Many Innocent Users Sent Pre-Settlement Letters Demanding Payment For Infringement

from the borderline-extortion dept

We've already discussed how operations like DigiProtect and ACS:Law are operating a rather questionable business of purposely putting content online, tracking the IP addresses of anyone who downloads that content, and then sending letters demanding payment to avoid a lawsuit. While it's not clear if any of these lawsuits are ever filed, many people are frightened into just paying up, even if they've done nothing wrong. And, in fact, it appears that many innocent users are receiving these letters, in such a blanket campaign. While some may call it "collateral damage" if a small percentage of innocent people receive these letters, it's still quite problematic, and a highly questionable business practice.

Filed Under: copyright infringement, innocent, pre-settlement letters, uk
Companies: acs:law

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  1. icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), 28 Jan 2010 @ 1:04am


    Paul, I think that there is more to this story, which would greatly change things.

    Example: for the 78 year old that got the letter, how does he access the internet? Does he use a wireless and a laptop? If he uses a desktop instead, has he ever had anyone stay over at his home? Perhaps a child or even a grandchild used his computer to download stuff? Is his computer connection perhaps shared with other flatmates, or similar?

    It is easy for people to say "I didn't do it" or use the good old SODDI (the online version of "two black youths"). I suspect in most of the cases, people are either embarrassed to admit what they downloaded, or have permitted access to their internet connection through wireless or other means.

    Heck, I wouldn't be shocked if less than honest people in the world are infecting computers with hidden P2P programs that forward the results on to other locations, sort of as a hacker's personal distributed VPN. But in the end, people are responsible for what happens on their internet connection.

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