Are Copyright Holders Purposely Putting Content On P2P In Order To Demand Money?
from the that's-what-we-call-extortion dept
However, the situation may be even worse than originally suspected. In an article about Davenport Lyons' latest client, TorrentFreak notes that the copyright holder may be contracting with a company to purposely spreading the content on file sharing networks for the purpose of making it easier to find people to threaten with pre-settlement letters. There are a number of different players involved here, but basically, copyright holders are licensing the copyright on various movies to a firm called DigiProtect. DigiProtect, in turn, hires Davenport Lyons to send out the pre-settlement letters. But in a leaked contract between DigiProtect and one copyright holder, it's made quite clear in the contractual language, that DigiProtect is expected to upload the movies as widely as possible prior to having a law firm send out the pre-settlement letters:
To achieve the purpose outlined in clause 1, LICENSOR grants DIGIPROTECT the exclusive right to make the movies listed in Appendix 1 worldwide available to the public via remote computer networks, so-called peer-2-peer and internet file sharing networks such as e-Donkey, Kazaa, Bitorrent, etc. for the duration of this agreementIn other words, it's quite clear that this has nothing to do with preventing content from getting on file sharing networks. Instead, they're specifically putting it there themselves, apparently hoping to get it as widespread as possible, in order to send out the threat letters more widely, so they can collect on the "settlements" from people scared that they're about to get sued. It's hard to see how that's not a massive abuse of copyright law.