Law firms declare war on pirates

Law firm Davenport Lyons has warned the industry over the growth in illegal file-sharing, and has called for publishers to join the campaign to stamp out the increasingly popular form of online piracy.

The news follows the recent claim against a woman who has been forced to pay damages of £16,000 for illegally file-sharing Topware Interactive’s Dream Pinball 3D.

“This is significant because it’s one of the first cases of its kind in the UK,” Davenport Lyons’ Roger Billins told MCV.

“It’s sending a message to file-sharers that if they continue to do what they do, then they’re running the risk of having to pay considerably more than the retail cost of the work. We’re very happy to assist other companies that are interested in taking part in this campaign.

“It’s difficult to deal with piracy, especially peer-to-peer networks, and we believe that our campaign is a way of reducing piracy.

“File-sharing has become very serious, with many millions downloading copyright material, and software like BitTorrent is making things easier.”

Codemasters and Atari are two publishers that have turned to Davenport Lyons following the latest developments in the file-sharing of games.

However, several other industry faces have condemned suing file-sharers, insisting that it is wrong to punish the consumer. Yet Billins feels this is the wrong attitude to have.

“People who steal your product are not your customers. We do not have a very high opinion of such statements. There’s too much sympathy for people who’ve been asked to stop infringing companies’ copyrights.”

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