A report published by TorrentFreak reveals that Rightscorp, a piracy monitoring firm that works with Warner Bros. and other content creators, claims that 140 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) residing in the United States have agreed to disconnect persistent file sharers.
Wait! Aren't ISPs already participating in the Copyright Alert System? Don't file sharers get at least six strikes (warnings) before ISPs even think about disconnection? Throttling after repeated warning letters is usually the punishment, although the outcome depends on the ISP.
According to the report, Rightscorp continuously monitors BitTorrent networks to see who is sharing what. The company then approaches these file sharers by contacting their ISP, who in turn will forward Rightscorp's settlement demands, requesting $20 per shared file. The company believes this is a far more superior plan than the six strikes plan, and is now taking it a bit further -- disconnection.
That's right. Rightscorp wants repeat offenders disconnected from the Internet, and 140 ISPs located in the United States are supposedly now on board.
"We push ISPs to suspend accounts of repeat copyright infringers and we currently have over 140 ISPs that are participating in our program, including suspending the accounts of repeat infringers," says Christopher Sabec, CEO of Rightscorp.
Ultimately, this disconnection model is all about creating a new stream of revenue. Rightscorp believes that with disconnection now introduced, settlements will happen more frequently. Even more, those who are disconnected can be reconnected IF the outstanding bill/fine has been paid.
"All US ISPs have a free Rightscorp website dashboard that identifies these repeat infringers and notifies the ISPs when they have settled their cases with our clients. We encourage the ISPs to restore service once the matter has been settled and there is no longer an outstanding legal liability," Sabec says.
For now, most of the larger ISPs are ignoring Rightscorp's settlement notices. Comcast will forward the notice but without the settlement offer, as does AT&T, Verizon and several others. According to TorrentFreak, Charter is the only ISP that forwards the notice in its entirety.
So who is listed in Rightscorp's list of 140? Mostly the smaller, local providers, the report reveals.