In short, two directors of Davenport Lyons firm, the law firm that introduced the scam called “speculative invoicing” (copyright trolling) to the world, were sanctioned by Disciplinary Tribunal for sending intimidating letters of claim to members of the general public that they accused of file sharing.
This article is a must-read for anyone who follows copyright trolling grand scam, and for trolls themselves.
Earlier these lawyers had both been found in violation of SIX rules of the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
(1) Breach of rule 1.03 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007: respondents allowed their independence to be compromised.
(2) Breach of rule 1.04: respondents did not act in the best interests of their clients.
(3) Breach of rule 1.06: respondents acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public place in them or in the legal profession.
(4) Breach of rule 2.04(1): respondents entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law.
(5) Breach of rule 3.01: respondents acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted under the rules, in particular because there was a conflict or significant risk that the respondents and/or their firm’s interests were in conflict with those of their clients.
(6) Breach of rule 10.01: respondents used their position as solicitors to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons, being recipients of letters of claim either for their own benefit or for the benefit of their clients.
Torrent Freak also reports on this significant event.
Many, including me, were disappointed by the punishment — £20,000 fine and a 3-month suspension. I’m not hungry for revenge, but in order to have similar scams deterred in the future, trolls should be ordered to pay at least twice the amount they were able to extort from their victims.
While UK celebrates the end of the trolling plague epidemic, the disease is still taking its toll on the US soil. Unfortunately we don’t have an entity similar to UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority here, and I don’t really know whether the Bar can do similar things, but everyone can contribute to the demise of this contagion:
- Exercise simple hygiene: ignore threatening letters and never communicate with trolls until named in a suit.
- If you are named in a lawsuit and served, fight back by denying everything: the “evidence” against you is a pure bluff, trolls will NOT be able to prove anything in court based on this “evidence”, and they have no intention to bring most of these cases to actual hearings anyway.
- Spread the word. Refer to this and other similar blogs and websites, retweet my twits, email friends, authorities and media.