Analyzing New $10 Copyright Infringement Settlement Agreement Emails

Here is a new tactic that I have not yet come across in my practice.  Apparently, lawyers for copyright holders who are “sick and tired” of having their works illegally downloaded for free are working with internet service providers (ISPs) to send emails to alleged infringers with a paragraph that states,

“If you click on the link below and login to the Rightscorp, Inc. automated settlement system, for $10 per infringement, you will receive a legal release from the copyright owner.”

Click here for a very basic sample settlement agreement (Liability Release & Settlement Receipt).

This is a lot less than the typical $1,000-$5,000 settlement demands that I have come across.  But is this necessarily a good thing for potential copyright infringement defendants?  The site takes a $10 clip per infringement.  So if a single person is accused of downloading 1,000 songs without paying the customary price…well he could be asked to pay $10,000 to settle the matter out of court.  However, it appears that with a bit of negotiating (this is where a lawyer can come in hand), that demand can come down to an amount that is more easily digestible by the alleged infringer.

Of note, this $10 settlement tactic seems to be restricted to mainly music sharing cases in the meantime; however, it is likely to spread to the sharing of movies and other intellectual property at some point in the future.

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