Ever since the RIAA and other big guns decided to pull up people for illegal file-sharing of copyrighted material, the news has been full of cases involving these crimes. From individuals to site owners providing links to copyrighted content, it seems no one is safe.
I don’t intend to start a debate on whether or not it’s the right course of action but it does bug me when innocent people get pulled up for something they did not do. And that’s exactly what happened to an elderly couple in the UK recently.
The couple, in their 50s were stunned to receive a letter from a UK-based law firm called Davenport Lyons, accusing them of uploading an Atari game. The letter demanded a compensation fee of 500 pounds as well as additional 25 pounds for copyright infringement. Of course, the crime was identified by tracing the IP address involved back to these people.
The victims vehemently denied the charges and yes, they were able to back it up. They did not own the game in question nor was any trace of P2P or other file-sharing software found on their computer. Neither did they have WiFi access so it’s unlikely that someone else hacked into an unsecured connection.
Thanks to the intervention of consumer group Which? Computing, the charges against these people were dropped. However, no one’s answering the most important question: how did they get hold of the victim’s IP address?
One theory is that it’s simply a goof-up. The other is that Atari decided to set an example and didn’t care who they targeted. What do you think of this situation? Is it justified? Let me know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.