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: copyright, porn, pre-settlement
Companies: davenport lyons, digiprotect, evil angel


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  • identicon
    Sue Em, 5 Dec 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Fraud

    Wow.
    Does the word "fraud" come to mind?
    How about class action ...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2008 @ 7:19pm

      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.

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

  • identicon
    Matt, 5 Dec 2008 @ 1:04pm

    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?

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

  • identicon
    Cipher-0, 5 Dec 2008 @ 1:09pm

    Wow

    [sarcasm] A spammer who actually gets good payoffs per click!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2008 @ 1:42pm

    german ?

    A german company ?
    I thought for sure it would be from Nigeria

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

  • identicon
    SteveD, 5 Dec 2008 @ 2:00pm

    "This action is designed to prevent further illegal exploitation of our client's copyrighted material and the settlement sum in no way compensates for the loss suffered or the cost of getting the settlement."

    I find that hard to believe.

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

  • identicon
    Jess, 5 Dec 2008 @ 2:53pm

    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

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2008 @ 3:28pm

    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.

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

  • identicon
    tony fan, 5 Dec 2008 @ 9:03pm

    smacks of bribery

    this is getting gay men to pay up money for being gay.

    gay porn - they have seen that many men are "straight" who check gay porn and know that bi curious men are liable to pay quicker.

    this is evil discrimination on a big scale. Davenport Lyons are a nasty outfit.

    Mafia.

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

  • identicon
    HelloAll, 6 Dec 2008 @ 12:43am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2008 @ 9:08am

    Has Davenport Lyons always been a sleaseball outfit ?

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

  • identicon
    Killetr_Tofu, 6 Dec 2008 @ 11:42am

    *cough extortion cough*

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2008 @ 10:27am

    So the porn company is saying that its somehow better if you're blackmailing/extorting someone for only $50 instead of $500.

    Everyone pack up and ignore this, that makes everything just peachy keen.

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

  • identicon
    Clecio, 8 Dec 2008 @ 7:07pm

    Que porra eh essaa velhinho!!! Baixo filmes mesmo

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

  • identicon
    I don't have one, 8 Dec 2008 @ 10:16pm

    stupid

    so sue me, I don't even speak foriegn, but I much drink :)

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


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