Pirates beware, UK industry goes on the warpath


One day after a British woman was fined £16,000 for illegally sharing Topware Interactive’s Dream Pinball 3D, a consortium of developers (including Topware) have announced that they will write to 5000 individuals who have shared their games and tell them to either pay £300 or risk legal action.

The five developers who include Topware, Atari, Codemasters, Reality Pump and Techland have also appealed to the high court for an injunction that would force ISPs to give up the details of a further 25,000 suspected illegal file sharers.

Roger Billens of the firm representing the developers told The Times that their clients “were incensed by the level of illegal downloading. In the first 14 days since Topware Interactive released Dream Pinball 3D it sold 800 legitimate copies but was illegally downloaded 12,000 times. Hopefully people will think twice if they risk being taken to court.”

It is believed that one in ten people in the UK have engaged in software piracy, a considerable chunk of the market which is expected to grow to £2bn this year.