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First illegal game-sharer prosecuted in UK

Woman to pay £16,000 in damages and costs

A British woman has been ordered to pay £16,000 in costs and damages after she put a computer game on a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network.

The woman, who has not been named, was prosecuted for uploading Topware Interactive's Dream Pinball 3D to a P2P network and allowing other web users to illegally download the program without paying copyright fees to the owners.

A UK court has ordered the woman to pay Topware Interactive £6,086.56 in damages and £10,000 in costs.

"This shows that taking direct steps against infringers is an important and effective weapon in the battle against online piracy," said David Gore, a partner at Davenport Lyons who acted for the software company.

Topware started its crusade against illegal file sharers in 2007. After forcing 18 ISPs to pass on details of suspected pirates it sent letters to those guilty of making the game available on P2P networks such as Gnutella and eMule, ordering them to pay a £300 settlement charge or face legal action. Three other suspected file sharers are also being prosected.

See also: ISPs get tough over illegal downloads


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