New Twist On Mass Pre-Settlement Copyright Shakedown Letters: Porn Company Asks Downloaders To Confess… And Pay

from the yeah,-good-luck dept

We’ve been covering how tons of porn companies have jumped on the bandwagon with these mass pre-settlement shakedown operations, in which they threaten thousands of people for the possibility that they might have infringed on their copyrights, and ask them to pay up to avoid a lawsuit. Over the last few weeks, TorrentFreak has been following how Liberty Media has been gearing up for just such a plan, with a few twists. First, there was the really bizarre lawsuit and settlement, where some guy was sued and settled in just a few days, giving Liberty Media the ability to claim he settled for $250,000, while the fine print suggested that he’s paying a lot less (if anything). Then, the company started suing intermediaries, like Paypal and Hotfile.

But the latest move appears to be an attempt to turn this whole circus into a way to sign up more users. That’s because the studio is now offering an “amnesty program,” for people who ‘fess up to downloading its movies. But unlike typical “amnesty” programs, you have to pay $1,000. Yes, the studio is asking people to effectively voluntarily agree to pay $1,000 so that they won’t sue them, on the off-chance that there’s actually evidence pointing to them (and that it can actually successfully sue a bunch of users — which has proven problematic for others). But, here’s the kicker: for those who do pay up, you get a one-year “paid membership” to the company’s websites. In other words, it’s a shakedown-turned-marketing plan.

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Companies: liberty media

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Comments on “New Twist On Mass Pre-Settlement Copyright Shakedown Letters: Porn Company Asks Downloaders To Confess… And Pay”

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19 Comments
DogBreath says:

Re: Genius

And now we finally know the pron industries strategy to: CwF + RtB

1) Threaten to sue

2) Offer discounted settlement along with free membership (charged annually and automatically to your credit card)

3) PROFIT!

If only the MPAA or RIAA had thought of it first (Forcing Itunes, Netflix, etc), but they’re too slow. You can almost bet this will be a business method patented by the pron industry now.

Anonymous Coward says:

I just realized this is the exact opposite of banning someone from your services as a settlement condition. Many advocates of much harsher IP protection like to compare infringement with theft of tangible goods. By that line of reasoning, this would be the equivalent of Costco suing a shoplifter, then including a Costco membership in the settlement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Scared people who are clueless about the law that is who and there is a lot of them out there.

I think they don’t realize they should treat lawyers of any kind as hostile relationships, same goes for the police.

Don’t ever talk to them directly, don’t send them letters explaining anything, the right place to do all that is when you are inside a court room with witness and records being made.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Scared people who are clueless about the law that is who and there is a lot of them out there.

I think they don’t realize they should treat lawyers of any kind as hostile relationships, same goes for the police.

Don’t ever talk to them directly, don’t send them letters explaining anything, the right place to do all that is when you are inside a court room with witness and records being made.

You think there are clueless people who are just going to hand over a grand even before they’ve even been accused of anything? I seriously doubt it.

Anonymous Coward says:

This might work if it was a smaller fee. $1000 is way too much and a huge burden on anyone.

$50-100 or so? I don’t know. It gives you that mafia style protection paired with some content. I think they’d actually have significant sales then.

In fact, with a letter from a lawyer and a low price point, I’d bet they’d get 50% compliance even if people weren’t guilty.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think $1000 seems reasonable for what they are offering, I mean typically these sites charge $30+ a month, so a year’s membership is $350ish dollars or more. So basically they are saying for $650 they will not involve you in frivolous lawsuits that will waste your time and quite a bit more money.

On a side note, Can someone setup a national “Do-Not-Sue” list where people can simply opt out of these stupid lawsuits… it could be run similarly to the “do-not-call” lists

Barry says:

I guess I’m not the only one with this problem. I have the same stuff on my laptop “We’re at CorbinFisher.com have to take steps to prevent any illegal…bla bla” and I only used it for surfing through informational websites. I did some digging about Marc Randazza and Liberty Media Holdings. Whoever is standing behind this company is a pure evil and has to be stopped. They’re sending letters to regular people like:
“Although we have only caught you stealing one movie, it is our intent to forensically examine every single hard drive and other electronic storage device in the gouse, and to depose all members of the household. Thus far, I have yet to find and intellectual property thief who only steals on movie. In any event, I very much doubt that someone who stole Down on the Farm only stole that movie and not many other adult entertainment films.”
This guy is crazy, now it’s absolutely clear. They created piece of art software to manipulate regular guys like me and you and try to beat money out of me and my family. It just cant be left like that. This can’t be legal. I’m on my way to an attorney. Could somebody suggest a lawyer who can boost Liberty Media Holdings’ ass please?

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