Automated shakedown racket sends legal threats, demands cash

Former cigarette retailer Nexicon has a new shakedown racket: they automatically detect things that look like copyright infringement on the net, automatically find people who look like they're responsible for it, then automatically send a dire legal threat demanding cash to go away. Mostly, they work for pornographers, and the estate of Frank Zappa.

The process is simple. Their software monitors BitTorrent swarms and other filesharing networks and records the IP-addresses of those people who share the work of their clients. It then automatically sends an email to the ISP linked to the IP-address with a request to forward it to the associated customer…

In their email they write that "it may be beneficial to settle this matter without the need of costly and time-consuming litigation."

If you don't settle they are "prepared to pursue every available remedy including damages, recovery of attorney's fees, costs and any and all other claims that may be available to it in a lawsuit filed against you." To make it even more scary, they point out that ISPs might cut your Internet connection if you don't comply.

In the FAQ on the VPA website it is noted that consulting a lawyers is an option, but it would be a rather silly thing to do since it will cost more than the settlement itself. "It is likely that the cost incurred to retain a lawyer will exceed the settlement amount offered." [Ed: it's cheaper to pay us than it is to ask a professional whether to pay us].

Automated Legal Threats Turn Piracy Into Profit

(via Digg)