ACS:Law And US Copyright Group Working Together?

from the wouldn't-surprise-anyone... dept

Lots of folks have noted the similarities between the UK's ACS:Law and the US Copyright Group (or, perhaps, more accurately Dunlap, Weaver and Grubb, the law firm that appears to be behind USCG). We've pointed out multiple times that ACS:Law and its predecessor Davenport Lyons have been referred for disciplinary action and even UK politicians have called the whole thing a scam. Apparently, Andrew Crossley, who runs ACS:Law has also been sanctioned twice by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the UK.

But now Robin alerts us to the news that ACS:Law and Crossley are claiming that they're teaming up with US Copyright Group. Or, well, at least we think so. In the grammatically challenged blog post, ACS:Law's anonymous blogger calls it United Copyright Group, so we're assuming that it's a typo:
We are also working in cooperation with a newly-formed organisation, the United Copyright Group, that provides an holistic solution to illegal file sharing and provides a comprehensive set of tools designed to deter and prevent illegal file sharing. More will be written about this new phase of tackling illegal file sharing in due course.
Of course, nothing either firm does has anything whatsoever to do with preventing unauthorized file sharing. It's all about sending threatening letters and getting people to pay up. Either way, this "cooperation" may involve ACS:Law targeting folks in the US via US Copyright Group:
A new joint working relationship with US-based attorneys has opened up the North American region to our clients for identification and pursuit of illegal file sharing of their products.
With this and other operations looking to set up shop in the US, it looks like the courts may soon be flooded with questionable copyright lawsuits of this nature, almost none of which will actually go to court -- but which could freak lots of people into paying large sums of money when they probably don't need to do so. It would be nice if politicians did more than just calling this a scam and sanctioning the lawyers involved in such extortion-like practices. This sort of abuse of the court system for revenue generation should be stopped cold.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Richard (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 5:24am

    Correction

    almost none of which will actually go to court

    No - exactly none of which will go to court - based on the UK experience.

    For detail see http://beingthreatened.yolasite.com/resources/The-Speculative-Invoicing-Handbook.pdf

    They really don't want the expense of going to court. This is not an exercise in avenging wounded pride like with the RIAA (I'm guessing that the cases actually taken to court by the RIAA would be a net loss - since their victims don't have the resources to cover the legal fees that the RIAA have incurred). This is a money making exercise. It costs a few pence to send out a threatening letter - perhaps a few pounds to retrieve an IP address and lodge the appropriate legal documents to get the subscriber info.

    At £500 /time they make good money if even 10% of their victims cough up without question. Actually going to court would totally mess up their bottom line.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 5:46am

    Double dipping

    I am guessing that, representing rights holders in one country, they figure if they are sending threat notices out and people are paying out of fear and misunderstanding of the law, why not see how many people would pay up from a legal threat notice from rights holders in another country.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 6:19am

    no surprises in the article. i think guessed what these scum were doing.

     

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    Thomas Dumlop, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 7:36am

    blah

    blah blah blah blah blah blah and blah tom@thomasdunlap.com if you don't understand my legal jargon, you know where i can be reached. blah blah blah

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Hmmm... I wonder...

    So how does one set up a Class Action lawsuit? They merely want to threaten people and with only TWC fighting it may be a little daunting to see the legal mess this all entails soon enough.

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 7:49am

    what the hell is "an holistic solution to file sharing"?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 7:57am

    "it looks like the courts may soon be flooded with questionable copyright lawsuits of this nature, almost none of which will actually go to court" - you are drawing a conclusion that isnt known. they could hand cases off to other lawyers, they could move forward in house, etc. knowing that many us isps are not cooperating in providing user information, many of these will end up in court at least filed so that they can obtain information.

    it is important too, the volume of lawsuits is only a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of illegal file sharing going on. the more of these lawsuits then end up on a docket somewhere, the more the us government will want to move forward with legislation to make this problem go away. going forward, being a pirate is likely not going to be the better side of the law to be on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 8:01am

    "being a pirate is likely not going to be the better side of the law to be on."

    At least this pirate doesn't care. When the law can put cameras inside homes I will get a bit worried but not that much.

     

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    WammerJammer (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Who cares?

    I'm old, disabled and broke, so screw them. I will take them all the way through court and spend their money madly. It won't cost me a dime because I will get some bleeding-heart group to cover the court costs because I am old, disabled and broke. Then If/When I lose the case I will tell them to go screw themselves again and not pay because I am old, disabled and broke and if they hassle me more I will declare Bankruptcy and tell them to go screw themselves again. What else can they do to me? I already live in a bankrupt country with very few prospects for the future because of it's 13 trillion dollar debt. As far as I'm concerned it's just another bill I can't pay.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 8:17am

    "UK politicians have called the whole thing a scam."

    Well, then I guess they can just try out U.S. politicians. They tend to be scam artists themselves so I'm sure they will have no problems with such scams, even referring to them as legitimate operations.

     

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    PAYBACK TIME, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 8:32am

    if it only costs a few pence

    make up some neat sounding class action and start sending them around to musicians and actors on the low end FORCING Hollywood stupid to pay up then declare bankruptcy just as you goto court and of course have 50000 other friends keep doing this until the court sees this kinda STUPID is and should not be tolerated

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Thank god for lawyers, otherwise there would be no legal way to extort money.

     

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    Joe Hickster, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 10:22am

    So hypocritical!

    Hi all I am posting this link but am sure I am the "Last to know this one" Hurt Locker producer: criticizing our lawsuits makes you a moron and a thief http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/18/vo ... s-pre.html I actually watched Hurt Locker and was soooo dissapointed that I asked for my ticket money back for "failure to provide the services promised" I know I am in a small minority according to IMBD it was a "Good Film" I could not agree less. When I read this post I felt somewhat vindicated and certainly will not be watching anymore of their crap in the future. As far as I was concerned I was swindled out of the money I paid to watch it and was NOT reimbursed as I would have been for any other service or product that had not lived up to my expectations. Nicolas Chartier was BANNED from the academy awards for lobbying the committee for the "Best Picture" award that is laughingly won. Dont get me wrong I did not think Avatar was as good as it was made out to be either, HOWEVER it was downloaded over 300,000 times and is now the biggest grossing movie of ALL time. Why? I think because people saw it on the small screen thought , DAMN that will be AMAZING at the cinema, and went and watched it, and told their mates to do it to! Nicolas Chartier WANKER of the Week! Avatar BENEFITED From illegal downloads! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye84j0fuKHI

     

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    Jose, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    I'm guessing there are people in high places that aren't impressed with Dunlap's work (Joe Biden). Biden's probably already made a few phone calls and is ready to get back at Dunlap and his pals.

     

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