DISGRACED EXORTIONISTS Digiprotect, the firm that got over-eager lawyers to send threatening letters to pensioners demanding payment, has tried to defend its actions.
Apparently all the firm was doing was "just protecting its rights-holders", according to an interview with the BBC. The firm, which is based in Germany, wasn't willing to divulge quite who those 'rights-holders' were, but simply said they were "musicians and producers".
The firm employed ACS:Law, a company that has been widely criticised for its carpet-bombing approach and bullying tactics for extracting money on behalf of its client, Digiprotect. Again talking to the BBC, the firm justified its disgraceful behaviour simply by saying that its approach is the "the only proven effective proceeding".
Unsurprisingly, the law firm has a statement on the recent passing of the Digital Economy Bill, saying it is "delighted" and hailing it the start of a "new age of prosperity", no doubt for the firm rather than the artists, who are well known to get shafted out of their dues.
The law firm gathers IP addresses - that's Internet Protocol addresses for Stephen Timms' benefit - and uses them as the basis for sending out letters to all and sundry. Presumably the firm hadn't taken into account the fact that the majority of home Internet users are behind a router that does network address translation, meaning that the same external network IP address could be used by multiple users. It also wouldn't be at all surprising if something as simple as dynamic IP address allocation could confuse the firm's tracking system.
As is the case with these matters, those who have been wrongly accused have yet to receive an apology from Digiprotect. In an almost laughable comment the firm said that it wasn't those who received threatening letters who should feel aggrieved but rather its clients. Apparently "the ones who are traumatised are the content providers", the very same ones who feel themselves justified to pay Digiprotect bucket loads of cash to threaten pensioners with lawsuits.
If that wasn't bad enough, the firm then said that "at least 50 per cent" of the money it extorts from its victims ends up with its clients. That exceedingly healthy cut for the firm presumably means it can afford rather fancy knuckledusters.
Recently another law firm, Tilly, Bailey and Irvine (TBI) was labelled as "new entrants to the hall of infamy" by Lord Clement-Jones in a short speech given to the House of Lords. He continued by saying that both ACS:Law and TBI are an "embarrassment to the creative industry" and labelling the letters that were sent out as being of a "threatening nature". The Lord also welcomed the recent intervention of the Solicitors Regulation Authority to investigate the firms sending out these letters.
TBI recently announced that it would cease sending out threatening letters due to the "adverse publicity", which it said it was surprised to have received. We're not quite sure what the firm was thinking it would receive for bullying people into paying it money.
Digiprotect is scouting for UK based clients and, unlike TBI, continuing in its pursuit of injustice. µ
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