Pensioner piracy case reveals flaw in IP numbering

I was intrigued to read in the Scottish Daily Record today about the curious case of a pensioner couple - Ken Mackinnon and his wife Gillian - who were sent a solicitor's letter demanding 525 quid for allegedly file-sharing an Atari race game over t'Internet.

The Inverness couple refuted the claim and got Which's Computing magazine involved, whereupon Atari's lawyers backed off.

What appears to have happened is that someone spoofer their home router's IP address when file-sharing the game, resulting in their being `traced.'

How easy is is to spoof an IP address? Very, especially if you are using the same ISP as the person you're spoofing.

This started me thinking about what would happen if someone spoofed your IP address and downloaded shed loads of child porn.

Now there's a thought - and a very good defence in court.

No wonder Atari's lawyers hit the reverse gear on their legal action against this couple.

The precedent of such a defence could - in my humble opinion - seriously undermine a raft of legal action on Internet cases in the civil and criminal law courts...