As ridiculous as the copyright battles are here in the states, it’s a bit surreal when you see them exceeded elsewhere by an order of magnitude or two. According to German internet industry association ECO, ISPs in that country are giving up their subscribers to rightsholders at the mind-boggling rate of around 300,000 per month. To put that in perspective, you remember that big kerfluffle about The Hurt Locker pirates? Total people served: just under 25,000.
After names and addresses are given to the rightsholders, legal departments send out a letter demanding a sum of money up to ~$1700. The industry calls this “deep intervention.” Whether it’s a breach of privacy depends partially on Germany’s laws, what the people in question did, and how they did it, but it’s still scary as hell to think about.
They claim it has reduced piracy by 20%, a number I don’t trust for a second. Their piracy data only seems to carry them through the end of 2009 anyway, which means it’s not current with their excessive tactics. They also don’t mention how often people pay, take them to court over it, or simply ignore the cash demands.