Publishers Launch Assault on Illegal File-Sharers
Atari, Codemasters, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump and Techland have demanded payment from thousands of families alleged to have illegally downloaded games.
The companies, represented by law firm Davenport Lyons, will serve notice on 25,000 people across the UK, The Times reports, requiring each one to pay £300 immediately to settle out of court. Those who refuse risk a trip to the courts.
The move follows the successful prosecution of Isabela Barwinska, a British woman ordered to pay Topware £16,000 (US$30K) for illegally sharing games over the Internet.
Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint (pictured) was illegally downloaded 691,324 times in one week, according to file-sharing monitor Peerland, while Topware’s Dream Pinball 3D was illegally downloaded 12,000 times during its first 14 days of availability, said Davenport Lyons, selling just 800 legitimate copies during the period.
“Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading,” said Roger Billens, a partner at Davenport Lyons. “Hopefully people will think twice if they risk being taken to court.”