A British woman has been ordered to pay US game developer Topware Interactive £16,000 after illegally downloading one of its PC games Dream Pinball. Some experts are now warning the floodgates could be opening for other game (as well as music and film) companies to try to claim money from illegal file-sharers.
As reported by MCV, the Patents County Court in London ordered the woman to pay damages of more than £6,000 and costs and reimbursements of £10,000 to Topware Interactive for downloading the game.
We haven't played Dream Pinball, but we're guessing it probably isn't worth spending that much on.
Law firm Davenport Lyons, which is working on behalf of Topware Interactive, currently has civil proceedings launched against a further 100 people suspected of illegally uploading Topware games. The High Court has also ordered internet service providers release several thousand names and addresses of other suspected file-sharers.
David Gore, of law firm Davenport Lyons, said: "Illegal filesharing is a very serious issue resulting in millions of pounds of losses to copyright owners.
"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."
Should such court cases continue to be successful, could it just be a matter of time before more games developers employ law firms to chase down those illegally downloading their games? With recent news suggesting both Nintendo and Sony are ready to launch new measures to tackle piracy, it looks like the easy ride pirates have had recently – especially with the current generation of handheld consoles – could be set to change.