Major Sleaze Factor in Atari & Codemasters Anti-Piracy Campaign

August 22, 2008 -

Thursday's newsletter from gamesindustry.biz contains a terrific editorial on the controversial targeting of file sharers by five U.K. game publishers.

It's a real eye-opener.

Although many gamers were incensed by the attack, gi.biz goes beyond mere opinion and lays out some troubling facts behind the ham-fisted campaign being waged by Atari, Codemasters, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump and Techland:

None of the big publishers or platform holders have touched the action with a barge pole... A group of tier 2 and tier 3 companies... have hired a firm called Davenport Lyons to take action against private individuals for using file-sharing networks to distribute games. This, it appears, is a Davenport Lyons "speciality"...this is a company whose reputation is coloured by a history of threats against private individuals...

 

Davenport Lyons... appear to be using data from a company called Logistep... there have been serious concerns over the legality of Logistep's methods in several European states. In... Switzerland, it stood accused of violating the law in its pursuit of pirates...  In France, a lawyer who was working with Logistep was recently banned from practising law for six months for almost exactly the same behaviour which Davenport Lyons has just demonstrated in the UK...

 

That seems to be why the shock-and-awe tactics of this mass mailing are being employed. £300 or thereabouts is a nice figure - enough to sting badly... but not enough for most people (innocent or guilty!) to be willing to go and hire a lawyer and fight the case...

 

In that case, "grubby" doesn't begin to describe it - just as, when innocent people start receiving those letters and clamouring in large numbers to the media, as they inevitably will, "PR disaster" doesn't begin to describe what will happen next. 

 

Fight piracy. Fight it with every weapon in the arsenal - but play fair. This kind of dirty, nasty and legally questionable action will do nothing other than bring the industry into disrepute...
 

GP: Bravo, gi.biz!


Comments

Re: Major Sleaze Factor in Atari & Codemasters Anti-Piracy

Usually the company doing the donkey work will verify your address as being part of a torrent swarm uploading data, this is usually their evidence.

Then it is a question of whether or not they can persuade a court that it is convincing enough to make your ISP reveal who you were behind that IP address at the time.

This is a very simplistic version of events ofc! But it is basically on the money.

 
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