Porn letters to be sent out
Written by Michael Coyle on 01 June 2012« Return to Reading Room
Various O2 customers who are suspected of illegally sharing pornographic films made by Ben Dover Productions will according to the BBC begin receiving letters from the film-maker shortly. Some 9,124 letters will be sent out. The BBC have reported that the "High Court has now approved the text of the message that will be sent". The porn mogul said they would not pursue people who "simply downloaded one film.....in our first letter we seek to find out more information regarding evidence of an infringement of our copyright, depending on the response to our letters we will then decide our next action."
If you receive a letter you will need to respond within 28 days. No sum of money will be demanded. You will be expected to negotiate the sum. Throughout this period you will be threatened with court action. It is unlikely that you will ever be sued or there will ever be a court case for the reasons we have explained for many years since the Davenport Lyons and ACS fiasco.
Here are some scenarios:-
1. Mr Jones receives a letter. He admits he downloaded the film. He signs an undertaking i.e. legal promise not to do it again and offers Golden eye £400. The matter will go away. Mr Jones is worried that there may be other instances and will always be worried that he will one day receive another letter. His wife leaves him.
2. Mr Jones receives a letter. He does not know if the film was downloaded or who did it. He offers £50, as a solicitor has asked for £750 on account with no promise of success. It is all he can afford. It is rejected and he agrees to pay an extra £100 over three months. He signs the undertaking and the matter is settled. He does not care if he is contacted again. His wife is not bothered either way and they are happily married.
3. Mr Jones received a letter. He denies he has downloaded any film and tells Bendover to leave him alone. He does not seek legal advice as he knows that the porn mogul can only prove copyright infringement if he admits he did it or they inspect his laptop/PC. He sleeps well. He is sent four letters but Mr Jones simply refers to his first letter each time.
4. Mr Jones receives a letter. He denies he has downloaded any film. He suspects it is someone in his house but he did not authorise any individual to infringe copyright. He pays his Solicitor £400+VAT and it goes away.
5. Mr Jones receives a letter. He ignores it. He then receives another letter. He ignores it. He then receives another letter and is sued. He now has to pay court costs and legal costs. He settles for £1000
My own view is that if someone has downloaded a film then any offer of compensation ought to be in the region of £30-50. Pay no more, sign the undertaking and that will be that. The Porn mogul will almost certainly accept this, he may threaten to issue a claim but it means they will have to issue a court fee, pay lawyersâ€™ fees and this is unlikely to happen.
But above all what we have learnt over the years is that they can only prove the copying if you admit it and or they inspect your hard drive.
It is sadly a racket but above all please do not pay silly money and especially do not pay any more than £50.
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