2015 hasn’t been the happiest year for anti-piracy firm Rightscorp.
The company began the year enmeshed in a lawsuit over ‘robocalls’ to people suspected of online infringement, and has been reporting financial losses as its revenues from clients fell.
This week, though, there’s some positive news for the company: one of the major publishers has signed up as a client.
Who? Sony/ATV. The one-year deal (which will then renew every 30 days until cancelled) will see Rightscorp perform its usual role of scanning for infringements of the publisher’s works and seeking settlement payments, sharing 50% of them with the company.
“This is a monumental agreement for Rightscorp, in that partnering with one of the world’s largest entertainment and media conglomerates in Sony not only legitimises the market they serve as a growing concern, but opens the door for others to follow in Sony’s footsteps,” claimed Rightscorp.
That’s important, because the company needs to diversify its client list: Ars Technica reports that Rightscorp’s deal with BMG accounted for 76% of its revenues last year, with Warner Bros generating another 13%.
Meanwhile, its financial troubles reflect a wider debate around whether the business of infringement detection and settlements is sustainable. Or, as Rightscorp’s last financial filing put it: “The Company has not yet established an ongoing source of revenues sufficient to cover its operating costs and to allow it to continue as a going concern.”