Online file sharers face legal actionComputer games company takes copyright action

15 July 2008

hand on computer mouse

Britons who illegally share games and films over the internet are facing legal action from computer game manufacturers seeking to protect their copyright.

London law firm Davenport Lyons has said it will launch proceedings against 100 people suspected of illegally uploading copyrighted works.

The action is on behalf of Topware Interactive, which produces the computer game Dream Pinball 3D.

Peer-to-peer networks

The case is focusing on peer-to-peer networks, which give subscribers direct access to each other's computers, allowing people to download files without paying fees to the copyright owner.

Earlier this month the Central London County Court ruled against four file sharers in a case brought by Topware Interactive.

Each was ordered to pay the company interim damages of £750, but the final figure could be as high as £2,000 plus costs in the region of £1,500.

David Gore, a partner at Davenport Lyons, said: ‘These judgments send a clear message to illegal internet file-sharers that they cannot continue stealing from copyright owners without facing the consequences.

‘"There is no difference between stealing a DVD from a high street retailer and downloading it on a peer-to-peer network.’

File sharers

The High Court in London had already ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to release several thousand names and addresses of suspected file sharers, the firm said.

ISPs have argued that they bear no legal liability for illegal file sharing because the content is not hosted on their servers.

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