Atari Pulls Out of UK File-Sharing Lawsuits

Atari is no longer chasing file-sharers in the UK.

In August GamePolitics reported that five British publishers, most notaby Codemasters and Atari, were filing lawsuits against suspected P2P game uploaders. In one case, an unemployed immigrant mother of two, Isabella Barwinska, was ordered to pay £16,086 (roughly $30,000) for sharing a pinball game.

But a little sleuthing by gamesindustry.biz showed that the law firm employed by the publishers was a sleazy outfit, indeed. The story got even uglier when a pair of older, non-gaming couples were wrongly targeted for sharing games and, more recently, a Nazi porn movie.

Now, P2P advocacy site ZeroPaid reports that Atari has decided that waging war on consumers is bad business:

The lawsuit [against the older couple] was quickly dropped without comment by Atari, but the bad publicity still lingered and called into question the effectiveness of [law firm] Davenport Lyons’ tactics.

Now it seems that Atari has decided to part ways with Davenport Lyons altogether, though it hasn’t sworn off targeting file-sharers altogether.

Atari’s legal department penned an email to UK website The Register, saying, "In relation to file-sharing, our position is that we always retain and reserve the right to protect our intellectual property from illegal copying and piracy. Whilst we are no longer working with Davenport Lyons, we continue to work with legal advisers to protect our rights."

GP: It’s good to see that Phil Harrison has Atari focused on its future and not this kind of anti-consumer nonsense.

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