Porn Company Claims DigiProtect Lied About Davenport Lyons Settlement Letter Fees

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

The saga of UK law firm Davenport Lyons, and its ongoing efforts to extract money from people for a promise not to sue them, for copyright infringement continues. The BBC is the latest publication to pick up on the story, noting an awful lot of upset people are pissed off at bogus claims from Davenport Lyons about downloading porn films which they insist they had nothing to do with. Since Atari backed out of its deal with Davenport Lyons following the negative publicity, it seems that the law firm is focusing on its porn clients — the same ones that apparently encouraged middleman DigiProtect to upload their content widely, to make sure more people were “pirating” it.

But the really interesting claim comes buried at the end of the article. The BBC contacted the porn company, Evil Angel, which hired DigiProtect, to get their thoughts on the negative reaction to the whole campaign, and the guy in charge claims that DigiProtect misrepresented the details to him, and he believed the pre-settlement demands were much lower than the £500 that is in the pre-settlement letter:

“It’s not my understanding that they ask for anything near that. I think the amount was $50 or €50. I would be very surprised and I wouldn’t be happy because it would mean it was completely misrepresented to me.”

Of course, this probably means that Evil Angel is only getting $50 (or maybe even less) per “settlement” leaving somewhere in the range of $700 (depends on the exchange rate) for Davenport Lyons and DigiProtect to split. For doing what? Getting some IP addresses and sending out auto-generated form letters. Nice margins, but sort of proves that these settlements have nothing to do with compensating the content creator.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: davenport lyons, digiprotect, evil angel

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Porn Company Claims DigiProtect Lied About Davenport Lyons Settlement Letter Fees”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
16 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Fraud

Sue Em wrote:

How about class action …

Firstly, the UK doesn’t have anything close to the legal concept of the US class action. The European Union is slowly picking up the idea, but we’re only at the discussion stage. In the year 2000, the concept of the Group Litigation Order was introduced to the courts of England and Wales. You can see the sum total to date on Her Majesty’s Courts Services’ Group Litigation Orders page. Admittedly, the McDonalds Hot Drinks GLO seems rather American, but mostly they’re much more serious matters.

Secondly, I’m not sure how successful a class action would be… even in America. For all practical purposes, DigiProtect is a shell company. It appears to have no assets to speak of. It has extremely limited rights to a small amount of content – mostly porn. It appears to exist only to sue consumers. If a class action were successful a few years down the line, what money could be recovered? DigiProtect will say the millions received in response to its pre-settlement demands have already been paid out to its shareholders, it’s a limited company and so will now cease trading. You would then have to take separate action to show those running the company should be made personally liable. You can’t sue Davenport Lyons. They’re a firm of solicitors lawfully carrying out actions on behalf of their client, DigiProtect. However, I feel they are failing in their duties as officers of the court. Those involved deserve to have their practising certificates taken away. That just leaves the likes of Evil Angel, from whom DigiProtect acquired its rights.

To complicate matters, DigiProtect is a German company. If DigitProtect’s only assets are in Germany, that would mean getting any English judgement accepted by a German court. The alternative being to take the initial legal action in Germany – different language, different legal system, a lot of extra cost.

Matt says:

Mike, there's more

Mike, did you notice the other equivalently scary and striking quote in the article?

“There is no compulsion on the individual to accept this settlement if he is innocent.”

No compulsion he says from the letters. Really, no compulsion? I bet every person falsely accused would like to differ.

Is this how they rationalize the obvious breach of ethics?

Jess (user link) says:

Davenport Lyons - Evidence, tactics & victims

Lots more info on the “evidence”, victims and fighters at the Slyck forum entitled

“The official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread – discussion”

http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=44092&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Forewarning: This is heavy reading, and shows the shear amount of interest and concerns, regarding the whole subject, from game, music and pr0n downloads, to heavy handed tactics etc 🙁

Jess

Anonymous Coward says:

I’d never actually heard of porn companies getting involved in anti-piracy stuff on this scale before.

I’ve heard of various small niche sites here and there asking torrents / rapidshares to be taken down when/where they notice them, but never heard of a company actively suing people.

I always wondered why, too. Porn is one of the most illegally downloaded things I’ve seen.

HelloAll says:

It involves more than gay porn. Davenport Lyon’s clients have also uploaded Russian Teen Obsession and Euro Domination.
This is all to do about making money. If Davenport Lyons were trying to stop downloading they would not have had their clients upload the films in the first place.
If you want to stop someone doing something you let them know right away you don’t wait half a year to send out dodgy accusation of downloading 1 sec of abusive porn.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »