Davenport Lyons threatening letters on Wikileaks

Davenport Lyons — a law firm that sends nastygrams to alleged file-sharers — don’t like it when their threatening letters are posted on the Internet. So it’s unfortunate for them that one of their letters has turned up on Wikileaks here (as reported by Gatheth Halfacree).

Incidently Gareth also has some advice on what to do if you get a threatening letter from DL — write a letter back to them worded thusly:

Dear {the person the letter is from, or “To whom it may concern” if no name},

With regards to your letter dated {date} claiming that a computer connected to my internet connection provided by {ISP} downloaded on {date} a software product called {game} without permission of the copyright holder: this letter is to inform you that I deny any such wrongdoing, and request a full and complete copy of all records you have pertaining to myself, the case, and the alleged download. I request this under the Data Protection Act 1998 and would advise that this constitutes a full and formal Subject Access Request under said act. Accordingly, I am including a cheque for £10 made payable to your company as required under the Act.

In accordance with said Act, you now have 40 days to make available full and complete records of this alleged incident along with any other personally identifiable information held by yourselves with regards to myself. If the records are not made available within this time I will issue a complaint through the Information Commissioner against the appointed Data Protection Officer at your company as recorded in the Register of Data Controllers record number Z645072X.

Please note that future correspondence regarding this issue that is not related to my Subject Access Request and which is not accompanied by a valid court order or summons will be considered harassment, and will be treated accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

{signature}

{name}

Gareth points out that no-one who has done this has later been sued by DL: “So far, not a single person who followed my advice and replied to the demands with a Subject Access Request has been taken to court or made to pay a single penny.”

This entry was posted in Britain, computers, crime, digital rights, filesharing, society and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Davenport Lyons threatening letters on Wikileaks

  1. mark says:

    By “not paying a penny“, does this include the £10 pounds you’ve just mailed to the thieving toerags?

  2. MatGB says:

    Mark, it’ll take a member of staff more’n half an hour to process it all and get the answers back to you, so on staff time alone you’re costing them more money, let alone printing and postage costs.

    They’re legally obliged to give you the info, if they don’t you’ve got em. So while technically you have paid 1000 pennies, you’re costing them more and legally telling them to go away.

    In addition, it might get the full details out, which’ll be nice.

  3. Hunty says:

    I’m sorry but people have tried this and it just doesn’t work. They claim that they claim some sort of legal privilege where they don’t need to reveal any information which is going to form part of their case against you.

    I had this confirmed by a friend of mine and it’s called litigation privilege and legal advice privilege.

    You should save your £10 and put it towards hiring a good lawyer.

  4. Bender Rodriguez says:

    Ref posting by Hunty……You may have been misinformed.

    Legal Advice Privilege – Confidential discussion between lawyer and client.

    Litigation Privilege – Documents created for the dominant purpose or use in pending or contemplated criminal or civil proceedings (including arbitration proceedings).

    For sure there will be documents which are protected and are not liable to disclosure, but not ALL of the information which has been requested, will be covered under these headings. Any documents which do not fall explicitly under the LAP or LP guidelines which hold personally identifiable information relating to the Data Subject, will be covered under the Data Protection Act 1998, and should be released accordingly, following receipt of a formal Subject Access Request.

    For further info on the above, and other matters related to Civil Procedure Rules, feel free to browse at

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1fgCRRefVZ4C&printsec=frontcover (Civil Procedure Rules)

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1fgCRRefVZ4C&printsec=frontcover#PPA112,M1 (Privileges in General Para 6.26)

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