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DigiProtect defends anti-piracy Internet hunt tactics

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 5:27 User comments (1)

DigiProtect defends anti-piracy Internet hunt tactics DigiProtect, which works with ACS:Law in the UK to send thousands of threatening letters to alleged Internet pirates, has defended its work from growing criticism. UK consumer magazine Which? received complaints from people saying they were wrongly accused of copyright infringement crimes.
The letters sent to Internet users orders them to either pay a fine or face going to court. However, the firm told the BBC that it is just acting to protect its rights-holders, whom it declined to mention by name but described as "musicians or producers."

DigiProtect identifies when a client's content is being shared illegally on a network and attempts to acquire the IP address of the sharer. With this information, its lawyers can get a court order enabling the retrieval of the physical address of the user associated with the Internet connection account.

Users receive letters telling them to pay around 700 per infringement or face court action. Service provider O2 has not been impressed with the targeting of its customers, condemning attempts to "bully or threaten" them.

ACS:Law and DigiProtect deny that they bully O2 customers. "The approach we use is the only proven effective proceeding," DigiProtect told the BBC. "With the infinite number of products offered on file-sharing networks, no other process would even be possible, this is just another example of the astronomical dimensions that file-sharing has taken on."

It admitted that the process used to retrieve IP addresses of file sharers in order to engage in legal action is largely "automated." Also, the firm admitted that it is possible for the wrong person to be identified.

"In some cases the subscriber is not the rule breaker, but as they own the internet access they are our initial point of contact. We make an enquiry of them as to how the infringement occurred and progress with the matter in an appropriate way depending on the response given," it said.

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1 user comment

122.4.2010 11:26

Here is another article
"Even The Recording Industry Is Criticizing ACS:Law/DigiProtect Pre-Settlement Letter Program
from the hammer-coming-down dept

With more and more attention being paid to the efforts by firms like ACS:Law and DigiProtect to profit from blasting out hundreds of thousands of letters demanding payment to avoid file sharing lawsuits (which almost never seem to actually get filed), it seems that the companies involved in such things may finally be facing some pretty serious criticism that could force them to curb the practice. First up, politicians. A few different UK officials are coming out loudly against ACS:Law, with some even suggesting that the firm's efforts are like a "scam" or "legal blackmail."

Meanwhile perhaps the most surprising of all is that BPI, the UK's version of the RIAA has also come out against the practice, saying that they don't feel it is appropriate. Perhaps it's not a huge surprise -- given that the clients of ACS:Law/DigiProtect have tended to be video game and porn producers rather than the recording industry. However, when even the recording industry finds your actions against file sharing too draconian, it suggests you've really stepped over the line. At some point, you get the feeling that ACS:Law is going to get slapped down legally. "

It will not take long before they incorrectly identify 'the wrong person'.

There are already law firms advertising they can protect you. The process is in for rough going from now on. I hope they go for their heads.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Apr 2010 @ 11:30

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