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ACS law refused default judgements!

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Pretty funny stuff. You'd have thought with all that time and effort invested they'd at least pick indefensible cases. But to make such administrative hashes over their presentation of evidence, or lack thereof, must be extremely embarrassing.

 

Imagine actually being the copyright holder and having Crossley and the rest of his cowboy outfit getting the snot stomped out of them in court like that. Honestly, I'd be firing the bunch of incompetent morons and looking for a refund of any fees paid to them. To go asking for a default judgment without proof you've even sought proceedings against them is bad enough, but to then present evidence that some of your targeted "defaulters" actually have offered a defence is just incompetent and quite obviously the actions of a complete idiot. I'm not even in the legal industry, but even I can see the buffoonery in the acts of these retards!

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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/10/acslaw_court_fail/

 

Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

 

Judge not impressed with firm's muddled showing

 

 

ACS:Law, the much-criticised scaremongering law firm, is famous for firing out thousands of threatening letters to alleged file sharers. The firm has previously tried to squeeze settlements out of accused people rather than going to trial. But this week it did actually try to take eight cases to court – but all were dismissed by the judge.

 

The letter-writing law firm tried to get default judgement – a quick way to avoid an expensive trial. Usually this action is taken if the defendant fails to respond to claims or does not file a defence.

 

But a judge in the Patent County Court this week threw all eight cases out of court.

 

In three cases a defence had been filed so there was no way a default judgement would be granted.

 

In three other cases there was no evidence that the claim had been served on the defendant.

In the two remaining cases, ACS:Law had failed to make a formal application – which the judge believed was necessary to get a default judgement.

 

Judge Birss also expressed strong doubts about ACS:Law's claims.

 

Firstly, he questioned whether the law firm could even really represent the owners of copyright – only the owner or a licensee has the right to pursue such a case.

 

Secondly, he said it was uncertain that the owner of an unsecured Wi-Fi connection could be held responsible for any copyright infringement that might take place over that connection.

Thirdly, he questioned the accusation that possessing such an insecure internet connection was the same as "allowing" copyright infringement. The term used in the act is "authorising".

 

It should be noted, as it was by barrister Francis Davey on his blog, that the county court judgement is not necessarily binding in future cases.

 

If you want the undiluted truth then Judge Birss's judgement on ACS:Law is here.

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ACS:Law File-Sharing Fiasco Astonishes Judge

 

January 19, 2011 by Sophie Curtis

 

Trying to drop file sharing cases, ACS:Law has got itself in a worse tangle

A judge has refused a motion by controversial anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law to drop 27 cases of suspected illegal file-sharing, giving the legal teams of the defendants the opportunity to fight for punitive damages.

 

In a hearing at the Patents Courts in London on 17 January, Judge Birss was expected to hear further details about 27 alleged cases of illegal file-sharing, brought by ACS:Law on behalf of London-based media company Media C.A.T. But, on 13 January, with only a single working day left before the hearing, the law firm wrote to all the defendants, informing them that Media C.A.T. was discontinuing the cases against them.

 

Unfortunately for ACS:Law, it turns out that Media C.A.T. is not authorised to drop the claims without the court’s permission, due to the fact that Media C.A.T. is not the copyright holder of the intellectual property in question. Media C.A.T. merely claims to represent the various owners and exclusive licensees of copyrighted works.

 

ACS:Law owner not present

To add to the confusion, ACS:Law owner Andrew Crossley (left) was not present at the hearing, due to “an unfortunate family car accident at the weekend”. Judge Birss refused to accept the discontinuation of the cases – amid reports that ACS:Law plans to revive the dropped cases in the future – adjourning the hearing until 24 January.

 

Judge Birss reportedly said that he was “astonished” at the suggestion of refiling the cases, and described it as “unprecedented in his personal experience and career at the bar.” He also said that many of the cases included “unusual features”, that would require further investigation.

 

“Crossley looks in serious trouble,” a reporter from the Court told TorrentFreak. “Both defence barristers are seeking all costs, including ‘wasted costs’ and order to show ‘due cause’, both of which require serious misconduct in order to be awardable.”

 

Speculative invoicing

ACS:Law first came into the spotlight this time last year, after more than 150 people contacted the consumer magazine Which?, claiming to have been wrongly targeted in the government’s crackdown on illegal file-sharing. It emerged that ACS:Law had sent out thousands of letters, accusing recipients of illegally sharing copyright material.

 

Then in September, the firm suffered embarrassment after it was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that exposed the unencrypted details of thousands of broadband users, who reportedly signed up to BSkyB services and were thought to be illegally sharing pornography.

 

Matters were made worse for the firm in December when eight cases of alleged copyright infringement, brought by Media C.A.T. and represented by ACS:Law, were firmly rejected. “The claimant, Media C.A.T., is not the rights holder of the works in question,” said Judge Birss at the time. “A copyright case can only be brought by the owner of a copyright or an exclusive licensee.”

 

The GCB Limited fiasco

In a further bizarre twist, people who had outstanding “pay-up-or-else” letters from ACS:Law were informed by post last week that the law firm is no longer instructed by Media C.A.T. to send out letters or to enter into correspondence in file-sharing cases.

 

“In order to allow us to focus on the issuing of proceedings, our client has instructed agents, GCB Limited, to correspond with you directly in relation to the above matter in place of ACS Law Solicitors,” the letter stated. “If you wish to make payment in acceptance and settlement of the compromise agreement previously offered, you are most welcome to do so, but please direct payment to GCB Limited and not us.”

 

However, GCB Limited, which is registered by accountancy firm McLean Reid, claims to have nothing to do with the file-sharing cases.

 

“We have no connection whatsoever with ACS Law,” the company said on its website. “GCB Limited was formed by us and appears to be being misused by some third party. We are taking urgent steps to ensure that our name is not in any way abused in this connection.”

 

The court will reconvene in 24 January to rule on some of the issues. Yet another court hearing after that could be required to discuss the procedural failings and decide on ‘wasted costs’.

 

http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/acslaw-file-sharing-fiasco-astonishes-judge-18525

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Law firm ACS: Law stops 'chasing illegal file-sharers'

 

24th January

A lawyer has dramatically withdrawn from pursuing alleged illegal file-sharers in the middle of a court case he brought.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12253746

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Law firm ACS: Law stops 'chasing illegal file-sharers'

 

24th January

A lawyer has dramatically withdrawn from pursuing alleged illegal file-sharers in the middle of a court case he brought.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12253746

 

ACS may have done, but without a full ruling others are free to take up where its left off. Including MediaCAT at this stage. Hopefull Judge Birss sees fit to put an end to this properly.

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