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The Lucrative Business Model Of Blackmailing Internet Pirates In Finland May Be Coming To An End

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The Lucrative Business Model Of Blackmailing Internet Pirates In Finland May Be Coming To An End

Postby sunnyd » Thu May 04, 2017 2:41 pm

Story :

Got a scary looking letter from Hedman Partners, Njord Law or some other firm threatening to take you to court for copyright violations, yet saying the problem will go away if you pay up? Relief might be on its way.

Since 2006, Finnish copyright law has allowed rights holders to petition the Market Court for a binding order that forces Internet Service Providers to give up contact information of internet users suspected of copyright infringement. The court generally grants the petition if it considers the suspected violation to be “very significant” in nature. According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, almost 100,000 such petitions have been submitted since.

If the petition is granted, a sternly worded letter from a law firm representing the copyright holders might be on its way. The letter details the alleged infringement and offers a deal: the accused can accept a settlement and pay the rightsholders a significant chunk of money with the ‘or else’ option being legal action. Proposed settlement sums vary from roughly EUR 600 on the lower end of the scale, up to several thousand at the other. With lawyer fees in any court case having to be paid by the losing side and dwarfing the proposed settlement sum several times over, many recipients of such a letter take the deal.

Besides the obvious extortion-like nature of the letters, there are many other problems, including ...

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