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 Chilling Effects Clearinghouse > DMCA Notices > Weather Reports > If A Demand Letter Issues, But No One Receives It, Does It Generate Revenue? Printer-friendly version
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  • partly cloudy

    If A Demand Letter Issues, But No One Receives It, Does It Generate Revenue?

    Chilling Effects Team, December 06, 2013

    Abstract: Rightsholders sending notices to infringers and demanding payment, or offering a settlement in lieu of a lawsuit is nothing new. In fact, it's a well-established business model. But what if the alleged infringers never received the demands?



    Chilling Effects recently began publishing takedown notices originally received by Proxy.sh, a Seychelles-based VPN provider.

    Because their customers/users are completely anonymous to them, with respect to actual data moving through the system, Proxy.sh has no way to identify users. When they receive a takedown notice relating to content having passed through one of their ports, they simply shut it down.

    to wit:

    "Action that has been taken from Proxy.sh: Because the server is located in a jurisdiction with precise intellectual property laws, we have reset accounts who forwarded port 1196 (nothing may identify a single account) and we have blocked port 1196 via Firewall."

    TorrentFreak is great about noticing patterns that emerge from Chillign Effects data, and they noticed this in conjunction with another recent story about Comcast refusing to pass along to their customers the settlement demands in letters from rightsholders.
    That is, the DMCA's tenets require that Comcast send the letter, but Comcast is stripping out the settlement requests or offers, and only sending the "the infringement details including the source, file-name and a timestamp."

    This is intriguing to say the least, as it both calls into question the demand letter business model that lies behind many takedown notices and suggests we may see a surge in VPN usage, especially in light of the Snowden NSA revelations.

    It's even more interesting when seen as an an implied criticism of the efficacy of the entire DMCA notice and takedown regime, which some argue has become a bloated and useless artifact of a classic Red Queen evolutionary arms race.

    As always, Chilling Effects will be watching with interest and making public as many notices as possible, so that you can judge for yourself.

     


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