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Video Protection Alliance Services, LLC / Fraudulent Claims of Copyright Infringement

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The Video Protection Alliance, a franchise of Nexicon, tracks down and attempts to force settlements from alleged copyright infringers. Apparently, they circumvent privacy protection laws by using ISPs to forward settlement requests for various copyright holders to alleged infringers.

Video Protection Alliance (VPA) claims to operate for several porn studios. The methods they use are very similar to Getamnesty and Payartists and are designed to get cash payments from illicit file-sharers without the legal burden of finding out who they are.

VPA monitors BitTorrent and other filesharing networks and records the IP-addresses of those people who share the work of their clients. Then an email is automatically sent to the ISP linked to the IP-address with a request to forward it to the associated customer.

The warning letters are similar to those sent by movie and music studios. It should be noted that the emails sent by VPA contain veiled threats of legal action if they don’t choose to settle within 10 days.

However it suggested that these threats are empty and the company operates on tricking the so-called "infringer" into taking the bait and quickly settling via their website, which is streamlined to get a payment from the accused.

The "infringer's" best bet is simply to ignore VPA as they most likely will not pursue legal action and are simply trying to profit off the fears of those being accused. They probably make quite a bit of money luring accused internet users who are quick to pay the seemingly arbitrary settlement fees.

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Comments

Bu
  28th of Oct, 2009
0 Votes

Placing a complaint with an ISP is like charging a person with a crime before the crime is committed. Share networks are not just for illegal software. It is possible on share networks to select something for download and end up with something totally different being received. File Hashing is not always accurate. It is also possible to download something thinking it is a shareable file and once received find it is a full version or copyright material. It is then at the requesters discretion as to if that material is deleted or retained. In no way should an ISP be given rights to share the requesters information with the complainant without a court order. Or for the ISP to take action such as disabling internet service based on the complaint. Complaint such as the one above only lead to false payout because the actual party making the illegal software available is the party that is filing the complain to get money. Anybody can do this and make millions off unknowing people, ranging from mom & dad to enterprise companies. All you need to do is make a bunch of videos or sound clips. Name the files something easy to find in the share network similar to a commonly requested file and every time it is downloaded make a request for payment. What should be done? Well that has many possible answers. How about having the ISP monitor every packed before it gets to the end user. Now we are getting into wiretapping over the internet, privacy issues, police actions and lose of any freedom left. The problem on most shared networks is that in order to download a file, parts of that same file are sent out at the same time as the download. So it appears as if the reciving party is the sending party of the illigal shared files, there is no time to review the file and determin if it is shareware or copyright matierial. Take me back to the good old days of a 300 baud modem and Unix so I don't have to deal with being charged for something that should have been free in the first place like TV, Radio and Internet. Downloading a single file should not be illegal. Something such as mass reproduction and distrabution with intent for profit should be the illegal line.

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