File Sharing Pre-Settlement Letters In Europe Get Lawyer Banned For Six Months

from the extortion-not-appreciated dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about how common it was becoming for companies to send out "pre-settlement" letters to people they haven't yet accused of a crime. While these are well-known for groups like the RIAA, they're also used by big retailers and were famously used by DirecTV against anyone it thought might have been stealing satellite TV. The letter basically demands an upfront payment to get the company not to sue. And, of course, the letter includes all sorts of threatening legalese about how going to court will be expensive and time consuming, suggesting that it's much easier to just pay up. While these "extortion-lite" letters in the US grow in popularity, it looks like folks in Europe aren't so willing to let them pass. A lawyer representing Logistep, a company that has recently run into trouble in both Italy and Switzerland for its tactics in trying to sniff out file sharers, has been banned from practicing law for six months by the Paris Bar Council. The lawyer had been sending out these types of letters demanding 400 euros not to sue, and the Paris Bar apparently felt this was rather problematic. Somehow I doubt we'll see the same sort of thing happen in the US any time soon.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ScytheNoire, Apr 7th, 2008 @ 10:23pm

    Extortion Illegal?

    I'm not shocked, as Europe seems to have more sense typically and less catering to lobbyists and corporations. It shouldn't come as any surprise, although I think lawyer extortion should be a much more seriously punishable crime, around the world, and include a life-time ban from practicing law. Lawyers, once upon a time, were known for having integrity and upholding the law. What happened to those days?

     

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  2.  
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    Adam, Apr 7th, 2008 @ 10:36pm

    What happened to lawyers?

    It's not profitable, enough said?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Extortion Illegal?

    When was that?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2008 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Extortion Illegal?

    I think lawyer extortion should be a much more seriously punishable crime

    Hey, I'll take "unable to earn income in this line of work for half a year"-- for a first offense of this type of misrepresentation.

    However it does looks like this lawyer was pocketing the money. They should have offered a deal...offer full reimbursement to the victims or face a fine in range of “hundreds of thousands of euros”, and if necessary, seek to "gain the amount by the sale of [the lawyer's personal] goods”

     

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  5.  
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    bobbknight, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 2:28am

    Ha Ha

    "Lawyers, once upon a time, were known for having integrity and upholding the law. What happened to those days?"

    When was this, because I haven't seen this in my lifetime.

     

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  6.  
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    Twinrova, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 3:54am

    Somehow I doubt we'll see the same sort of thing happen in the US any time soon.
    Hmm, I wonder what prompted you to make this remark?

    I would love to make a few guesses, but that would mean a flame war.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 3:55am

    QUOTE: "Lawyers, once upon a time, were known for having integrity and upholding the law. What happened to those days?"

    And when was that? Lawyers have been always about how to make the most $$, or I should say, How to "get" the most $$! In the world of today - They should be shot on site

     

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  8.  
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    Notorious, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 4:46am

    So now the lawyers will be forced to take the sharers to court , great...

     

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  9.  
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    Lilli, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    It's rather naive surely to thnk that anyone isnt in business to make $. Maybe if we all started out with that premise we would be mroe in control of our lives and less disappointed. I mean look at all the others - mechancis who want to rip you off, plumbers who charge by the second, doctors who want to do unecessary surgeries and supply you with drugs which they are paid handsomely to do by drug companies, bloggers who want to sell you rubbish and politicians who lie just for the hell of it. Lawyers are no different. But like any profession there are the good and the bad. Corporations breed greed.

     

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  10.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Apr 8th, 2008 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    What an asinine statement. Lawyers happened when it became too difficult for the lay man to understand the law. A Lawyer is there to interpret the written word. You have no idea what you are talking about, and commented like a 6 year old to prove it.

     

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  11.  
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    Cynic, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re:

    QUOTE: "What an asinine statement. Lawyers happened when it became too difficult for the lay man to understand the law. A Lawyer is there to interpret the written word. You have no idea what you are talking about, and commented like a 6 year old to prove it."


    We don't have to guess what your occupation is.

     

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  12.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Apr 8th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Tech support. I am also in local politics though and respect the work the lawyers around me do.

     

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  13.  
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    Sean, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    "doctors who"... "and supply you with drugs which they are paid handsomely to do by drug companies"

    That would be a stark violation and if reported would result in large fines to the practice and offending companies. By turning them in the person would get 10-25% of the fines.

     

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  14.  
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    sonofdot, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, lawyers are the reason the law is so difficult to understand -- it's written in legalese, for the benefit of lawyers. See this book: Party of the First Part: The Curious World of Legalese. Better yet, read the book.

     

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  15.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 9th, 2008 @ 2:40am

    Re:

    Hmm, I wonder what prompted you to make this remark?

    Court precedent?

     

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  16.  
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    another mike, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 4:58pm

    when men were real men...

    Lawyers, once upon a time, were known for having integrity and upholding the law. What happened to those days?
    Those were the dark ages when lawyers were attorneys and legal disputes were settled with swords. An attorney (from tournament) was a knight-champion you hired to fight in your defense. Those days are long since gone, having died out alongside chivalry and epic quests.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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