Rightscorp tracks the IP addresses of individuals who torrent certain titles. It then sends threatening letters to those users via their ISPs, threatening a giant lawsuit, and then offering a low settlement. But now that the company’s financials are down the loo it has a new cunning plan. It wants to lock users’ browsers until they pay a settlement fine.
The idea was spotted in a filing earlier this week:
“In the Scalable Copyright system, subscribers receive each [settlement] notice directly in their browser. Single notices can be read and bypassed similar to the way a software license agreement works [but] once the internet account receives a certain number of notices over a certain time period, the screen cannot be bypassed until the settlement payment is received.”
The hijacking would have to be done by ISPs, and would be technologically reasonably simple to implement—just redirect every webpage to Rightscorp’s notice instead, although it would be pretty simple to bypass using a VPN instead.
Of course it is going to hack off a lot of ISP customers. These are the people who give the ISP money, while Rightscorp doesn’t. ISPs in that sort of situation are more likely to go to court to defend their customers from copyright shakedowns. It does not seem likely that they are going to voluntarily back a hugely invasive and unpopular method of getting the movie theatres more dosh.