In a somewhat cynical table-turning exercise, a German anti-piracy body seems to be encouraging illegal downloading of music and other media in an effort to strong-arm money out of lawbreakers.
DigiRights Solutions (DRS) from Darmstadt has circulated a presentation to potential clients explaining how they might make more money by pursuing illegal filesharers than from regular, legal sales.
No questions asked
The key to the DRS strategy is a previously unknown figure suggesting 25 per cent of people who receive a letter threatening legal action prefer to just pay the settlement fee without question.
As copyright holders in the DRS model get €90 (£84) of the €450 (£418) damages charge per offense, that can be up to 150 times what a legal download brings in.
Weighing the options
Clearly, the approach is reliant on simple mathematics – the number of legal sales compared to the amount of threatening letters DRS can send out for a client in any given period.
The company says it can currently go after 5,000 illegal downloaders a month so, given the discrepancy between the two monetary values being weighed here, it could find itself with a lot more cash-hungry clients before long.