02:53 AM

Reward! Up To $1 Million For Reporting Content Piracy

Wow. This looks like easy money. The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) "the principal trade association for the software and content industries" is offering rewards of $500 to $1 million, to any whistleblowers that report companies for stealing content.

The SIIA used to focus on software piracy.

Through its Corporate Content Anti-Piracy (CCAP) Program, SIIA pursues cases of copyright infringement of members' content that are taking place by or within an organization. This content includes text-based publications like articles in newspapers, magazines and newsletters, books - whether in traditional print or made available online.

There is a massive amount of content being stolen by web sites every day. They run Google ads around the content. This happens to my content all the time.

But it is difficult to find the owners of the web sites.

A better strategy might be for the SIIA to take action against Google for profiting from the stolen content. If Google withdrew its AdSense network from those third party web sites, there would be no incentives for the practice to continue.

The SIAA is also interested in internal uses, a potentially very large can of worms.

The SIAA today reported that it had successfully settled a copyright infringement claim against In the Know, Inc., in exchange for a "five figure sum."

In the Know, Inc. a small business located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, manufactures custom-designed reprints and plaques. SIIA learned of the infringement though a confidential tip and a subsequent investigation verified its reliability.

"In the Know is a reputable business that made a very costly mistake," said SIIA Litigation Counsel Scott Bain. "We are pleased with the settlement and hope that it alerts other users of copyrighted content to the importance of securing proper licenses, even for internal copying and distribution."

In 2009, the SIIA paid out $127,000 in rewards. You can submit a content piracy report here: www.siia.net/piracy/report