Will fine for illegal game distribution result in P2P fair play?

Topware Interactive, the developers of the computer game Dream Pinball 3D, are celebrating today after winning damages from a British woman who distributed their game via a P2P file-sharing network.

Topware took legal action against Isabella Barwinska from London, winning over £16,000 in damages and costs in the process. According to Topware’s legal representatives, thousands of other Britons are suspected of sharing the game and this could be “the first of many” such cases.

The software company began to investigate the illegal internet distribution of its game in early 2007, and forced 18 British ISPs to reveal information about suspected pirates. It then sent 500 letters, asking for a settlement payment of approximately £300 to prevent further legal action.

Brawinska was one of the individuals who chose to contest the legal action.

Whether the sizable fine will act as a deterrent to other internet pirates…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.