We covered TBI Solicitors in previous articles here.  TBI were the law firm who were the latest crew to enter into the world of warning letters and fines for those suspected of file sharing.

According to Which? TBI, (which was alleged to be pursuing amongst other material, Adult film titles, now appears to have removed itself from the practice making the comment:

We are concerned that the adverse publicity could affect other areas of our practice and therefore following discussions with our clients, we have reluctantly agreed that we will cease sending out further letters of claim.

I am sure they do.  Reluctantly agreed? Er, wasn’t it your decision to leave the file sharing issue?  Did you not decide to remove yourselves from it?Where is the conviction to persue those that are guilty?  as honorable as Im sure TBI’s intentions were in pursuing alleged infringers and presenting them with a rather large fine, it seems strange now that they don’t seem to be interested.

Could it be that it was made public that TBI were acting on behalf of some Adult film companies?  Could it be that TBI were concerned about possible complaints going to the SRA and the matter being looked at more closely?  Whatever the reason, I cannot see any mention of this news on the TBI website.

TBI has not commented as to how many letters they have already sent out.

What they have said is this:

We are currently liaising with the SRA and we are satisfied that we have acted appropriately at all times in relation to these claims,

Which makes me wonder do they consider the allegation that they edited the Wiki entry on themselves as appropriate behaviour?  Torrentfreak reported at the time:

In an attempt to remove this embarrassing information, a staff member at Tilly Bailey & Irvine took direct action – by deleting the entire section ten days after TorrentFreak broke the news of their entrance to this business.

So, how do we know it was TBI doing the editing? Because they were smart enough to edit it from 195.153.132.204, the IP address registered to their company.

You can find that article here: http://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-lawyers-vandalize-wikipedia-page-100402/ and these people potentially would have been presenting evidence in court in cases regarding Internet/IT/ISP issues?

Of course it was suggested at the time that maybe this actions was because TBI had already decided to drop their involvement in the file sharing cases.

I think though if TBI had concerns about their image, the damage is already done.

Walking the Plank?

When talking about planks Im not meaning TBI, in this case I mean the pirate kind and since I have a strong anti-piracy stance the filesharers are not getting off the hook either!

Whilst watching this whole affair play out one thing struck me about our file sharing community…up until warning letters were being sent out the file sharing community had nothing really to say about the sharing of adult material.  Looking at various forums it wasn’t an issue until companies like TBI became involved.  Then the issue of Adult material was branded with words like “sordid” and “dirty” and looked like a very bad attempt by the file sharers to demonize the opposite view to their own.

What I would say is that whilst we can laugh at these blundering firms who jump in feet first, we have to remember that the act of sharing material which you do not the have permission to do so is unlawful.  We can argue about the finer points of the flaws in copyright law all day, but until they change, its really a moot point.  In my opinion you don’t break a law merely because you think it wrong and law is not something you can cherry pick the bits you like.

Will TBI ever shed the association it now has with ACS: Law and Davenport & Lyons (in respect of file sharer targeting)?  I’d have personally said that once they committed themselves they should have followed it through.  One thing Ive seen of the online communities – they never forget.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.