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Elderly UK Couple Accused of Illegally Downloading German Porn

Elderly UK Couple Accused of Illegally Downloading German Porn

Once again casts doubt on the identification methods deployed by law firm Davenport Lyons be on behalf of copyright holders.

UK-based law firm Davenport Lyons is leading the charge against file-sharers in the UK and once again it seems to have netted an innocent elderly couple, this time for allegedly illegally downloading a German porn movie.

A month ago it accused Gill Murdoch and her husband, aged 54 and 66 respectively, of illegally downloading an Atari video game as part of a massive 25,000 person sweep despite the fact that the two "have never had, any computer game or sharing software." The bad publicity is most likely what caused Atari to recently drop plans to use Davenport Lyons to track down those illegally sharing its video game titles.

Now, in a 20-page settlement later mailed to a Hertfordshire couple in their 60s, two more elderly people have been seemingly falsely accused of illegal file-sharing, this time for a German porno movie titled "Army Fuckers." The law firm is demanding £503 ($773 USD) in compensation.

The couple is rightly upset and even offended by the allegations.

"We were offended by the title of the film," they told Guardian Money. "We don’t do porn – straight or gay – and we can’t do downloads. We have to ask our son even to do an iTunes purchase."

Guardian Money asked Davenport lyons for a response. It replied: "We cannot comment on individual cases. We represent clients who own valuable rights in copyright material and are legally entitled to protect and enforce such rights against any unlawful infringement. The material was not put on a file-sharing site by our clients.

"We write an initial letter to those suspected of illegal file sharing based on technical information received from our clients. Such procedure is required by court rules. We allow ample opportunity for the recipient to respond, and if they have done nothing wrong they have no reason to be concerned."

But, as has been noted before, copyright infringement claims are prone to false positives because it identifies only an IP address and not actual individuals.

I wouldn’t hold my breath, but let’s hope Davenport Lyons comes to it’s senses and drops the obviously bogus claims.

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Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus

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