This may seem an odd thing to say for someone who enforces IP rights, but clearly there are a number of copyright owners making lemonade from lemons as the saying goes.

Google announced this week that its anti-piracy Content ID system has provided copyright owners with US$2 billion since its inception in 2007.  That's $3 billion in New Zealand (or Australian) dollars!  It has paid out around US$1 billion in the last two years alone.  

Google's Content ID system allows a rights holder, once it has registered and registered its copyright works, to block, report or monetise infringing content.

While Content ID may not be perfect, particularly in the eyes of copyright holders, it is certainly better than a lot of other site's anti-piracy efforts.

Despite rights holders having a number of complaints about Content ID, NZ$3 billion is one a heck of a passive income stream.