Late last year, Wikileaks obtained a copy of one of the copyright infringement letters sent by the infamous law firm Davenport Lyons. The law firm, at the time, had been sending tens of thousands of these letters which threatened to take the recipients
to court if they don't pay just over £500.
The law firm is now actively trying to censor the letter itself claiming that the letter is protected under British copyright law.
The legal threat letters themselves contain a file hash
value, and IP address and a time stamp that is being used as evidence – flimsy evidence according to many people who have observed the legal side of file-sharing. The reason it is seen as flimsy is that many files may have the same hash value. Second of
all, there is no evidence provided that verified that the file name matched what the actual work was. For all we know, it could have been a 5 minute porn clip rather than a music video. Thirdly, there's no evidence to suggest that an IP address is linked
to an individual. The computer could be used by someone other than the owner of the connection. There could be a wifi connection that other users, including unauthorized ones, could be using that IP address. Finally, a time stamp doesn't contribute much
into proving that a copyrighted work has been uploaded.
One might argue that the reason that Davenport Lyons don't want the letters published in the first place is because they don't want their letters subject to public or any real legal
scrutiny. It's much easier to attack a single individual singled out rather than attacking a single individual with the public sphere watching. It's little wonder why the copyright industry has been seen as a bully throughout the years really. If they
truly feel they are in the right, why the need to hide their activities in the first place?