UK Copyright Trolling Pioneers Sanctioned For Actions

from the can-we-see-some-of-that-in-the-US? dept

Some lawyers from UK law firm Davenport Lyons really pioneered the copyright trolling shakedown scheme. Davenport Lyons got out of the business after questions were raised about its activities, though it passed on the effort (and documents it used) directly to ACS:Law, the law firm that really took the practice to a new level. We had noted that Davenport Lyons lawyers were being investigated by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for their actions, which has now concluded with the two lawyers being fined £20,000 each and barred from practicing law for three months. Part of the issue was that the tribunal determined that the lawyers knew they were targeting innocent people with the scheme.


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    Mr Big Content, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    This Shows How Bad Piracy Is Becoming

    When perfectly good lawyers are so traumatized by the rampant stealing of Intellectual Property going on that they completely lose their sense of judgement and start acting like this, you know the problem is really bad. When will society wake up to punishing the real culprits, instead of blaming the victims like this?

     

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      Johnsmith999 (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:58am

      Re: This Shows How Bad Piracy Is Becoming

      No, they used a company called DIGIPROTECT to do their dirty work, what is their motto,.....Turn Piracy into Profit !!.

      These bottom feeding scum lawyers new exactly what they were doing and they new that many people they were targeting were innocent but they didnt let a little thing like that bother them. to them and their firm it was all about raising as much money as possible for as little effort as possible. it was only when they (DAVENPORT LYONS) were getting adverse publicity that they decideded to get out of the game and hand the batton to ACS LAW.

      These lawyers got exactly what they should, they brought the legal profession into disripute and have forever associated the prestigious law firm DAVENPORT LYONS with this sordid episode of SPECULATIVE INVOICING.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:05am

      Re: This Shows How Bad Piracy Is Becoming

      You're exactly right. Whether or not they targeted people who were 'innocent', it sent a message letting those people know that if they decide to break the law, someone will be waiting. If they are so 'innocent', that would be proven in a court of law. The lawyers just keep these 'innocent' people honest.

       

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        Bizarro Robin Hood, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re: This Shows How Bad Piracy Is Becoming

        That's right, and so what if there is a bit of collateral damage - the important thing is that money is being moved from the poor to the rich.

         

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      mr tech, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 8:36pm

      Re: This Shows How Bad Piracy Is Becoming

      I'm reading all this and I remember when I got a threatening letter from Davenport. Do you have any idea how awful I felt??? I was being accused of something I DID NOT DO and being threatened I would LOOSE my f- ing house.
      I suffered heart palpatations, I couldn't sleep for weeks, couldn't eat. Can you even understand ?
      All the while those horrible people at Davenport didn't do anything to check the credibility of their lies.Who is going to sue them?????? They got off easy.
      If I had the money I would sue them. but what can you do if you don't have that much money to defend yourself??????

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:10am

    Well hopefully those upstanding bastions of the legal profession in the US will end up sharing the same fate.

    Who knows maybe a US Judge will take notice of the fact that innocent people were being targeted in these sorts of schemes, and that copyright hysteria should not outweigh the concept of the law being just and fair.

    They finally got the Expendables case down to about 90 people from the nearly 24,000 because a Judge decided that he should not be making rulings on people well outside the courts jurisdiction in a mockery of the law that designed to save costs for the firm, and not actually catch any law breakers.

    The pendulum it swings slowly, and I can only wait to see some of our favorite copyright lawyers answering questions and looking uncomfortable about how this all actually worked.

     

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    Fightcopyrighttrolls (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:41am

    That's a big win for common sense. UK is the most similar country to US when it comes to jurisprudence, a little bit ahead though. This year we will witness the demise of copyright trolls in US as well, though I'm afraid our trolls will fade back into obscurity (read: under the bridge)unpunished.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:44am

    only 3 months should have been 3 years!!!!!!!

     

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    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 3:57am

    Can we make politicians liable for third party wrong doing too?

    I want to apply IP thinking to politics and law now.

    If any politician copies anything from another he should get a million dollar fine and be barred from taking office.

    Democrats cannot use ideas from Republicans and vice-versa.
    Political strategies should be patented so political parties can sue other parties for using that process or getting an injunction stopping other parties from using those methods.

    How the world would look like if everybody gets to use IP laws for everything?

     

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    John Doe, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 3:57am

    Isn't that great!

    Part of the issue was that the tribunal determined that the lawyers knew they were targeting innocent people with the scheme.

    So they are running a scam and only get disbarred for 3 months. I guess crime really does pay.

     

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      Richard (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 5:18am

      Re: Isn't that great!

      Well I think a 20000 fine (and 150000 costs) will knock a big dent in any return they might have got from this.

       

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        Some Other AC, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re: Isn't that great!

        Not to mention the lost income during this time frame. Sure they can go out and get some chump paper pushing job, but would it be anywhere near the income level they are used to receiving?
        This is EXACTLY the punishment type needed for garbage lawsuits such as were filed. Kick the Lawyers(and the companies using them) in their financial gonads. THen and only then will they start taking a long hard look at the stupidity they bring on our(US and UK) court systems.

         

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:04am

    Should be DISBARRED forever.

    They knowingly violated several major rules for lawyers and knowingly targeted innocent people. This is merely waving a finger at them for being so brazen about it that couldn't be ignored. They're still in the guild, and likely won't affect careers: always a niche for lawyers who'll do anything.

    [By the way, ever wonder what "the bar" is? When you learn it, your opinion of lawyers is sure to drop. They're insane. -- And don't forget that in the UK they wear those silly wigs.]

     

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    David, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Criminal?

    Surely knowingly targeting innocent people is a form of racketeering and/or extortion and is a criminal offence? In which case, why aren't these cheerful Johnnies being investigated by the police?

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Beatings are in order here!

    Since they can no longer practice law, giving them a sorely needed beating would hardly generate any interest in a plaintiff attorney to represent them, at risk of soiling their own reputations. So beat away!

     

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    The IPKat, Aug 5th, 2011 @ 3:15am

    Punishment for solicitors

    What I find alarming here is the fact that, in respect of conduct which took place between 2006 and 2009, it was not until the summer of 2011 that the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal was able to give a ruling. If the SDT had been able to fast-track its adjudication of the complaints, which were well publicised in the media at the time, it is possible that some of the egregious practices of law firms subsequently could have been averted.

     

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