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
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Sep 2011 @ 12:38am

    While they are telling potential clients they are only asking for $10, I'd like to see the actual letter they are sending out.

    One of the porn mass lawsuit trolls told his client the demand was only going to be $50, the troll of course was asking for a couple thousand dollars. This gives the content producer a black eye as being a money grubbing troll demanding payments from 70 yr olds, and blind people. (true cases sadly) The lawyer collects thousands and sends the content owner a check for $50 for each person who paid up and pockets after costs the lions share.

    I enjoy seeing all of the standard AC's responding with conviction that anyone accused must be guilty, and anyone questioning this blatant cash grab has to be a pirate stealing trillions and feeding on the blood of newborn babies.
    Some of the AC's seem to have confused a business model for extorting music fans with a model to extort movie fans.
    An AC saying how its better than the Thomas case, the first glaring difference being a court case and evidence.

    There is a new wave of scammer out there, they are using Copyright Violation Notices as their preferred method to lure people into the scam. Boingboing had a thread about a bank being hit with these style of letter, asking people to goto a website to "review the evidence". This installed malware and all sorts of things.
    How long until the Nigerian Princes/Bankers are all ICE Agents demanding payments for alleged crimes?
    We look at spam and laugh, but if it was not working on some people why would the keep trying?
    There is a subset of people out there who will pay any demand made to them by email, they are sure it must be the truth.

    Just because someone says they have a record of "your" IP address doing something, does not make it true. It does not tell you who was doing it, and this just adds to the perception that if you pay for the account you must be liable - a novel idea that has yet to ever be tested in court.

    And something else to note... they want $10 for the infringement... they treat each track of the album as a new infringment... 19 tracks = $190 300 tracks = $3000

    Is $10 still cheaper than the cost of a single music track?

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