Hundreds Risk Accusation Of Illegal File-sharing

The plight of Gill and Ken Murdoch has highlighted the case of innocent bystanders being caught in the war between the entertainment industry and those who flout the law by illegally downloading games over the internet.

The Murdoch couple, who run a home-based consultancy firm, have never played a computer game in their lives and yet they have been accused of illegally downloading Atari games - more particularly Race07 - after their IP address was singled out as being part of those involved in illegal filesharing.

London-based Lawyers, Davenport Lyons, who represent Atari have told the couple to pay £525 legal fees or face being taken to court and ultimately pay a more hefty fine.

They have had to go to consumer magazine Which? which then intervened and forced Atari and its lawyers to back-off.

The Murdochs argue that someone could have hijacked their IP address to distribute the Atari games illegally which is even more probable given that they do not use wireless networks.

Which? has criticised the heavy handed approach of Davenport Lyons which could mean that hundreds of others could be facing up the prospects of having to pay fines for crimes they did not commit.

The Murdoch's probably used a little known Which? service which allows individual to have unlimited access to a legal team for a fixed monthly fee on consumer issues.