After running rampant in Germany and the UK, the United States is now suffering under an onslaught of Speculative Invoicing – mass file-sharing lawsuits designed to scare people into paying cash settlements on the basis that by doing so they avoid a much more costly trial later.
While these cynical schemes seem straightforward enough, they are currently suffering drawbacks. Judges are increasingly ruling that it is improper to join so many unconnected individuals together in a single lawsuit, which leaves the alternative of suing each defendant individually, a costly exercise which eats away at valuable profits.
Movie studio Liberty Media, however, had a new trick up their sleeve last month which didn’t require any lawsuits at all. The simply announced that they intended to sue people sometime in the future, and that if people who had downloaded their products wanted to avoid being involved in that, they should simply turn themselves in.
Bizarrely, with Liberty Media having absolutely no idea who they are, where they live or even if they’re guilty, so far a total of 10 seemingly crazy individuals have freely handed over $1,000 each to the company.
But there’s more. Liberty Media general counsel, Marc Randazza, has announced that the company is preparing to file lawsuits against 36,000 BitTorrent users. And guess what? He’s running another amnesty program, this time at nearly double the settlement price of the earlier one.
So, if you’ve acquired some Liberty Media videos from BitTorrent and want to freely hand over $1,900, despite the company being as familiar with you at this point as they are with the person currently watching guard over Osama Bin Laden’s hideout, be our guest.
Easiest money making scheme ever.