According to TorrentFreak, a site specialized on the torrenting and piracy-related news niche, Rightscorp has been having financial difficulties, reporting losses for two years in a row.
In a desperate attempt to bring back its financials on the floating line, Rightscorp is now pondering a new debt collection scenario. Instead of having to go after copyright infringers on its own with easily ignorable emails, Rightscorp now wants to block the user’s browser whenever he intends to connect to the Internet.
The catch to their entire plan is that the only ones that have the technical capabilities to do so are Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
A US-based anti-piracy firm, Rightscorp Inc. hopes to partner with Internet services providers (ISPs) to lock the browsers of repeated copyright infringers, in order to compel them to pay their fines or have their access to the Internet removed completely.
ISPs may be inclined to cooperate
On one hand, ISPs know that blocking a user’s browser because of a fine from a non-legal entity like Rightscorp is a tricky problem since some users might just choose to change ISP.
On the other hand, ISPs also know that if they receive too many notices about copyright infringers without terminating their contracts, they also risk facing legal liability. This is because the US DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) says that an ISP that doesn’t take action against repeated copyright offenders loses its safe harbor protection.
Rightscorp says that if ISPs cooperate on its new Scalable Copyright system that will only lock users’ browsers, it promises not to hold them accountable.
This new system will allow Rightscorp and ISPs to lock a user’s browser based on their own evaluation of the user’s Internet activities, and is certainly a class action lawsuit waiting to happen. This is especially the case with Rightscorp, who has a history of bombarding users with copyright infringement notices, sometimes with tens or hundreds in just a few days, quickly marking them as “repeated copyright infringers” because of one single incident.
If the new Scalable Copyright system is to work, Rightscorp has to tone down its copyright infringement alert system, and some user rights have to be taken into account, like access to government websites, personal email, online emergency services, and so on.