City of London Police – Getting results or using weasel words?

Posted on Updated on

70Piracy is wrong, piracy is theft.  That’s that we are told.  I personally refuse to watch the trash from Hollywood or your mainstream music et al, mainly because I think its manufactured nonsense aimed at markets either too lazy or too slow witted to find entertainment in more engaging mediums (such as reading, listening to the radio…you heard of those?)

Now despite Piracy NOT being theft (if applied to Sec 1 of the Theft Act in the UK, which for me clearly defines what theft is), today we are looking at some claims made by the City of London police and finding out exactly what they are doing to combat the threat they claim of “piracy”.

This is not an article on if you agree with infringement of copyright or not.  I support CC and FOSS – I have no care or interest in the industries which make these multi-million pound movies, nor the movies themselves.

So for some reason the City of London Police are spearheading a copyright battle, where they are (allegedly) being proactive in the fight against copyright.  Being one of their 170 followers on twitter (rather poor eh?) you would think that they would respond more often to challenges I’ve put to them.  They don’t.  However when they wish to promote their “great results” you can be sure they will be on Twitter. – And its this that we will examine today.

I’ve covered the City of London Police before, so lets look at one of their Tweets.

File-sharing site Torrentz.eu taken offline by City of London police

I can keep this short.  They’ve not taken this site offline.  They’ve got ISP’s to block it.  Completely pointless too because there are a large number of proxies available for people to still access it.  So here we see the first discrepancy in their claims.

A statement from following the closure of several copyright infringing websites now be found on our website

And due to timing I expect one of these claims is in relation to a sports streaming site.  By the time Torrent Freak had written an article on the subject, there was already a domain shift and the site was back up and running.  Now in this case it seems the domain name has indeed been seized by City of London Police, but the site? Its reported to be running fine.

Another tool in the City of London’s box is to go down the route of advertising.  They seem to think that an advertiser who’s product unwittingly appears on a torrent site is bad for the brand.  Of course there’s no proof of this, just like if I claim Cliff Richard lives on Pluto plotting to take over planet Earth.  The advertising tactic shows that all the other outfits who make money from others IP (without creating anything themselves) are desperate to make advertisers remove their adverts and ergo the site will disappear on it’s own.

So the first question I’d ask of City of London (and then secondly of FACT) is do they even know how advertising works?  If Cillit Bang or whatever its called appeared on TPB would it harm the image? No infact quite the reverse.  Advertising on TV is sold on the basis of how popular a show is and how many people are likely to be tuned in and exposed to the advert.    But lets say they are right.  Since FACT and the City of London seem so concerned for brands image, are they now also going to trawl every free blog with Adsense or similar to make sure that products are not appearing on unsuitable blogs? – After-all they don’t want brands being cheapened by association, do they?  Of course they won’t – the “harming brands” tactic in my view is a weak reason.  It’s also based on a logic where “pirate” sites are only kept alive by ad revenue.  After reading many articles by people who have run these sites, they actually rely on donations from the users and get very little (if anything) from whatever advert appears in the side bar.  In the testimonies I’ve read, the sites don’t make a profit either, with the funds raised being eaten up almost immediately in hosting costs et al.  FACT and the City of London Police need to think up another reason.

City of London Police – Why won’t you name the sites you claim to have closed down? – I believe I know the answer and its because they are not closed at all and just some word play by people who either don’t understand the concepts they are talking about or are intentionally looking to mislead.  – Is there any other reason? Are my opinions incorrect? Please by all means give your reasons.

So how to fix things?

Since the majority of the article has been based on actions of others, here’s what I think needs to be done.  Firstly copyright law needs reform.  It’s not fit for purpose.   The majority of it was written when we lived in a very different world to the one today.  The numerous facets of copyright law and the changes needed would take an article of their own and if anyone from the organizations I’ve mentioned ever engages in conversation, I’d be happy to elaborate.

Secondly there needs to be a decision made as to if copyright infringement is criminal or civil.  If its civil, then law enforcement should distance themselves completely from it and if its criminal then private organizations should stay away and let the Police deal with it.  You cannot have a mix of the two, I put it to you that its a conflict of interest.

There is a line where law enforcement agencies and private business should be separated.  This lines seem to be greying as of late and when you have a situation where law enforcement and industry are in bed together (figuratively) then its a worrying game to play.  There are so many questions that the tax-payer needs to ask of this relationship, but as I’ve found you don’t tend to get a straight answer (as I highlighted in a previous article).

 The men and women of our front line public services (in particular the police force) do a very good job in my view.  When outfits like City of London IP Unit start getting involved with private industry (and an industry which has alot of money to throw about) it makes a mockery of those front-line staff who work very hard dealing with issues I suggest are far more in the public interest.  If industry want to tackle piracy, fine, let them tackle it, lets not have some cosy relationship between the two.

And my question to the City of London would be this.  If piracy is theft and piracy is a crime, why are they not arresting every single UK citizen in a BT Swarm?  The jobs made easy for them too since the IP’s will more than likely be their own.  Why, if piracy is so important to this unit of the City of London, is the average user not being prosecuted for this? Why are we not seeing hundreds of such prosecutions? I’ve had many different answers given for this.  I’d love to hear theirs.

Lets confirm here – If Paul our 18 year old imaginary pirate is sat in his bedroom downloading Harry Potter in BT Swarm, is he committing a CRIMINAL offence?, YES or NO.  – If yes, then please answer my other question above.

Somehow, like the other 170 or so followers on their Twitter account, I’ll only see them post when they want to make another “success” claim, with, in my opinion, dubious wording.


DUPLICITY – Copyright parasites stay silent?

Posted on Updated on

There’s nothing like the smell of duplicity in the morning and maybe that stench is strongest around the annals of the copyright parasites that seek to lobby, legislate and fine, those “evil” people they call “Pirates”.

Of course over the years there has been much pillaging and plundering, but I’d suggest thats more from the large corporatations selling you second rate entertainment products under the false promises of big budget advertising.  “Piracy” has a nasty habit of exposing the rubbish, whilst highlighting the good stuff (which seems to make healthy profits).  So maybe Piracy is responsible for highlighting the poor, low quality products that people dump onto the market?  No wonder some people in the industry are scared.

Apparently, nobody makes a fuss if you have a “legitimate” site and make money from “piracy”. Try that the other way round though…. Duplicity?

I digress, today I am writing about duplicity and would ask you to cast your mind back to when there was noise made regarding the advertising on Pirate Bay.  Firstly there were allegations of the TPB staff making large amounts of money on the back of “legitimate” (and sometimes not so) products/services.  There was allegedly pressure put onto companies who found their advert on TPB and it seemed after all the posturing by the copyright parasites that if your company popped up on TPB, you could expect trouble.

Apparently though this is a one way street and the source of my duplicity article today.  It seems to be that if you own an “evil illegal” BT tracker then you can’t make money from “legitimate” adverts, however if you have a “legitimate” site, its quite fine to make money off the back of piracy.  Confused? You won’t be in a minute.

With the run up to Xmas, I have been looking for DS games as stocking fillers for one of my kids.  Naturally the first place I went was Amazon as myself and my family use the service often.  After looking down lists of titles, my eye noticed (under the sponsored links) a site for “Cheap DS games”.  When looking for stocking fillers, who can resist the word cheap? So I clicked.  What I discovered was quite surprising.  Apparently for a around £20 you can buy a cartridge with the latest DS games (I think it was about 40 of them) on it or pick and choose your own.  Whilst I’m not up to date with the DS gaming scene, I don’t think its wrong of me to say that this is not a Nintendo approved product and more than likely be a little bit moody.  This same advert cropped up on both Amazon and Ebay.

So it appears the golden rule is this: Run a BT tracker making money from legitimate advertising and the copyright parasites will be all over it.  Have a legitimate site and make money from “piracy” – thats ok.   I don’t suppose we can hold Amazon responsible for this ad, although with the number of employee’s you would think they would notice, but where are the copyright parasites in all of this? With a customer base as large as Amazon if they want to claim that piracy is harming the industry, then yet again they have utterly failed in being effective against it.

And in answer to your next question – No I didn’t buy a dodgy DS card.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com

Skype: tim.openbytes

Sky blocks the Pirate Bay – Pointless and hypocritical?

Posted on Updated on

Its now a few days since Sky blocked its customers from Pirate Bay after the High Court ruling encompassing UK ISP’s.

In the time its taken for ISP’s to get their act together and ban it, already, numerous other methods of access have become available rendering the initial ruling effectively useless and serving to do nothing but bring more publicity to the Tracker that refuses to go down no matter where the pressure comes from.

With that in mind, it was interesting to read in the Telegraph a press release from Sky in relation to this ban:

We have invested billions of pounds in high-quality entertainment for our customers because we know how much our customers value it….It’s therefore important that companies like ours do what they can, alongside the government and the rest of the media and technology industries, to help protect their copyright.

Source: Telegraph

So the question now needs to be asked, if Sky did indeed feel this way why did it take a High Court ruling in order for them to ban it? Why had they not banned it themselves years ago? And in addition, why did Sky take so long after the ruling to actually get the block in place?

A suspicious minded person might say that Sky knew if it had banned the Pirate Bay before it was ordered by a court, it may have seen its customers go elsewhere.  Where’s the ban on the other “big name” Trackers if Sky feels this way?

Tim (Goblin)

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

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

Snooping law – Why be concerned? Its the UK Government!

Posted on Updated on

Probably one of the most hotly debated topics which has raged on in respect of the net for many years is privacy.  On one hand people seem to want transparency, sharing of data, collaboration and openness, yet on the other want all that wrapped up in a package that allows them to retain their privacy whilst blindly throwing their family history and pictures onto Facebook.  Moving out of the wibbly wobbly world of the mainstream consumer or user lets consider an article written by the BBC (how those words feel wrong on my lips, there’s rarely anything worthy of consideration coming from the BBC)

The BBC “reports”:

Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time.

Which sounds very much like one minute youre surfing in cyberspace, the next you have a virtual snooper looking over your shoulder courtesy of the UK Government.  This might work well in a piece of Sci-fi literature but lets consider the reality – after, that is we skim down the BBC article and read this:

But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long.

So now we start getting some of the actual facts and not the bold headlines or the wishy-washy text from the BBC.  So it appears, no, your actual data activity will not be monitored in real time, just your affiliations whilst in cyberspace.   So the requirement of a warrant still is in place for anything more and I’d suggest that if an intelligence agency has a level of interest in you which would have your affiliates logged, then there would be a warrant on the cards anyway.  A lot of fuss from the average user about nothing and a good way for the UK to look as if its not completely lost on its tech vision.  Remember “digital Britain”?  And how about your digital contract with your ISP? If I interpret mine correctly, I’ve already agreed for them to give my particulars away to any law enforcement agency if so requested – without warrant.   In respect of my ISP, no new law or even warrant is required to get this information.  More likely this is a good chance for the UK Government to pretend they are doing something.

In the UK we’ve seen the expertise the courts and the criminal/civil justice system operate under – dealing with a chap who recorded a movie on his phone in a cinema in order to post it on the net for nothing but having an “image”, blundering through a circus like the ACS:Law case, where in the end, it was the law firm itself (not the alleged File-sharers) that ended up with big problems.

A Home Office Spokesman said:

It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public,

So I wonder, does “serious crime” include recording films in cinema’s with your phone? ;) Or how about sharing a file on a tracker, private or otherwise?  But it matters not, mention the “T” word and it makes everything justifiable.

What these tech Heretics forget is that some of these people who actually don’t want to be detected, do understand (and in rather more detail) things such as encryption or…. Tor… and whilst our budding UK Tech Sleuths may be monitoring things at an ISP level, its rather moot if the data is encrypted with a key so strong it would take years to break.

On a serious note though, here is the worry – its what this would be a precursor to.

Whilst I’m not with most on the “fear” of this particular “law”/scheme, I have often written about the way in which our laws are introduced and the covert way they “introduce” the silly, in order to later hit you with the serious.  Let me give a few examples of a few possibilities once the average user becomes accustomed into Government delving into your online world:

An offence of having failed to take reasonable steps to secure your router –  A great law (for those in power) which would make it an offence for the user to not to take “reasonable steps” to secure, so, when the Copyright parasites come knocking and complain to the government about doing little to stop “piracy” then they can fire back with this.  Also a nice little earner by way of fines et al.  Law loves the word “reasonable” since it is so ambiguous.  Think this is unlikely? We already have a similar law, try leaving the engine running on your car with the keys in.  There’s a law/fine for that!

When an online copyright infringement is found to be the responsibility of a child – hold the parent responsible! – Think this won’t happen? Look at what happens to parents whose kids don’t attend school.  Currently, (in respect of copyright) I don’t believe its been tested in a court where a child has been found guilty of a copyright infringement and the parent has been held responsible, I think in respect of the speculative invoicing scheme, many parents would have merely “paid up” settling the matter out of court.

Of course all these scheme’s and scams are going to have two results (in my view).  The first being that people actually using the net and up to no good will make things even harder to detect and the second being that the costs to the ISP (and the tax payer for the subsequent plethora of think tanks, new agencies as a result of their tot) will see us with larger bills in a few years time.

Why should any Government be given any credibility with tech “crimes” or issues when they haven’t even managed to shut down the PirateBay? – Doesn’t give much credibility to anything digital suggested by any Government, does it?

What would the Government do If Fidonet and the dialup BBS ever made a real comeback?  The worrying thing would be that their in-house staff are not experienced enough in my view to deal with tech matters, so they will further outsource – and that comes with a massive price tag.  A price tag I hasten to add that won’t be met by these people proudly announcing new schemes/laws, it will be met by me and you.

Source for the quotes in this artice: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17576745

Tim (Goblin)

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

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

UK is unprepared for Cybercrime – A look at “Digital Britain” and a prediction for its future.

Posted on Updated on

A 19 year old autistic man is accused of an association with Lulzsec, however it took the naming of him by another hacker and the combined forces of the UK/US to bring him to a court. This does not bode well for government agencies tackling the problem in the future.

The news that alleged Lulzsec member Mr Cleary being brought before the courts is widespread.  Its very telling that this “growing industry” of crime is hitting the mainstream press and it also shows how completely unprepared and unskilled the UK is in dealing with it.

I am sure the government and its agencies will claim a great victory over the news that Lulzsec is disbanding, but lets look at this a little deeper and see how exactly it is alleged that the power of the UK Police and FBI were brought to the alleged hacker and asberges sufferer.

It is alleged by some that the person now charged with Computer Misuse Act offences was named by Anonymous some time before, which if true really makes a mockery of the involvement of two massive governmental agencies on an investigation which stretched accross the ocean.

The case of lulzSec is just one of many and if this one arrest (which allegedly came from an online naming by others) is the result of the joint efforts of the UK Police and FBI, then it hardly bodes well for the future.  It is also interesting (going from the comments in the Guardian articles) is that there is no celebration from the mainstream public.

Whilst the public seem to object to the methods groups like Lulzsec employ, the ethos of challenging government and large organizations are welcomed in the face of the corruption and dishonesty that some of those very agencies have already been found guilty of in the past.

Lets also put this into perspective, the LOIC which has caused so many problems in the past (in other cases) is hardly the pinnacle of coding or “l337” hacking skill.  Anyone can push a button, it will be during the course Mr Cleary’s case that we will see how sophisticated (if he has any involvement) that this LulzSec or Anonymous group are.

Whilst its important to stress that currently Mr Cleary is an innocent man and has not been found guilty of anything, I wonder how impotent the UK/US will look if they fail to get the conviction they obviously think he warrants?

This leads me on nicely to other UK “initiatives” for dealing with online “crimes”.  Putting aside allegations of copyright infringement (see below), we have, Windows machines stuffed full of malware roaming the net.  We have innocent Windows users being unknowingly part of Botnets and even those email scams seem to be going strong so there must still be people falling for them.

Even if the UK had the expertise to effectively tackle these issues, the sheer number makes it an almost impossible task.  Even now, we have reports of fake Olympic sites misleading users into parting with cash for non-existent tickets: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13903874

More posturing by the Government when it comes to online "crime"? Just how on earth do they expect to police it all?

Whatever happened to the DEB?

So what did happen to the Digital Economy Bill?  You know the bill that was rushed through parliament with the last governement?  You could be forgiven for thinking that any ideas of three strikes or similar have been put away in favour of getting more pressing economic matters sorted first.

Maybe its been realized (and this was pointed out at the time) that the whole thing is unworkable.  If ACS:Law proved one thing, its what a gigantic mess can be created out of 27 people disputing an allegation of copyright infringement.  Imagine that multiplied ten thousand fold nationwide.

And who would fund this exercise?  In these financially challenging times, the government won’t want to foot any of the bill and neither will the user if that cost is passed on by the ISP’s.  So it appears, at least for the time being that the DEB was merely lip service to the entertainment industry leaning on the government at the time.

The Future?

So whats a government to do?  On one hand, they can’t keep passing the buck with the entertainment industry, but on the other, how do they fund this massive task?  I have a prediction which would accomodate many of these “problems” that the government would have with the internet.

I think it will only be a matter of time before legislation is introduced that will tackle open WIFI.  Open WIFI is problematic because it provides a damn good defence in a criminal court (in the lack of supporting evidence) and in civil cases (as we have already seen) it provides just enough doubt to render most actions futile.  It also allows people to anonymously exercise their freedom of speech, something which whilst they say otherwise, the government doesn’t like you doing.

Legislation which has provision for those who don’t secure their WIFI or take “reasonable steps” to do so is not so far-fetched when you consider that we already have legislation that makes it an offense to leave your engine running with your keys in your car.

Open WIFI legislation would put far more onus on the subscriber, whilst also effectively creating an offense for having a defense (open WIFI)

I said before that when you look at rural areas still being on dialup speeds and speculative invoicing allowed the slack it has, “Digital Britain” is far from reality.  We’re not even analogue yet.

And for comedic value lets one at one of the many skits on the silly (and failed) UK “anti-piracy” campaigns, which form part of the bigger picture on the UK’s attempts to tackle “online crime”:

Tim (Goblin)

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

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

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

Posted on Updated on

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.


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

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

CRAMER PELMONT – 2 day u-turn? and what of the others?

Posted on

The ongoing battle against alleged unlawful file sharing continues as its reported that Cramer & Pelmont were the “new kids on the block” in the world of what has been dubbed speculative invoicing or were they?  Cramer & Pelmont seem to have the record for the quickest u-turn and whilst they were reportedly not going down the route of warning letters like so many before them.

Which? magazine was told recently by Dr Brassley of Cramer Pelmont:

We are working with the film and music industry (strictly non-adult) in the development of an appropriate response to the Digital Economy Act, but I can assure you we have no intentions of taking any business model ideas from ACS Law.

And maybe Dr Brassley has sage advice when he says “no intentions of taking any business model ideas from ACS Law” because I wouldn’t have thought there are many law firms out there at the moment which would see the ACS:Law business model as very desirable.  This was reported on the 4th of October, however things seem to change in the world of p2p pursuit, quicker than a torrent of ACS:Law’s leaked emails.  I find it very interesting when they use the term “strictly non-adult” because we have been led to believe by other firms working in this area that their motives (aswell as representing their clients) is some sort of crusade to curb piracy.  Surely “piracy” is “piracy” adult material or not?

I will move onto what it’s believed Cramer and Pelmont were to be up to, but first have some questions that I think need answered.  Firstly, what is the current status of ACS:Law?  assuming that at least for the time being their revenue stream has dried up and, assuming that there are still outstanding privacy issues and SRA complaints that need resolving (no pun intended) can we assume that ACS:Law has now effectively shut up shop? ISP’s don’t seem to want to co-operate with them either, so is it fair to say that ACS:Law is out of the game?  ISPReview certainly seems to think so and say in a recent article:

A London based law firm, Cramer Pelmont Solicitors, has threatened to pick up where ACS:Law left off by pursuing broadband ISP customers whom it suspects of being involved with “illegal” copyright p2p file sharing activity.

Now maybe ISPReview is privy to some press release/report that I’m not, but Ive certainly not seen anything to suggest that ACS:Law is officially shutting up shop for Cramer Pelmont “to pick up”.  Infact I would suggest that ACS:Law is currently trying to carry on with business as usual, defiantly in the face of the mess that has been created by the leak of their emails.  And what of Gallant Macmillan? there does not seem to have been a press release from them either and on monday 4th October 2010, when their application for a court order to reveal the names and address of suspected file sharers of material belonging to Ministry of Sound was adjourned until January 2011.  Surely as far as GM are concerned, this particular revenue stream has dried up until the new year?

Then theres Ministry of Sound, the company who retained GM to do this “work” for them, there does not seem to be any statement regarding the 4chan Ddos attacks, nor the fact that in respect of pursuing those which are alleged to have infringed on their copyright will have to wait until next year.

So what was Cramer Pelmont up to?

It could be an interesting question.  From Dr Brassley seemingly trying to distance himself from an ACS:Law-esque approach to the subject, it seems the suggestion is that the work would have been in respect of the Digital Economy Act, an act which seems to receive criticism from people on both sides of the alleged unlawful file sharing debate.  How that work would manifest itself is pretty academic now since they appear to have given up after 2 days.

Don’t call us, we’ll call you

The “branching out” of Cramer Pelmont was reported on the 4th of October and in a lifespan so short that makes the Kin look long lived, Pelmont Cramer announced on the 6th of October that they no longer would be pursuing this line of “work”, again ISPreview reports Dr Brassley saying (on the Cramer Pelmont site):

Cramer Pelmont has ceased its interest in working with clients in the area of the Digital Economy Act. It continues to work on all other aspects of [Intellectual Property].

(Although I cannot see that quote on their homepage at all – has it been removed?)

I’ll try to ignore that “Brassley” is very similar to ACS:Law’s “Crossley” and I think we can rule out any allegations of an alter-ego since I think Andrew Crossley’s dedication to the p2p world is far more determined than Brassley’s.

So Cramer Pelmont were in and now they are out again?  Could this be as a result of the Ddos attacks by 4chan members on anyone who has a remote connection to this line of “work” or could it be, more likely, that Monday’s adjournment has demonstrated that it’s no longer a line of work where a quick buck can be made? – I’ll let you decide and probably come up with your own reason and more importantly, on whose instructions was it to “pull out”? the clients of Cramer and Pelmont or Cramer Pelmont themselves?

Terence Tsang

And now we look at Mr Terence Tsang.  Its reported that he was to be employed by Cramer and Pelmont to assist in this new scheme of theirs, but now after the u-turn seems to have been shown the door.  Mr Tsang has a past with ACS:Law and is mentioned in the leaked emails from the aforementioned firm.

It’s reported that Cramer Pelmont have already taken his page from their site,  Mr Tsang’s quick name removal is probably a good idea if they intend to pull out of this type of “scheme” and his actions have been reported widely on the net over this whole issue.

Those who have been following this whole file sharing debacle as diligently as me will remember that Mr Tsang advertised for a coder to create a package to log and resolve IP addresses, a package which could be created in Python in a matter of hours (for example)  Im not sure if he ever got a return on that investment and if he’s dragged into any future legal action against ACS:law, I would doubt that it was worth the money.

A good word for Andrew Crossley and ACS:Law?

If there were not reportedly innocent people accused here or breaches of privacy, the whole saga would be rather humorous.  It does bring up a point which I don’t believe has been covered before.

I would like you to put aside for one minute any feelings you may have about the actions of Andrew Crossley/ACS:Law and lets consider TBI solicitors. [1]  Imagine you had instructed a law firm to represent your interests in court only to have them pull out through bad publicity fears or simply just pull out.  I can’t speak for you, but if it was me I would not want to employ any law firm to represent me if they had a background of backing off when things got a little hot.  Whilst TBI Solicitors might be pleased that they have removed themselves from the whole file sharing fiasco, the one thing you can say about Andrew Crossley and ACS:Law is that they are determined – whatever their motives, be it on the grounds on honest held belief in the “wrongs of copyright infringement” or merely after a quick buck.  Can the same be said of TBI?

ACS:Law appears to me now to have passed the point of no return, I think if they are allowed to continue to practice, a retreat from the file-sharing issue would probably do more harm to their reputation than good.  With that in mind though (and no further press releases) one is only left to wonder what’s really going on in ACS:Law offices at the moment and what the future holds for Mr Crossley and his staff.

Here’s something else to consider, could it be the “average” user sat behind their computer screen as a hobby has managed to stop the legal profession?  It certainly seems that way to me and the law firms involved have certainly not had an easy time of it, challenged by, not some legal monster, but the average person.  What ever happens in the future, one things for sure, it would make a great movie and really shows that whilst corporations can use the net as a powerful sales tool, the same internet can turn just as quickly and bring even the large firm to their knees.


[1] TBI Solicitors briefly dabbled (allegedly) in the business dubbed “speculative invoicing”

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.