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Copyright case on couple dropped
Monday 03 November 2008 11:57:42 by Andrew Ferguson

The tracking of who downloads what from peer to peer networks is central to the various proposals to police illegal file sharing in the UK. According to the BBC and Which it seems one couple who had never played a computer game and didn't have a wireless network that could have been easily hijacked received a letter asking for £500 or they would face a court case.

The couple from Scotland contacted Which over the accusation from people working on behalf of Atari that they had shared a copy of Race07. It would appear that the letter arose due to the IP address being tracked to this couples broadband connection, though due to the lack of response by Atari it is not clear if this was the sole evidence.

The BBC article gives one clue as to how the situation could have arisen and that is that operations such as Pirate Bay insert random IP addresses into the various logs thus making it harder to track users of the service. Illegal file sharing has always been something of a cat and mouse game, and firms pursuing people run a serious risk of creating a backlash among those who actually buy their products.

The question now is how many of the other cases that are being brought to the courts have the same problems with evidence. For broadband providers that use dynamic IP addresses another issue arises- that of ensuring that the time supplied for when the IP was in use matches the timezone of their server logs.


Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
One of the problems is that cases are not being brought to the courts and proof presented ,we have only seen default judgements.Firms like Davenport Lyons take it upon themselves to be judge and jury and demand money with menaces with no proof only an IP address.I would hope this couples legal team issue counter claims for damages now,and hopeful the courts will ask for better proof from these firms before demanding ISP's hand over information.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
I've worked in the games industry.

Sueing consumers is the direct equivalent of playing russian roulette. It can only end with being backed into the same corner as the music industry...
Posted by scragglymonk over 8 years ago
Already a few companies that would have to consider buying stuff from, any company that sues potential customers will not be getting my custom. Just checked their website and not buying the games on offer.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
You have to laugh at the story link when it comes to how stupid these legal teams are, i quote..."While prosecutors argue that users are legally required to secure their network, Mr Coyle dismisses this." Lets follow that through shall we. Piracy illegal we all knew that. If you dont secure your network. Thats illegal ALSO now according to these bozos. Hackers listen its fine to break military and government databases according to these clowns its the users fault if their network isnt secure. The law cant touch you if you get on their network and destroy everything.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Maybe these dumb fools would have a bit more success sueing people if they even had half a clue how technology works and the laws surrounding it. They also seem to have no clue their case is a civil matter and they aint there to argue if someone has broken the law with regards to running EU approved networking equipment which comes set with security set to OFF... Bunch of tards!
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
"I've worked in the games industry"

I'm my experience, they've been one of the worst offenders of copyright infringement... at publisher and heavyweight studios i've seen wanton warez use that would make your hair stand on end! Similar sizes to what Atari or their studios were as well.
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
heh I can't count the number of unlicensed copies of winrar, soundforge, 3D Studio Max, etc. I've seen when working with game developers (I've done a little contracted level design).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The games industry are a bunch of hypocrites anyway, you only have to read this old but well known story to prove it....

They want to sue people for file sharing their game code, yet the fools are happy enough to use pirate code when it suits them to fix their frankly rubbish, and faulty copy protection.

It gets funnier as one of the rules on ubisofts forums is no discussing cracks and No CD patches.... Stupidity doesnt even come close to describing some of the industry.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
You're confusing games publishers with games devlopers, Carpet.

Rroff - Interesting. Given the small number of games companies that contact specifically level design work, that'd mean... ah, THEM.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
once they start been forced to drop more cases and in particular lose in court due to very dodgy evidence they will have to start gathering actual proper evidence of copyright infringement,
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"You're confusing games publishers with games devlopers, Carpet."

No im not THE WHOLE games industry be it publishers or developers are hypocrites. Games nowadays are also frankly dire with clone after clone of First person shooter dross. Theres no talent or brains involved in any hardly any area of the games industry nowadays. Maybe the people behind the no cd crack i mention should sue ubisoft... After all i doubt their code was open source now was it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Infact, why doesnt the law seize every computer owned by ubisoft and people that worked for them? Obviously their is evidence they have visited pirate sites on the net in which to get that crack in the first place. The music, movie and game industry like to sue people just based on an IP address visiting a site or using a P2P app... If the law is gonna chase users maybe it should chase the industries also!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Theres also another case i know of where a dvd wouldnt play on computers... Their work around was, include anydvds .dll file on the dvd without permission of slysoft, they seem to think its fine for thereselfs to steal software. Slysoft challenged it but lost the court case, so now in spite they just crack all new movie protections including bluray within a week. The movie industry has tried to stop them but because they were dumb enough to use the software thereself previously they have also lost every case... The morons!
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
"You're confusing games publishers with games devlopers"

Both of these have made gross and culpable infringements on software copyright.

I mean, what else would you call it when a publisher sends you an set of CD's with the application and almost every plugin for you to open one of their files. Or when your girlfriend brings work home, and the software she needs to use that work supplies involves using a crack... "oh, it's all like this at work, there's a server with it all on there and we just use that".

International publisher and multisite studio... go figure.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
So report em and get your cash from FAST or whoever.

I've personally, seen a shitload more infringement outside the industry.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"I've personally, seen a shitload more infringement outside the industry."

I personally hear theres more gun crime in the USA... Does that mean gun crime in this country doesnt matter? No ofcourse it doesnt and if these industries want to tag people WRONGLY as copyright infringers maybe the hypocrites should look in the mirror first.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet, you'd have a point IF I supported this crap.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Dont get me wrong Dawn stealing is stealing and shouldnt be encouraged... HOWEVER its pretty hypocritical of a company to steal others work and whinge about others doing the same thing. Its happened with film as well as the game industry with the likes of the MPAA making copies of films for their members without the film owners permission... is a good read, thankfully the film still made it to the mainstream.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
See above.
Posted by fox-uk over 8 years ago
I cannot understand how these twerps are getting around the three pillars on which such a case MUST stand.
Fact - it must be proved to have happened.
Intent - the action must have been intentional.
Loss - the action muct have caused a loss (and that loss must be quantifiable)

Are they not attempting to colonise the BRITISH courts by extending US interpretations here?
If guilty, an offer of a sensible cost would seem to put a cap on an award (and costs) if a court case was attempted.
Posted by tiggerrmummy over 8 years ago
We had a letter like this! When we were with our old isp. It was laughable because the software we were supposed to have downloaded we already owned on disc and it is over 10 years old! We sent a photo as proof of ownership and didnt hear anything else. Also the time and date of the download and the isp address which wasnt ours meant we couldnt have downloaded whatever it was as we were away at the time! Idiots.
Posted by pigfister over 8 years ago
What use is securing your network when there are routers made that can bypass the security on your supposed "secure" wi-fi network and piggyback your service, or even ip spoofing and now wpa has been cracked is anyone safe from unjust lawsuits?
Posted by pigfister over 8 years ago
This will only lead to many innocent ppl being bullied by large corporations just as is happening in America. And the EU are doing very little to help consumers with the recent denial of releasing the ACTA treaty information, it's a stab in the back for consumers in favour of the corporations, well that's capitalism for you!
Posted by pigfister over 8 years ago
unfortunately now, pirating the games is the only way to not have the likes of sonys secret install of their rootkit esk DRM spyware/malware/virus secuROM all over your system nowadays, phoning home even after the software it was secretly bundled with is un-installed, auto updating and a whole host of driver conflicts that sony are flaccid to correct as long as the £$£ keep rolling in from EA Sports and Ubisoft!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"as long as the £$£ keep rolling in from EA Sports and Ubisoft!"

You mean there are still people stupid enough to buy fifa soccer, hockey and other repeated pap with no real work gone into it year upon year.... My god people must love wasting money... Look i got a new game and they have updated player names... Its soooo cool.... Kids obviously get too much pocket money nowadays.
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