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Publishers target 25,000 file-sharers for illegal games downloads

Codemasters, Atari and others demand 300 from each user or face court action, according to a new report

Five games companies are to serve notice to 25,000 file-sharing internet users demanding payment of GBP 300 immediately or risk court action.

The users are being targeted for downloading games illegally, according to a report by The Times.

Atari, Codemasters, Reality Pump, Techland and Topware Interactive have appointed Davenport Lyons to take action on their behalf.

Codemasters' Operation Flashpoint was downloaded over 691,000 times in one week according to monitoring firm Peerland.

"Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading," commented Roger Billens, a partner for the law firm.

The move follows the successful prosecution of Isabella Barwinska, who has been ordered to pay Topware over GBP 16,000 for uploading a copy of the company's Dream Pinball 3D game.

The companies will begin by targeting 500 file-sharers who ignore the initial GBP 300 demand, with the law firm applying to the High Court for an order requiring internet service providers to deliver the names and addresses of 25,000 individuals suspected of illegally downloading games.

According to The Times, 5000 addresses have already been obtained.

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