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ACS:Law copyright file sharing claims, Gallant Macmillan - and probably some others along the way...

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PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

 

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I have contacted my solicitor.

 

This is real, I work for Sky and have seen Notes for Court Orders on accounts.

 

I have not seen my own account, but have been told that there is a note suggesting that DAVENPORT have issued a court order for my contact details.

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Yes, the word '[problem]' isn't strictly accurate in this instance. The 1988 Copyright Act is legitiment law and any infringement of it is an offence. That part is true and makes the letters look authoritative on first glance.

 

But where the case falls down is that the law is only inforceable once guilt is proven. It cannot be enforced by a letter which claims people are guilty on the basis of VERY flimsy evidence. Evidence which has been obtained itself unlawfully(!) since Virgin (NTL) have not given permission for people's IP addresses to be used in this way and are themselves unaware of the cases ACS are pursuing. Personal details from IP addresses can only be obtained in criminal cases (not civil such this). By obtaining personal contact details from IP addresses without permission or cause is breaking the law itself. It is against the the Data Protection Act (1998) to obtain individual's personal details without proper permision. ACS - you are breaking the law - naughty, naughty!

 

So, to be accurate, this isn't a [problem] as such. Instead is a very clever ploy, which makes cunning use of an existing law to get money out of people. This is why the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) need to be notified about this (as well as the others I have already notified). The way ACS have used the Copyright law and twisted it to make money breaks the SRA code of conduct.

 

A cunning subterfuse, which is itself illegal.

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No-once will convince me otherwise that this isnt a [problem].:D

Trying to obtain money off people without going through the proper court process first, is simply a [problem] to me..no matter how you dress it up.:mad:

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Can anybody post up one of these letters (minus their personal details/reference numbers/amounts)


PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

 

DEBT COLLECTION LETTER/SAR/AGREEMENT TEMPLATES ARE HERE - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?65-legislation

 

IF WE HAVE BEEN HELPFUL -PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE GIVE A DONATION TO HELP US TO CONTINUE HELPING YOU

 

I AM HAPPY TO RECEIVE PM's AND I WILL RESPOND IF I FEEL I CAN ASSIST BUT WHEN YOU DO CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD ON WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO COMMENT - THANK YOU

 

IMPORTANT - If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.

Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Private message facilities are offered for users to communicate issues that are/or could be seen to be inappropriate for posting on the main forum.Site rules explain this in more detail.

If you are approached by private message with a view to asking you to visit another website,please inform the site team via the report icon.

 

Forum rules - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forum-rules-please-read/9-forum-rules-please-read.html

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I have contacted my solicitor.

 

This is real, I work for Sky and have seen Notes for Court Orders on accounts.

 

I have not seen my own account, but have been told that there is a note suggesting that DAVENPORT have issued a court order for my contact details.

 

It's real in that solicitors will try to get money out of you using the existing law, but they don't, and won't ever, have a case.

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Can anybody post up one of these letters (minus their personal details/reference numbers/amounts)

 

I asked that before..im still waiting for someone to hopefully do so, minus all personal info like you mention.

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In response to Mr Ton.

I'm not trying to dress it up! It's simply a matter of semantics. The letter is genuine as is the law, but as per my last post - there's no foundation for a case. And in trying to pursue the case, ACS have themselves broken the law by obtaining people's IP addresses illegally, breaking the 1998 Data Protection Law. Did you read my whole post, erh?? It was supposed to be helpful!

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I wasnt having ago at you Sek in any way shape or form..sorry if it came across like that, i didnt suggest that you were dressing it up - that was just a generalised comment.

The law is genuine like you say, the letter might be genuine - but obtaining monies without court authorisation 1st is not & therefore is a [problem] in my book.

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Essentially, when it comes down to it ACS have no foundation for a case and the list of reasons (all posted by CAG members - what great folk!) is endless. To summarise just a little of what members have helpfully pointed out:

 

1) No court authorisation (ie innocent until proven guilty - letter assumes guilt)

2) Only proof is based on IP address (these can be faked, they can change - often as frequently as every 24 hours - and lastly Wi-Fi security can be compromised. The last point is not supposed to be a defence but this is thorny issue and can be debated either way. If someone steels your car and has a crash - you wouldn't be liable, so why would you be if someone decides to hack into your Wi-Fi connection!)

3) The receipt of people's personal details from IP addresses without permission from the internet provider (in this case Virgin(NTL) is illegal in itself - (1998) Data Protection Act.

4) Permission to obtain personal details from IP addresses would only be given in criminal cases (court orders) not in civil.

 

....the list goes on.

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I might also add that the ISPs database is not always correct. I know that thare have been issues with my ISP (Be Unlimited) who will not pass details to the complaining party without a court order, but do pass on any accusations of infringement. There have been several instances on the member's forums of these letters being passed to the wrong folks becauase of glitches in the database of which IP was assigned to which customer and when.

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Thanks guys, anyway I won't part my money immediately..

 

Not that I endorse upload and downloading on P2P which bit is illegal?

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Thanks mate, for the benefit of the others, I have copied and pasted the articles (will I infringe any copyright by doing so)?

 

May 2009

P2P Copyright Infringement - ACS Law

 

Torrent Freak has today reported that the new round of letters being sent out by ACS Law alleging p2p copyright infringement are possibly scams. We deal with hundreds of people who have been accused of infringing copyright in works in the films, games, and music industry. This massive operation has been spearheaded by the law firm Davenport Lyons. Consequently, we were shocked to learn that a new firm of 'solicitors' has supposedly been instructed by some of Davenport Lyons's clients.

 

 

For some background on this matter, Torrent Freak have provided a succinct summary on their website.

 

 

They then report that the letters are now being circulated by ACS Law are almost identical to the ones which Davenport Lyons has sent out. It does seem odd, the documents and approach are identical although the costs have now increased.

 

 

"The letters are sent out by a company called ACS Law, who can be found on the web via their website. According to the site, the partners at ACS Law are Andrew Crossley and Nicola Beale. Many specialties are listed for the pair, but copyright law is not one of them. Some of the company's clients are listed on the site - games publishers Reality Pump, Techland, Topware and German 'porn-protectors' Digiprotect - and all of them are previous (or maybe even existing) clients of Davenport Lyons. The titles being 'protected' by ACS Law on behalf of these companies are the exact same titles previously 'protected' by Davenport Lyons. One could be forgiven in thinking these companies are connected, particularly since much of ACS's documentation sent to the public and listed on their website is 'cut and pasted' from Davenport Lyons documentation. They even have a Microsoft Word document entitled Notes on Evidence which was created on a version of Word actually registered to Davenport Lyons."

 

 

The domain name is registered though not to Crossley and Beale but to a Mr Tsang who has had one or two internet spats over domain names and cybersquatting. It begs the question as to why Mr Tang is involved and clarity is required immediately.

 

 

In the meantime, there is sufficient concern for us to advise all recipients not to pay any money and not to sign anything until this is clarified.

 

 

Michael Coyle

 

Please contact the P2P team at P2P@lawdit.co.uk

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Just looked on digital spy website and it would appear Virgin Media believe it bo be a [problem]. Of course no proof of court order issued with paperwork! I am inclined to believe they may be telling porkies.

 

But it would appear that Virgin Media have handed out IP address though. They are named on the court documents that ACs proudly show on their website.

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Hmm I don't get it, why would Crossley and Beale (both are registered with the law society) be involved in a [problem] with this shady "Mr Tsang". This looks like a career-limiting moves to me.

 

Having read the letter again, although they claim they work with their client. I think I would need to see stronger evidence showing that Crossley and Beale do have a mandate with their so-called clients.

 

The plot thicken....

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No-once will convince me otherwise that this isnt a [problem].:D

Trying to obtain money off people without going through the proper court process first, is simply a [problem] to me..no matter how you dress it up.:mad:

 

I think what me and SEK above are trying to point out is that it may be a ploy to get money off people it really shouldnt be refered to as a [problem] as they quite clearly are real solicitors working for real clients, although their case my be legally flawed, if people are contacted by ACS they shouldnt just ignore it as a worthless [problem] (like we all do with fake nigerian lotteries, etc), they should be on their toes and be aware that although unlikely court action MAY follow.

 

Watchdog did indeed do a feature on this (featuring Davenport Lyons) some time back I also belive that it involved a US porn company and they claimed that their films were involved, although when this porn company were approiached they said they didnt give Davenport Lyons/ACS permission to chase anyone.

 

Now..I also think that what they actually did was to upload games/films themselves onto P2P sites and then just sat there fishing for victims, so instead of seeking compensation for film/games 'illegally' downloaded what they are actually doing is running a money building scheme, maybe coz the films/games involved are such rubbish that no-one wants to buy them anyway.

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‘New’ Anti-Piracy Lawyers Chase UK File-Sharers | TorrentFreak

 

Seems the coverage is picking up ... starting to get square eyes and bad head now with all the reading up on Davenport and ACS:Law Ive done over the past 24 or so hours now. (not including sleep time of course :p)

 

Very informative link..heres the juiciest bits..

 

The next step was to write to the individuals and threaten them with legal action, unless an amount ranging from £450 to £700 was paid. Somewhere between 40 and 60% of recipients panicked and paid up, while the rest engaged in ‘letter tennis’ with Davenport, corresponding back and forth and getting nowhere - literally - those who stood their ground have not been taken to court.

 

 

Of course, due to the weakness in their system and poor evidence gathered against alleged file-sharers, it wasn’t long before Davenport accused the wrong people of file-sharing, including pensioners erroneously accused of downloading gay porn. One of Davenport’s clients, Atari, found it all too much, and withdrew from chasing file-sharers through the company. The mountain of bad publicity continued to grow culminating in the respected consumer magazine Which? reporting Davenport Lyons to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Then everything went a little quiet. Until this week.

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There after the 60% who paid up at £700 a time no doubt. Ultimately everything points to them not daring to go near a court to persue this. Why would they bother with such easy pickings about. Nothing I have read today (and plenty of it!) would suggest they are likely to risk trying to deal with in court. They would know their accusations are based on flimsy & legally debatable evidence.

 

Andyd - yep just looked at the ACS website and virgin appear to be guilty. Strangely enough my 'pack' stated NTL had provided the info, fairly certain they didn't exist in 2008 as taken over by Virgin.

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The internet can be a useful tool. If acs-law.org.uk really is Andrew Crossley (aka ACS Law of London), then he must be rolling in money, as a search on google has place of work as Monaco/Monte Carlo. It even shows his work mobile number!!!

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I wasnt having ago at you Sek in any way shape or form..sorry if it came across like that, i didnt suggest that you were dressing it up - that was just a generalised comment.

The law is genuine like you say, the letter might be genuine - but obtaining monies without court authorisation 1st is not & therefore is a [problem] in my book.

 

Well..Yes and No....Obvioulsy the letters sent out are offering an out of court type of settlement,and it what appear that many people have paid it, or at least they did when DL were in charge, after all many DCAs send letters out asking for payment prior to any court proceedings and thats not illegal, its the general legal threatening tone that DL adopted before that got them in trouble and it would appear that ACS are following the exact route...I still think the word '[problem]' should be avoided.

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There after the 60% who paid up at £700 a time no doubt. Ultimately everything points to them not daring to go near a court to persue this. Why would they bother with such easy pickings about. Nothing I have read today (and plenty of it!) would suggest they are likely to risk trying to deal with in court. They would know their accusations are based on flimsy & legally debatable evidence.

 

Andyd - yep just looked at the ACS website and virgin appear to be guilty. Strangely enough my 'pack' stated NTL had provided the info, fairly certain they didn't exist in 2008 as taken over by Virgin.

 

I think if i had proof that Virgin had handed over my details I'd cancel my package instantly and tell them exactly why i am doing so via phone and letter.

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Can someone post up a link to their website as when i go to it, all i get is a blank page :confused:

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3096 days.

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