Monday March 13, 2017

New Automated DMCA Notices Hit Movie Pirates With $300 Fines

With courts having become more skeptical of piracy suits, and less likely to easily hand rightsholders the massive payouts they once did, the industry is now rethinking its approach. The latest effort appears to be a new round of automated "fines." Instead of taking all discovered pirates to court, sending an automated note via the DMCA notices, asking for a settlement in the amount of $300. The company "Rights Enforcement" behind this new effort appears to be loosely affiliated with CEG TEK, an organization behind schemes like these in the past.

It is unclear how they even know who they are looking to collect $300 from without court ordered discovery, and if, with the rising costs of piracy related lawsuits they are actually proceeding to take those who fail to settle to court, but it is clear that this new effort does come with all the same risks of falsely identifying people by their IP address as previous attempts of this kind.

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The company is operated by lawyer Carl Crowell, who is best known for his work with various notorious copyright trolls. This includes the aforementioned Voltage Pictures, which filed lawsuits for several movies such as Dallas Buyers Club and The Hurt Locker.