Rightscorp is one of the world’s most prolific letter senders when it comes to chasing after pirates. Over the past few years it’s sent out thousands of demands for money to alleged illegal downloaders, but that model may no longer be viable, as the organisation has reported a quarterly loss of close to $800,000.
Traditionally Rightscorp and its contemporaries will take a list of IP addresses to internet service providers (ISPs) with claims that their clients were involved in pirating copyright protected content. If the ISP gives them up, Rightscorp then sends threatening letters demanding compensation be paid for the download, or it may take the accused to court.
While it has followed through with those legal threats in a few cases, for the most part it’s hoping that people simply pay to make it go away. When payments can be as little as $30 (£21), a lot of people have opted for that, while others merely ignore the threat.
It seems that that latter group may be growing though, as Rightscorp revenue has tumbled by a full 78 per cent for the last quarter year on year. That’s lead to it losing as much as $784,000 (£545,000) throughout the last three months. That’s not something it can afford to keep doing.
That said, as Torrentfreak points out, Rightscorp has never made a profit. Despite its attempts to wring money from pirates to recoup something from the ‘lost’ revenue of them downloading the film or show illegally, Rightscorp is not a profitable venture.
Considering its major pitch to copyright holders is that it is able to make money from lost sales, Rightscorp is going to have a hard time convincing anyone that it is worth allowing it to represent them.
It would take a big change in the industry to turn around Rightscorps fortunes.
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KitGuru Says: Have any of you received a threatening letter from an ISP or organisation like Rightscorp? If so, how did you respond?