Internet intimidation makes lawyer drop case against file-sharers

1603thumb.jpgA lawyer who was fighting a case against internet file-sharers has stepped down after intimidation from the internet.

Andrew Crossley of ACS:Law said:

“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 announced in the statement, read to the court and heard by the BBC.

ACS:Law is infamous for sending threatening letters to people who may have infringed copyright on behalf of other organisations. Usually the letters threaten the recipient with a £500 immediate fine or court action.

They had one case in the British courts against 27 file-sharers, and though the case hasn’t now been dropped, it is close to collapse.

And the behaviour of the lawyers could change the way that file-sharers are pursued in Britain, with the judge in the case considering banning ACS:Law and similar enterprise GCB Ltd from sending any further letters until the case is cleared up.

ACS:Law has been criticised by Which magazine for sending letters to innocent people and by music label representatives BPI for its harsh methods. Under ACS’s terms, the law firm gets 65% of the resulting profit with the original copyright holders getting 30%.

ACS recently came to the attention of US site 4chan who took the site down at the end of last year. See – Revenge of the file-sharers: 4chan takes on anti file-sharing lawyers ACS Law and data flies

On the one hand – we’re hardly in favour of influencing the course of justice by intimidating and harrassing lawyers… on the other hand, ACS:Law do seem to be flagrantly profiteering and intimidating people

One thing is for sure: the internet has it’s own vigilantes and we need to satisfy some of their reasonable complaints before just cracking down on them

[via BBC]

Anna Leach


  • yes I agree. this guy hardly seems like the one to be bringing the sword of justice down on some people who shared some music tracks

  • Perhaps the real reason he’s stepped down is the very first time that he ever tries to take someone to court he realises he’s losing and tries to get the case discontinued. Only to be told by the judge:
    “I want to tell you that I am not happy. I am getting the impression with every twist and turn since I started looking at these cases that there is a desire to avoid any judicial scrutiny,”

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