ACS:LAW on BBC 1 – Thursday 10th March @ 7pm

It would have been hard to have missed the drama played out in a London court involving Andrew Crossley and his firm ACS:Law.

As 2011 progresses, I have the feeling that Mr Crossley is going to be rather busy answering questions from the SRA and the information commissioner in respect of the events occurring late last year and into the earlier part of this one.

In the meantime, its reported that BBC ONE is to air a documentary on ACS:Law with interviews and opinions from recipients of the “speculative invoicing letters” sent out (accusing internet subscribers of downloading pornography), this  is in collaboration with law firm Ralli who in respect of the show are reported to have said:

Michael Forrester, the solicitor leading the team preparing the group action for consumers alleging harassment against ACS Law, explains in details the complex issues and consumers’ rights following the recent court case criticising the activities of ACS Law and the sole principle Andrew Crossley.

….In depth interviews by Dominic Littlewood with two Ralli clients alleging harassment against ACS Law, explain how they received letters accusing them of downloading pornography and threatening to take them to court if they did not pay £500

I am sure there will be plenty discuss after the show and I wonder, which firm will be next in line to step up for a go with the “speculative invoicing” cash cow?

We should though keep in mind that ACS:Law and Andrew Crossley is not the only party that has been involved in this “work”.  There have been other firms who pulled out (no pun intended) when it became too hot and its only fair that when the opinions on the ACS:Law documentary are given, we mention those companies who ran away with their tails between their legs before it received national exposure (again no pun intended)  I don’t think any firm which was involved in this type of “work” should be allowed to avoid the limelight.  There has been much misery caused but one could argue that Mr Crossley ran the better law firm since at least he didn’t give up without an attempt at a fight and I mentioned some months ago that if I had given instructions to a law firm to represent me, I would not expect them to give up just because of bad publicity.

And more importantly, after all these incidents, letters, innocent people accused, we are still asking the same questions.  When will the industry jump on-board with the business model that so many users want and what exactly has been achieved in the “fight against piracy”? – I’d suggest nothing since the perceived problem appears even larger now than it ever was.

Goblin

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Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ah, but Piracy isn’t a problem, didn’t you read the report from the Social Science Research Council yet?

    Wayne

  2. openbytes says:

    I think I missed that one. I think the problem here is the “middleman” the delivery mechanism is in place. The customer base is established and the “Humble Indie Bundle” proved that people are willing to pay……its the people in the middle such as FACT and the labels (and speculative invoicers) which worry…..

  3. Paul says:

    the couple interviewed for tonight’s program are my wife and me, it will be interesting to see what reception it gets and whether ACS and the others can be forced to stop this outrageous “legal” practice.

    1. openbytes says:

      Hi there! Thanks so much for visiting.

      After watching the show I think its blatantly obvious that you have nothing to hide nor have any involvement in the allegations. You came across dignified and determined and I think highlight how damaging this type of speculative invoicing can be.

      I was particularly moved by the comments you made about questioning each other (when the allegation was made) and I wonder if I was wrongly accused like yourselves how it would affect myself and my wife.

      I was very disappointed with the way the BBC covered it though, a luke warm version of information which has been out there for a very long time and it would have been nice if the BBC had actually spent more time with the victims instead of merely moving on to the REM singer who seemed to be put on the spot when asked to comment on “piracy” Theres conflicting opinion on the harm “file sharing” has done, but in true BBC fashion this seemed to be glossed over.

      I have been lucky enough to have had contact from a few people who found themselves on the receiving end of a letter similar to yours and to be fair if I had received one, I’m not sure I would have had your bravery to stand up and say enough is enough. I think I would have paid.

      I wonder, would you be willing to come on the TechBytes audiocast? We cover this issue quite regularly and would value your input.

      I am available to email at : bytes4free@googlemail.com and you would be more than welcome to spend as much time as you wanted as I am sure you have much more to say.

      Whatever you decide though, all the best for the future and thank you for being brave enough to stand up for yourselves and the thousands of others that would be in the same position as you, its people like you who bring the spotlight on this shady practice and I’m sure youve saved many people in future from being similar victims.

      One other point I noted in the watered down BBC show – they seemed to imply that ACS had merely stopped pursuing filesharing cases, sources on the net seemed to say that they had actually stopped trading altogether and ACS, like MediaCat were closed for business. Personally I’d put more faith in the online sources over the BBC.

      Kindest regards,
      Tim.

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