Controversial copyright firm sets sights on UK

Rightscorp wants to bring its scare tactics into battle with UK pirates

Pirate

US copyright agency Rightscorp wants to bring its notorious protection methods to Europe and the UK.

Working on behalf of its copyright holder clients, RightsCorp monitors popular torrent sites and tracks the IP addresses of frequent pirates. Once it has a target, it then forces the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to contact the owner of the IP address.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The letters demand the alleged pirate pay $20 (12) for each file they have illegally downloaded. If they refuse RightsCorp will then take them to court.

The agency has accrued over 60,000 court settlements so far in the US, and is looking to bring its successful strategy to European shores.

Sites like IsoHunt or The Pirate Bay are directly monitored by Rightscorp, using software that connects to a downloading user as another file-sharer. In the window of time when the peer is seeding their torrent, the monitor used by Rightscorp determines what has been downloaded and whether it infringes copyright.

Research from the University of Birmingham in 2012 has shown that it takes only around three hours for a user to be tracked by an enforcement agency, and with some adopting blackmail-esque tactics, copyright pirates should watch where they tread.

The last company to attempt something similar was Golden Eye International, which during 2012-2013 sent hundreds of settlement letters to O2 customers. Golden Eye's actions were eventually watered down and withdrawn due to a challenge by the Open Rights Group.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Regarding the tactics employed by some copyright companies, a spokesman for the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) told IT Pro: "FACT proactively protects property in television, film and media using legal matters. We prefer to target those running the illegal sites, not the end users."

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, general counsel at the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), added that the work of teams like PIPCU has been successful against illegal sites. Tackling the source protects the user, he told IT Pro.

The IP addresses and peer-to-peer sharing information that RightsCorp gathers are by no means solid evidence in a court of law. Only if the recipient of a notice from the agency agrees to settle - an admission of guilt - will they be susceptible to punishment.

What do you think? Is all fair in love and downloads or should there be more stringent rules in place for companies that act like this?

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Putting a spotlight on cyber security

An examination of the current cyber security landscape

Download now

The economics of infrastructure scalability

Find the most cost-effective and least risky way to scale

Download now

IT operations overload hinders digital transformation

Clearing the path towards a modernised system of agreement

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/data-protection/356344/eu-institutions-warned-against-purchasing-any-further
data protection

EU institutions told to avoid Microsoft software after licence spat

3 Jul 2020
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/356335/the-man-has-ruined-my-huawei-p40
Mobile Phones

The Man has ruined my Huawei P40

3 Jul 2020