The Scorpion and the Frog is a fable of unknown author, though often mis-attributed to Aesop. The story is about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well. The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming the two of them. When asked why, the scorpion explains, “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.”
Please don’t be confused by the excerpt, all will be clear by the end of the article.
It’s currently being reported by users that ACS:Law is sending out copyright infringement letters again. Now I would say that ACS:Law have not seen the publicity they received in the same light as TBI (in respect of alleged copyright infringement) , but then looking at the ACS: Law website, it appears that they do little else. (and please, someone correct me if I’m wrong)
Putting aside my views on ACS:Law lack of law diversity, it appears that in the later part of last year ACS:Law was very interested in “Evacuate the dance floor” and was busy collecting IP address (via proxy) in order to get some names and addresses for another letter campaign (which is being documented now at: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/acs-law/262616-acs-law-letter-claim.html , the latest post claiming receipt of a letter dated 7th July 2010).
So why the Scorpion and Frog quote? Simple, can ACS:Law be “blamed” for sending out letters in regards to suspected copyright infringement? afterall, “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.” ACS:Law deals with IP infringement, if you are a downloading frog, don’t be surprised if mid-river it stings you.
I think the campaigns, complaints and numerous articles outlining the rights (or wrongs) of ACS: Laws practice have been misplaced. Should people not instead be looking towards the people who are hiring them to do this “work”? Speaking as someone who has always reflected a strong anti-piracy stance on this blog over the years, I cannot and will not condone the practice of accusation (and effectively) trial by letter, by anyone.
I think the campaign against this practice (and a call for a more sensible and achievable policy on anti-piracy) should be looking towards the companies and artists that are instructing people like ACS: Law to “work” on their behalf. If customers of ACS: Law find that their image is damaged by association, then I think they would pretty quickly stop being clients of them ergo no more letters. You won’t get ACS:Law or indeed any other similar firm to stop merely by complaining about them, IP work is in their nature.
I would personally boycott and expose the products of any record label/artist/company that hired firms like ACS: Law, although I would expect the client list to be a closely guarded secret and its only when users report letters like this that a picture can be built up of who is hiring them.
For those people who have received a letter from ACS: Law or anyone else, there is plenty of advise on the net for dealing with them. Just don’t blame the firm sending the letter: “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.”
Having said that, after listening to “Evacuate the dance floor” on YouTube, I’d say anyone who thinks it worth a download needs their head examined… Then again I’m a heavy metal fan, what do I know? 😉
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org
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