Working on behalf of several prominent copyright holders, piracy monetization firm Rightscorp sends tends of thousands of DMCA notices to U.S. ISPs every month.
Unlike notices sent by most other copyright holders, Rightscorp’s also include a settlement proposal, offering alleged downloaders an option to pay off their “debt.”
Most larger ISPs don’t forward the settlement requests. For example, Comcast strips the payment information and simply notifies the subscriber of the infringement, like a regular DMCA takedown notice would.
However, this doesn’t mean that these users are off the hook. Rightscorp just announced that it has partnered with the Massachusetts lawfirm Flynn Wirkus Young, who want to take repeated infringers to court.
According to Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec the lawsuits will focus on those users who ignore Rightscorp’s notices and settlement requests.
“Under this agreement, we will be forwarding data on internet subscribers who have been sent Rightscorp notices and who have not accepted rights holders’ offers of settlement.”
“Flynn Wirkus Young has already filed several cases based on our data and this partnership will greatly expand the number of cases filed,” he adds.
Earlier this year the lawfirm launched the first cases based on Rightscorp data. These lawsuit were filed on behalf of Rotten Records and targeted Comcast users, among others.
Flynn Wirkus Young attorney Jordan Rushie informs TF that piracy is a huge problem for the entertainment industry. Even though there are plenty of legal options many people continue to pirate.
“It’s baffling to us that people still steal copyrighted content off the internet, given how easily available it is from places like iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.com,” Rushie tells us.
According to Rushie, Rightscorp’s notices have some effect. However, some of the most egregious copyright infringers need an extra push.
“Unfortunately, there are repeat infringers who do not get the message, even after Rightscorp sends them notices. They receive hundreds, and in some cases even thousands, of notices from Rightscorp.”
“We have found that the only way to deter some of the most notorious infringers is through litigation,” Rushie adds.
For Rightscorp the deal has several advantages. The company adds another revenue stream, which is much-needed to pull it out of the red. In addition, the lawsuits may be instrumental as a deterrent, boosting the number of direct settlements.