In a bizarre twist, victims of the recent lawsuits against alleged P2P pirates appear to have formed a vigilante group and have their first target in their sights, a partner in the law firm Davenport Lyons. They don’t appear to have any demands but they do seem to want to cause lots of trouble for Mr Miller - by using the internet to expose intimate details of his private life.
At the end of March we reported on the German company Zuxxez (Topware in the UK), who had employed UK lawyers Davenport Lyons to go after alleged uploaders of the company’s Dream Pinballl game. We revealed how a Swiss company was hired to track file-sharers and the methods they used, including information to limit the chances of that happening again in the future.
There have been revelations before in this story but nothing quite as bizarre as this. Brian Miller is listed on the Davenport Lyons website as “a commercial lawyer specialising in interactive entertainment, music copyright, intellectual property, information technology, e-commerce and commercial contracts.” When he took on 500 alleged Pinball pirates, it seems that he may have got more than he bargained for.
According to an anonymous source, a vigilante group has been formed, possibly by angry file-sharers, who are engaged in a campaign to reveal intimate details of Mr and Mrs Miller’s life, on the internet. Apparantly he has received threats to reveal his wife’s private details including her place of work and contact numbers, their home addresses and private information regarding their parents. And it seems they aren’t going to stop there. In addition there are threats to reveal Mr Miller’s financial dealings at past employers and to have his directorships put under scrutiny. The threats were made by the previously unknown ‘Davenport Cats’ action group.
Perhaps as part of the first attack, a user with the name ‘davenport cats’ made a single post on Slyck Forums declaring; "SCRATCHMABACK LIMITED Just have a look at the directors !!"
The website relating to the business appears to be down but a quick search reveals that the company does ‘Online bartering for goods & services, traders and business’. The significance of this is unclear. It’s understood that the threats are being taken seriously and that legal action is likely but of course, thats no surprise in this pinball saga.
Miller, was until recently Head of Legal Affairs for Virgin Interactive (previously NTL:Telewest). On the 26th March, Telewest issued a bill to Davenport Lyons totalling £18,473 for “compensation for costs incurred in providing information to Topware Interactive” - in simple terms, that’s what the ISPs charge the lawyers to hand over their customer’s personal information so that they can be threatened.
People who have received a threatening letter but have refused to pay up have as yet, heard nothing from Davenport Lyons. Stay tuned.
Update: We have received a copy of some of the personal details that ‘Davenport Cats’ are threatening to leak and we can confirm that our report above on the nature of the information appears to be correct. In addition, it appears there will be some sort of legitimate protest against Davenport Lyons and we will report on this in due course