Rightscorp, the copyright trolls whose business-model was convincing ISPs to freeze their customers' Internet access in response to unsubstantiated copyright accusations, and then ransom those connections back for $20 each, will be out of money by the end of this quarter.
Despite a massive courtroom win against Cox Cable in 2015 (and a counterbalancing gigantic fine for its robocalls), the company couldn't win a technology cat-and-mouse game against its prey — the wily file-sharers who switched to VPNs and other anonymizing technologies.
The company had tried a controversial — and illegal — expansion into Canada and other countries. It seems now that they'll be spared, unless Rightscorp's investors can be persuaded to part with $1M.
But a few things happened along the way to a year-over-year 78-percent plummet in first-quarter revenues and a loss of $784,180. Among other things, pirates are seemingly masking their IP addresses more and more, and ISPs aren't forwarding Rightscorp's money-demand letters to pirates, the company announced Monday. Still, the California-based anti-piracy company has never made a profit. Last year, it lost $3.5 million and, judging by its first-quarter earnings report released Monday, it's on course to go defunct.
For the moment, the company is teetering on the brink of financial collapse. It raised $500,000 on February 22, the company reported, but it needs another $1 million to stay afloat. It has enough cash on hand to continue "into the second quarter of 2016," according to the company's latest financial report.
Anti-piracy firm Rightscorp's Q1 financials read like an obituary
[David Kravets/Ars Technica]