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. icon
    Designerfx (profile), 23 Sep 2011 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    I on the other hand, do have a problem with paying for something that's not even illegal. $10 may be small, but anything greater than zero is too much to pay for simply sharing music.

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