A woman who put a copy of Dream Pinball 3D on a file-sharing network must pay £16,000 to the games maker and its lawyers. Games maker Topware Interactive was awarded £6,086.56 in damages and £10,000 in lawyers' fees by the Patents County Court in London. Lawyers Davenport Lyons said there are more cases to come - the firm claims …
Are we turning into America?
How can anyone say that she cost them that much, when its a bullshit game that no-one bought anyway.
She should laugh in their face, declare bankrupcy, and tell all the courts and software house to go fuck themselves.
Nice little earner ...
7000 possibly paying 6k for the game and 10k to lawyers! 5% success rate should generate a nice income. Almost worth their while to leak a game into the p2p networks.
... all for the introduction of a single comma...
"Game Sharer gets £16k, fine" ;o)
Thats an even better mark up then the RIAA, I mean the games worth what? £2?
Corrected for truth
“Illegal file-sharing is a very serious issue resulting in millions of pounds of losses to copyright owners. As downloading speeds and Internet penetration increase, this continues to be a worldwide problem across the media industry which increasingly relies on digital revenues.”
Rehashing old shite is a very serious issue resulting in millions of pounds being ripped off the gullible punter. As downloading speeds and Internet penetration increase, this continues to be a worldwide cash cow across the media industry which increasingly relies on repackaging the same overpriced old tat.
when are companies going to learn
The majority of people, read 99%, who pirate games, have no intention whatsoever of ever playing said game if they had to pay for it. They either can't afford it, don't think it's worth money, or just don't spend money on games.
while not exactly right, someone playing a game a company produces, does not cost that company anything ie represent a loss, unless that person would have bought the game if thay hadn't pirated it. Of course, it may represent a significant loss if the game is an unmitigated bag of sh*te and the piracy leads to word of this getting around a lot faster than it would if the only people who found out had shelled out for it :)
I'm willing to bet a very large proportion of pirated games are downloaded by kids, who couldn't legally own the game, and these are the only ones who might have paid for it, via their parents.
“Illegal file-sharing is a very serious issue resulting in millions of pounds of losses to copyright owners"
Millions? Only £6000 in this case it seems.
Anyone got a reference
The intarwebs are full of references to this secret defendant, with the judgment handed down by a secret judge in a secret court case, which no-one can find in the HM Court Service website.
Anyone got an actual court case reference? I'm really keen to know whether DL's theories about liability for having a wireless connection were upheld by a judge.
When will they learn
They have not lost millions in sales, if it was not free, it would not be downloaded!
You only lose money if I was willing to buy it but get a copy instead.
Why should I pay for something only to find its crap and I wasted my money?
Its not like I can get my money back.
And reviews are not the answer as reviewers have to kiss up all the time to the game publishers to be able to get review copy's, and it they pan one game the publisher never let them have another.
Demo's on the 360 make me want to buy games I like and help me avoid the rubbish.
Same for PC games.
If I could not download a movie I would not always go the the cinema to see it.
But I do go the the pictures to see things I know I will like.
£1600 Dream Pinball 3D
I wouldn't have paid £0.16 for that game, it's total bobbins. On a more serious note, I hope the porn publishers don't use the same tactics or the IT industry will grind to a halt.
We're going the wrong way
While the US courts are starting to recognise that the 'evidence' collected is insufficient to 'prove beyond all reasonable doubt' that an individual was responsible for filesharing, and that the methods for obtaining names and details for the prosecution are potentially also abusive of the legal process, in the UK we're apparently rushing headlong towards raising the punishments without strengthening the burden of proof.
An IP address does not identify an individual. A broadband connection rarely uniquely identifies a person, since the majority of households have multiple occupants, even aside from whether the IP address records uniquely identify that connection, and whether that connection was vulnerable to abuse.
However, what we see is that it's a civil prosecution, and the burden on proof is considered lower there, becoming more of a balance of exectations. However, I would tend towards the view that where there is more than one person in the household, how certain can you be that the right person is being prosecuted, even with that lower requirement? All that's quite apart from whether the damages are excessive, the demands of money to preclude further legal action being on slightly dodgy legal ground, and the legal fees accounting for a disproportionate amount of the total figure.
That'll ruin your day...
Yhaarrr, I be glad to have taken that there out of court settlement after reading this here report...
How can they?...
How can they win with only a suspicion of illegal file sharing?
And that argument of millions of pounds of lost revenue on games that people who download is wrong as the majority would have never have bought in the first place.
Also whats stopping anyone accused of illegally downloading a game just go out and buy it damage it and then claim that they are just replacing there broken legal copy of a game which they are allowed to do as software is a licence as they claim and as long as they own one licence of the game they can get a copy from where ever they want if the original is broken.
Its pathetic that any company would need to sue there fans to make a cash on there game.
I advise a petition to this company that unless they stop suing people and drop all current and finished cases that a boycott of all there software would happen.
Considering that they have not a lot of people who buy there games petition of a couple thousand people who catch there attention unlike bigger companies would.
Stop sign to stop the suing
Lawyers are the winners as usual.
Lawyers are on a nice earner as usual.
The REAL objective
behind this series of court cases.
"Games maker Topware Interactive was awarded £6,086.56 in damages and £10,000 in lawyers' fees..."
The lawyers are the only ones who win. Didn't they actually approach Topware and suggest that these file sharers be sued?
Lets have it then ???
I can find loads of half written truths but no links to the actual case.......
Davenport are snake oil sellers the only judgements they have obtained in the past were default judgements..............if they HAVE actually produced a REAL person in court could we please see it reported properly......
Its in everyones interests !!!!
WiFi is wide open
How can you be liable for the security of your own wireless connection if it can be hacked? I haven't found a wireless connection yet that can't be hacked.
Open network, childsplay. MAC address protected network, easy. WEP protected network, tricky but just need a little patience.
The coat because I'm just getting my WiFi finder out of my pocket.
On the other hand
This place is turning into Slashdot. Self-righteous BS about how piracy doesn't "cost" anything.
The obvious thing to point out is that games cost money to develop and the business model for developing those games relies on the system of copyright, just as the business model of every company in the world relies on the system of contract. We should no more ignore copyright violation than we should ignore contract violation.
As for the solidity of the case, I can't comment, but I suspect that if your machine really has never had Kazaa etc. running on it then you're not going to have a problem, are you? And if it has, I don't think you've got anything to complain about when you get your ass sued by copyright holders.
the case is in briton
out of court settlements aint worth the mention, and nors being taken to court for petty crime
What the hell is with you people?
You can dispute whether the evidence was sufficent to find the defendant guilty, fine.
But why does everyone seem to jump on to every piracy conviction stating that it's in some form 'unjust'. Seeding a commercial game is both wrong and illegal, and the defendent was well aware of this before the fact.
Software pirates are parasites on society, no better than welfare scroungers. And you know the DRM that everyone is always bitching about? If you want that to go away then stop pirating the f-ing games!
As software developer, and someone who always buys games (and because I read reviews, almost never buy a dud) I have nothing but comtempt for pirates and those who support them, with the sole exception of those in developing countries who have literally no choice.
And the damages awarded are in no way a reflection on lost sales. They are punitive damages to act as both punishment and deterent, and relatively reasonable IMO.
RE: On the other hand
Here here. Whether or not the game is BS or not is irrellevant.
Why the f*ck should I have to pay for something another whilst someone else does not. End of.
I hope you filesharers one day develop something really cool, have it stolen, make no money, then go and crawl into a hole and take your own life.
@AC : On the other hand
Noone is saying piracy "doesn't cost anything", but they are saying sharing a crappy game doesn't cost them £16K.
There is a long and ongoing discussion debating that the 'old' copyright-based business model is, simply, wrong and copyright-holding companies are presently attempting to cling onto the old-fashined model, milk the last few pounds from it and gouge the vulnerable of their customers who stray away from "the way things are done".
Copyright infringement (anyone who likens it to the crime 'theft' is sadly misguided) is not right, but nor is privacy infringment and suing 12-year-olds.
I love this country
BT home hub is renowned for being as secure as a straw house in a tornado and is the biggest router around (My road has four unsecured, all called BT homehub). The ICO has already declared the people are too stupid to understand technical implications (Which shows the government stance) education is a joke in this country with morals a close second and apathy rules. People have no idea what wireless security or internet security is or how to work a PC effectively. And judging by default 'lack of' security settings from BT and PCworld, neither do the big corporations.
I work for a small company repairing PC's and the things I see on kids logins in their parents Pc's when repairing their downloaded spyware ridden machines is shocking. Never mind the boys porn collection or their illegal software and music downloads, it is the tech savvy web cam and camera phone using girls and boys, and the photo's and video's they film for their friends that are more worrying.
Parents just have no idea what their kids are upto.
You now expect parents to be held responsible for kids that really don't care what or who they download and show off to. Some of my clients don't even know when told what sharing software is, or that it was on (The shortcut only appears in their kids logins), only that their child uses the PC and that it cost a lot to fix and reinstall it.
Re:On the other hand
On the other hand, when companies fuck you over and get sued by private individuals they very rarely if ever get stiffed for 50% of their yearly income.
Back on this license thing. It appears that although the software is copyrighted it's the license you pay for. Couldn't the defence be along the lines that sure you distributed the software but that has a monetary value of zero as it's the license that has the value not the software. You'd still get hit for costs but once it was established that the license owner gets nothing it would stop further actions.
@ on the other hand
<As for the solidity of the case, I can't comment, but I suspect that if your machine really has never had Kazaa etc. running on it then you're not going to have a problem, are you? And if it has, I don't think you've got anything to complain about when you get your ass sued by copyright holders.>
Are you saying, the fact I have a computer dedicated to up/downloading torrents of various linux distributions, that I am guilty of software piracy?
....gutted you didn't call anyone a 'Knock off Nigel!'
Taking on average 8Gb a day, most of it's tat. I blame the Software developers. More time nose-to-the-grindstone, less time bleating on technology websites about 'welfare scroungers' and the like.
@ James Thomas
Wake up and smell the coffee. Pirates are scum except when they are skint and from a developing country? Oh, and only if they're not welfare scroungers either, obviously. Punitive damages are OK, even for a trivial offence involving a crap product from a crap developer, but if she moved to the third world and gave away all her possessions then the fine would be unjust? Think it through next time, jerk.
@ AC, James Thomas
The real "piracy" going on is charging money for software and then not letting people see the Source Code.
I have never, ever paid for a piece of software in my life, and I fully intend never to do so until the day I die.
Paying to have Source Code reviewed by a third party independent of the author, paying to have data migrated from one application's saved format to another or paying for tuition in the use of a program, on the other hand, are concepts with which I have absolutely no problem.
Hard to have sympathy
the defendant missed a chance to pay £300 to make this go away. Unless she was completely innocent she should have coughed it.
Having said that if it were me I would declare bankruptcy before paying them.
what the hell is with james thomas?
...Seeding a commercial game is both wrong and illegal...
...Software pirates are parasites on society....
....no better than welfare scroungers....
....I have nothing but comtempt for pirates....
... and those who support them...
....the damages awarded are ... relatively reasonable IMO.
christ! - i thought i'd logged onto the daily mail's website by mistake for a minute there.
you forgot "... send them back were they came from!...", ".... bring back national service..." and of course "...well, if you're not doing anything wrong you've nothing to worry about!..."
@Frostbite:Wifi is wide open
While I concede that WEP is easily cracked and quickly too on high traffic networks, the opening is not so wide with WPA. Open is well, just open, and MAC access controls are easily bypassed. But a WPA protected network with a strong password, wireless isolation and MAC access controls is not so easy. I cracked my wifi protected by WEP in around 4 minutes whilst using a strong password, although I had to keep the traffic up by continually transferring large files between a laptop and the AP. I gave up after several hours of trying to crack it when protected by WPA-PSK using the same password. As a novice security researcher I would appreciate any information I may have missed concerning the ease of cracking WPA as I have placed some trust in using this protocol to protect my own AP.
Of course should I ever decide to share any copyright material and subsequently get identified, My wifi is open and always has been ;-)
@AC:On the other hand.
Whilst on one hand I agree with you, it does cost money to develop software and games software is no exception. Developers have a right to be compensated for their efforts when they produce a quality product. On the other hand I would feel aggrieved if I payed £35/$70 for a games title to find a buggy experience that provided 5 hours of game play, or it was a repack of a previous release. I wouldn't give EA the steam from my feces.
As for your last paragraph there is a distinction between using P2P software and copyright violation, they are not mutually inclusive.
Not a fine...
I know this august organ has a deliberately provocative and tabloid style, but just maybe they could be technically accurate in the headline. The £16K was an award of damages and costs against the defendant, not a fine. From the point of view of the defendant it may appear to have much the same result, but in legal terms it's a very different thing altogether. A fine is levied under criminal law, damages under civil. It's important to note as civil cases are (mostly) decided on the basis of "balance of probability", and not "beyond reasonable doubt".
That means it is generally much easier to win a case in a civil court over a crim inal one as the burden of proof is so much lower. Note that this is not always the case - sometimes judges will increase this standard if the case is particularly serious and the consequences for an individual are high. However, it would be naive of anybody to expect the plaintiff to have to achieve the same standard of evidence that would be required if this was taken up as a criminal issue. So be warned.
On the issue over responsibility for keeping WiFi network secure, then that's clearly rubbbish. There are plenty of establishments that provide open WifI so they would be vulnerable too. However, that doen't means that saying your Wifi network was compromised is sufficient grounds to defend a case like this. Remember that balance of probability issue?
Simple Equation, People
They make the game + You have the game = You owe them money.
The quality of the game is not the point. Pirates are very good at claiming that what they share and download is worthless crap they wouldn't have bought anyway, a matter of opinion which strangely doesn't stop them wasting their time sharing it and downloading it. How much worthless crap does it take for the average illegal filesharer to get the message? Or is it, as we always suspected, that this excuse is utter BS attempting to defend what can't otherwise be justified? No other industry is expected to conform to this strange idea that if the product (in someone's personal opinion) is poor then it's ok to take one for free, thank you very much. Hey, Kia make crap cars; so I'll just drive this one away without paying as it's totally unreasonable for them to expect payment for their rubbish work.
If you don't want to owe the company that made the software money then don't illegally download their work. What's hard about this to follow? If you are concerned about paying money for bad software then read the reviews before you buy.
"Lawyers have thousands more names"
Shouldn't that subtitle be "Lawyers rake in £10,000 and have thousands more names"...?
Digital Illusions (part of Electronic Arts) should sue Topware Interactive over the name of the game.
Digital Illusions had Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies out on the Amiga in 1992 and Pinball Illusions in 1995.
Dream Pinball 3D just seems to be a rip off of the Pinball Dreams name.
I wish this country would treat the knife wielding chavs with this kind of disproportionate fining. If they can say the parents are responsible for what happens on i-net connections in their name, even if it's a minor commiting the offence, then they should do the same to parents who let the kids roam the streets with mums kitchen knife in their back pockets. I can promise you those parents would all of a sudden take a much bigger interest in their own childrens lives just as will parents getting threatening letters from law firms regarding copyright violations.
"As for the solidity of the case, I can't comment, but I suspect that if your machine really has never had Kazaa etc. running on it then you're not going to have a problem, are you?"
Regardless of any other point regarding the discussion of whether or not this is fair, I feel the need to yet again point out - FILESHARING PROGRAMS DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN PIRACY. Free domain software, patches and fixes, public or creative commons licenced books and music, the list goes on. Or should the police arrest you for the knives sitting in your kitchen?
"They make the game + You have the game = You owe them money."
I download the game.
I play the game.
I delete the game.
An example, I bought a game, took it home, installed it, it asked me to install copy protection drivers, I removed the game, placed game back in the box, took it back to the shop, told the fag at the counter it didn't work, replaced it with another game.
I have no real qualms taking shite games back to the place and saying they don't work.
@adnim, re: WEP
Until my DS and Internet Radio support WPA, I just have to hope that any aspiring pirate helps himself to next door's unsecured network instead. I know WEP is broken, but the alternative is turning the whole thing off.
Hang on, hang on just a minute!!!
"Convicted" on meagre suspicion of filesharing!!!????
I thought proof beyond reasonable doubt or even a majority vote had to be given?? Unless of course the people proved the traffic to certain IP and the IP was confirmed to be that persons... or that the game/filesharing tool etc had been found on the PC or summat?
I dont see how it could have been done on just suspicion.
Also gotta LOVE the "pay £300 or get sued" approach, its then up Joe Public to prove his innocence once again. I love how many companies are getting in on this act... wont be long before one of them (and I am sure its happened already) just issues these warnings to get people to pay up. Oh yeah... they have... tv licensing...
Mines the one with the accompanying Bermuda shorts cos I am emmigrating....
I keep saying this - potential profit is not actual profit.
If the games being pirated are not being sold at all, or if they are being sold but not many people are buying them; then the argument that millions could have been lost is pointless and has no basis in real life.
Which is why I hate the way this country and so many pious people out there kow tow to the RIAA, MPAA, BPI and other corps asses.
Not to mention the invasion of privacy involved - that is a whole other saga.
"Software pirates are parasites on society, no better than welfare scroungers. And you know the DRM that everyone is always bitching about? If you want that to go away then stop pirating the f-ing games!"
There will always be pirating, as there will always be people who would like a use something but not buy it. I'd liken it to borrowing a book from a friend, you COULD buy it, but with only a passing interest you are not likely to. In the case of a book though, your friend is deprived of that book while you have it. In this case of a digitial download, no one is deprived of anything. What we are arguing about here is copyright infringement and making people aware that it is not right to illegally download copyrighted material. Taking people to court while increasing prices and use of DRM to make life more and more difficult ... does this seem SENSIBLE to you ? :) Wouldn't lowering the price and making it easier to buy things be a good idea?
As for DRM - DRM exists purely to maximise profits. You can argue otherwise if you like, but show me where a DRM product is 100% free from piracy? You can even argue DRM lessens piracy, perhaps it does in some cases but at the expense of the consumer who just wants to buy something cheaply with no extra hassle. A cheaper product will simply not be worth pirating in the UK. Hey, didn't Radiohead make MORE money from their freely available last album ? :)
"As software developer, and someone who always buys games (and because I read reviews, almost never buy a dud) I have nothing but comtempt for pirates and those who support them, with the sole exception of those in developing countries who have literally no choice."
So piracy is bad except when you say it isn't. Nice of you :) I have noticed that poor software developers with poor products feel especially aggrieved by pirates, often because they are the only people that seem interested in their software. This suggests to me piracy is often more to do with simple distribution and less to do with ripping people off - after all, if there were people out there who were willing to pay for your software - they would. If you need an example, look at the donations some open source software projects get.
...that people are complaining about "outdated" business models, and using them as a justification for theft.
The bottom line is that this company made a product, and you can't just steal it because you claim it's not worth paying for. By that justification, I should be able to walk into my nearest Curry's, pick a new TV off the shelf, and wander away muttering some rubbish about "outdated business models".
Yes there's improvements to be made in the area of copyright law, but you can't simply steal until they're made. You could instead just choose to not buy those things which you claim are worthless and undesirable anyway.
James or is it John Thomas
Your assertions are way from the mark,I for one have no problems with people who have shared the software being taken to court and dealt with appropriately.....
What i do have problems with is it being done underhandedly and to some extent illegally.The evidence collection of logistep has been thrown out in switzerland ,germany and italy.....with a lawyer in france using the same method as DL being disbarred for 6 months......for effectively demanding money with menaces.
If DL have a case they should take it to court pure and simple why should people be allowed to pay £300 quid to get away with an offence by admiting to a third party they are guilty.If people are guilty of such a terrible crime they should feel the full weight of the law.......
I am not defending illegal filesharing or in anyway condoning copywrite infringement JT but IMO these rulings are not worth a jot when conducted by a firm who are just ignoring the offences and out to make money for themselves .
If they had real evidence we would see the Police involved in the evidence gathering process which is why these cases have been thrown out elsewhere in Europe.
I am also disappointed in the ISP's who have fallen foul of releasing information on their customers and having found they have released the evidence improperly have said nothing, they should be taking a case against DL for deliberatly misleading a court that criminal proceedings where going to take place when they never had any such notion and have then used that evidence in a civil case.
RE: On the other hand.
"Self-righteous BS about how piracy doesn't "cost" anything."
Piracy is a form of robbery. Robbery is forcefully stealing something from someone. Stealing is taking property belonging to someone else with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. Therefore file sharing isn't piracy -it's copyright infringement which is a civil offence not a criminal one. More importantly it's a civil offence that's technically very hard to prove someone has actually committed as has been made clear in previous comments.
"The obvious thing to point out is that games cost money to develop and the business model for developing those games relies on the system of copyright"
The business model relies on the fact that a certain number of people have enough disposable income to buy the games that are produced. As long as the games are good and are well marketed then they sell well enough to make a profit.
Obviously the business model does not rely on people with very little disposable income. This tends to be the type of person who heavily file shares. If file sharing disappeared tomorrow it's not like this part of society would suddenly start buying games by the barrow load instead of sharing them: they couldn't afford to.
"As for the solidity of the case, I can't comment, but I suspect that if your machine really has never had Kazaa etc. running on it then you're not going to have a problem, are you?"
Of course you are going to have a problem. Never having "Kazaa etc." on your machine doesn't mean a thing. That's why comments above cover the inherent insecurity of wireless networks as well as multiple machines sharing the same IP address. I won't even go into the legal implications of a company snooping on someone's online activity, never mind using the end result of that snooping as evidence in a court. Even if it is a civil case.
"I don't think you've got anything to complain about when you get your ass sued by copyright holders."
I'm old enough to remember when it would have been unthinkable for the average person in the street to be sued or indeed for them to sue someone else. Now even if someone's stupid enough to slip on something in the super market they sue them. In short, suing has just become a clever way for lawyers to make more money despite the fact no criminal law has been broken. That's a pretty sick way to make a living in my opinion.
The return of 'Long John Silver'
Here's an excerpt from a letter I had published in Crash! magazine exactly TWENTY THREE YEARS AGO:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
...It's a fact that not all the games out now are really brilliant, most are pretty average. Your ordinary pirate will copy every game he comes across, copying them all, good and bad alike. Most of the games he copies, he will play only once or twice, because they are not that brilliant. He would play only a few games regularly - for example I have had a copy of Psvtron for five months which I have only played once, and out of my entire illegal collection there are only five games I would have bought if I hadn't been able to get a copy of them. If you think about it, money is only lost on a game if the person who copies it would have bought it in the first place. This means that far less profit is lost due to copying than most software houses would have us believe.
Also, the software houses may like to know that the harder they make a game to copy, the more determined the pirate is to copy it. So stop using Hyper Loads - it would save everyone a lot of trouble (including the honest people who buy a game, just to find out they can't get it to load.) ...
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
It's all still true today, especially if you consider that 'Hyper-Loaders' were the DRM of the day.
Two people have mentioned "punitive damages". Does that concept even exist outside the USA?
As far as I know, in England, the purpose of damages is to compensate the claimant's loss, not to punish the defendant. If the defendant needs punishing, that can be done with a separate, criminal case - and the fine is then paid to the government, obviously, not the claimant in the separate civil case.
You're right, but all the games companies have to do is convince a judge that it would be 'actual profit', and then cite that a number of people downloaded it as evidence. Saying that the downloaders wouldn't have bought it and so wouldn't have contributed to 'actual profit' is supposition - how do you prove it?
Is anyone really this stupid, or are they RIAA plants?
"By that justification, I should be able to walk into my nearest Curry's, pick a new TV off the shelf, and wander away muttering some rubbish about "outdated business models"."
No, because copyright infringment doesn't actually involve depriving the copyright holder of anything. Pretty key distinction, no?