ACS:Law Asks Those Who Deny Infringing To Incriminate Themselves

from the well,-that's-one-strategy dept

ACS:Law, the UK-based copyright threat letter operation that has been called a “scam” by UK politicians and condemned by ISPs alike, is apparently using a new tactic. The operation, which is apparently being investigated for potential disciplinary action (like Davenport Lyons, whose lawyers have been disciplined for initiating the “pre-settlement” mass letter campaign, and which has some sort of connection with ACS:Law), seems to know that the “evidence” it has isn’t enough to actually take anyone to court, so if you reply and deny the infringement, ACS:Law sends you a questionnaire effectively asking you to incriminate yourself.

Of course, there’s no legal obligation to reply, just as there’s no legal obligation to pay, based on such a “pay up or we’ll sue” letter. TorrentFreak notes that, despite all of this, people are still paying, even though not a single case has gone to court. No wonder we have multiple copycat operations showing up in the US. Extortion-like processes are apparently quite profitable. I’m sure that’s exactly what the folks who created copyright law in the first place were thinking of in their creation: a system to send out thousands of threat letters demanding payment to avoid a lawsuit. It’s all about promoting the “progress” of a few copyright lawyers, you see…

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Companies: acs:law

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Comments on “ACS:Law Asks Those Who Deny Infringing To Incriminate Themselves”

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Anonymous Coward says:

its a nice story, but it is the same old saw: can you show how many people have refused to pay, and what their legal standing is now? without showing what is happening on the other side, there is no simple way to just dismiss this as anything other than the first steps in a legal action. it might not be the most popular way to do things, but it is within the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

>but are there good examples of people who have declined payment?

You can’t seem to find good examples of people who have agreed to pay, either; not that it makes the query any more relevant.

>it might not be the most popular way to do things, but it is within the law.

When you find the bit of law that states it’s legal to forcibly demand someone to incriminate themselves, and others, for crimes you have little to no evidence committed, please let us know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

considering the story on torrent freak is even more biased than the typical pap mikey spoon feeds you guys, i would say that there isnt much here other than the typical half truths and misdirections. i wait for a slightly more mainstream media source to give this a run through.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Unless I completely misread the post Mike put up the events being discussed and the bullshit letters are all occurring in the the United Kingdom, not the United States. Last time I checked, in spite of your fantasy to the contrary, the DMCA applies only within the territory of the United States of America and it’s territories and possessions and not, repeat, not, extraterritoriality to the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Monaco or anywhere else.

No wonder you’re signing off as AC cause it appears your knowledge of the law is poor at best and internationally non-existent.

Anonymous Coward says:

If anyone ever receives a letter such as these they would be well advised to at the very least meet with a lawyer who actually knows and has practiced copyright law full time for a number of years and ask what he/she recommends. Initial consultations are usually without charge (or at least a modest one).

NotTAGHuer says:


I’m sorry but i cant believe you dont know how this is progressing in the UK this whole scheme has been labled a scam in the house of Lords during the debate on the Digital Economy bill. to date ACS Law have made over ?1million and have sent out thousands of letters. they have taken ZERO people to court I say again ZERO people. Respected UK Publication “Which” has published an article condemming ACS Law, but still it goes on.

dunncha (profile) says:

Who's fighting? the CAG are always fighting for fair play

The Consumer Action Group (CAG) make a habit of fighting things like this…. so if you want to know who is fighting and how they are getting on check out their forums.

Its free advice and very well supported (from the shadows by an army of solicitors)

I have used them several times (not for this) but the appearance of one of their template letters usually ends all unpleasantness

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