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Official ACS:LAW/DL letter/legal threat discussion

For discussion of the threatened legal action surrounding the alleged filesharing of pornography, computer games and music. (Golden Eye Int LTD / GEIL / MIRCOM / TCYK)
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Welcome to this forum, should you have received a letter do not panic, read the threads and make a (hopefully more informed) decision on how you want to proceed.

To avoid repeating previous posts, please familiarise yourself with the following information before posting.

Summary site (BeingThreatened.com) and Chat (IRC) or Chat (WebClient)

Speculative invoicing and “pay up or else” schemes for copyright infringement - Citizen's Advice Bureau

Speculative Invoicing Handbook

I've received a letter, what should I do? and Davenport Lyons - What can we do as a group?

Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby bubbster » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:54 pm

Mad King George wrote:So if they cant tell what i/if i downloaded was just a file called call of juarez a video of it the demo or just movies and pictures of it.

If so i could buy the game and download the demo bring it to court and ask the Davenport and lyons lawyer if he can tell the difference between the demo game and the real game by looking at it on the pc, and if he cant how could he recognize it from a 1000000th of a % of a supposedly shared from my pc.

if that fails . ive always found fire erotic. :pissedoff: and i doubt anyone will be playing :nopity: for D&L


It depends exactly how Logistep are operating, but the theory goes something like this (please correct me if I am wrong here).

Their software connects to a p2p server and requests a filename based on their client's list. They record all the ip addresses within the swarm that can offer the file. They then request a download and record any ip addresses that can provide the data to their software. They also record things like filename, size etc - they then do a whois on the ip addresses to locate the ISP's.

As Logistep do not disclose exactly how they do this, we can only make assumptions that the files they monitor are indeed infringing files. I suppose you can easily rule out demos based on file size, but their are still a hell of a lot of weaknesses in their methodology. For instance, you could purposely upload a demo padded out to the game's full size as a honeypot just to entrap Logistep. I've no idea what the repercussions would be if they got fooled by this for instance.
Last edited by bubbster on Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby Me2 » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:55 pm

Yanukovich wrote:Hi guys, I'm new on hear as well and spent last 5 hrs on different forums due to recieving the letter today (Test Drive Unl, £665). They saying I was dowloading it on 14th of January but I only live at this address from end of Feb. Still not sure if I have to reply to them but one thing for sure I WILL NOT pay them a penny. Guys I know its been here long time but I still didn't come to one decision: reply or ignore? Thanks


Reply with the evidence that you only moved in after the date. There's obviously no way you could even be responsible for the internet connection. This could put some egg on DLs' faces.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby nik » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:08 pm

Me2 wrote:
Yanukovich wrote:Hi guys, I'm new on hear as well and spent last 5 hrs on different forums due to recieving the letter today (Test Drive Unl, £665). They saying I was dowloading it on 14th of January but I only live at this address from end of Feb. Still not sure if I have to reply to them but one thing for sure I WILL NOT pay them a penny. Guys I know its been here long time but I still didn't come to one decision: reply or ignore? Thanks


Reply with the evidence that you only moved in after the date. There's obviously no way you could even be responsible for the internet connection. This could put some egg on DLs' faces.


Reply saying you did not do it, then when it goes to court hit them with the facts that you did not live there until feb. It would end up costing them money and the more of these cases that happen the more money they will loose.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby MrFredPFL » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:48 pm

bubbster: padding a demo to the same size as the full game only fools the size field. the hash is still going to be different, and neither ED2K nor BT use size to identify a file, they use the hash.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby jenablist » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:34 am

Hi guys, Its my first post here, but I have been following the discussions in back ground for a while.
I too have received some letters from DL. Their 1st was at the beginning of July.
I have chosen to fight it all the way because I did not do what the accuse me of, and I find irritating the tone and arrogance with which they pretend to receive payment at will, give no good strong evidence.

I just find it sickening that they find it moral to send requests for a tangible amount of money without any good strong evidence (and I quote one of the lawyer I consulted referring to their first letter: '... unless they got some strong evidence, which I do not see here. ' )
To have someone IP address does not mean anything.. You can even guess them at random and than pay up a company based abroad to send you a fake reports .. are these so called forensic professionals (logistep) registered with any sort of Uk or European approved professional association? ..
Guess what, NO, not from what I could find.
I am actually really shocked that a court would rule against someone based on evidence provided by a not recognized authority .. (I could open a forensic firm myself tomorrow then and scam people for fun and money ! yey I like that idea but i find it immoral and against a fair practice).

The funny thing is that Logistep has issued a statement contending an IP address is not personal information. Company officials could not be reached Friday" but yet DL finds it personal enough to associate it with your physical person... the bill payer, it just does not fly in my world!

I say WE AS a Collective Set of individuals wrongly accused of wrongdoing should come together and start sending mass letters to competent authority to stop this kind of weak and cheap actions from taking place at the gain of few people who actually can not think of the collective but only can think of what can come in their pockets!

Loditec & their law partners have been stopped by the italian,swiss, french courts of justice .. I think it is time for the UK as well.

I agree piracy on p2p & on the internet in general has to be stopped, but as the issue is so widely spread, governments can not allow Cowboys (like DL) try to mop it up using the wrong methods.

I think the passive approach is to reply to their letters defending yourself, but that’s not enough. I want to eat their lunch! I want to make sure that no one else will have to defend themselves on such weak grounds!

The Pro-active approach is to actually counter attack by making the relevant authorities of the Poor & immoral scare tactics used by DL not to stop illegally downloading but to actually potentially make money out of anyone who has an internet connection. This has to go down as a formal complaint form several thousand (on a mass scale of anyone involved or not involved directly with the DL cases).

Can an admin or anyone that believes in what I am saying contact me and see if we can draft some standard format letter to be sent out and perhaps be posted?

I want to use the internet for all the good it was originally designed for by T.B.Lee
To allow people to communicate effectively and move FORWARD, generate progress via communication, not as a 2000 century far west play ground.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby PorkyPig » Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:26 am

I can well understand peoples desire to send scathing letters to DL, their letters are so threatening if I lived closer to London I’m sure I would of paid them a personal visit by now.

In my case I first received a threatening letter from them in march 2007 claiming I shared dream pinball 3d in September of 2006, so 6 months after this file was tied to my IP address, I’m supposed to be able to identify the alleged infringer!??

Anyway, the first letter I received from them I truly believed was a scam and threw it in the bin, as I did for the second letter, then I found this forum, realised it wasn’t a scam and sent them a letter pointing out I didn’t share this file and had never even heard of it, refusing to pay the amount of £350.00 and sign an undertaking admitting guilt.

All went quiet for months until January 2008 when I received another threatening letter, same as the first this time demanding £550.00

I sent another letter still refuting their claims and refused to pay or admit guilt for something I hadn’t done and as far as I’m aware none of the other people using my broadband connection had either, I then received a reply from them in February 2008 saying that they did not claim that I had their clients work on my PC, or that I necessarily shared it myself.

Their claim was my internet connection had been used to make available their clients work and as the owner of the internet connection they hold me ultimately responsible for its use, then ended the letter giving me 7 days to pay up or else.

I responded to that one really scathingly (writing letters angry and drunk does that) as does posting angry and drunk, I’ve been blackholed for that more than a few times, I also refused to enter into anymore correspondence with them.

I then received a letter from them in May 2008 saying they have instructions to issue court proceedings against me and that they are being prepared.

Any letters I receive from DL with their company stamp on from then onwards I decided would go in the bin unopened, I don’t need the stress or anger they create, I have made my position perfectly clear to them and they disregard everything I write and respond with further threats.

I will respond to court letters and if sued will turn up in court, there will be no default judgement against me!

I hope my tale of woe will educate those receiving their first threatening letters as to how they operate, how you respond is up to you.

BUT WHATEVER YOU DO – DON’T PAY, it just encourages them!
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby unhappy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:06 am

nik wrote:
Me2 wrote:
Yanukovich wrote:Hi guys, I'm new on hear as well and spent last 5 hrs on different forums due to recieving the letter today (Test Drive Unl, £665). They saying I was dowloading it on 14th of January but I only live at this address from end of Feb. Still not sure if I have to reply to them but one thing for sure I WILL NOT pay them a penny. Guys I know its been here long time but I still didn't come to one decision: reply or ignore? Thanks


Reply with the evidence that you only moved in after the date. There's obviously no way you could even be responsible for the internet connection. This could put some egg on DLs' faces.


Reply saying you did not do it, then when it goes to court hit them with the facts that you did not live there until feb. It would end up costing them money and the more of these cases that happen the more money they will loose.

Who did they address their letter to - the ISP would check their records for the name of the subscriber so that would have to be someone other than you if you moved in after the date ?
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby unhappy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:14 am

It is worthy of note that DL are not acting as champions to combat piracy or illegal filesharing. Their sole intention is to make money out of piracy and filesharing. In fact if filesharing was stopped then DL would lose out.

It is laughable that DL openly say on Channel 4 and in press releases that they are working towards the greater good of stopping filesharing. The opposite is true in fact. They are grateful to every filesharer out there (six million I believe the estimate was for the UK - 10% of the population) as they have the opporunity to make lots and lots of money. The last thing DL want is for ISP's or the government to crack down on filesharing. I am actually amazed that they took anyone to court and made the fact public. Surely this increases the likehood of an official clampdown through public outrage and subsequent pressure on the government to act.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby Yanukovich » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:33 am

On my previous address I was with the same ISP (Virgin) and there were another 2 pc sharing the connection and 100% not me and as much as I know none of other people didn't dowload this crappy game, but in letter from DL "extact from spreadsheet recieved back from your isp" says my name, ip address, time and address wich at that time was different
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby Yanukovich » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:37 am

Sorry, my mistake the ammount they want is not £665, its £565 (£500 their compensation and £65 ISP administration cost)Virgin making money out of this as well, £65 per IP :oops:
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby JohnsonC » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:45 am

I've just got one of this letter yesterday about infringement of copyright: Test Driver Unlimited.
Thanks so much for people here who contributed in this thread. I learned a lot about the story.
I'm a bit worried about my situation. I recalled that I downloaded the game in March but I didn't have intension to distribute it. Would my best bet be paying up the bill and learn from it? I'm planning to see citizen advice next week.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby unhappy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:52 am

JohnsonC wrote:I've just got one of this letter yesterday about infringement of copyright: Test Driver Unlimited.
Thanks so much for people here who contributed in this thread. I learned a lot about the story.
I'm a bit worried about my situation. I recalled that I downloaded the game in March but I didn't have intension to distribute it. Would my best bet be paying up the bill and learn from it? I'm planning to see citizen advice next week.

Yes I strongly suggest you get legal advice before paying, but more importantly before signing any undertakings. I don't know how DL have wording later claims but certainly for the Pinball cases signing them could mean it would be unsafe for that person to have a registered internet connection in the future since undertakings are legally binding. The problem being if you don't know who the infringement occurred then how could you possibly sign an undertaking to say it won't happen again.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby unhappy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:54 am

Yanukovich wrote:On my previous address I was with the same ISP (Virgin) and there were another 2 pc sharing the connection and 100% not me and as much as I know none of other people didn't dowload this crappy game, but in letter from DL "extact from spreadsheet recieved back from your isp" says my name, ip address, time and address wich at that time was different

So really the address is not relevant as Virgin Media are saying the IP address was subscribed to you in any case - all they have done is provided the courts with your current/new address as that will be as recorded on their subscription details.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby unhappy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:57 am

Yanukovich wrote:Sorry, my mistake the ammount they want is not £665, its £565 (£500 their compensation and £65 ISP administration cost)Virgin making money out of this as well, £65 per IP :oops:

It's gone up by 32% - was £49 back in 2007.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby JohnsonC » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:07 am

unhappy wrote:
JohnsonC wrote:I've just got one of this letter yesterday about infringement of copyright: Test Driver Unlimited.
Thanks so much for people here who contributed in this thread. I learned a lot about the story.
I'm a bit worried about my situation. I recalled that I downloaded the game in March but I didn't have intension to distribute it. Would my best bet be paying up the bill and learn from it? I'm planning to see citizen advice next week.

Yes I strongly suggest you get legal advice before paying, but more importantly before signing any undertakings. I don't know how DL have wording later claims but certainly for the Pinball cases signing them could mean it would be unsafe for that person to have a registered internet connection in the future since undertakings are legally binding. The problem being if you don't know who the infringement occurred then how could you possibly sign an undertaking to say it won't happen again.

Thanks a lot for your advice.
You're right, I shouldn't blindly pay for the bill and pray that is over.
I shall start to seek legal advice next week and will keep you guys updated.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby unhappy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:17 am

If you have done this then you might think "it's a fair cop". However you need to consider what may happen in the future. There are many people on this forum who don't know how this happended so what's to say you don't become one of them in the future and you are an innocent victim of hacking or unsecured wireless use by someone else ? If you have signed undertakings then you will be in a very precarious position and may be forced to pay again and again at DL's whim.

This was discussed months ago on the other forums but I don't think it "sunk home" with some people, who then went on to pay just to make DL go away.

Anyone reading this who is thinking of giving in to DL please think very carefully before you do, and do get legal advice above all else, as you could very well end up in a lot more trouble in the near future.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby sharp910sh » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:30 pm

I can see no reason why dl wouldn't just accuse you of downloading games, once you have admitted guilt. They could just do this over and over again.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby Pinball Sucks » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:01 pm

I finally gave in to DL and paid them in the end to avoid the ongoing stress (one of the original Pinball cases). I didn't do it and I know I shouldn't have paid and in all probability would never have been taken to court, but the stress was too much and keep coming back.

The point of this post was that I was really not happy signing their undertakings as they were impossible to comply with. So I offered to pay with the following undertakings which they accepted. Both of these undertakings I know I can fulfill.
I also never admitted it and paid, protesting my innosence.

"I undertake to never knowingly upload, download or make available any intellectual property of Topware Interactive from my personal computer without their prior consent, or authorise my wireless network to be used for that purpose.

I undertake to secure my wireless network router with up to date secure encryption (e.g. WPA) noting that WEP does not provide sufficent security in order to minimise unauthorised access to my network."

If anyone does wish to pay up, only do so with undertakings you are happy with.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby dream pinball 3d lol » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:20 pm

just out of interest ,for the people who have recieved these new letters regarding test drive did dl tell you about there sucsess in the courts
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby metoo » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:21 pm

Hey guys I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a friend who is a commercial disputes lawyer which explains all the recent activity...

I showed him my letters and he thinks that if it went to court, Davenports could get another court order to force the ISPs to reveal internet traffic data which will show whether or not the data in question passed through the internet connection. In the same way, the ISP could also be forced to reveal MAC address data (if relevant) at litigation stage. A court order can also force ISPs to reveal all relevant information that they hold on you, including all internet activity if it is relevant to the case. A real possibility is that the Barwinska case may have been 16k due to the added cost of obtaining new evidence from ISPs. We already know that simple default judgement cases would result in costs of around 2-3k, as shown in previous judgements.

In addition to this, when I wrote a letter to request the above evidence (I used a template from this forum) I got a generic " We have provided you with all evidence nescessary in compliance with the pre-action protocal, any other evidence would be made available as part of court proceedings" response.

I am DEFINATELY not responsible for downloading THIS game, I have no memory of playing it at all. What worries me more now is that I have, in the past, downloaded music and other games. If they are able to get hold of this internet activity, I was told this could be used to persuade a judge I am -likely- to be responsible (afterall, it only has to be 'on the balance of probabilities').

So where does this leave us? Its actually very good news for those of us who 100% innocent of filesharing all copyrighted material - they would not be able to produce any additional evidence. If they just have an IP address then it is unlikely to persuade a jude 51%.

Unfortunately for me, if it went to court I might be in trouble =(

Anyway, this should help those of us who are squeeky clean.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby Billy Smart » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:32 pm

jenablist wrote:
I am actually really shocked that a court would rule against someone based on evidence provided by a not recognized authority ...


This is the whole point no evidence will have been produced if its a default judgement they dont need to prove their case the absence of a defendant gives the win.Thats why they are picking fights they can win to get headlines,hopefully with the right legal advice in place their hand can be forced to take on a case they wont win,and their whole scheme will be shown up as nothing more than a money making scam.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby MrFredPFL » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:37 pm

metoo: i would bet at least as much money as DL demands from you that your ISP cannot currently provide anyone with any such information (namely, a list of other things you have downloaded). because of recent developments in the UK, it sounds like the government will soon start requiring ISPs to log such data when possible, but at the moment, they don't do it.

as for the barwinska case: until such time as i see any more actual info about it, i see no point in playing guessing games.
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby verytired » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:39 pm

hi people,
just discovered this fantastic thread and think it's just what this issue needed!!!
also well done to enigmax for researching so well and coming up with the lawyer. i shall email but obviously expect that there are many before me.
i wanted to go back to a point made around page 2/3 of this thread concerning contacting various authorities... i have done this. i contacted

CAB - advised me to respond to DL denying accusation - contact BT (my ISP) asking if they were aware of this scam? did they provide my info? Did they realise they potentially were breaking Data Protection etc.
BT - advised me they weren't aware of my game (two worlds) as being a scam but interestingly they were aware of a similar situation involving a Racing Car Game (they wouldn't specify) that had been a scam in November 2007. also had long conversations regarding IP addresses and blah blah blah. Further to that conversation i was told that actually it was not BT that provided the information but BT Wholesale who provided the information and conveniently they are not available to be contacted!!!!
Consumer direct - long conversation...never heard about anything like this referred it to trading standards who had not heard of anything like this. all they could do at this stage was log the 'case' and i am to update as and when!
Offcomm / Information Commissioner- write to BT to find a list of all my downloads this could take a while ie 4 weeks!!! - make sure it is registered. case was logged and i am again to update them should anything change. they explained quite clearly to me that they could not discuss what was happening on these forums and all the other cases as technically that would be a breach of DP but i made sure on my case that it was logged that these sites are up and running full of really hacked off people being sued for no reason.
BBC Watchdog - TWICE!!!! no reply

i think that was everyone i contacted...i had a very busy day!!!!
so i believe that the more people contact all these 'governing' bodies the better. surely these cases will get flagged up on their system the more people log complaints. so i urge everyone... contact anyone and everyone you can think of. i did all this immediately after getting my first letter (april) and i am about to ring them all again and back it all up with letters.
We must fight this, i am prepared to fight this all the way if necessary.

i will not be bullied by them!!!
hope this is of some interest and apologies for waffling...it just makes me sooooo cross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby Yanukovich » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:39 pm

to verytired. Any chance you can provide with some of these numbers (apart BT) and which way you contacted DL? Many thanks
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Re: The new official Davenport-Lyons lawsuit thread

Postby metoo » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:46 pm

To add to the list of authorities...

I contacted the Law Society who said they were investigating the matter. Shortly after I got a letter back saying they see no breach of the code of conduct which they could act upon and that Davenport Lyons were acting in the best interests of their clients. They said they would not be taking the case any further and told me to seek independent legal advice.
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