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Over 200,000 Bittorrent users have been sued

Rightsholders extract cash with lawsuits
Wed Aug 10 2011, 13:18

RIGHTSHOLDERS apparently have found a way to supposedly 'claw back' allegedly lost revenues by suing more than 200,000 Bittorrent users in the US since the start of 2010.

According to Torrentfreak, US courts have been saturated with lawsuits, with the number of people currently accused of so-called 'piracy' currently standing at 201,828.

However, most of the cases aren't going to trial. Instead, defendants are usually offered a settlement for anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, Torrentfreak reports.

If rightsholders are charging a $2,500 fee, it means they could generate as much as a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue, according to the Guardian.

Even though this is more than they would make from traditional sales of the material, there is currently no way to stop them from targeting consumers in this way.

The extortionate choice presented by the typical settlement amount of $2,500 is between paying that and avoiding any further legal costs or risking ruinously larger statutory damages of up to $150,000 per offence for alleged copyright infringement, plus incurring defence attorneys fees.

However, TorrentFreak claims that many of the people targeted by the lawsuits aren't the actual infringers but the person who pays for the connection.

A Google Docs spreadsheet breaks down who has been sued since the beginning of last year.

Around 60,000 cases have already been settled, but Torrentfreak reports that 145,417 defendants are still at risk. µ


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