RIGHTSCORP represents EVERY music copyright troll.
This is a short “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” page on the basics about Rightscorp DMCA settlement demand notices, and the music companies they are representing.
***For a more in-depth discussion about Rightscorp, please see my “All I know about Rightscorp in One Page” article.***
RIGHTSCORP is a copyright enforcement entity which makes its money by sending DMCA violation notices to internet users through their ISPs. Rightscorp DMCA settlement notices request a money settlement for each song downloaded. They contact their accused downloaders by sending DMCA violation notices through that accused downloader’s ISP. However, Rightscorp alters their DMCA violation notice to direct the accused downloader to a website where they could pay a settlement amount, or risk getting sued for $150,000 copyright infringement damages in federal court.
Rightscorp DMCA settlement demand notices differs from most of the other DMCA notices which are regularly sent to internet users informing them that their IP address was monitored downloading so-and-so movie, that the download was unlawful, and to delete all copies of that movie from the downloader’s computers.
What is the relationship between Rightscorp and the RIAA?
The RIAA appears to be behind the Rightscorp company, and while Rightscorp’s financials used to be compared to a “sinking ship” over the years, I understand this has changed and they are on solid financial footing (my best guess is that they have received a recent ‘cash infusion’ from investors who have saved the company from sinking).
Rightscorp has also been recently associated with Carl Crowell, the figurehead of another copyright enforcement entity called RIGHTSENFORCEMENT. I have suggested that perhaps the investors of this entity (RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT appears to have the backing of the MPAA) are also recent investors of Rightscorp.
The RIGHTSENFORCEMENT group is known for filing lawsuits in federal courts for the copyright infringement of their movies. They are also suspected of copying and reverse engineering CEG-TEK’s DMCA settlement demand letter system. Movie lawsuits associated with Carl Crowell and RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT local counsel across the US include the ME2 Productions movie lawsuits, the Cook Productions movie lawsuits, the I.T. Productions movie lawsuits, and most recently, the UN4 Productions movie lawsuits written about just this week about the Boyka: Undisputed 4 movie.
RIGHTSCORP clients comprise various music companies, including BMG, and SONY. (I keep hearing that Rightscorp’s clients also include big TV companies such as Warner Brothers as well).
RIGHTSCORP is a pre-lawsuit settlement solicitation machine. This pre-lawsuit mechanism uses automated DMCA abuse / copyright infringement notices to send settlement requests directly to subscribers through their ISPs.
WHAT ISPs ARE SUSPECTED TO BE WORKING WITH RIGHTSCORP?
ISPs suspected to be working with RIGHTSCORP are:
- Hawaiian Telecom,
- Optimum Online,
- Time Warner Cable,
- Verizon, and
RIGHTSCORP DMCA settlement demand letters require that accused recipients visit their website and pay $20-$75 per instance of infringement, per title (this can be negotiated down by an attorney).
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR ISP AND RIGHTSCORP?
Quick Answer: There are three reasons an ISP will work with a copyright enforcement company such as RIGHTSCORP:
1) BECAUSE THEY ARE THREATENED TO COMPLY with the DMCA statutes,
2) BECAUSE THEY PROFIT FROM THE RELATIONSHIP, and
3) BECAUSE BOTH HOLD HANDS to reduce piracy on their networks.
With Rightscorp DMCA settlement demand notices, the motive is deterrence (to stop the habit of downloading), and profit. Most likely, since the Rightscorp DMCA settlement amounts are so low ($20-$75/song, as opposed to CEG-TEK’s $300-$400/movie) the relationship between Rightscorp and the ISPs is first3) a relationship of holding hands (with the implied threat of a lawsuit if the ISPs do not comply with their requests).
WHAT ARE THE MUSIC TITLES FOR WHICH RIGHTSCORP HAS LICENSED TO SUE?
RIGHTSCORP’s list of known music albums are far too many to list here, however, they comprise the artists under the BMG and SONY music labels.
WHAT IF I ALREADY RECEIVED A RIGHTSCORP DMCA SETTLEMENT NOTICE AND IT EXPIRED?
*IT IS NOT TOO LATE.*
The copyright holders are given a 3-year statute of limitations to sue individuals for copyright infringement. I understand that there is a short window (e.g., 30 days) where Rightscorp will allow you to settle before taking down the ability to settle. However, unlike the other copyright enforcement outfits, Rightscorp does not send a second letter from their lawyers indicating that “because you did not settle, now we want more money.” That second-tier settlement system appears not yet to be in place.
Rather, Rightscorp has been known to take backchannels to disable the internet user’s ISP account by complaining to the ISP about that user. Rightscorp also has been known to robocall accused downloaders at all hours of the day and night, and the threat is that their clients (the music labels themselves) can file lawsuits against those accused downloaders who do not pay their settlement fees.
SHOULD I IGNORE THE RIGHTSCORP DMCA SETTLEMENT DEMAND NOTICE?
Short answer: Because there are MANY ‘COPYRIGHT TROLL’ ATTORNEYS filing lawsuits across the US (and since Rightscorp has been associated with RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT who are actively filing copyright infringement lawsuits across the US), it is likely a VERY BAD IDEA to ignore this. Speak to an attorney about the likelihood of a lawsuit based on your particular circumstances.
IS IT SAFE TO LOG IN WITH MY CASE NUMBER AND IP ADDRESS ON THE RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM WEBSITE?
Short Answer: Absolutely not. Logging into the RIGHTSCORP website will not only likely create a record that you were given the chance to settle for a mere $20-$75 per song downloaded (multiplied by the number of times that song was tracked as being downloaded), but there are also likely trackers and barbs built into the website which can dig into your computer and determine private things, such as what IP address you are coming from, where you are physically located (based on the geolocation of your IP address), what the MAC address is of your computer, what your operating system is, etc.
WHY DO YOU KNOW ALL THIS?
RIGHTSCORP has become the largest sender of DMCA abuse / copyright violation system (surpassing even CEG-TEK and RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT). I started looking into them in 2013, digging deep into the mechanics of their website, learning what tricks or systems were put in place, and I am generally knowledgeable about privacy and anonymity to the point that would make even someone wearing a tin hat cower in a corner.
What makes me good at this is because I understand not only what comparable copyright enforcement monetization outfits have done with their websites, but I also understand how their systems can be misused, and I have every expectation that the RIGHTSCORP website will continue to advance so that advanced tracking and scripts with provide their BMG client’s attorneys evidence against you which they will use to gain an advantage over you.
Plus, this is all fun for me (I am not a hacker), but I enjoy uncovering what pitfalls the bad guys have set up on their sites, and how to get around those pitfalls in a way that keeps my clients anonymous, that protects their wallet, their credit cards, and their peace of mind, and that keeps them legally out of trouble.
THIS WAS A SHORT FAQ FOR RIGHTSCORP. WHERE DO I LEARN MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THEM?
One again, to learn all I know about RIGHTSCORP, I have written an in-depth article on our Cashman Law Firm’s TorrentLawyer blog entitled, “ALL I KNOW ABOUT RIGHTSCORP IN ONE PAGE.” I will keep that article up to date as I learn more about this growing problem.
CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.
NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together. That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.