A British woman who uploaded a PC pinball game to a file-sharing network has been ordered to pay publisher Topware Interactive £16,086 (roughly $30,000).
As reported by the BBC, Isabella Barwinska’s troubles began when the London woman uploaded a copy of Dream Pinball 3D (retail value about $30). The case was heard at London’s Patents County Court. Victorious Topware lawyer David Gore said:
The damages and costs ordered by the Court are significant and should act as a deterrent. This shows that taking direct steps against infringers is an important and effective weapon in the battle against online piracy. This is the first of many. It was always intended that there would be a lot more.
IP lawyer David Harris, who has no stake in the Topware case, told the BBC:
This is a proper Intellectual Property (IP) court that has made this judgement. The previous ones were default judgements where defendants never turned up. It’s a much more interesting case in that respect.
Becky Hogge, director of the UK’s Open Rights Group commented on the ruling:
An open court process with a full report is certainly preferable to justice of the type being mooted by the government on P2P, where activity takes place behind closed doors through industry action… In relation to the orders for release of personal data, it is important that court processes do not become rubberstamps for industry action but retain judicial safeguards and independence.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that the defendant is an unemployed Polish immigrant and mother of two from London’s downscale East End. As GamePolitics reported last month, four alleged file sharers made lesser settlements with Topware.