holder to share isn't copyright infringement.

     

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  5.  
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    Brendan (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 11:08pm

    Call it what it is: LawSpam

    Let's do some math. I am admittedly making up the numbers.

    30,000 requests x 2% bending-to-the-will x $2000 per settlement = $1,200,000
    And that's without really having to do any work.

    I'd also wager that the settlement-without-question rate is much higher, given the enormous costs to fight the accusation, despite innocence or guilt.

     

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  6.  
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    EntertainedinCanda, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 6:11am

    What is the definition of extortion in the US?

    So what is the definition of extortion in the US? This seems like a "give us money or we will do financial harm to you" scheme. Maybe a class action lawsuit for everybody that gets an extortion letter?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 6:38am

    Re:

    Yes, and if they did not receive permission to put up those files in the first place, then guess who is now "inciting infringement"?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 7:12am

    Stupid system

    My Business Model...
    Send out massive bulk snail mail (widely dispersed across the country as possible) claiming some copyright infringement (being really vague about the infringement on some copyright your bogus company actually does own)... and request a small amount (less than $500) or imply they will face full legal action potentially costing thousands of dollars (no need to specify which party).
    If anyone contests it then drop them... claim it was your mistake and apologize for the error (hell even you even offer $5-$10 gift certificate for your error if your getting lost of people to pay up).
    Most people have infringed on some copyright so some people will pay (easy to determine the threshold limit by average household income in a given postal code).

    If you mail drop to 1 million homes (say at the outrageous cost of $1 million to generate the letters and pay for postage). Asking for an average of $200. Then you just need 0.5% to pay up to break even. In reality you will most likely get 10-20% pay up. At 10% you net $20,000,000.

    See the problem with allowing fishing expeditions... very easy for a company to claim an error and never actually purse legal action. The current system is in favor of the company.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 7:29am

    By putting copy protected works up on a torrent site themselves, Digiprotect is deliberately misrepresenting the underlying status of any work they do this with as something that is freely available. Pot, meet kettle. Even if they obtained distribution rights from the copyright holder, absolutely nothing can give them permission to deliberately misrepresent the status of the work and then take action against people who happened to believe them.

     

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  10.  
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    wvhillbilly, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Extortion?

    Sounds like extortion and entrapment to me.

    Greed rules.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    There working with in the current law sadly, first using the legal system is not extortion (yet) because you can sue anyone for any reason.

    Entrapment only works if the person asking you to do something illegal is a cop in there official standing. IE a cop sees you sleeping in the back of your car, orders you to move your car, then pulls you over for drunk driving, the cop just ordered you to brake a law (drunk driving) because he knew you were drunk when he told you to do something you would not normally have done.

    Thats the sad reality, you can aways remind people you can sue them in court, that is not extortion (yet).

     

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  12.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    My definition of extortion is being caught in a rock & a hard place.

    Business Letter:
    We caught you on this IP.
    We "can" pursue charges
    Or we "can" settle out of court.

    HMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

     

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  13.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    Re:

    Actually I'd say Con. Defiantly a Con game. Last time I checked... nope still illegal.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 9:58pm

    A close friend of mine got one of these letters about 2 years back. The amount they forced her to "settle" for was ~$5000 USD. It's absolutely criminal.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 10:10pm

    Entrapment or not, they _are_ misrepresenting the copyright holder's interests by making it available on a public file sharing system when the copyright holder has not not given any intention that other people are supposed to be able to freely copy the work. If anybody is infringing, it's digiprotect, even if they *DID* obtain licensing. If the intent of the copyright holder, in granting such licenses, is that other people _are_ supposed to be able to freely copy the work, then digiprotect's claims fall completely flat because there is no actual infringement in the first place.

     

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  16.  
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    start accepting, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    SCENE ONLY RELEASES

    or your stupid

     

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  17.  
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    gorehound (profile), Nov 27th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Boycott all Corporate Studios

    Stop buying new films and music from corporate shysters and spread the word everywhere you can.

    You will not miss any films/music as you can buy them used.Save money that way and corporate asses do not get a dime out of the sale.

    you can also help local stores out by buying used in your town.

     

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  18.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    I am surprised...

    ...that more spammers havn't turned up using this tactic.

    If I recieved spam telling me I was infringing and needed to send money to prevent lawsuits, I might actually listen.

    Much more convincing than the prince of Niger

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Scott, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 5:47pm

    Mafia

    Seems like Mafia tactics to me.
    Pay up or we will take your house, your car, your well-fare check, your social security check and anything else their filthy cheating minds can conjure up.

     

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  20.  
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    TheStupidOne, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    I think it would be actual infringement, not inciting infringement. Plus since they are making money on it, I'd say it is commercial infringement! I can't recall right now if the law distinguishes between commercial and non-commercial infringement in the UK

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    another_innocent_victim, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:12am

    ACS LAW

    Another batch of letters has just been issued - more porn films this time.

    Lots of useful info on the consumer website mentioned and a petition against the Digital Rights Bill (which in its present form will make things worse) on the No. 10 website.

    http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/dontdisconnectus/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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