European law offices will find themselves on the other side of the questioning alongside with some anti-piracy companies because of the pre-settlement notices they forced on tens of thousands of P2P users. The agreements they achieved in those settlements even cost more than the actual bill that should be payed for the illegitimate sharing of copyrighted materials.
This action has been taken under some heavy criticism by a German scene news site called gulli.com, which even asked the local authorities to start criminal investigations against those firms that are involved in the pre-settlement notices. This could even determine the fate of the campaigns lead against us by the anti-piracy movements. It all started with a fax that landed in the wrong place, namely on wikileaks.org.
The fax contained information about the business of, Germany’s anti-piracy company, DigiProtect in detail. The fax was sent by a German lawyer Udo Kornmeier who was involved in hunting down many p2p users in Germany, just like Davenport Lyons in UK. Although the debate began about the significance of the fax, nor Udo, nor DigiProtect made a statement about the authenticity of the document.
The more shocking thing about the current situation is that the whole forcing to settle for “get out of jail card” is not a new thing,it has been suspected and has been going on for a few years now. The business has gone so good for some companies, that are involved, that they started using bar codes to keep track of the ongoing deals more efficiently. But who would have thought that the whole anti-piracy campaign is even more profitable than selling the copyrighted materials legally.
By another leaked document suing a user for file sharing can be up to 150 times more profitable than to legally sell the same material. This way the users are turned into slaves having to pay hard cash for sharing. DigiRights Solutions (DRS) even published an interesting presentation not so long ago about how copyright holders can earn millions from the users. It shows that illegal downloaders and sharers are much more profitable than legal ones.
The basic principal of the scheme is that they track illegal downloaded material like searching a for a file with the basically same information that the original has, then they send out a message about claiming the payment for the damage that the “pirate” costs to the company with that file. The range of the money needed is varying but in UK it’s around £600.
Interestingly 80% of the fine is kept by the company that tracked the “pirate” down and only 20% is the share of the copyright holder. That does not make too much sense to me, thinking about how the copyright holder is still the copyright holder, or is he not.
Well, yes he is and they first of all make it an easy choice, take the money or we won’t give you any at all, now the choice is easy when they put it like that. The income of a tracking company can be enormous and most of all illegal, especially if we take a look at it the other way, it should be considered a fraud or even blackmailing. The story does not look so nice that way, does it.
So now I dare ask, who is the bad guy here, the pirate who makes the download or shares a file with his friends or the company that claims the file his own without permission and getting a huge amount of profit by doing that. Although it’s still a win or win situation for the copyright holders, if we take into consideration that they get only a few percent of every £0.60 or even less, and this way they can make more than a few times that much. But this should not derail us from the truth.
The companies such as DigiProtect and DRS are not interested in the rights of the owners of the copyrighted files, they are only focusing on getting some profit for themselves. If that costs them a few pounds or euros, se la vi. So they are fully responsible for the fraud and should pay for the countless screw-overs that they did with more than a few users.
I personally hope that the truth will be heard and that they will pay even more than what they earned. It’s a price they should pay. Hopefully this won’t be another example of the money politics that ruled over to the side of anti-piracy organizations these few years, because if it happens again I will be truly ashamed that the justice system can be so easily overwhelmed by the rich giving the people like us no chance for freedom and pursuit of happiness, that should be the basic rights of us all.
December 16th, 2009Posted by: Date:
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
|Interesting indeed sir. Thanks :D|
|posted by (2009-12-17 02:02:51)|
|Great job like always Zor4n,thank you for keeping us inform.|
|great read and the ty for the article Z0R4N|
|posted by (2009-12-17 02:39:43)|
|thanks I will add this 2 my news and post it where i can....|
|posted by (2009-12-17 03:33:15)|
|Great read Z0R4N, Thanks. Even if they do lose and get sued, I can't see the German pirates lining up to get paid back (I know I wouldn't). It will probably get put in a Government fund that will sit on a shelf until people forget about it and be spent by the very people that were sued. I know I am a pessimist Z0R4N but all I see day after day is us getting screwed either way.|
|it's a good thing in a strange kinda way... being that some copyright owners may start thinking, well stuff these guys making us look cheap and easy we don't need the publicity from these DRS slash digi guys!|
ah la... lets just drop everything now.. long live the downloaders and filesharers. :)
|Good read ZOR4N. That was uhh.. Never mind. :)|
|posted by (2009-12-17 08:57:39)|
|well said Z0R4N..well said..this is an excellent article...and true to its core...|
but i didnt know that 80% of fine is kept by the pirate hunted company while the other 20% goes for the copyright holder? this doesn't make any sense to me too..weird! anyway never knew that..thanks for keeping us informed.no matter what..i wont ever let go of ET..i love u too much :) ummmwah
|posted by (2009-12-17 08:59:21)|
|and thank u obs...for posting this interesting article.|
|GREAT ARTICLE IT JUST GOES TO SHOW WAT ITS ALL ABOUT.MONEY.MONEY.MONEY|
|Great Article Z0R4N, lets see the money start flying around now...|
|posted by (2009-12-17 15:03:45)|
|There is nothing special about P2P piracy to make this illegal. This is standard bill collecting agency tactics. Unscruplous use of legal intimidation but as long as they make no false statements, it is not illegal. It is not false to say they want you to pay x100 cost to keep things out of court. Nor is it false to there is potential for them to be awarded your entire life's wages...unlikely but not false.|
Why can they legally "get away" with these demands? Because once you enter ligation the issue is NOT just the price of the original product but all costs associated with lawsuits and collection.
Yes they can make a killing if you are fool enough to waive your day in court without even making a counter out-of-court offer.
Generally you can try making a counter offer of the price of contested media plus a $25 handling fee if they will stop their harassment. If they refuse you take their refusal letter and send them a letter you are countersueing for harrassment after a reason offer was made. You can opt to say you are innocent party.
You never really reduce your costs if they can win you lawsuit. But forcing them to court you can sap the profit out of the proposition. With a counter lawsuit you can of course end up winning money if they fail to prove their case. In a sympathic court you might end up winning the countersuit -- even if you lose the piracy lawsuit -- just on the appearance of having made a reasonable out-of-court offer.
|posted by (2009-12-17 15:09:18)|
|Yup bill collecting agencies keep the lion's share of what they collect - especially anything over original billing. It is their reward for keeping collections out of further courts -- because collection agency efforts are fairly cheap versus actual full blown court and lawyers are very expensive and uncertain.|
|posted by (2009-12-17 15:13:42)|
|I suspect Europe is similar to the US in that often bills are sent to collection agencies because the court case would be weak or unprofitable or infeasible. |
For instance creditors normally have tremendous difficult in collecting from folks on US welfare who are barely able to keep themselves fed. But collection agencies can threaten, ruin credit, embarrass by calling relatives, etc until they squeeze some money out of the ignorant poor.
|posted by (2009-12-17 15:29:44)|
U r Inxplicible...
Keep Rockin ET....
|thx for the info Z0R4N eye opener|
|good read indead. Thanks ZOR4N|
|its sad great minds like this cant be in office fo politics|
|posted by (2009-12-18 09:37:54)|
|I wonder if any of the "419" scammers from Nigeria have got on to this yet and sent out fake letters accusing theft |
and then trying to collect through international money order to keep it quiet and out of the courts?
|Thanxx for the info intrestin Zor4n:))|