Homepage > Anti-piracy >
Rightscorp is a key evidence provider in several multi-million dollar hacking lawsuits and a trusted anti-hacking partner of the RIAA. The evidence provided by Rightscorp is not without controversy, however. The company itself is also in trouble, as the state of Delaware canceled its corporate status after failing to pay more than $ 450,000 in taxes.
Backed by the RIAA, several large companies in the music industry have sued some of the largest US Internet providers.
Music companies accuse these providers of failing to shut down the accounts of the most egregious pirates by ignoring millions of copyright infringement notices. To make them whole, the labels demand hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.
This has already resulted in a massive windfall in the case against Cox, where a jury awarded $ 1 billion in damages. The same music companies are now hoping to achieve the same result against RCN, Charter, Bright House and Grande Communications.
Proof of Rightscorp
Many of these lawsuits center around evidence from anti-piracy company Rightscorp. The Delaware company has collected settlements from US Internet subscribers for several years, but struggled to make a profit.
Tackling suspected hackers directly was not a good business model, so Rightscorp began to focus on ISPs. They encouraged the RIAA to take legal action against the ISPs and offered its data as evidence, in exchange for a large injection of cash.
The RIAA and Rightscorp have achieved quite a bit of success so far, but there has also been a lot of setback. Several ISPs question the accuracy of Rightscorp’s evidence. That includes RCN, which again voiced its criticisms in court a few days ago.
“RCN contends that the complainants and Rightscorp engaged in illegal, unfair and fraudulent business practices in flooding RCN with illegitimate copyright complaints and destroying the evidence on which those complaints were ostensibly based,” RCN wrote. .
RCN wants access to Rightscorp database
These claims are part of RCN’s defense, which has been going on for some time. To substantiate these claims, the ISP requested access to Rightscorp’s evidence databases. This should reveal whether the evidence is sufficiently reliable and precise.
This access request was submitted months ago, but little progress has been made so far. After several exchanges, Rightscorp’s attorney informed the ISP in September that he would not allow full access to the evidence database. Instead, he proposed to allow access to a more limited database.
“Rightscorp refused to provide access to its databases and instead offered to create a new database, solely for the purposes of this litigation and containing only data that Rightscorp deems relevant to RCN,” the ISP informed the court.
The above quote is from a recent court file in which RNC seeks an order requiring Rightscorp to open its database for inspection. This is a reasonable request, argues the ISP, especially since the RIAA is using this evidence to demand more than $ 200 million in damages.
The court record also calls Rightscorp’s reputation into question. RCN notes that in a related lawsuit, a federal court ruled that the company intentionally destroyed the source code of its piracy tracking system.
Company status canceled in Delaware
It is not known why Rightscorp does not want to open its database for inspection. RCN says he has no idea either, but the ISP openly speculates that there may be some internal issues.
It turns out that the state of Delaware, where Rightscorp is incorporated, revoked the company’s corporate status after failing to pay its taxes.
“This may be related to the fact that Rightscorp appears to have no corporate credentials because its corporate status is void in Delaware for non-payment of more than $ 450,000 in franchise taxes,” writes RCN.
This is a serious issue, as it would be a criminal offense for Rightscorp to exercise its corporate powers before the issues are resolved. In addition, another company can now reclaim the Rightscorp name, if they wish.
License revoked in California
The problem is not confined to Delaware either. Rightscorp also failed to file its annual returns in California, the state from which it operates. As a result, his license to do business was revoked.
These issues could possibly be resolved in the future, but that certainly does not inspire confidence. The same goes for the non-www version of the Rightscorp website, which is still down after several months.
Whatever the reasons, RCN is asking the court for an order that will allow the ISP to take an uncensored look at the evidence database, requesting an oral hearing on the matter.
A copy of the RCN application, filed with the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, is rightscorp-corporate-status