Entertainment Industry Now Shaking Down People At $10 Per Infringement

from the price-is-dropping,-but-it's-automated dept

A few months back, I met with the CEO of a rather successful indie label, talking about business models and strategy. His label had already done a number of really creative and innovative things with its artists, and had found a fair bit of success that way. The label was trying out a number of cool technologies, and I was pretty impressed at the overall strategy. However, he was also debating if he wanted to sign up with a company called Digital Rights Corp, which he said had done a really compelling presentation to him recently, in which it claimed that it would hit up everyone filesharing unauthorized copies of his label's music... and ask them to pay $10 per infringement. He claimed that the company was successful in getting most ISPs to pass on such a monetary request. At the time I hadn't heard of the company, and in looking into it, many of the claims seemed pretty unbelievable.

However, now it appears the company is getting some press coverage, and indeed claims that lots of ISPs have been passing on its "pay up" letters. The company says it has no plans to sue at all. It's sort of a new tactic in copyright trolling: just send a bill and get the ISP to pass it along. The $10 per infringement is certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than what copyright trolls have asked for in the past. And, of course, the reason this system works is it's mostly automated. They put together a list of IP addresses that they assume are infringing, send it to the ISP, and get the ISP to pass along the demands for cash. Two ISPs who have refused have been taken to court (but no individuals have been taken to court).

I do wonder how many people actually pay up when receiving such a letter -- probably a pretty good number, even if there's no legal basis for them to do so. Either way, it seems like the latest evolution in copyright trolling. Don't file lawsuits, but automate, and keep the amounts low to try to make it up in volume.

Filed Under: $10, copyright, settlement, shakedown
Companies: digital rights corp

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2011 @ 2:37pm

    What I find it amusing is that copyright is this big deal in the US right now and in the rest of the world people just don't care, heck studios and labels are putting out their content in Asia for free, people in China have more access to free content than their American counterparts, why?

    Because the greedy bastards want a piece of the 1.2 or 1.7 billion people in China, but they are not making too much progress there since production of home grown entertainment that caters to their own culture is booming and so they don't see the need to consume American entertainment and the locals don't sue their customers, they don't call them thieves, they don't do any of that stuff that annoys consumers and still they see growth numbers that are just mind boggling.

    c'est la vie I guess, maybe it is time to say goobye to American culture it has gone down the toilet, maybe it is time to create a new culture based on openness where people don't get worried about what others are doing but instead can use what others did to enhance and make better things, where people don't spend time trying to enforce ridiculous rights that seems more like the rights of self centered people who just can't live with the thought that others may be using something he used not created and he feels some sort of ownership.

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