This Post is a response to the News Entry on the ACS:LAW website “Andrew Crossley responds to criticisms” I have tried to state the case in response to what Mr Crossley perceives as “Misconceptions” I feel I have tried to reflect many other people’s concerns who find themselves Falsely accused. Mr Crossleys post is in Black my response and reflections are in blue.
I have been operating the file sharing litigation aspect of my practice for a year now. I would like to counter five commonly held misconceptions about what my firm does:-
- It is said I accuse individuals of infringement of copyright in my initial letters. This is not true. I make an enquiry of the recipient of my initial letter following receipt of evidence that their internet connection was utilized for the purposes of infringing copyright of our clients (or their licensors’ copyright, as appropriate);
This is VERY disingenuous, your letters do indeed accuse people of Copyright Infringement. Your letter may not say that the person who receives the letter is guilty but you ARE saying that their connection was used. Now Mr Crossley the implication of this is VERY clear, you are implying that either the account holder of the ISP did the infringing or KNOWS who did. Let us not be silly here Mr Crossley, this is a VERY serious matter.
- It is suggested that I accuse people of downloading. This is not true. I state that the internet connection was used to make the copyrighted work we are concerned about available to others (in other words, uploading, not downloading);
This is true, I actually agree with your statement here. I must of course point out that your “Uploads” may be a small fragment of the file that is tagged with the name (This is of course being theoretical). There of course would be a VERY easy way of showing a person that they ARE responsible for uploading but that would take something called EVIDENCE. Your much touted Forensic Experts could I presume quite easily show HOW MUCH of a file has been uploaded or indeed how many times it has been done.
- I am accused of demanding payment in my initial letters of claim. This is not true. The recipient of the letter of claim is afforded the opportunity if they wish to close the matter off and avoid the issue continuing by entering into a compromise agreement to bring the matter to an end. They are under no compulsion or obligation to do this and the compromise agreement is an entirely voluntary process;
Again I would be charitable and say you don’t DEMAND exactly but you do make it quite clear that IF the recipient does NOT pay you the money that you WILL prosecute them in a Court and this could lead to VERY expensive costs. There is again a problem with your linguistics here Mr Crossley, for instance IF you had said “I DEMAND you pay me the money” then I would say you are right in saying that you don’t demand money, but of course by saying “If you don’t want to pay this money that is your choice BUT it will cost you thousands in a Court of (Civil) Law then you may not consider that a demand, but I and many many others certainly would consider it a demand, especially when you leave a sheet of paper for recipients to fill in their Credit card details etc
- It is said our data collected is inaccurate and cannot be relied on as sufficient evidence to pursue a claim. This is not true. The data suppliers we use have all separately and independently been assessed and monitored to determine their accuracy and integrity of data captured. Reports by independent experts are produced and made available to court in advance of our application for disclosure and on each occasion so far the court has felt able to grant our applications, with these reports in mind. The only known and cited example of data being “wrong’ is that of the Murdochs (a Davenport Lyons matter). In fact there was no error with the data captured, but an error by an ISP in giving the wrong name to the law firm;
Mr Crossley, we will NEVER know it seems whether your “Forensic Experts/Data Suppliers” are legitimate as you fail to actually provide ANY of the evidence that you claim you have. You “Independent Experts” are unknown as are their reports.
Regarding the Murdoch’s you claim that it was the fault of the ISP, and NOT your data collectors, well that is all very convenient but hardly trustworthy. Why not, because you say it was a Davenport Lyons case and you have stated before that your Company had NO CONNECTION wth ACS:LAW, apart from your erstwhile Paralegal telling an alleged infringer that he had indeed been drafted in from Davenport Lyons to work with you. Again disingenuous, it leaves your statements with the aftertaste of dishonesty.
In your latest letters you are so unsure of you forensic experts that you even fail to name them, without you actually ever releasing the evidence and independent experts reports we have no idea if these experts are independent at all. We know that one of your ex-employees bought a “Monitoring Application”, that is hardly independent if that is being used, and for all we know it could be!
It also worth mentioning that the judge has no technical knowledge and is realistically taking your word and the independent forensic experts’ statement as the truth, as far as is concerned it leaves you looking a tad underhand in your dealings with people.
- It is suggested that I never issue any claims. This is not true. It is fair and correct to say that I try to avoid litigation wherever possible and exhaust all other avenues falling short of litigation prior to proceedings being issued (open offers of settlement, extensive correspondence, CPR Part 36 offers, final warning letters and so on), but proceedings have been and will continue to be issued in appropriate cases. Litigation has always been the final option in the processes I invoke on behalf of my clients and the number and frequency of such actions is shortly to increase significantly. However, each case will be assessed on its individual merits before a decision is taken to issue proceedings.
Sorry Mr Crossley, I simply CANNOT believe this, your erstwhile Para Legal made a monumental cockup when engaging in conversation with a person who was concerned about their friend receiving one of your letters. Your Ex Para Legal bragged that he liked being in court and looked forward to it IF the person had the finances to take you on.
Why I simply CANNOT believe you though is that it has now been a YEAR and I have heard of NO case that you have taken to court. This is simply incredible, I know you have bragged about making nearly a Million Pounds out of your “Scheme” and I truly believe that the ONLY way you can salvage your tattered and sullied reputation is either by Dropping this WHOLE scheme and apologising, OR actually starting litigation and GOING TO COURT where ALL the evidence e can be heard.
You say that proceedings have been launched, yet why no news regarding this? You say that litigation will increase significantly but WHERE IS IT?
Let people go to court and lose this millstone around their neck have you ANY idea of how upsetting this all this?
You have ONLY issued (at most) a handful of claims against people whom fall into one of these 3 categories below, however NONE of these cases have ever reached Court.
a) Have admitted guilt originally then retracted their statement and refused to pay
b) Have admitted guilt but have not paid
c) That you have found potentially incriminating posts on internet forums relating to the account holder.
I also believe you will NEVER issue a claim to any individual whom does not fall into the above 3 categories because you are NOT confident that your evidence would stand up in court , and with good reason, it would not.
I would like you to respond to this Mr Crossley, I feel that this would be of interest to MANY people who have been falsely accused, and you could by answering the points start to salvage the battering to your reputation that I feel maybe almost irreparable.
I believe that the rejection of your methods by amongst others Which?, The BPI, members of The House of Lords and the House of Commons, The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) amongst many others DEMANDS a more verbose explanation of your methods and reasoning.
Here is a short list of quotes from people regarding ACS:LAW and their “Business practice”. As can be seen from the diverse range of comment ALL critical of ACS:LAW this is in NO WAY “merely targetted by an Internet campaign” as ACS:LAW Chief Honcho Andrew Crossley claimed.
These quotes are from Lords of the Realm, Industry leaders. the Music Industry, Consumer Watchdogs, and there is even one from one Of ACS:LAWs own employees taunting a person whose friend had been targetted by one of their “Speculative Invoices”
Please Download the PDF version here acs law – what people think and of course post it around. It IS the Truth.
this is the new ACS 2 Bullshit Detector. It has been run past the latest letters and seems to be VERY reliable at detecting bullshit. If you have any comments on how the new ACS 2 can be improved please let me know.
Today is the First year anniversary of ACS:LAW sending out their “Speculative Invoices” of course when I say “they” I really mean Andrew J Crossley. Let us not make ACS:LAW sound more grand than what it really is. A one man band.
So with all the “Forensic” Evidence and “Airtight” cases, WHERE are the chances to stand in court then Andrew? One Year? No Court cases? shame on you!
Or “The Trough is dry so we will talk to people who have NO idea that we have NO good reputation”
ACSLAW to Hit the Cannes Film Festival! Wow exciting times, Andrew Crossley must have made a LOT of money to weasel his way there.
The chances of this idiot of course being thrown out of Cannes is quite high. NO respected Film Producer or production house is going to give him a second look. Who will? Well films that are crap and that no one wants to watch.
Who is Crossley working with regarding his “colleagues based in Europe and the United States”? Well if I had to hazard a guess at what smells the same in the US as this Crap in the UK it would have to be the “US Copyright Group” who has on its client list such films as “Steam Experiment,” “Far Cry,” “Uncross the Stars,” “Gray Man,” or “Call of the Wild 3D.” never heard of them? Well like I said that is because they are CRAP and don’t deserve to earn any money (Don’t believe me? Check out IMDB or the name of Far Cry Director “Uwe Boll”). This is where the TRUE reasoning behind the “creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel.” as US Copyright Group Lawyer Jeffrey Weaver recently commented, comes from.
You pick a game or a film or music, that is basically CRAP and does not sell much, rather than saying “Hey it’s a piece of Crap” they say, “the reason it has not sold is that people have copied it for free”. They BUY the rights for P2P distribution of these AWFUL titles and then ANY IP that is caught in a SWARM is targeted, spoofed or not, they don’t care. It is ALL money to them. AVATAR of course did VERY bad at the Box Office because of all the free downloads!
Of course don’t fool yourself that this is actually JUSTICE, if there was ANY chance of it going to Court the actual claim would be DROPPED, see they don’t want a fight, OH NO they want to SCARE people into THINKING they will be taken to Court. Don’t believe me? Ok, go find ALL the people that ACS LAW, Davenport Lyons or Tilly Bailey & Irvine have ACTUALLY prosecuted. Oh and Isabella Barwinska DOES NOT COUNT. Go on, and please IF you do find someone please please email me, I will be VERY surprised.
Oh and one last point, considering it was claimed that Isabella Barwinska was the FIRST person Prosecuted for file sharing in the UK, you could also go and see if you can find me a photo or any other info on this lady.
So I hope someone in Cannes spots this fat balding charlatan and takes some pics of him and his sidekick Terence. You know where to send them…..
ACS:LAWs Terence Tsang the “Del Boy” of file sharing buys job lot of monitoring programs “Off the back of a lorry” to help out his Bosses Mate!
With news breaking that the Paralegal Terence Tsang has bought code from a freelancer with a view to:
“Create a bit-torrent client for me which will obtain details about file sharers of certain torrents. Server is Linux. The torrent client just needs to monitor IP addresses and take information which is then placed in a database,” writes Tsang in his request.
“The information needed is as follows: Host IP, Hit Date and time (GMT time), Provider network name (i believe whois search will help with this – can you think of a better way?), P2P Client, File name, File size, MD5 of file,”
“So we need to get the software to monitor a number of specific torrents it needs to create a database of the above information. The database needs to be able to import into a database file like csv. I am only interested in UK IP addresses. Easy job if you have the skills,”
It seems only right in light of ACS LAWs failure to release details regarding their “Monitoring system”, and the fact that ACS LAW Sole Partner Andrew Crossleys buddy and work associate Lee Bowden has entered the fray as a client of ACS LAW to do what they do best and SPECULATE, so here goes.
Lee Bowden owns MEDIA C.A.T and The Text Works and is a Partner with Jay Puddy of Pirri LTD. Although there is NO suggestion that Pirri LTD is involved with this but MEDIA C.A.T most certainly is and so is Bowden.
Indeed at the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on November 19th 2009 When Chief Master Winegarten asked why rights holders were dealing with Media C.A.T and not directly with DigiProtect, Crossley said that
“[Media C.A.T] happen to operate in the UK…dealing with UK companies…” In referring to the scheme ACS:Law and DigiProtect operate in respect of these hardcore porn titles, Crossley tried to suggest that they were doing a public service by helping to prevent the sharing of restricted movies on P2P.
Chief Master Winegarten responded by noting that
“[this is] not a moral crusade” and that in his opinion, ACS:Law and DigiProtect were doing this “…because you want the money.”
So what are we to make of this? Well it PROVES that Terence Tsang bought code for the very purpose of bringing file sharing suspects to court.
The work dates back to April 2008, I do NOT know when he left Davenport Lyons but this time scale would at least indicate the timing of a realistic business practice. Indeed their WAS a abortive website that attempted this that was registered back in January 2009, it name was http://www.stoppiracy.co.uk/ and a quick WHOIS search reveals that the Registrant is…… Terence Tsang of Advanmedia/AdvanGroup and also of ACS:LAW.
We KNOW that Lee Bowden and Andrew Crossley are friends or at the least associates. Bowdens Company Media C.A.T is in trouble with it’s finances and needs cash, how? Well a quick search of Companies House Website SHOWS that Media C.A.T is in trouble.
1) If Terence Tsang had inside knowledge into the methods used by Logistep and Digiprotect which having worked for DL we assume he would have. Have we just uncovered the specification of the “Monitoring Software”? , if so then this confirms what we have suspected all along, that this “Monitoring Software” is not fit for purpose. This may also explain the complete reluctance by ACS:Law to provide the “Evidence” and “Expert Reports” to those that have requested them.
2) Is this commissioned application the very same monitoring software now being used by Media C.A.T ? , and if it is then is this not a serious conflict of interest? not only does it raise serious concerns about the quality and processes used by the “Monitoring Software” it’s also possible that the solicitors concerned:
a. Commissioned the program
b. Operate the Program
c. Gather the Evidence
d. Produce the letters of Claim
e. Receive Money from the “Damages” claimed
This may be something that the SRA may wish to investigate further and if the suspicions are proved to be true they should be held to account for their actions.
So What is the Truth? Is Andrew Crossley merely helping out a friend in need(Lee Bowden) or is Terence Tsang trying to break away from ACS LAW? How Did Tilly Bailey & Irvine get involved? ….we cant know for sure but certainly their needs to be an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority at the VERY least into the actions of these three people. It seems at the VERY least that all roads lead to Terence Tsang and Advanmedia/AdvanGroup
Credit: Thx Flaw!