UK Surveillance: Families ‘fined’ thousands after downloading computer games *

Daily Mail
By Sophie Borland and Christian Gysin
20.08.2008

RRP £16,000? One file-sharer faces a big bill after downloading Dream Pinball 3D

The computer games industry has launched a massive crackdown on Britons who illegally share games and films over the internet today.

Five of the world’s biggest computer games developers will write to 25,000 people in the UK suspected of illegally sharing files[…]

The move follows a judge’s ruling this week to order a woman to pay  £16,000 after she was found to have uploaded the game Dream Pinball 3D to the internet and then distributed it using file-sharing networks.

On July 22 the court ordered the unemployed mother-of-two she must pay damages of £6,086.56 and costs of £10,000 to Topware Interactive which owns the computer game.

David Gore, a partner at Davenport Lyons, said: ‘This shows that taking direct steps against infringers is an important and effective weapon in the battle against on-line piracy.’

The High Court in London has in recent times ordered a number of internet service providers (ISPs) to release several thousand names and addresses of suspected file sharers, Davenport Lyons added.

It is understood that she did not file share for commercial profit or gain - but took files to share with friends and was given 28 days to settle the judgement.

She will face further legal action if she does not pay the legal bill by Monday August 25.

The latest case comes after earlier this year the Central London County Court ruled against four people who were found to have infringed copyright by illegally sharing games on the internet.

In October last year, an American woman was fined £109,000 for illegally downloading and file sharing music.

Jammie Thomas, from Minnesota, was ordered by jurors to pay six record companies £4,600 for each of the 24 songs she had illegally shared on-line.

Full article

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