back to article Filesharing ambulance chasers get into the gay smut racket

The law firm Davenport Lyons, best known online for accusing people of illegally filesharing on behalf of video games companies and threatening to take them to court if they don't pay hundreds of pounds, has now begun doing the same for producers of hardcore gay porn. It denied any plans to work for "adult entertainment" rights …


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  1. yeah, right.


    By the way, this is the same "accurate" targeting that will be used to determine who is going to get cut off in the French "three strikes" law. Anyone see the problem yet? Conor, you there?

  2. Anthony Hagger

    Sooner or later

    I guess sooner or later Davenport are going to step on someones toes and especially with this new campaign of menace.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Indecent letter

    Surely this letter could easily constitute an indecent letter with the inclusion of the word

    "fuckers" ?. What if they address this to a child or someone who is easily distressed ?.

    No this is wrong ,they should blank out the word "fuckers".

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "just because lawyers can do something it doesn't mean that they should"

    That is the funniest joke I've ever heard on The Reg!

    Good show!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How can they prove that you actually uploaded the film and not just a file that you renamed to the same name as the supposed infringement to muddy the waters.

    could always create a file the same size and upload. I am guessing this company hasnt sat through all the versions that were doing the rounds?

    I seem to remember Madonna got away with that a few albums ago when people were still interested in what she was doing and nothing happened to her!

    Also since the UK is so keen to follow the US maybe they should consider

    before they start throwing their weight around

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ohh off to download some gay porn

    this is the 21st century people, men have been shagging each other for millennia. As long as it is consensual who cares.

    The more I think about it, the more I think the world does need DRM, sure some people will navigate their way around it but it would mean less copyright infringement, and the law could concentrate on the major pirates rather than the individual geting their fix of Rory Rogers Rugby.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Lawyers - where do they get their taste for human blood?

    So what's the chances of a number of young boys dl'ing this pr0n who aren't out, then their parents who are the account holder gets the letter.

    Chances are, as is usual, that they would never have actually gone out and bought this.

    Posting anonymous as I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Making porn available to minors

    Here in the UK it is illegal for chidren to have access to porn, or in this case hard porn, for sure the people who need chasing by lawyers here are those who made this available in the first place, which is the clients of DL.

    And this is not now a civil matter but a criminal matter and something needs doing about this, I encourage all to get in touch with there local MP's, Childline and any others who have the power to have this issue addressed.

    Once again I point out 'it is iilgal to make hard core adult movies available to chidren'

  9. Christopher Martin

    Could be worse...

    They could be outing people who listen to Metallica. How embarrassing would THAT filesharing letter be!

  10. RW

    With a little luck

    Someone can convince a learned judge that Davenport Lyons is engaged in frivolous lawsuits and get them disbarred.

    And maybe someone needs to send the principals of Davenport Lyons lots and lots of spurious claims for damages that they have to defend or be found guilty by default.

    And how do DL prove that the legal papers have actually been served? Do they use registered mail with return of receipt? No other method is viable, short of sending a bailiff around to deliver it by hand.

    "Joe Smith? Sorry, never heard of him, try the house over there."

    The whole business constitutes abuse of the legal system on a par with Scientology's.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    And with a little more luck

    some lone freedom-loving Guy Fawkes type might do the world a favour and remove these bottom-feeding filth from society with a pump-action 12-gauge.

  12. Hugh_Pym

    you lose?

    "Earlier this year the firm launched a blitz to publicize the fact it was awarded £16,000 damages when a woman it accused of downloading the video game Dream Pinball 3D was found in default. She had ignored Davenport Lyons' threatening letters and didn't defend herself in court."

    So if you don't go to the trouble and expense of defending yourself you automatically lose? Mine the one with the bogus lawsuit citing everybody in the world in the pocket. If I can get £16,000 for a failure to appear, the percentages have got to pay off.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Scam variation !

    It's a variation on an old scam where you set up a porn business, take the money and don't supply the product. When the customer asks for his money back you send a cheque with the company name on it with something like tranny magazines ltd then the sap is far too embarrassed (normally) to present the cheque to the bank and your quids in. With the DP parasites they are just trying to shame you into paying up so the scam is working in reverse.

    Davenport Lyons will have probably destroyed any credibility they might have pretended they had with this one and just executed the golden goose HAHAHAHAHA.

    This may worry a few Judges and Politicians as they are known for some way out preferences :)

  14. Dennis
    Paris Hilton

    Stop file sharing or

    We will accuse you downloading Gay porn.......................................

    If that doesn't work we will accuse you of downloading kiddie Porn

    And if that doesn't work we will out you as being a member of the BNP.

    How long will it be before they start acting on behalf of Paris.

    Funar Funar

  15. michael

    @ proof

    I assume it works somthing like this

    they downlaod a likely looking torrent

    set there client to download only not upload

    download the files whail at the same time noting all the ip's of the pepol in the swarm

    watch what they have downloaded (haf haf)

    if what they have downloaded is what it purports to be and is the copyrighted metrial then they send letters requesting the details of the ips

    seames it has not ever gone to cort we have no proof this is how they do it but that is how I would do it

    if I was taken to corte by them I would ask my lawer to get a technail discription so we can be shure there "proof" is proof positive.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    (Sorry - I couldn't resist using that title. it seemed so appropriate somehow)

    Anyway, here's my point (oo-er):

    If information about your sexuality is given extra protection under the DP act, does that mean *any* kind of porn would be dodgy ground for the copy protection lawyers?

    After all, one kind of sexuality is no better or worse than another (assuming it's legal), so it should be just as much of a legal problem to "out" you as heterosexual as it is to "out" you as gay.

    In theory. But as I said, IANAL.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Steve

    Some top tips against what could be a cunning scam:

    Anyone who has ever tried to download a movie vie P2P will tell you that it is full of porn masquerading as other (sometimes legitimate) files. Users not so savvy will likely download the entire file before they can check what they actually have – by then it is way too late because the file is shared before download has completed.

    It's not impossible the producers of Army F***ers plopped their wares on P2P and renamed them to all sort of more tasteful sounding files, purely in order to scam well meaning downloaders.

    Here are some top tips:

    whenever possible, check the various filenames of your downloading file as soon as download starts - if the file has multiple names then it's likely a fake. If a movie, preview the downloaded parts of the files with apps like MPClassic and VLC for additional confidence.

  19. Frederick Karno

    Missing the point ???

    This Digiprotect firm has been given the rights to upload these films .

    It is them who are seeding them now i'm not a legal eagle but this is entrapment,once that film is released on p2p they cant get it back ,they have no control over who gets it or where it goes, this must break rules on the distribution of adult material .

    And as for the case in which they won £16000 it was a default judgement, on the track record of Davenport Lyons there is no record of them actually taking a person to court and winning..

    I hope that can be reversed with more and more people becoming aware of the scam,and that someone in Authority will stop firms like this undermining the law in this way...

    The Courts allowing IP address information requests to be given out for a supposed criminal case then being used in a civil case is frankly bizarre...surely someone checks that cases are actually brought ????

    I am not condoning or condemning file sharing i am just questioning Davenports Lyons abuse of the Legal system and how they are seemingly able to run a blackmail racket legally.

  20. michael


    you are out of date

    using bit torrent you can be 90% certain that the torrent is what it says it is cos if it was false then te swarm would have disbanded as soon as it was found out to be fake bittorrent is less like 1 person giving it to another person and more like a giant sharing orgy (to use a metaphor in tune with the current topic) where the same file or completion of files is shared round and round with more pepol coming and going it is more certain cos it is setup by the starter of the swarm and as such you are more certain on what file you are getting unfortunate so can the pepol issuing the letters

  21. michael

    @James Greenhalgh

    """Come on... you work (mostly) in the IT industry, you don't have to watch a file to run an MD5 check on it...

    Now stop imagining a bunch of Lawyers sitting around a TV getting excited and """

    but imagining lawyers watching gay porn is what makes my life have meaning :)

    seriously a md5 check would not be valid for a copyright check cos it would be different depending on the encoding and the cutting of the end etc they would need visual proof not a computerised check

  22. Dave

    @Frederick Karno

    I think that you will find that the UK does not have a law that mentions 'entrapment' - that is pretty much a US thing.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Am I missing the point...

    ...but if they accuse someone of downloading gay porn then aren't they leaving themselves open to a countersuit for libel saying "You're insinuating things about my sexuality that you cannot prove"

  24. Steve

    I'm not that out of date ;c)

    Besides, millions still use P2P. I use emule mostly via kad. I tried torrents but ended up returning to emule. I'm happy with it because I know how to get the most out if it (and it is great for rarer files); once you know how it's easy. My success rate for the type of files I get is way in excess of 90%, but that seems to depend on the file type (AVI success rate is poor, but who wants those?)

    90% certain is still 10% uncertain.

  25. A J Stiles

    @ Dave

    In the UK, it would be called "soliciting a crime". It's still illegal; along with conspiracy, perverting the course of justice, aiding and abetting &c.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. michael

    @Frederick Karno

    "This Digiprotect firm has been given the rights to upload these films ."

    where did you see that form what I read I assume that digiprotect are the pepol who own the copyright or are acting for the pepol who own the copy right and have found or been informed that the torrent is on a torrent site and then have used a simler methord as I outlined above to track the pepol donwloading it

  28. michael

    @ Steve

    well yes pepol still use emule but the article (and the previous ones about these p2p-cahersers) says thy chase bt swarms in fcat I think you can only do what they doing from bt it would nto work over emule or kaza and btw I have NEVER got the wrong thing from a bt swarm

  29. Amy

    What to do?

    Our landlord (my father in law) has just been sent one of these letters since the flat's internet access is perhaps unwisely done in his name... thing is, it's referring to a date when the previous tenants were here, and as far as we know they didn't even have a computer.

    Any suggestions what we should do next would be gratefully recieved!

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