Which? warns on pirate letters
Ambulance chasers chasing wrong ambulances
Consumer organisation Which? said it has received over 150 enquiries from people who believe they have been wrongly accused of pirating copyrighted content.
ACS:Law sends out letters offering to settle the file-sharing accusation in exchange for £500. The company gets its information from internet service providers.
The scheme was run by lawyers Davenport Lyons but was transferred, along with some staff, to ACS:Law last summer.
Which? said it had been contacted by over 150 people, with even more getting in touch after the last wave of letters.
One letter to Which? said: “My 78 year old father yesterday received a letter from ACS law demanding £500 for a porn file he is alleged to have downloaded. He doesn’t even know what file sharing or bittorrent is so has certainly not done this himself or given anyone else permission to use his computer to do such a thing.”
Another said: “I have never been in trouble for anything and I am at my wits’ end. I feel guilty even though I am not.” Matt Bath, technology editor at Which? said innocent people were being threatened for offences they "not only haven't committed but wouldn't know how to commit."
Bath said: "We’d like to see an end to these letters being sent to innocent people and encourage copyright owners to focus their attention on those who are deliberately breaking the law.”
ACS:Law promises to keep sending letters at various points this year - its main wave went out in early January. The firm says on its website: "the fight against internet piracy is winnable, and will we will continue this pursuit into the next decade."
ACS:Law was unavailable to comment at the time of writing. ®
Presumably they have a file on the people they're accusing of copyright breach? So write to them under the Data Protection Act giving them 21 days to respond with all the information they are storing on you. No reply? Take them to the small claims court for breach of your DP rights.
Worked for me when dealing with the DVLA, Passport people etc. Should work with a snotty legal firm.
These letters have no valid basis in law, in fact they are demanding money with menaces.
They are worded as a threat of court action unless the recipient pays a fairly substantial sum. and they offer little proof.
File with ambulance chasers and car clampers
The laws on threatening behaviour need to be amended to include sending out legal threats when there is no reliable evidence. If the law firms behind these bullying tatics knew that an inappropriate threat could see ALL the partners spending a considerable amount of time sleeping at one of those "hotels" with high walls, at Her Majesties Pleasure, then we might see an end to this practice.
Perhaps they should also include the parties on who's behalf the letters claim to be sent and so the pigopolists were likewise at risk if^H^Hwhen they get it wrong.
I got threaten by these scum a few years ago over an incorrectly sent out mobile phone bill. They weren't interested in the legal situation, they just wanted me to send them money. Letters from Ofcom saying the mobe firm admitted they'd made mistake didn't seem to interest them.