Copyright lawyers accuse 25,000 UK videogame filesharers

Court throws P2P users to the Davenport Lyons

The copyright ambulance-chasers at Davenport Lyons have a High Court order demanding 25,000 UK ISP subscribers' names and addresses, it emerged today.

Davenport Lyons will send letters to the addresses it obtains demanding £300 to avoid a potentially costly court battle.

The London law firm hit headlines on Tuesday when it won £16,000 from a woman it accused of illegally sharing the game Dream Pinball 3D over a peer-to-peer network. Davenport Lyons will get £10,000 and the game's publisher Topware Interactive £6,000 in damages.

Codemasters, British developer of higher profile games such as Colin McRae DiRT has also employed Davenport Lyons, which opened up its new market in chasing filesharers last year.

In possibly related news, customers of Be Unlimited, BT, Easynet (Sky), Entanet, KCom (Karoo and Eclipse) Orange, Plusnet, Thus (Demon) and Tiscali were all fingered for filesharing in an application for personal details granted by the High Court on 30 June. IP addresses were seen participating in peer-to-peer networks sharing copyright material.

The application to identify the subscribers was granted on grounds there was "prima facie case that each of the subscribers associated with the IP addresses... have copied the Applicant's work(s) on to his or her personal or office Computer without the [rights holder's] permission for the purpose of making it available via file sharing".

That High Court order is here on the website of Digiprotect, a German firm that identifies alleged copyright infringers on behalf of rights holders before sending in Davenport Lyons.

All the broadband providers had until 29 July to comply with the order, except BT and Plusnet, who have until 30 September. Failure to meet the demands would put the ISPs in contempt of court and liable to prosecution.

We've asked Davenport Lyons if the order on Digiprotect's website is the same one detailed by The Times today as accusing 25,000, but it hasn't given us an answer yet. We'll update this story if it does. ®

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