ACS:Law Apparently Gives Up For Real

from the will-it-last? dept

This was suggested in our recent post about the "fake company" used by ACS:Law's Andrew Crossley suddenly telling people to forget the letters demanding payments, but Andrea See lets us know that Crossley has announced he's "ceased" his work on shaking down alleged file sharers. Of course, he can't resist playing the victim in doing so:
"I have ceased my work...I have been subject to criminal attack. My e-mails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats," he said in the statement, read to the court by MediaCAT's barrister Tim Ludbrook.

"It has caused immense hassle to me and my family," he added.
If it's true that he's had death threats and bomb threats, that's really unfortunate, and hopefully those who were involved in such activities also get tracked down. No matter how ridiculous one is abusing the legal system for profit, that's simply no excuse for death threats. That said, Crossley has waged a years-long campaign shaking people down for money, threatening them with massive legal fines if they don't pay up, frequently accusing people with little or illegitimate evidence. And after multiple setbacks and questions about his activities (including an investigation from the regulatory body that oversees lawyers), that he's only now realizing it's best to get out of the business seems like he stuck at it way beyond what most folks would consider reasonable. It's also why I wonder if he'll really stay away for that long. I imagine this is not the last we'll hear of Andrew Crossley.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Crossley has waged a years-long campaign shaking people down for money, threatening them with massive legal fines if they don't pay up, frequently accusing people with little or illegitimate evidence.
    "It has caused immense hassle to me and my family"
    What about the hassle he caused so many other families? I am not surprised ppl felt like taking his life.

     

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  2.  
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    johnjac (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    I don't advocate violence

    I don't advocate violence, or threats of violence, but when you business model depends on people feeling like that have no choice, don't be surprised when they act desperately.

     

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  3.  
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    jsl4980 (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    I hope this isn't the last we hear about him. I'm hoping that we see some sort of class action lawsuit from the victims of his extortion campaign. I would love to see Crosley, ACS, and all of their copyright-holding clients be the targets of a lawsuit to repay all the victims of this extortion scheme.

     

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  4.  
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    J.D., Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    I'm glad to see a judge that finally recognizes the ridiculous nature of these lawsuits and is questioning the tactics that are being used.

     

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  5.  
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    PeteProdge (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    "hacks"

    He was never hacked.

    Yes, ACS Law's site was taken down by DDoS attacks. It was ACS Law's decision to upload their emails onto that server, which made them all visible to the world.

    Being stupid != being hacked.

     

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  6.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Hear, hear...

    "No matter how ridiculous one is abusing the legal system for profit, that's simply no excuse for death threats."

    Very, VERY important that this be stated. The problem is that this guy was threatening people's livelihood in a very real and substantial way. That said, it's still a shame that people were so proactive (allegedly) in trying to threaten violence....

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    Re: "hacks"

    According to the police, they know of no bomb threat either.

    "Today the Metropolitan Police told The Telegraph it had no knowledge of any bomb threat against Mr Crossley or ACS:Law."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8280714/Hacked-law-firm-abandons-filesharer- pursuit-amid-bomb-threat-claims.html

    Crossley is just a lying, extortionist scumbag well deserving of everything coming his way.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    it is interesting to see him acting like a victim, i remember looking through some of his email leaks and the guy comes across as an ass (being a dick to his ex-wife and joking about buying that 200,000 car) if only he was able to see that he has made potentially 1000's of people victims by claiming that their IP has been used to break the copywrong law. the IP doesnt show which individual committed the crime but that it came from a certain household, so now people are paying the price for their neighbour and thus nobody learns the lesson, someone innocent looses money and a little bit of sleep and a greesy ass**** like crossley is able to make a huge profit.
    What this man did was extortion (he even claims he knew so in one of his email leaks) and i have no simpathy for him and hope that just by playing the victim and claiming to have given up the fight doesnt mean the proper authorities go any easier on him

     

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  9.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Hear, hear...

    I've been pondering that for a bit, since reading somebody's comment on another site. Clearly actual violence is well beyond the limits of reasonable even against Crossly. But if the threats were something nobody ever intended to act on, you can't help but admire the irony of that being done to somebody whose entire business is making entirely empty threats to people, a number of which were entirely innocent (though less amusing if threats were made against his family, who are just as innocent as his victims).

     

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  10.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    "... Hear the last of Andrew Crossley."

    Dun - Dun- DUNNNNN!

     

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  11.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Hear, hear...

    "No matter how ridiculous one is abusing the legal system for profit, that's simply no excuse for death threats."

    Agree with this. And I don't want to trivialize threats of violence. (you knew this was coming) But...

    Crossley has a history of making claims that are not backed up by evidence (or is knowingly representing those that do) in an effort to generate profit. This makes the question on whether these threats actually occurred up for scrutiny.

    If there are threats made against him or his family, they need to be investigated. Evidence needs to be presented. If there is evidence, the suspects still have a right to defend themselves, dispute that evidence in a court of law, and so on.

    This is exactly what should have been done in every single case where someone is being accused of copyright infringement. It is not a perfect system, but its the best we have.

    I'm pretty sure no judge or jury would sentence the person paying the bill for an ISP connection to jail if the only 'evidence' is a witness testimony that a bomb threat was received from IP address x.x.x.x.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    I don't advocate violence, but if you are an asshole and something bad happens to you, I will probably laugh.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Hear, hear...

    The problem is there are enough people who don't understand the difference. Legal threats don't compare to death threats. It isn't even in the same league. Those who made the threats such as bombings and such should hang their heads in shame.

    All the more reason why the people who promote legal file sharing should distance themselves from the unlawful extremists in your midst.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    This guy and his company managed to send a cease and desist letter to a an woman (who is in her 70's)living in the same area as me, accusing her of being an illegal file sharer.

    To my knowledge, the poor dear has never had a computer at her home, and her only regular company is her care assistant. Imagine what she must have felt getting such a letter....

    Andrew Crossley should be dis-barred and never allowed to practice law again.

     

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  15.  
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    bob, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep over one dirtbag threatening another dirtbag. If the same thing happened to MPAA and RIAA folks, I'd not lose a lot of sleep over that either.

    They made their bed, they picked their side (profit using fear), now they learn a little fear too.

     

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  16.  
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    Pixelation, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    I agree that the death threats are too far, if they even happened. I'm not sad to see this guy is crying. Looks like Crossley hit the fan.

     

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  17.  
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    hmm, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    what he's doing is...

    He's basically "stepping down" on the orders of his copyright masters, because they absolutely CANNOT afford him to be formally struck off as this would send shockwaves through the entire industry, causing many people to back away from the **AA mafia worrying that they could be next.

    It could even lead to legal challenges to the current copyright regime......

    This guy needs to be pursued, and even if he "voluntarily" gives up his right to practice law, should STILL be formally struck off anyway to prevent him returning like a bad case of the screaming squirts...

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: Hear, hear...

    Meh. The courts in the US today are, by and large, a cudgel. They winnow out the poor and decide 'justice' betwixt the rich. It'd be no different if we made country clubs arbiters of justice. Just pay the membership fee...

     

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  19.  
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    DMNTD, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

    law

    This is the problem with law, because you claim that we have grown up in a society, the bare basics of our humanistic tendencies must have been washed out right?

    Wrong, law is a wide stick to adorn people with the helmet of perceived morality and self-control and that if channels exist, than we should use them to combat what the law has allowed to happen to us in the first place. Living in the city is hard enough for most people because of the schools of ignorance we allow shoved onto our children and selves. They come out of the mortared building but never out of the mindset that is School of and for the USA.

    A threat is a threat I am not here to judge lest you be judged in what could be your darkest hour. I don't see what some of you are trying to prove saying you don't condone death threats, everyone had their day. Up your noes with a rubber hose Andrew Crossley.

     

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  20.  
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    ofb2632 (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 6:55pm

    WWHHAAAAAAA

    Seriously??? They want US to feel sorry for THEM???? They were the ones using mafia style techniques to extort money from anyone they could.. and they are the victim???? Give me a break.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

    No difference

    The problem is there are enough people who don't understand the difference. Legal threats don't compare to death threats. It isn't even in the same league. Those who made the threats such as bombings and such should hang their heads in shame. Why? A legal threat is necessarily by implication a promise to employ state violence against the recipient. Even the law of extortion sometimes criminalizes legal threats as unlawful. Otherwise legal conduct may be criminal if someone threaten to use legal action to accomplish an unlawful goal. Pay me one million or I will sue you may be criminal under some circumstances. All the more reason why the people who promote legal file sharing should distance themselves from the unlawful extremists in your midst. The law is whatever those in power declares it to be. The only difference between violence on behalf of copyleft and violence on behalf of the RIAA is that the former has less money to lobby Congress. Distancing oneself from "extremism" is effectively an admission that the legal norms according to which the RIAA may depend on state violence is more just than counterviolence in defense of the people.

     

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  22.  
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    BigOmar, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 12:38am

    The MET Says no Bomb threat was received

    The Daily telegraph did a little digging into what Crossley said in his witness statement (A legally binding statement of Truth) that he had received Bomb Threats. the outcome is what we have all thought all along, a spokesman for the MET (Londons Police force) said that there is no record of any bomb threats being made to Crossley
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8280714/Hacked-law-firm-abandons-filesharer- pursuit-amid-bomb-threat-claims.html

    This is just another example of his contempt for British Justice when he thought that he could say whatever he wanted to in his Witness statement and have it accepted as fact.

    I am glad that at least one Daily Newpaper in the UK decided that it demanded further investigation.

    So again for the hard of hearing
    "Today the Metropolitan Police told The Telegraph it had no knowledge of any bomb threat against Mr Crossley or ACS:Law."

    Until i hear different i will beleive the Police (in this case) over the words of a corrupt lawyer (my personal opinion)

     

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  23.  
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    Big Omar, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 1:34am

    The MET Says no Bomb threat was received

    reposted to correct the URL to the Daily Telegraph website

    The Daily telegraph did a little digging into what Crossley said in his witness statement (A legally binding statement of Truth) that he had received Bomb Threats. the outcome is what we have all thought all along, a spokesman for the MET (Londons Police force) said that there is no record of any bomb threats being made to Crossley
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8280714/Hacked-law-firm-abandons-filesharer-pur suit-amid-bomb-threat-claims.html

    This is just another example of his contempt for British Justice when he thought that he could say whatever he wanted to in his Witness statement and have it accepted as fact.

    I am glad that at least one Daily Newpaper in the UK decided that it demanded further investigation.

    So again for the hard of hearing
    "Today the Metropolitan Police told The Telegraph it had no knowledge of any bomb threat against Mr Crossley or ACS:Law."

    Until i hear different i will beleive the Police (in this case) over the words of a corrupt lawyer (my personal opinion)

     

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  24.  
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    Jose_X, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re: Hear, hear...

    We can explain that file sharing tools are used by many to share files legally with other people.

    But why stop there?

    A different discussion we have is about how far the Constitution allows copyright law (and patent law) to go.

    Yet another argument is in whether copyright law (or patent law) helps society and artists, especially in today's Internet Age.

     

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  25.  
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    Jose_X, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re:

    He might have gotten a clue about the problems he was creating for others.

    So talking about death threats is a way to declare that he too has suffered and should be left in peace from here on out. [waiving the white flag but trying to avoid further "punishment"]

    Although another possible reason to mention being attacked could be to try and sell the idea that copyright claims should be made much easier on those seeking redress (ie, suing others).

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    "No matter how ridiculous one is abusing the legal system for profit, that's simply no excuse for death threats."

    You're right, but I still have a hard time accepting that. What that guy and his ilk are doing is simply foul, and legal recourses don't seem to work. So it comes down to a form of mob justice, and I have a hard time condemning it in this case.

     

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  27.  
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    Jose_X, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Re: No difference

    >> The only difference between violence on behalf of copyleft and

    No, copyleft exists by those that want to enable sharing but want to prevent exploitation, as allowed by current law, of their generosity by those much less generous who exploit what they can get but won't share back.

    It's a practical attept to create a level playing field legally. Copyleft is a way to get lots of bang for buck by those that want to remain legal but fight copyright extremism.

    Copyleft doesn't say pay me and don't share. It says, don't use the works if you intend to stop others from sharing.

    As a deterrent and to cover court costs, copyleft lawsuits will ask the courts to rule for money, but it's rather easy to avoid such a suit.

    Copyleft lawsuits are avoided by staying away from the material in question (so just pretend ordinary copyright applies) or else by following the terms which are very generous and certainly allow sharing.

    Plus, copying and freely sharing a file for the sake of learning is probably fair use (read 17 usc 107).

    Now, I have to ask why copyleft bothers you. If you don't believe in extremism and so don't very much want to respect copyright law in the first place, then you should not worry about copyleft licenses since you likely aren't going to want to place limits on how others can use anything you publish or republish.

     

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