There are a large number of very confused people in the UK who have received a letter from a firm of solicitors claiming that they are P2P pirates. The letters from a UK firm of lawyers Messrs Davenport Lyons claim that they have been caught distributing a piece of software called Dream Pinball 3D and that they will have to pay between £300-£600 or go to court. Internet forums have been abuzz with comments from people who have received the letter.
The posts have certain things in common. None of the people accused of downloading has ever seen the software and certainly do not have it on their machines. Secondly it is not clear how Messrs Davenport Lyons got their personal details. The letter claims that "processes and methods employed by IT experts to produce the evidence” has been submitted to the person's ISP who has given them details.
“We therefore remain of the view that there has been no mistake and that at the very least, your iP address has been identified as being responsible for the infringing of the act(s) identified," the letter said. Apparently ISPs are charging £50 to hand over personal data without a court order and in breach of the Data Protection Act. Some of those who have received the letter have reported firing their ISPs for doing this.
Another interesting legal issue is that the letter claims that users were responsible for their computer's security and so could not avoid payment if their machines had been compromised. Not surprisingly a large number of letters seem to have been sent out to owners of wireless networks who might have had their networks borrowed by a neighbour.