by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, default judgment, uk, video games

davenport lyons

UK Law Firm Exaggerates Its $30,000 Win Over Pinball Game Sharer

from the default-judgment dept

We wrote about the woman who was fined $30,000 for file sharing a pinball video game earlier this week, noting that the press seemed to be taking the word of the law firm that sued her, Davenport Lyons, as if it were fact. That seemed problematic -- and we should have realized that it was even more problematic than initially noted. TorrentFreak has turned up the fact that this was a default judgment against the woman, meaning that she didn't even show up in court to defend herself. Effectively, the court more or less had to decide this way. Davenport Lyons, of course, implied that she had fought the case and lost -- and thus, everyone else would be better off just paying based on the pre-settlement letters that the firm seems to send out in bulk. But that's not necessarily true. There's no indication how a court would rule if an actual defense were put forth.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 8:55pm

    Ignoring the fact a lawsuit was filed and a judgement rendered, I do have to wonder what would ever possess an individual receiving a settlement offer under these circumstances to in essence ignore its contents?

    Hopefully there is more to the story than what appears in the news. Is the plaintiff really inclined to demand the damages award be paid, or there a side letter that lets the plaintiff gets its "headline" while excusing payment under a confidential arrangement? Personally, I would strongly urge a client to pursue the latter course. It makes the point publicly, but at the same time ameliorates the obvious hardship to the defendant.

    BTW, I strongly doubt that the plaintiff is proceeding blindly by failing to recognize the likelihood of negative PR. Such actions by business executives/management are rarely made in a casual manner and are usually employed as a last resort.

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

  2. identicon
    Overcast, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 10:18pm

    Settlements wouldn't be an option - bankruptcy, perhaps, but no way I'd settle. But then I pay for the games I get, torrent games are a mess and a hassle.

    Although, DRM laden games are just as bad. Except that you pay for them. Well - maybe once anyway :)

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

  3. identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 4:24am

    RIAA should pay people to not appear in court

    Here is a strategy for success. Pay your most likely adversaries not to show up in court case and pay their fines on the QT. Now you advertise this outrageous fine and scare everyone else.

    If paying them doesn't work I guess kidnapping is next.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 7:19am

    Re: …what would ever possess an individual…?

    There are two obvious possibilities. The first is that Miss Barwinska, being Polish, may not have understood the seriousness of the letters she received. That would be unfortunate, but no excuse. The second is that she may not have known about the court case. The Daily Mail reported that Miss Barwinska moved from Leytonstone to Canning Town between the date of the alleged infringement and the date of the judgement. The piece by Channel 4 News suggests that Davenport Lyons had no idea if they’d managed to successfully contact Miss Barwinska. If she moved before Davenport Lyons’ paperwork turned up, she should be able to apply to the court to have the judgement set aside.

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

  5. identicon
    Cixelsid, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 4:19pm

    How surreal has our world become

    I guess justice is served, in the form of polish single mother of two.

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

  6. identicon
    Khan, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 5:51am


    Justice is a dish best served cold.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2008 @ 10:41am

    This just in . . .

    Lawyers lie . . . to enrich themselves . . . details at 11:00.

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

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