from the not-helping-with-the-whole-legitimacy-thing dept
The anti-piracy catastrophe that is Rightscorp continues its slide into disrespectability, albeit inadvertently. Currently facing lawsuits for robocall phone harassment and the realities of a business model that largely relies on the kindness of accused strangers, Rightscorp is barely upright.
Granted, this latest mini-debacle isn't necessarily its fault. At least, not directly or intentionally. But it is a problem nonetheless, especially if Rightscorp is still expecting alleged infringers to beat a path to its virtual doorstep to pay up for their illicit activities. Ernesto at TorrentFreak has more bad news for the trollish company.
For the past few days prominent anti-virus vendor Bitdefender has been blocking the company’s website after categorizing it as malware.
People who receive a notice from Rightcorp are welcomed with the following popover when they try to access the settlement page. The notice is limited to the settlement pages and doesn’t appear on the regular website.
This has led to some speculation as to how Rightscorp became malware, at least in the eyes of Bitdefender. While some antivirus programs kick out more false positives than a Total Wipes DMCA takedown request, Bitdefender doesn't appear to have that reputation.
Ernesto speculates this may be due to the large number of settlement emails all providing links back to Rightscorp's "secure" (it's a bit more secure now…) payment site. Sophisticated Jane Doe of Fight Copyright Trolls points out in the comments that the page itself is a joke, what with settlement screens still providing "share" links to a variety of social media services… except that they all link back to the notice screen itself.
It could be that Bitdefender views pages that demand credit card information without any sort of preamble (a "shopping cart" screen/an opening splash page informing purchasers that they've arrived at the right site, etc.) as potentially untrustworthy and better safe than sorry.
As of right now, this appears to be a fluke error on Bitdefender's part, as it is the only antivirus/malware service to have blocked the page. Maybe this "misunderstanding" will be cleared up in a few days. Or maybe Bitdefender users with settlement notices will continue to be steered clear by their AV software. Either way, it's hardly helpful that a respected antivirus service feels the site is questionable enough that it has constructed a tiny dam right in the middle of Rightscorp's trickling revenue stream.