Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, shakedown, uk

acs law, davenport lyons

Has Davenport Lyons' Copyright Shakedown Business Gone Under A New Name?

from the hunting-and-pecking dept

We've had a bunch of stories about UK law firm Davenport Lyons, who build up quite a reputation for sending "shakedown" style letters to people accused of copyright infringement. However, the letters were sent out so broadly that they were sent to many innocent people, leading to widespread claims that the whole thing was a shakedown. Rather than actually gathering evidence, the company was just making money by getting a certain percentage of recipients to pay up. Highlighting this point: the law firm never actually took anyone to court over those letters.

As the firm was exposed, it led some customers to back away, realizing the harm it was doing to its own brand. The firm hadn't made much noise on this front lately, but the folks over at TorrentFreak heard about a bunch of very similar letters going out recently and, after investigating them, noticed way too many similarities to Davenport Lyons -- including an identical customer list and the fact that a Word doc on this new firm's (ACS Law) site was created in a copy of Word registered to... Davenport Lyons.

Apparently, rather than reforming, they just decided that it would be better to try to appear as someone different and start pulling the same trick all over again.

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  • identicon
    bender, 11 May 2009 @ 4:37am

    hope i get one so i can tell them to bite my shiney metal ass

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

  • identicon
    STJ, 11 May 2009 @ 4:48am

    So if Word is registered to a different company and they are displaying it on their website, is the infringement? Should they be suing themselves? If they don't pay, do they hire hit men to rough them up?

    So many unanswered questions.

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

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 11 May 2009 @ 5:53am

    Why would they

    How could they think this wouldn't be an even larger hit to their reputation.
    Doing this only makes them look even more guilty.
    I hope they all go out of business, a-holes.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2009 @ 5:57am

    How to make money 101
    I'm in! This is a kickass scam!

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

  • identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 11 May 2009 @ 6:39am

    I recently inherit a lot money from Prince M'bouto

    Sounds like Nigerian Scam Spam 101!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 11 May 2009 @ 10:02am

    Wouldn't it be sweet...

    Wouldn't it be sweet if there is an ACS Law and
    that copy of word is "pirated."

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

  • identicon
    Sean Henry, 11 May 2009 @ 10:28am

    I'm not sure but...

    I work for a doctor doing billing and I know that if we or any other company threatens to sent a patron to collections for not paying a bill and we do not follow through it opens us up to law suites. It is considered a threat and harassment.

    Is there not a law like this in the UK? If so and the letter said if you do not respond win 30days legal actions will be taken. I would wait 30 more days after said date and file a complaint and law suite against them. I'm sure there are several Lawyers out there that will work the case for just a percentage of the ruling.(class action anyone)

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

  • identicon
    SunKing, 12 May 2009 @ 7:34am

    A friend of mine received one of these letters 4 days ago demanding £900+ for the game Two Worlds (or something) which they say he down/uploaded back in.... August 2007!!!

    Is it normal to make demands like this 21 months later? They provide dates and times and some other 'brief' details, but who the hell would remember those things from that long ago?

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

  • identicon
    robert green, 25 May 2009 @ 8:52am

    Davenport Lyons

    This firm seems capable of anything!

    Trevor Sears,Davenport Lyons` senior partner,has already been proven to have been passing himself off for almost seven years as a licensed insolvecy practitioner after becoming disqualified, has made false allegations to Surrey Police and in 2004, in the ABTA v Haider case, was found to have unlawfully impounded the passport of a British citizen for nbearly a year. All this is factual, although many more outstanding allegations against him remain, including conspiracy, racist abuse,death threats and many instances of fraud and deception.

    He remains in situ owing to his close association with senior officers of the Metropolitan Police, which he has often even boasted about. In fact, he is even working with the force as part of Operation Sterling at present, despite his appalling record.

    Need I say more?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2009 @ 8:41am

    if it was a copy of word, were they or are they liscensed to use it? If there liscence for the programme was obtained under their previous company name surely they would have to register the product under their new name acs law

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

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