So this is interesting / disturbing depending on your take on the issue.
Essentialy - Topware won a case against a woman (unemployed immigrant mother of two) for seeding their game, resulting in her owing them £16,000 (damages + legal fees).
Now Atari, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump, Techland and Codemasters are doing the same to 25,000 other file sharers across the country (with the same offer they gave to the original woman - pay £300 in damages immediately or regret it later in court). The first 500 people to refuse to pay the £300 get dragged into court.
While it's interesting to finally see some sort of action being taken against games pirates (what with it always being dragged up as "the doom of PC gaming") it seems to be a ridiculously harsh and arbitrary action (well, for the games industry anyway) especially since it doesn't seem to distinguish between someone who downloaded a copy of a game and someone who uploaded the game for hundreds of other people to copy, the latter of which you could argue are the ones who should be paying the bigger fines - although that could be the news article just being vague on this point.
Of course, they still need to get ISP's to release the relevant data, so their great crusade could be halted before it begins anyway.
“Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading. In the first 14 days since Topware Interactive released Dream Pinball 3D it sold 800 legitimate copies but was illegally downloaded 12,000 times. Hopefully people will think twice if they risk being taken to court.”
Yes...next time it could be : 800 copies sold, 0 copies downloaded. Go Topware!
...and for that matter, how the hell are they going to get £16,000 cash out of an unemployed mother of two!