by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 7th 2011 2:52pm
ACS:Law wasn't the first law firm to try the "send tons of 'pre-settlement' letters to people we accuse of file sharing in hopes they just pay up," business model. In fact, ACS:Law got all of its initial paperwork from another law firm, Davenport Lyons, who was trying to get out of that business. However, ACS:Law was the firm that really got much of the attention over the past few years. Just about a year ago, that business model finally jumped to the US, initially from an outfit called US Copyright Group, which was really an operation run by a tiny DC law firm called Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver along with an online monitoring company. However, with the latest news that ACS:Law and its online monitoring company MediaCAT have completely gone out of business -- perhaps in a weak attempt to avoid sanctions for their disastrous attempt to finally bring some cases to court, it makes me wonder if this is a precursor of things to come for US Copyright Group/DGW. It certainly looks like DGW has been a bit more careful with its strategy than ACS:Law (where it really seemed like Andrew Crossley got in way over his head), but it certainly should be a warning sign to all those law firms who think this sort of shakedown play is easy money.
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