Since the beginning of 2010 the total number of US internet users who have been legally approached regarding BitTorrent piracy has now hit 200,000.
TorrentFreak reports that the tactic has now become a feasible new revenue stream for copyright holders.
Typically, once the contact details of those who have allegedly downloaded copyrighted material are obtained they are sent a letter offering wither the chance to settle out of court for a three of four figure sum, or instead fight their side in court.
Though around 50,000 cases have already been either dismissed or settled, 145k are currently undergoing the legal process.
The most active prosecutor is the copyright holder of movie The Hurt Locker, which in May of this year targeted 25k individuals accused of stealing the film.
However, despite the huge number of cases not one has yet made it as far as the courtroom, so the actual validity of their evidence is still surrounded by legal question marks.
As TorrentFreak points out: If half of the original defendants eventually settle for an average fee of $2,500 they would generate a quarter billion dollars in revenue – from piracy.”