We recently wrote about yet another law firm in the UK jumping on the "pre-settlement"
letter setup, which is designed to misuse the legal system to send "pay us or we'll sue you for copyright infringement" letters. However, it appears that a judge in the UK is not at all impressed with such a misuse of the legal system
and has made that point clear to the law firm Gallant Macmillan. While the judge, Chief Master Winegarten, notes that he doesn't fully understand the technical issues, he does point out that he's concerned about the overall process -- and has heard plenty of complaints about such pre-settlement letters. According to TorrentFreak:
"There wouldn't be this hue and cry unless you were pursuing people who were innocent," he told the applicants.
Condemning the actions as a "huge sledgehammer to crack a nut", CMW pondered, "I can't understand why in these thousands -- hundreds of thousands -- [of letters sent out] no-one has been sued."
An interesting side note, is that the judge also seemed to indicate that with the Digital Economy Act, these sorts of pre-settlement situations may no longer be reasonable, since the whole "three strikes" process may take over instead. I don't know enough about the DEA to know if it really precludes such lawsuits (or even threats of lawsuits), but it would surprise me if that were true.