Codemasters targets peer-to-peer users

Cash demands issued...

Codemasters has launched an attack on videogame pirates, issuing cash demands to people it accuses of illegally downloading its software.

Alleged users of peer-to-peer (P2P) programs (bittorent clients) have received demands from legal firm Davenport Lyons, who's acting on behalf of the game publisher, to pay up hundreds of pounds worth of damages as a result of downloading Colin McRae: Dirt.

Davenport Lyons said in a statement: "Letters were written to a number of persons alleged to have illegally file shared or distributed Colin McRae: DiRT on peer-to-peer networks."

Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act for ISPs, Davenport Lyons uses anti-piracy software to obtain the IP addresses and identities of supposedly offending users. BT and PlusNet users are reported to be the most targeted.

The system, however, is not without its faults, apparently due to complications created by dynamic (constantly changing) IP addresses.

This has reportedly lead to innocent people being targeted, such as one user who received a demand for £511, claiming: "Having checked my computer to my knowledge I have not downloaded any such file and do not have it on my computer," reports The Register.

Davenport Lyons says: "Any person who has received a letter and who believes he or she has been sent it in error, e.g. if he or she cannot locate the file on their computer, should contact Davenport Lyons explaining the position and they will investigate it further."

Things have been heating up for pirates recently, with Nintendo cracking down on Korea, and France making moves to halt thriving internet piracy.