Copyright

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, pre-settlement

Companies:
liberty media



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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2011 @ 6:22pm

    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.

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