Solicitors fined £20,000 for sending intimidating letters

first_imgTwo London solicitors have been fined and suspended for three months by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for sending intimidating letters accusing people of illegal filesharing. David Gore, a current partner at Davenport Lyons, and Brian Miller, a former partner at the same firm, were found guilty of six breaches of the Code of Conduct by the SDT in June. At a hearing yesterday, both were fined £20,000, suspended from practicing for three months, and ordered to pay interim costs to the SRA of £150,000 in total, pending a detailed assessment. The order has been suspended for 21 days to allow time for an appeal. The breaches included allowing their independence to be compromised, not acting in the best interests of their clients, and acting in a away that was likely to diminish the trust the public placed in them or in the legal profession. They related to conduct between 2006 and 2009 when, acting on behalf of various clients, they sent more than 6,000 letters to individuals accusing them of involvement in unlawful file sharing in breach of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1998. The letters demanded compensation and costs to prevent the possibility of court action. The SRA’s investigation followed a complaint from consumer group Which? that the pair had engaged in ‘bullying’ and ‘excessive’ conduct while acting on behalf of the copyright holders. The SDT found that Miller and Gore became too concerned about making the scheme profitable for themselves and their firm, and their judgment became distorted, so that they pursued the scheme regardless of the impact on the people receiving the letters, and their own clients. It said they had ‘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 or for the benefit of their clients’. An SRA spokesman welcomed the SDT’s decision, which he said had followed a lengthy and complex investigation by members of SRA staff. He said: ‘Some of those affected were vulnerable members of the public. There was significant distress. We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a conclusion and hope that it serves as a warning to others.’ ‘Solicitors have a duty to act with integrity, independence and in the best interests of their clients. Solicitors who breach those duties can expect to face action by the SRA,’ he said. A spokeswoman for Davenport Lyons said: ‘We consider the decision of the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and sanctions imposed against David Gore and former partner, Brian Miller, are totally unjustified. ‘Davenport Lyons is a leading law firm with highly specialist intellectual property lawyers. We were instructed by the owners of intellectual property rights in music, film and games to help them curtail the significant losses they were suffering as a result of the unlawful file-sharing of their products. The steps we took on behalf of our clients were for the protection of their legitimate legal rights. We consider that we acted in our clients’ best interests at all times. ‘We wholeheartedly support David and Brian’s intention to appeal both the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal’s original decision and the resulting suspension and fine.’last_img read more

Michael Sam back at Missouri

first_imgCOLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Michael Sam smiled and shook hands on the sideline at Missouri’s season opener against South Dakota State on Saturday ahead of finding out his NFL future.Sam was about 100 miles away from where the St. Louis Rams needed to make their final roster cuts by 4 p.m. EDT. A 24-year-old defensive end from Hitchcock, Texas, Sam would become the first openly gay player to make an NFL team should he make the team’s 53-man roster.Sam led the Rams with six tackles in their 14-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. St. Louis drafted him in the seventh round of this year’s NFL Draft. He played at Missouri from 2010-13 and was the co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference last season.last_img read more

Manchester United ‘dream’ of signing star this summer – ‘Much more’…

first_imgYet since the Bundesliga returned following the Covid-19 break, Sancho has been a bit-part player for Borussia Dortmund. There’s been suggestions he’s not fully fit, and also that his head may be elsewhere ahead of a summer transferManchester United are the team to have been linked the most, with endless reports of their interest dating back a year. Other top clubs around Europe have also been the subject of rumours, but it’s always United who get edged out ahead.Sunday’s edition of L’Equipe has an article on Sancho and states Manchester United ‘dream’ of the signing this summer. They’re ‘much more’ serious than Bayern Munich, who are simply allowing the odd rumour to fester.Interestingly, there’s no mention of potential PSG interest, and if there was absolutely anything real in that regard then L’Equipe would report it.A week ago, Borussia Dortmund assistant coach Edin Terzic spoke to Turkish TV channel TRT Spor, quoted via Sporx, and suggested Sancho has been distracted. “He’s a young player and is one of our most important players. I have to say that, the transfer speculations are affecting him. We have to support him in a positive way. I want all of our players to be happy.”by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameBuild a City, Trade With Your Neighbors, Play With Your FriendsForge of Empires – Free Online GameUndo聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoHero WarsGetting this Treasure is impossible! Prove us wrong!Hero WarsUndo熱門話題小心會長過頭…網友推爆:「真的長得超誇張!」熱門話題UndoCoworking Space | Search AdsThe cost of shared office in Hong Kong might surprise youCoworking Space | Search AdsUndoStanChart by CNBC CatalystDigitization in Banks Is No Longer About Efficiency, but Business Resilience. Don’t Get Left Behind.StanChart by CNBC CatalystUndoDating.comWhere do attractive singles find each other in Tung Chung?Dating.comUndoCNN with DBS BankWhat Banks Did To Help Corporations Mitigate Future CrisesCNN with DBS BankUndoGrepolis – Online Free GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this Game! Already 35 Million PlayersGrepolis – Online Free GameUndo So far this season, Jadon Sancho has scored 17 goals and added 20 assists across 38 matches. It’s been an excellent campaign and has added to the hype around the player, who only turned 20 years of age in March.last_img read more

LiveJournal Says Goodbye to Unique Account Structure, Against Wishes of Advisors

first_imgGroundbreaking social network LiveJournal is no longer allowing new users to sign up for Basic level accounts, which traded a pared-down feature set for an ad and cost free user profile. SUP, the Russian company that recently acquired LiveJournal, angered a substantial number of its users last week by instituting the policy before discussing it publicly and going against the advice of at least two members of the company’s new high profile advisory committee.LJ’s pricing structure has long been unique among major social networks; none of its competitors allow users to avoid ads or pay for an ad-free and feature-rich account. It appears that the company has given up on that unique approach and chosen the ubiquitous ad-centric path to monetization, itself of questionable effectiveness in monetizing some social networking platforms.LiveJournal is no stranger to controversy, it seems some fight between users and site administrators breaks out every month. It makes user relations at Facebook seem like a never-ending honeymoon. A “content strike” by LiveJournal users last week doesn’t appear to have made an appreciable impact on site traffic due to being scheduled on the Friday before a major holiday. Thanks to Andrew Watson for bringing the strike, and thus the whole story, to our attention.The new feature comparison page shows only Plus and Paid options; you can view the old feature comparison page, which details the now unavailable Basic accounts, via the Internet Archive. Current basic accounts will go unchanged but new users can no longer sign up for them.Advisory Committee ReactionsThe most recent policy change has angered at least two of the new advisory board members, however, including LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is now at Google and leads the cross-site platform effort OpenSocial works on Social Graph technologies there. marshall kirkpatrick “While offline this week, I learned that LJ has changed its account levels. Needless to say, Brad’s pissed. I’m pissed. Not only because we both vehemently disagree with this change, but because they made such a change without consulting us. Or rather, we were both at a lunch a while back where they asked us what we thought and we both told them that this was the worst idea ever, although for different reasons. I had thought it had been tabled until I learned of this. After it had been posted…I pay for my account (and have for years), but most of my friends who read what I write have Basic Accounts. They produce very little but I would produce absolutely nothing if they weren’t reading what I wrote. And then I wouldn’t pay. And that’s how it gets all entangled.”Those seem like strong and compelling arguments made by ostensibly trusted advisors to the company. boyd further asks her readers how they would suggest that SUP can further growth and monetization at LiveJournal if not by taking steps like this.Advisor Esther Dyson has said publicly only that “I was not consulted about this in advance… and yes, I think I should have been.”Monetization is HardAs analyst firm Gartner said in a recent report on AOL’s acquisition of Bebo, the social networking landscape is one where “formerly explosive growth rates have slowed and monetization remains a challenge. But to the extent a social site is a platform, it has value.” That Platform value seems unproven, however. MySpace seems to be printing money with display ads, despite Google’s recent complaints that its search ads haven’t been monetizing well on the site.LiveJournal had served as an interesting alternative to dominant theories about monetizing social networking. Now that example is only half of what it was – it’s still interesting that users are offered paid accounts ($20/year) in exchange for an ad free experience. Apparently the original LJ model wasn’t monetizing well enough for SUP. That’s a shame, because it sure was interesting. Tags:#social networks#web The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification “The free users, while not paying, were extremely valuable because they produced the content that the paying users were there to consume,” Fitzpatrick wrote in a LiveJournal entry last week. “You know, the whole network effect thing?…I advised against this (when I heard a rumor about it awhile back). I hadn’t heard anything recently about it…SUP apparently sees no value in freeloaders not looking at ads, not paying, and oh wait… producing most the content for other members to read, other members who are looking at ads and paying for their accounts. Let’s hope my permanent account is grandfathered.”Advisory board member and youth social networking scholar danah boyd reacted thusly in her own LJ entry: last_img read more

Security: Compliance and Threat of Data Breaches Drive Increased Encryption

first_imgRecent hacker exploits at companies and government organizations like Lockheed Martin, Sony PlayStation, GMail and the Canadian Government lead one to the conclusion that once a computer system is attached to a network,  it really can’t be 100% safe.The Ponemon Institute reports that in 2010 88 percent of organizations report having at least one data breach.  25 percent of organizations actually have five or more data breaches occur during 2010.  The report points to a significant correlation between the increased number of data breaches and the increased use of mobile and remote access to computer systems.The statistics are sobering,  but in an increasingly interconnected world, cutting off access from all networks doesn’t seem to be a viable solution, at least for most organizations and projects.In an effort to fight back, a second wall of defense if being put up at many organization — encryption.  Even if if the first layer of computer access is penetrated, encrypted data will be useless to any hacker.  The adoption of encryption is growing along with the scope of the data that is being encrypted.  84 percent of companies now say that they encrypt some portion of the data that they maintain.Among the organizations using encryption, Ponemon found that the breakdown of the types of encryption is being used across organizations is as follows:62 percent encrypt their file servers59 percent are doing full-disk encryption57 percent are using database encryption50 percent are encrypting emailsWhen organizations investigate encryption that two main criteria guide their purchase: performance and easy deployment.  41 percent of organization say that they are using a combination of hardware and software encryption.  But to address performance, hardware-based solutions, like self-encrypting hard disks are becoming popular.  Organization generally thought that hardware solutions were more secure and more performant than software-based ones.last_img read more

YouTube Launches Music Chart (Feat. Rebecca Black in the Top 10)

first_imgToday YouTube launched a new music video chart, called the YouTube 100. It’s a popularity index that measures “song traffic” for official music videos and user-uploaded videos. YouTube 100 has similarities to other online music charts, such as Ultimate Chart, MTV’s Music Meter and We Are Hunted. However there are two main differences between the YouTube 100 and other online music charts. Firstly, the presence of user-generated and viral music, such as the (in)famous Rebecca Black. Secondly, YouTube’s chart is focused on videos – whereas the others are focused on the music, with the videos (if offered) being supplementary. Perhaps the second is not much of a distinction in the end, because one of the main use cases for YouTube is to listen to music. The presence of 8 music videos in the top 10 YouTube videos of all time is proof enough of that. Let’s check out the new YouTube 100 and see what other trends we can glean. 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… richard macmanus Tags:#music#web#YouTube Related Posts 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… The content in YouTube’s music top 10 is somewhat similar to that of Ultimate Chart – and Billboard for that matter. 4 of the top 5 on YouTube are also in the Ultimate Chart’s top 10. That’s almost certainly due to the mainstream popularity of those 4 artists: Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Chris Brown and Bruno Mars. In other words, that music would be at or near the top of any pop music chart.I like the breakdown of the YouTube 100 homepage into different genres, including ones not traditionally seen in music charts: New Age, Stage & Screen, Comedy/Spoken (that one is not actually music, but whatever). Also the events listing, powered by Songkick, is a nice touch.YouTube is planning to archive the charts “for future exploration of original recordings, music memes, and pop hits.”While any top 10 music list featuring Rebecca Black (who is currently #8) is of questionable legitimacy, at least in terms of hipness, YouTube 100 is nevertheless a handy addition to the online music ecosystem.last_img read more

Mafic Studios’ Illustrations Go Beyond the Surface

first_img3D animator, modeler and Mafic Studios* CEO, Kris Holland, brings ideas to life with technically-accurate illustrations and prototype modelling.  Holland needs on-demand power to create and render illustrations for his customers and relies on Intel® to deliver the power he needs.  Holland was looking for a portable solution to sketch ideas, modify drawings and connect back to the office network to make changes to his illustrations, monitor rendering in progress, and get tasks started without driving to the office. He chose the Microsoft* Surface Pro 2* featuring the 4th Generation Intel® CoreTM i5 processor because he needed the right combination of battery life and power, on a compatible Windows platform. “I have the capability to bring all the resources of my office wherever I go through this diminutive device,” says Holland. When he brings the Microsoft Surface into meetings and connect remotely to his Intel® Xeon® powered workstation, his clients say ‘that’s so cool, where do I get one’ or ‘how do I do that?’“It takes a lot of pure horsepower to do what I do and I can do it off this little device because I am able to leverage my office infrastructure anywhere I have Wifi. I think that is the greatest thing ever.”About Mafic Studios:Mafic Studios Inc. of Sudbury, Ontario specializes in delivering cost effective technical graphics and illustrations for customers in the science, technology, mining and engineering fields, as well as TV and print.last_img read more

FCBESCOLA sets up its first Indian centre in Gurgaon

first_imgthe National Capital Region will soon get a dash of Blaugrana football as FCBESCOLA, official football school of Barcelona, is setting up its first Indian centre in Heritage School, Gurgaon, by year-end.The school, which has tied up with an Indian sports management company – Conscient Football, is planning to expand to other cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Goa.”We had organised a couple of camps last year. We will set up a school and it will take some time for the results to show. We are aware that some other clubs had come here and took many initiatives, but didn’t deliver the way they had promised. But we are here for the long haul and aim to spread Barcelona’s philosophy among the young footballers,” said Xevi Mercia, director of FCBESCOLA said in New Delhi on Wednesday.The players will be in the age group of 6-14. Antonia Claveria, who has been appointed as the coach of the project, said he would try to teach the club’s tikitaka style of football to the kids.”I was here for the inaugural camp in December last year and the response was very good. Irrespective of the ground quality and other issues, I will try my best to ensure the kids get the basic skills right and emerge as quality footballers,” he said.last_img read more

Afghanistan Cricket Federation becomes a member of the Asian Cricket Council

first_imgForward shot: Allah Dad Noorie (bearded)If anyone asks Allah Dad Noorie, executive vice-president of the Afghanistan Cricket Federation (AFC), about cricket in his country, he usually starts with an anecdote.”Kilgit used to be our national sport,” he says. “It is played with two teams. You hit a ball and then,Forward shot: Allah Dad Noorie (bearded)If anyone asks Allah Dad Noorie, executive vice-president of the Afghanistan Cricket Federation (AFC), about cricket in his country, he usually starts with an anecdote.”Kilgit used to be our national sport,” he says. “It is played with two teams. You hit a ball and then run back and forth – a Mughal version of cricket.”Recently Noorie and some AFC members came to India to drum up support for the game. They met BCCI officials and Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, who has even agreed to organise two exhibition matches with Afghanistan’s national team (yes, they do have one) as fundraisers.But the bonus? Last month the AFC became a member of the Asian Cricket Council. That’s starting out on the right foot.last_img read more