UK Law Firm Tries Suing As Many People As Possible For File Sharing
from the is-there-a-guinness-record-on-this? dept
The UK law firm Davenport Lyons has made a name for itself in being incredibly aggressive in threatening and suing anyone that it suspects of being involved in file sharing, no matter how flimsy the evidence it has. In face, Davenport Lyons relies on the increasingly questionable evidence provided by the firm Logistep, whose evidence is so shaky that the company has been found to have broken the law in both Italy and Switzerland. And, oh yeah, another lawyer who relied on questionable Logistep evidence has been banned from practicing law in France for six months, after the Paris Bar realized that this questionable “evidence” was being used more for extortion-like “pre-settlement” letters that demand money to avoid getting taken to court.
However, that’s not stopping Davenport Lyons, who has found the business to be so lucrative that it wants more people it can threaten. It’s now suing over 100 people it believes shared a pinball video game. Once again, you can rest assured that this has little to do with the actual legal merits of the case, and quite a lot to do with simply trying to frighten as many people as possible into paying up on those “pre-settlement” letters. For example, there are numerous misstatements made by Davenport Lyons, including the false claim that these lawsuits are about downloading, rather than uploading. In fact, all the lawsuits are about whether or not someone uploaded the game — but the lawyer notes: “There is no difference between stealing a DVD from a high street retailer and downloading it from a peer-to-peer network.”
Of course, the lawyer is also wrong there. There is a tremendous difference between stealing a DVD from a retailer and downloading it from a P2P network: most notably that in the first case, something is missing and in the second it is not. That doesn’t mean it’s not infringing, but the two things are quite different. The same lawyer goes on to claim that video games can’t continue being made if there is widespread file sharing — despite evidence from some video game companies that embracing file sharing as a way to gain attention does wonders.
Reality, though, doesn’t keep the money coming in. Expect plenty more lawsuits from Davenport Lyons, as the company claims that a recent legal decisions means ISPs need to start handing over names of suspected file sharers so it can send out its nastygrams in short order.