Feeds

Regulator to probe Davenport Lyons' P2P porn cash demands

Hot watchdog on watchdog action

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Lawyers for the consumer rights lobby Which? have filed an official complaint to the body that regulates solicitors over Davenport Lyons' campaign of letters alleging illegal filesharing.

For several months Davenport Lyons has been sending letters to individuals accusing them of pirating videogames via peer-to-peer networks, and demanding £500 on behalf of rights holders. The London-based law firm recently branched out into threats on behalf of producers of hardcore gay porn.

Now Which?, formerly known as the Consumers' Association, has reported Davenport Lyons to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Announcing the move, Which? said it had drawn regulators' attention to the detail of Davenport Lyons' letters. The complaint includes claims they "make incorrect assertions about the nature of copyright infringement; ignore the evidence presented in defence; and increase the level of compensation claimed over the period of correspondence".

A spokesman for the SRA today said it received the complaint on Monday afternoon and that it would be investigated. "The manner of the investigation depends on the content of the complaint. [Which?] provided us with a lot of information and it will be looked at by a caseworker."

Which? lawyers were also unhappy that Davenport Lyons tells its targets that failing to secure their internet connection, such as by operating an unencrypted Wi-Fi network, is grounds for legal action.

The group has been contacted by people accused by Davenport Lyons who say they have never used peer-to-peer software. Reports are emerging via defence solicitors of distressed pensioners being accused of illegal filesharing of movies such as Army Fuckers.

Amid the controversy over Davenport Lyons' campaign, The Register recently learned that one of its clients, the videogaming brand Atari, had dumped its services.

Deborah Prince, head of legal affairs at Which?, said: "We think the SRA needs to take urgent action against Davenport Lyons. In the current financial climate, we expect an increase in the action that companies may want to take against individuals."

At time of publication Davenport Lyons had not responded to a request for comment. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.