Warner Bros. appears to be working with an anti-piracy firm to locate and fine users who are alledged to have downloaded infringing content, on U.S. ISPs that are currently not part of the "six-strikes" program.
Warner Bros. confirmed to TorrentFreak that it was indeed working with Digital Rights Corp (DRC) on identifying and fining alleged pirates.
Users caught will receive an email from their ISP warning them of the infringement, and a link to pay a fine of $20 to make the matter go way. Otherwise, users may face legal liabilities of up to $150,000 per infringement, the email warns.
A DMCA notice is also included with the email, and it is believed that this is how DRC gets the affected ISP to pass on the infringement notice. By doing it this way, DRC can contact subscribers without using a subpoena to match IP addresses to subscribers, but it also means DRC does not actually have the information needed to carry out their threat of further legal action.
Warner Bros. defended the process. "The notices give consumers an opportunity to settle the identified infringement for a very nominal sum of $20 per title infringed–not as a measure of damage, but as a concrete reminder that our content has value and as a discouragement of future unauthorized activity," Warner Bros. told TorrentFreak.
DRC has previously been involved in a similar scheme, but for music downloads, asking suspected infringers to pay a $10 fine.