Gamers who share files could face a legal crackdown on their activities.
Topware Interactive has won more than £16,000 following legal action against a British woman who put a copy of its game Dream Pinball 3D on a file-sharing network. Three other users of the network who are suspected of sharing the game are awaiting damages hearings.
David Gore, a partner at Davenport Lyons who acted for Topware, said: “The damages and costs ordered by the Court are significant and should act as a deterrent. This shows that taking direct steps against infringers is an important and effective weapon in the battle against online piracy. This is the first of many. It was always intended that there would be a lot more.”
Gore further said that thousands of suspected file sharers of the game may not face legal action. Topware Interactive began a campaign against sharers in early 2007 after legal action forced 18 British net firms to pass on details of suspected pirates. Around 500 letters were sent to those identified as sharers where they were asked for £300 as a settlement figure to head off further legal action.
Independent IP barrister David Harris told the BBC website: “This is a proper Intellectual Property (IP) court that has made this judgement. The previous ones were default judgements where defendants never turned up. The hearing in the IP court meant the case had been rigorously analysed and the law properly understood. It's a much more interesting case in that respect. I do not get any sense that there's been any fundamental shift in the desire to litigate.”