The German copyright protection company Digiprotect has been reaching out to the adult industry community in the US, offering free evidence gathering and legal representation in cases against suspected European file sharers. Digiprotect account manager Thomas Hein advertised his company's solution in an editorial on the adult industry site this week, where he wrote:

"Litigation might not seem to be a nice way of doing business, but dramatic circumstances sometimes require drastic action."

The drastic action Hein is speaking of are mass-scale lawsuits against file sharers that swap as little as one MP3 file or movie. Germany and the UK have seen hundreds of thousands of such lawsuits in recent years. Most of them were initiated by a small group of law offices and content protection companies in the name of local rights holders, but companies like Digiprotect have been reaching out to US rights holders as well. One porn company that has previously worked with Digiprotect is John Stagliano Inc, also known as Evil Angel.

Digiprotect and similar companies rely on a loophole in the European legal system that allows rights holders to combine cease and desist notices with invoices, charging users hundreds of Euros for each instance of infringement and threatening much more costly lawsuits they don't pay up. Hein explained on XBiz that these cost notices allow his company to offer its services free of charge to rights holders:

"Digiprotect finances the operation and generates its income as a percentage of the amounts recovered from violators. Thus, the company can not only finance itself, but also be profitable because of the amount of lawsuits instigated on its customer's behalf."

This tactic of mass lawsuits as a business model has been criticized by European politicians and law enforcement agencies in the past. Germany recently changed its copyright law to make it harder to sue people that share only a few files, but the effectiveness of these changes still has to bee seen.

One little-known detail of Digiprotect is that it is directly associated to a music label called 3-P that was founded by the German rapper Moses Pelham. 3-P and Digiprotect share office and web space as well as employees. Pelham is amongst other things famous for breaking the nose of a controversial German TV show host after being called the N-word by him.

Tags: , , , , , ,