Feeds

Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

Judge not impressed with firm's muddled showing

Remote control for virtualized desktops

ACS:Law, the much-criticised scaremongering law firm, is famous for firing out thousands of threatening letters to alleged file sharers. The firm has previously tried to squeeze settlements out of accused people rather than going to trial. But this week it did actually try to take eight cases to court – but all were dismissed by the judge.

The letter-writing law firm tried to get default judgement – a quick way to avoid an expensive trial. Usually this action is taken if the defendant fails to respond to claims or does not file a defence.

But a judge in the Patent County Court this week threw all eight cases out of court.

In three cases a defence had been filed so there was no way a default judgement would be granted.

In three other cases there was no evidence that the claim had been served on the defendant.

In the two remaining cases, ACS:Law had failed to make a formal application – which the judge believed was necessary to get a default judgement.

Judge Birss also expressed strong doubts about ACS:Law's claims.

Firstly, he questioned whether the law firm could even really represent the owners of copyright – only the owner or a licensee has the right to pursue such a case.

Secondly, he said it was uncertain that the owner of an unsecured Wi-Fi connection could be held responsible for any copyright infringement that might take place over that connection.

Thirdly, he questioned the accusation that possessing such an insecure internet connection was the same as "allowing" copyright infringement. The term used in the act is "authorising".

It should be noted, as it was by barrister Francis Davey on his blog, that the county court judgement is not necessarily binding in future cases.

If you want the undiluted truth then Judge Birss's judgement on ACS:Law is here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.