Games firm wins rulings against British BitTorrent users

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Topware Interactive has won fines of £750 and costs awards of £2,000 from four people it had sued. The Court issued default judgments after the people sued did not respond to the Court or turn up to the hearing.

The law firm behind the action, Davenport Lyons, claims to have obtained the details of 1,000 alleged file-sharers from ISPs which it will now use in further cases.

"Copyright owners spend millions of pounds developing copyright works for sale to the public for their enjoyment and yet many think it is acceptable to obtain the work illegally and for free by procuring a copy on a peer-to-peer network," said David Gore, a partner at Davenport Lyons, according to press reports.

The award of damages vastly exceeds the cost of the computer game involved, Dream Pinball 3D, which can cost as little as £9 to buy. The high award is likely to be designed to reflect the fact that in some file-sharing networks, downloaders of the game also act as distributors of it to an unknown number of other users.

The case involved the BitTorrent system of file sharing, which automatically makes users who download material distributors of that material in order to make the system efficient at distributing content.

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