Once Again, 'Defenders Of Copyright' Found To Have No Problem Copying Others

from the funny-stuff dept

We recently discussed UK law firm, Davenport Lyons, which had been criticized widely for running a controversial campaign supposedly to stamp out copyright infringement, but seemed a lot more like extortion to many. Basically it would contract with software companies to enforce their copyright... and would then send out a ton of demand letters (based on questionable evidence) requiring cash payments to avoid being sued. Not surprisingly, many people just paid up rather than risk getting sued -- even if they were innocent. Of course, all the controversy and negative publicity seemed to get back to the company. High profile clients like Atari dropped them. Last month, some noticed a nearly identical campaign, but this time coming from a different company called ACS Law. The only problem? A little investigating suggested that the two firms were clearly related -- with ACS using documents created by Davenport Lyons.

Things continue to get more ridiculous, as TorrentFreak noticed that an article apparently published by ACS Law was actually plagiarized from a variety of different sources, basically cut and pasted together with no credit or citations given at all. Remarkably, in some cases, articles with the exact opposite view of ACS Law were copied with paragraphs that just had an added sentence to the end which completely contradicted what the original article said.

It really is quite amusing how often those who insist they're big supporters of intellectual property and not "stealing" the works of others always seem to get caught red-handed in plagiarism and copying others' work. In the meantime, how often do we see supporters of more reasonable copyright (or no copyright) get caught doing this? Hmm?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    PRMan, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 6:31am

    The old saying...

    The old saying around churches is that if you want to know the minister's greatest problem, just listen to what he preaches about the most.

    It sounds as if the copyright defenders have the same problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    NullOp, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 6:35am


    No surprise about the law firms copying/plagerising others work. Happens all the time and it is VERY UNPROFESSIONAL as well as illegal.

    As for threats of suit, I say "take 'em to the mat!" This is the kind of crap that drives consumer prices up. Its all about "risk management" these days which should read responsibility avoidance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 9:40am

    "In the meantime, how often do we see supporters of more reasonable copyright (or no copyright) get caught doing this? Hmm?"

    P2P quickly comes to mind as one possible answer.

    Plagiarism is certainly not a nice thing to do and can have social/professional repercussions, but at the same time it is not illegal unless, at least in the US (do not know about the UK) it is not a "fair use". In the US it also might run into problems if the original works each also bore a copyright notice that was not replicated in the article.

    That said, it is a dumb move for a law firm to cut and paste from works done by others. It makes the firm look lazy and unprofessional for not taking the time to create an article using its own, original words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 9:49am

    When intellectual property laws are so ridiculous that those who favor stricter intellectual property right laws don't even follow their own ideology then we know that there is something wrong with the laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    RD, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 10:20am


    Mike, Mike, Mike! You should know by now, there is one set of rules and laws for some people (the rich big business) and one set for the rest of us (the chattle). It will be ever thus. We should fight against this, but never be startled at its existence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Brandon, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 12:41pm


    No relation whatsoever to the American Constitution Society. Of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Ironic, eh?, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 3:33pm

    The images...

    More dirt has been dug on this, turns out even the pictures they use have been stolen without the correct copyright info... http://beingthreatened.yolasite.com/btblog/credit-where-credit-is-due-

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Arnie, Jun 25th, 2009 @ 12:13pm


    I got the letter this morning, demanding £500 for uploading some scooter film. I rang ACS recording the call and advising them that I was doing so, I spoke directly with Andrew Crosley when the underling got confused. Got exactly nowhere. Rang my ISP who confirmed that they have no record of association to my account and the IP that is identified and they have put that to me in writing.
    I have made an official complaint to the SRA about ACS.

    Bring it on ACS, I don't download films and this is fairly obviously a scam on the edges of legality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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