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The RIAA Became the Biggest Customer of Loss-Making Copyright Troll

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Old 05-05-2017
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Podcast The RIAA Became the Biggest Customer of Loss-Making Copyright Troll

The RIAA Became the Biggest Customer of Loss-Making Copyright Troll

The Recording Industry Association of America, representing the leading music labels in the United States, has become a major customer of anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp – almost half of its 2016 revenue was from the RIAA.


Infamous anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp has been loss-making for a number of years now: for example, the most recent annual report filed by the company is also not so positive. Still, there are some interest figures. As you know, the outfit earns revenue from monitoring BitTorrent networks, logging copyright infringements, and sending DMCA notices to Internet service providers. Rightscorp hopes that the broadband providers will forward notices to customers and those will settle the issue for $20 or $30 per a case of infringement. If they do, the anti-piracy firm splits this money with its customers.

In the meantime, Rightscorp’s headline sales figures for last year don’t differ much from the previous. In 2015, its revenue amounted to $830,000, while in 2016 it had dropped to $780,000. On the other hand, Rightscorp managed to cut its costs: for instance, Rightscorp’s total operating costs in 2015 amounted to $5.47m, which resulted in $4.63m operational loss for the company. Next year, Rightscorp managed to trim its costs to $2.73m – which is better, of course, but still resulted in the operational loss of $1.95m.

Another interesting fact is that BMG Rights Management accounted for 76% of the Rightscorp’s sales in 2014, while Warner Bros. Entertainment accounted for 13%. 2015 figures were similar, but 2016 was different. The outfit’s contract with the Recording Industry Association of America accounted for about 45% of Rightscorp’s sales, while the contract with BMG Rights Management brought it 23% of sales. However, the most important aspect here is a notable shift in how the anti-piracy outfit reports its revenue. While in 2015 all of it came from copyright settlements, next year half of it originated from “consulting”. Apparently, most of it came from the RIAA, which has just filed a big lawsuit against the US ISP Grande Communications on the basis of the data obtained by the RIAA from Rightscorp, who in turn collected that data from BitTorrent networks. In other words, the RIAA seems to be going to target Grande Communications just like it targeted Cox Communications.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.
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