Well, after deciding I was unable to post a copy of the Davenport Lyons letter – the one that was kindly scanned in and sent to me by a mysterious benefactor – owing to the threats of legal action the company is apparently taking against anyone who distributes said letter online, I was surprised – shocked, even – to find the self-same letter posted on good-old Wikileaks.

The full letter – the same one I was unable to post – is available on their secure website, and thanks to the organisation’s modus operandi is unlikely to be going anywhere soon no matter what threats Davenport Lyons makes.

What a shame someone ignored the strongly-worded threats in the letter against publication.  Oh, well – thank you, kind – and, more importantly, anonymous – Wikileaks contributor.

Well, it looks like Davenport Lyons has decided that going after alleged sharers of computer games isn’t lucrative enough. To keep the cheques rolling in now it’s approaching Xmas time they’ve come up with a whole new method of making money: porn.

More specifically, accusing people of downloading pornographic movies from peer-to-peer networks.  If you think about it, it would be the perfect scam for an company operating illegitimately – not that anyone could accuse Davenport Lyons of such a thing – : it’s one thing to stand up in court and defend yourself from accusations you downloaded Sid Meier’s Alpha Centurai but quite another to publicly associated yourself with Army Fuckers.

According to the BBC, the letters follow the usual Davenport Lyons theme of “you’ve been naughty, give us £500.”  Again, Davenport Lyons is ignoring the very real possibility that their ‘monitoring’ company, DigiProtect GmBH, is acting on poisoned data.  They’re still laying it on thick and threatening extremely expensive court action too.

The good news is that none of this is worth a damn.  As I’ve said before, make yourself a nuisance and they’ll go away.  So far, not a single person who followed my advice and replied to the demands with a Subject Access Request has been taken to court or made to pay a single penny.

If you’re curious as to what the Davenport Lyons letters look like, a very kind individual has sent me a scan of one he received after being accused of sharing a video file.  Unfortunately, I have been advised that Davenport Lyons doesn’t like the thought of people being able to prepare themselves and collaborate on a defence and is actually threatening anyone who publishes the letter online with legal action.  As a result – and because I don’t want to give them any ammunition that could take this site down – I’m unable to publish it.

As always, keep making a nuisance of yourselves and take heart from the fact that not a single person that has put up even the most basic of defences has been successfully sued by Davenport Lyons.

Reading the Metro this morning on my way to work – hey, it’s free – I came across an interesting article regarding our old friends Davenport Lyons.  It seems that the lawyers have backed down in the case of at least one couple accused of illegally sharing an Atari computer game – in this case, Race ’07.

Ken and Gill Murdoch received the usual “give us £500 or we’ll sue” extortion-style letter from the firm but denied any wrongdoing, claiming that – and forgive me for quoting direct here – “their internet IP address may have been hijacked by illegal downloaders.”  No, seriously – that’s what the article says.

Although Davenport Lyons has since dropped the case, it took the intervention of Which? Computing magazine on the Murdoch’s behalf to get them to do so.  Sarah Kidner, editor of the magazine, decried the “heavy-handed tactics” employed by the firm but then shot herself in the foot by saying that “consumers need to be aware of the dangers of having their computer address copied by hackers” – again, I’m not making this up.  The editor of a computing magazine, for chrissakes.

Lazy tabloid journalism aside, the article should at least offer hope that Davenport Lyons really don’t have the balls to back up their claims of copyright infringement – as I’ve said all along.

Davenport Lyons, the by-now infamous lawfirm situated, sadly, here in the UK, is continuing its campaign of sending threatening letters alleging possibly copyright infringing actions and demanding money.  You may remember a post I made in which I drafted a response asking to see the evidence the firm allegedly has under the auspices of the Data Protection Act.  Although I’m not a lawyer – thank god, I never could eat a whole baby – I do have more than a passing interest in the law and my rights therein.  Accordingly, the letter was drafted as best I could.

Since that time, many individuals both on bit-tech and another forum called Slyck have downloaded and sent off the letter along with the required payment.  Since then, most – as I predicted – have not heard back.  However, some of the very earliest letters have had a reply – here’s an example from bit-tech member nw104hh:

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Members of the //bit-tech// forums are reporting receiving letters from UK law firm Davenport Lyons demanding dosh – £520 and upwards – for ‘making available’ a range of games on peer-to-peer networks. If the money isn’t forthcoming, they threaten court action with a plentiful supply of legalese.

Well, hooey. So far the only people they’ve taken to court are individuals who ignored the letter and didn’t turn up on their court day – which resulted in a default victory for Davenport Lyons.

If you receive such a letter, **do not ignore it**. Instead, ask to see the ‘evidence’ that you made the software available. I’ve drafted a sample letter to send back to Davenport Lyons which //bit-tech// members have found useful.
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