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A response to Ben Dover and Julian Becker

June 28, 2012 6 comments

This is a response to an interview given by Ben Dover Commercial Director Julian Becker in regard to the O2 sellout of it’s customers.  We felt it warranted a response, to correct some of the “mistruths” that occurred in the interview.. (See Bottom of post for original source)

The author, Julian Becker, is Ben Dover Productions’ commercial director. A London jurist decided this week on a key porn BitTorrent ruling in favour of the studio and affiliated company Golden Eye International. The companies can proceed in obtaining IP addresses involving more than 9,000 O2 customers who are alleged to have downloaded Ben Dover movies.

Well actually the Judge ruled that only Ben Dover Productions can pursue this action the other claimants were struck out and told they had to apply themselves.  Indeed although you say this is NOT about  the money, you were quite willing to take up to 75% of the revenues raised from the other claimants, (The Judges Words not mine)  But hey lets not let the truth get in the way..   (2)

My parents, always encouraged me to become a solicitor or an accountant, so I found it most bizarre and ironic that one of the many false accusations that has been directed towards us is that we are a reinvention of ACS Law. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to raise a smile in court when our barrister produced a pair of Ben Dover boxer shorts as evidence.

It is neither bizarre or ironic for those of us who realize you ARE a reinvention of the “Speculative Invoicing” scheme that was licensed from Davenport Lyons by ACS:LAW, and who collaborated with Tilly Bailey & Irvine, who represented, now who was it? Ahh yes your Company Mr Becker, Golden Eye International.  (2) And no, when your barrister produced the underwear most of us saw through this cheap pathetic stunt.

The Hon. Justice Arnold accepted that “there is nothing particularly unusual, let alone objectionable, about the Ben Dover agreement. The mere fact that the copyright works are pornographic films is no reason to refuse the grant of relief, since there is no suggestion that they are obscene or otherwise unlawful. Golden Eye and Ben Dover Productions have a good arguable case that many of the relevant intended defendants have infringed their copyrights. I am satisfied that they do intend to seek redress for those wrongs and that disclosure is necessary to enable them to do so. In these circumstances, I conclude that the claimants’ interests in enforcing their copyrights outweigh the Intended defendants’ interest in protecting their privacy and data protection rights, and thus it is proportionate to order disclosure.”

Well there isn’t anything wrong with it, not all, unless you don’t realize the history of “Speculative Invoicing”, then there is everything wrong with it, but nothing a Judge can do with an organization who presents one argument with the idea of using the information for something else.  If you are persuing people who have infringed your copyright, no one would argue, however you are using a flawed system, a system that has already been shown in court as flawed.

I hope this will finally disprove those rumors that associate us with Andrew Crossley, although my mother was disappointed it has been proved that I am indeed a pornographer not a solicitor.

LMAO, well not really, we KNOW you and Andrew Crossley were friends, and I am sure that your Mother is very proud of you, as I am sure the Rabbi of the Synagogue that you provided security to, will be as well.

Its positive that the court acknowledges that we have the right to take this action and protect our content. This action has been inspired by our core business being decimated by piracy and we are pursuing several projects in combating both the Internet sites that facilitate online piracy as well as the end violators and the physical DVD pirates. Our clothing, merchandise and events business was initiated very much in response to our core film business being so negatively impacted by different forms of piracy. Due to the nature of the way most consumers view adult content, the adult business has been affected far worse than mainstream film due to the fact that the pirates cannot replicate the cinematic experience of mainstream movies.

It may be the fact that your films are not watched as from what I understand they feature a disturbing and ageing man, who seduces younger woman in some bizarre amateurish nonsense.  Who the hell wants to see a poor Keith Harris lookalike doing porn films… I mean seriously.

The court also accepts that this form of piracy does result in a commercial loss for our business and that we have the right to pursue compensation, I understand it is difficult to quantify how much this loss is due to the nature of how file sharing networks operate. I may not have in depth technical knowledge of the workings of these websites, however my limited knowledge appears somewhat more in depth than Guy Tritton, the Consumer Focus barrister, who calculated that if every violator shared content with every other violator then Golden Eye’s loss would be 9,000 x £10, totaling £90,000. 

Disregarding the fact that our films when purchased sell for far in excess of £10, he totally missed the fact that file sharing occurs not in a closed user group of those circa 9,000 Telefonica customers, but in a far larger community of millions of users. Fundamentally we are pursuing those that are uploading not downloading, they are potentially uploading to millions of others who are also using these networks. How many they upload to is impossible to calculate, but in effect these violations are unauthorized distribution, we are not pursuing those who have simply downloaded one film. 

I am amazed your films sell for more than £10, maybe that is down to you and your poor business model.  ACS:LAW who of course you know showed in their leaked emails that it might be hard to prove damages beyond a SINGLE copy.  The uploading argument is a misnomer, as you know torrent clients HAVE to upload as well as download, that is straight from Crossleys business model.

I’m still at a loss to understand why consumer groups are so opposed to a company that is merely seeking to protect its core business from individuals who are stealing and distributing its products. The definition of consumers are those that purchase goods or services, the individuals who are infringing our copyright are not paying for our product but are stealing it, I do not understand how they can be described as consumers. My belief is that our actions are actually in the interests of the true consumers as if piracy carries on at the level we are witnessing today, many creative organizations will cease to be commercially able to fund new content, limiting future consumer choice.

 

Once again straight from Crossleys mantra.  Blah blah blah.  Crossley had issues with Which? And other less well know consumer groups, who realized he was targeting innocent people.  When Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW were investigated by the SDT they were shown to be knowingly targeting innocent people.  You are using the same system, why do you think we will trust you to get different results?  The definition of insanity in fact!

As regards Richard Clayton’s evidence that the software we use is capable of identifying the correct IP Address but this is not the case every time, I have to listen to my technical advisors who assure me that in the vast majority of the time, the software will identify the correct IP address that has infringed our copyright. The fact that the order was granted implies to me that the judge shared our opinion on this. 

It does not imply anything, Alireza Torabis system was not tested and Mr Vogler merely supplied a report that it could work.  Hardly scientific, and this is what will be your undoing as it was for the previous exploiters of the scheme.  It was certainly one of the undermining factors in the ACS:LAW case.

It is true that we license the same software that ACS used. I was one of the biggest critics of their operation and spoke several times at adult forums and privately to several other companies in our industry of my concerns. The reservations I had were nothing to do with the software that they licensed but everything to do with the references and information I obtained from those that had previously conducted business with both ACS and MediaCat. As well as operating in the adult industry I also work in telecommunications so was able to speak directly to several people who were able to divulge information regarding Lee Bowden and Andrew Crossley.

There is NO EVIDENCE that you criticized ACS:LAW at all, although there is evidence you had a friendly working relationship with him AND encouraged him, (as shown above, even warning him of a letter leaked online, this showed you had support for him),  If you had information regarding Andrew Crossley and Lee Bowden, why did you not put it into words and contact the SRA/SDT? No this is a lie until proven otherwise.

The fact you have NO reservations regarding a piece of software which is quite obviously flawed as shown in the leaked ACS:LAW emails, shows again a breathtaking level of either ignorance or arrogance.

I’ve lived in Holland and travelled extensively and I’ve found that attitudes towards pornography in the U.K. can best be summarized by calling them hypocritical. I was told a stat recently that 80 percent of U.K. computers contained porn history, my biggest surprise was that 20 percent didn’t. So often I speak to people about Ben Dover who appear vague as if they have never heard of the company and minutes later are divulging their in depth knowledge of our brand. This very English attitude towards pornography could potentially be used to shame people into paying compensation; however I believe people should be far more embarrassed by the fact they have committed a theft rather than what has been stolen.

I for one had NEVER heard of “Ben Dover” until you started trawling for copyright Infringement through “Tilly Bailey & Irvine”, you might THINK you are big and well known, but deep down you know that is simply not true.  You repeat the often repeated lie as well that “Copyright Infringement is theft” this is NOT true, it is just “Copyright Infringment”, to say it is theft is like saying a “Taking a photo of someone is the same as kidnapping them”.

Oh and one more thing, you lived in Holland AND worked in the telecommunications industry… Hmmm would that be http://www.hilftelecom.nl/ (Donation by Ofer Hilf and team at Hilf Telecom on 27/04/11)) who donated money to you on your http://www.justgiving.com/Julian-Becker page?

Our initial letters in summary gave details of the infringements the software had detected, giving specific dates and times in addition to film titles. The letters then gave the recipient our legal position and encouraged them to contact us so that we could make an informed judgement on whether we would be pursuing the case through the courts or ceasing action. It also gave the recipient the option to admit the offence, financially settle the matter as well as committing to not re commit the offence. 

We know what your letters say, they will be a copy of what Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, and Tilly Bailey & Irvine sent out, of course, they will be slightly more refined and toned down (Like here)

The letters were designed to encourage communication with the recipient and then we could take an informed decision on next action if any. There were several cases after speaking or email correspondence where it was decided that no further action would be taken. In fact we had several instances where the recipient of the letters was grateful for the information we provided them with. 

Yes mmmm uh huh, sure you did, and you have evidence of this? Or do we just rely on the word of someone who at best is rather “Charitable with the truth”

I don’t understand how our letter could be described as “objectionable” as it merely highlighted and asked for more information regarding evidence of an infringement of our copyright that there is no dispute that our company owns. You can argue that our content is objectionable however there is no dispute that it is legal, it belongs to us, our revenues have been decimated because of its theft and that it has been accepted by one of the most senior Judges in the country that we have every right to protect our product. 

Not theft, “Copyright Infringement”, again big difference, however I think it more likely your sales have been affected as like Lee Bowden realized, OLD PEOPLE DOING SEX DOES NOT SALE, especially when they look like poor Keith Harris.

The comments attributed that included the term “objectionable” were referring to HHJ Birss QC and his description of the ACS letters. It did state however that our letters “included some (though not all)” of these features. As we stated to the court we are prepared to listen to instruction on amendments to these letters.

Yes well you have to don’t you.  Your letters will be toned down, scare some people into paying you, but it will all ultimately fail and you will have destroyed what little reputation you had to begin with.

On the subject that our content is objectionable I would argue that far more people in this country would recognise my partner Lindsay Honey (aka Ben Dover) than Calvin Klein, it’s always surprised me Mr Klein sells more boxer shorts than us. The point I’m making is that regardless of peoples perceived outrage of our content, a large percentage of the population are aware and view pornography on a regular basis, giving the outward appearance of shock and revoltion. Golden Eye is not a company in pornography that has targeted consumers in order to shame them into paying silence money, it operates and always has done in an industry that is hugely popular and is targeted by violators of copyright, in effect thieves, who believe that paying for our product is somehow morally wrong and/or do not perceive stealing it is a crime.

Once again, (you are rather good at perpetuating the idea of telling a lie long enough people will believe you), you state that this is about people stealing, it is COPYRIGHT INFINGEMENT, did Tilly Bailey & Irvine teach you NOTHING?

It is simple to realize why your Boss is not so well know as you think, the ONLY people who would recognise Ben Dover (Lindsay Honey aka Steve Perry) is those who mistook him for someone else and wondered where Orville was.  Of course I suppose they do both make money putting their hands up a birds bottom (oh ok sorry, that was poor)

One gentlemen I spoke to apologized for stealing our films and explained to me that he had no issues in paying for our films on the Internet, but had used a file sharing site in order to avoid his wife catching him buying porn with his credit card. This attitude of better to steal porn than get caught buying it is depressingly common in the U.K.

*Sigh* really, steal? Again, come on this is getting silly now, who was this person? Where is the evidence?  Of course it DOES expose your business plan for what it is, if as you say, and lets go with that for a moment, is so embarrassed he has to COPY your film, rather than pay for it, then sending letters out to people demanding hundreds of pounds or the chance of going to court to defend themselves, ahh I see how embarrassed would they be then? Why they would far more likely pay up wouldn’t they? I mean even an innocent person would pay up for fear of being accused of watching some of the porn you produce.

As explained previously we are only pursuing those that upload, not just download, so we would never be interested in an individual that was merely just downloading. The letter asks for more information, including whether anyone other than the account holder has been given access to password protected routers.  In several cases after liaising with the account holder we were able to identify the violator and cease any action against the original recipient.

Another Andrew Crossley gem, only the uploaders, not the ones who download… Well as you are well aware, you accuse people using Ali Torabis, software of using ONLY clients that can download while uploading.  If I am right in thinking Torabi actually accused some people of using a Torrent client that hadn’t even been released at that time, see that is when we realized it was all a scam.

The question of if the violator was a minor would we pursue is an interesting one, not being a solicitor I am unsure of the legal position, however from a moral perspective I believe that the responsible adult has a duty of care to control the usage of a minor when using the Internet. We had more than one case where parents discovered that their children had been infringing our copyright on file sharing networks and were grateful that we had brought this to their attention. 

Another Andrew Crossley gem, wow you are really racking these up, and you say you wanted to distance yourself from your friend?  There may well be an argument for parents watching their kids online, however that shouldn’t come as a false accusation which is far more likely considering the software monitor you are using.  And I am sure the parents were really grateful you had bought it to their attention.  Hmmm

Our letters had stated a settlement fee of £700, that for reasons I explained previously I strongly believe can be justified and were decided upon by legal counsel to our previous solicitors Tilley Bailey & Irvine. I need to have the ruling explained to me by a solicitor in the first instance before deciding on what figure we will now be seeking from those who do not wish for the matter to be pursued and are willing to commit to not re offend.

Yes but you fail to point out that Tilly Bailey & Irvine were FINED by the SRA for this assertion amongst others, including harassing people with their aggressive letter campaign.

In summary I am very happy with The Hon. Justice Arnold findings and look forward to the day when we once again sell more copies of “Strictly Cum Drinking than Boxer Shorts.”

Ahh now that is not theft of part of a name of a popular BBC programme is it? How non hypocritical of you.

The interview was taken from the http://newswire.xbiz.com/view.php?id=146471 website, it is replicated here with a response from us.

ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley suspended for TWO Years :UPDATE 2

January 16, 2012 6 comments

Andrew Crossley leaving the SDT Hearing

ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley has been suspended for Two years and  fined had costs awarded against him of over £70,000.

The lead ringmaster of a Copyright Trolls/Speculative Invoicing campaign he admitted to Six Charges levelled at him by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. (Here is a Brief History of Speculative Invoicing)

Crossley ADMITTED the following charges: (1 ,2 ,3, 4, 5, and 6, no#7 was dropped)

1) Allowed his independence to be compromised

2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients

3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession

4) Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law

5) Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients

6) Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients.

7) Acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the Court.

Crossley gave the  Court Testimonials, like Character references from people who knew him… these included

Andrew Hopper QC (And by Crossleys own admission, the man who wrote the SRA Rules)

Alistair Logan OBE – His ex partners father!

Raymond Murphy – senior solicitor at Merriman White (Himself subject of a SDT Tribunal)

Mark West – a barrister and recorder

Edward Parladorio – (Terence Tsangs new employer)

David Fisher – Birchwood – ( Part of the GCB  debacle)

Mark Beresford

Nicolas Underwood – “Ray Santilli – Orbital Media

Clive Windsor

Oh and Lee Bowden of Piri Ltd…

Also Crossley stated the he had been offered FIVE different positions recently but he could not take FOUR them as the firms could not get insurance, the other firm withdrew when the circumstances surrounding these issue were known.

One other snippet is that Crossley has NOT paid his £800 fine from the ICO. The Fine was £1000, but was reduced by 20% for a prompt payment, this it seems did not happen, and so he would still owe a £1000 (Maybe part of the bankruptcy)

This was Andrew Crossleys THIRD appearance before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, (First one here) (Second one here) one wonders what it would take to protect the public from a bag legal situation.  The Law Society put “Solicitors from Hell” website offline, saying they would deal with bad legal situations, I have to say personally, for the now nearly THREE years I and many others have been involved fighting this corner this punishment does NOT fit the bill…..

UPDATE 1: According to “The Lawyer” Crossley claimed that his internet service provider (ISP) had been negligent, adding that he intended to sue the provider when he had more money.  Good luck with that one!

UPDATE 2: Mike Wallace (Darker Enterprises) in writing at the hearing. “ACS Law has helped us significantly in the last few months, we have also seen a small increase in DVD sales. In looking through various internet forums, we’ve seen them having an effect on filesharers.”  Hmmmm, treated with contempt it deserves I think is the word here!

More updates as they appear.

See the Excellent TorrentFreak for more as well as the SLYCK FORUMS, my home from home! (Big thanks to Steve!)

ACS:LAW: The charge sheet from the SDT

July 13, 2011 6 comments

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has issued its “Charge Sheet” on ACS:LAW and it’s Supremo Andrew Crossley.

The hearing will take place on August 18th 2011  (The date of the hearing is yet to be set thanks to those eagle eyed readers who spotted the mistake.)

The allegations are or contain the following

1) Allowed his independence to be compromised

2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients

3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession

4) Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law

5) Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients

6) Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients.

7) Acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the Court.

We at ACS:BORE are pleased with these charges and think they largely cover what we and many others have been saying for the last two years.  We look forward to seeing the hearing in practice and feel sure that these allegation whilst unproven at the moment, will be thoroughly pursued with the full weight of the law.

This is not the first time that Andrew Crossley has appeared, this will be his THIRD time.  One has to ask how many times can a Solicitor be pulled in before the Disciplinary Tribunal and be allowed to continue.  We look forward to August and hope it will be a FULL vindication for all those innocent people affected by the actions of ACS:LAW and their cohorts.

Many of those who engaged with ACS:LAW in bringing this misery to the general public will NOT be tried, but for those who follow this Blog, we at least know who they are.

Back in March 2010 I wrote an open letter to Mr Crossley after he accused me of posting messages attacking him, he is yet to respond.  

Thanks to Enigmax!

ACS:LAW and Andrew Crossley face HUGE costs for being “Chaotic and Lamentable”

April 19, 2011 5 comments

Yesterday at the Patents Court Judge Birss gave ACS:LAW/Andrew Crossley such a kick up his ample backside that the ripples will be felt throughout the Legal Profession.

In one of the final hearings into the Court Cases that ACS:LAW were due to bring against 27 alleged infringers (Read Innocent people) the Judge has turned his attention to Wasted Costs, ie ACS:LAW/Andrew Crossley wasting everyone’s time with his ridiculous Business Plan of targeting innocent people for alleged filesharing

I have covered the previous parts of this case on my Blog and it has also been reported rather nicely on the Torrent Freak Website.

Some stand out moments from yesterday include, comments from Judge Birss

Agreements between ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T) In my judgment there is an apparently strong prima facie case that the Basic Agreements are improper and champertous

Assuming Mr Crossley has indeed made a loss so far (and I am not satisfied I have the whole picture relating to the finances of this exercise in any event) it does not alter the fact that the Basic Agreements are improper and unreasonable.

Mr Tritton (Ralli Barrister) submitted that the Basic Agreements were negligently drafted by ACS:Law and the negligence was not merely an unintended act of incompetence but was done for ACS:Law’s benefit

In my judgment the drafting of operative clause 1.1.1 in the Basic Agreements was prima facie negligent. Mr Parker(ACS:LAW Barrister) did not advance a case to deny that, he submitted there was no evidence Mr Crossley was responsible for the drafting of the Basic Agreements. I have already dealt with that above. Mr Crossley was plainly responsible.

 (NPO Applications)This is yet another example of conduct by ACS:Law which, at best, can be described as amateurish and slipshod.

(On reports that SHOULD have been sent to ISPs) I will hear counsel as to whether I should direct ACS:Law and/or Media CAT to provide the report to the court and the defendants’ solicitors or explain why there is no report to provide.

In summary, consideration of the Norwich Pharmacal orders in this case reveals, prima facie, a series of errors and questionable conduct by ACS:Law….

 (On the letter of claim) In my judgment the letter is plainly negligent and may well be improper.

 (Negligent Correspondance) ACS:Law’s conduct was chaotic and lamentable. Documents which plainly should have been provided were not provided. This was not the behaviour of a solicitor advancing a normal piece of litigation.

( GCB Debacle) I have already found the GCB episode shows that ACS:Law knew perfectly well that Media CAT intended the letter writing campaign to be pressed ahead with despite the court being told that the Notices of Discontinuance were being used in order for the claimant to give the matter further consideration. That finding provides further support for my finding that there is a prima facie case of unreasonable conduct by ACS:Law in relation to the Notices.

In my judgment the combination of Mr Crossley’s revenue sharing arrangements and his service of the Notices of Discontinuance serves to illustrate the dangers of such a revenue sharing arrangement and has, prima facie, brought the legal profession into disrepute

 (Crossley 3rd Witness Statement) In his third witness statement Mr Crossley set out draft accounts and in paragraph 7 he summarised his position. He stated that the business model has been neither profitable nor rewarding for him in any way at all, and that neither himself nor ACS:Law solicitors have funded these proceedings and have not benefited from them. He said the control which ACS:Law has had over these proceedings is only to the extent that any litigation solicitor would have over his litigation client’s affairs and no more. He continued “By contrast both the claimant and the various copyright owners that it was representing received considerable income from the business model without any cost to them.”

There is a good arguable case that ACS:Law / Mr Crossley will be liable for the costs of this case and I will add ACS:Law / Mr Crossley as a party to this action for that purpose.

Barrister Guy Tritton is already on record describing the ACS Law case as the “most appalling case” he’d seen in his career, stressing it was a unique incident.

The FULL hearing can be viewed here.  Same rules apply do NOT consume a hot drink while reading.

The Court hearing will be reconvened on the 17th June just two weeks AFTER the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal meets to decide what THEY are going to do with Andrew Crossley

In Crossleys own words “Exciting times”

ACS:LAW – A Brief History of Speculative Invoicing

February 13, 2011 6 comments

The hearing regarding ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T has now been well covered.  My own personal favourite moments from Judge Birss  are at the foot of this article.

The reason for this post though is that it seems we have forgotten those OTHER people involved with all this over the last THREE years now.

I would like to show those who are only just reading up about all this, the bigger picture.

Davenport Lyons were the original Law firm (2007), who gave over a lot of their material and clients, to ACS:LAW (May 2009) including a number of the paralegals,  amongst them Terence Tsang.  Davenport Lyons were investigated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and referred  to the SDT (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal) [2] [3]

ACS:LAW represented Games, Music and Pornographic films, and started sending letters out  “en masse”

Tilly Bailey Irvine were up next (January 2010) and for a few months sent out letters defending Pornographic films, Although the films were legal in the sense they were certificated, the actual names of these films were VERY provocative and one could only imagine the distress caused to the Wife or indeed Husband who opened one of those letters.

Tilly Bailey Irvine withdrew citing “Adverse publicity” (April 2010) [2] not before being condemned in the House of Lords as “Latest entrants to the hall of infamy” and “An embarrassment to the creative industries” and also being accused by Wikipedia of “Vandalising” their entry.

In a wider attack by the Lords during the Digital Economy Bill, the actions of these “Piracy Chasers” was condemned as “Blackmail and a Scam”

Gallant Macmillan entered the fray defending The Ministry of Sound in July 2010With the online community outraged at yet another “Speculative invoice” entering the scene, letters started being sent to the Chief Master who issued the NPO’s that forced ISP’s to hand over details of their subscribers.

The “Anonymous DDos attacks on ACS:LAW brought down their website in September 2010 and then ACS:LAW accidently released a HUGE email archive online which was quickly snatched and posted to torrent sites, The contents of the emails were explosive.

The huge data leak gave added impetus to the Courts handing out the NPOs and a hearing was adjourned [2].  When it was reconvened BT/Plusnet refused to hand over their subscribers data and then it was learnt that BT had destroyed the records it held for Gallant Macmillan.  Gallant Macmilan were subject to DDos attacks.

Gallant Macmillan withdrew after BT destroyed the data they requested after a delay in obtaining a “norwich pharmacal” order, they deemed they could not make enough money out of the scheme to make it worth their while.

ACS:LAW just kept ploughing on though, using Logistep first as a “Data monitor” then Digiprotect, and then an obscure firm called NG3Systems.

After the DDos attack that destroyed their web presence it was thought that that would be the end of them.  They continued issuing letters however with  Media C.A.T who represented Pornographers Sheptonhurst amongst others.  ACS:LAW were investigated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and referred  to the SDT (Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal)

Forced into a corner of ”put up or shut up” after claims he would never take a case to court, Crossley attempted a Court hearing against some recipients who had NOT responded, what is known as a “Default Judgement” It failed on an epic scale.

Some of those accused actually sent in a response and a defence and the hearing ended in disarray as the Judge ordered a search for all other cases on the Court system. He found 27 of them and arranged for a Court hearing to work out what direction should be taken.

With the Community totally focused against them and watching every move they made, it became clear that  ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T were desperate, to drop all the cases. The Judge refused adjourned the hearing and set a new date for January 2011 [2]

A new letter went out from a company called GCB Ltd, the community smelt a rat and rightly so. According to the Judge it was an attempt by Crossley and Bowden to get the last bits of money they could.

For the rest read the judgment online.  My favourite parts are below, and show what we knew all along, it was a Scam of epic proportions.

Media CAT and ACS:Law have a very real interest in avoiding public scrutiny of the cause of action because in parallel to the 26 court cases, a wholesale letter writing campaign is being conducted from which revenues are being generated. This letter writing exercise is founded on the threat of legal proceedings such as the claims before this court.

The information annexed to Mr Batstone’s letter refers to ACS:Law having “recovered” £1 Million. Whether that was right and even if so whether it was solely in relation to Media CAT or other file sharing cases I do not know. Simple arithmetic shows that the sums involved in the Media CAT exercise must be considerable. 10,000 letters for Media CAT claiming £495 each would still generate about £1 Million if 80% of the recipients refused to pay and only the 20% remainder did so. Note that ACS:Law’s interest is specifically mentioned in the previous paragraph because of course they receive 65% of the revenues from the letter writing exercise. In fact Media CAT’s financial interest is actually much less than that of ACS:Law. Whether it was intended to or not, I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court. Why take cases to court and test the assertions when one can just write more letters and collect payments from a proportion of the recipients?

Friday 09 April 2010 by Andrew J Crossley (My clients are pleased with the service I provide. I have conducted file sharing-related work for 11 months; to date I have recovered close to £1m for my clients.)

The GCB episode is damning in my judgment. This shows that Media CAT is a party who, while coming to court to discontinue, is at the very same time trying to ram home claims formulated on exactly the same basis away from the gaze of the court. That will not do. I find that these notices of discontinuance are indeed an abuse of the court’s process. The advantage of discontinuing as opposed to applying to amend is unwarranted in that it avoids judicial scrutiny of the underlying basis for wider campaign orchestrated by Media CAT and ACS:Law to generate revenue under the various agreements such as the Sheptonhurst agreement.

 One might think a claimant (and their legal adviser) who was giving their claim serious further consideration before perhaps starting it afresh in a different form or dropping it altogether, would certainly not assert the very same claim against other people not (yet) before the court. The GCB episode shows that Mr Crossley’s client had every intention of doing precisely that and that ACS:Law were perfectly well aware of it. It is very difficult not to draw the inference that this was nothing more than a last ditch attempt to make some money from the letter writing exercise.

And maybe the most damning part with implications for the Digital Economy Bill,  that an IP address alone; “cannot and does not purport to identify the individual who actually did anything.”

Just listened to the “BBC RADIO 5 Investigates” Program Good effort on their part. 30 minutes dedicated to this issue.

A Limited Ploy? – ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T close together

February 6, 2011 2 comments

To those who have endured the letters of ACS:LAW from May 2009, the news is simply stunning, albeit there is an air of cynicism to be had.  It is true that ACS:LAW and their symbiotic monster Media C.A.T have ceased trading.  It was announced in yet another leaked email, an email sent by Andrew Crossley confirming that not only had he  closed his business but to prove the point of connection with his long time friend Lee Bowden, he also announced that Bowden’s company Media C.A.T was also closing up shop.

 This story has been well covered by TorrentFreak, but I wish to dwell not on this news so much as what the future may hold.

 The SRA as has been reported has already referred Crossley to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for a THIRD time.  The decision to fold BOTH companies just days before a Judge was due to hold a hearing regarding costs and damages, must be to all but the most positive thinking airhead to be in the least suspicious.  Can a limited company be held for costs and damages IF it no longer exists?

What is disturbing, it that on the date of the second hearing, Bowden not being present, it has transpired that he was busy setting up another Limited Company…now I know this sounds to unbelievable but it is sadly true.  The Company “100 Mile Media” was registered as a domain, as can be seen here.

Lee Bowden is the Managing Director of “Piri Ltd” and the “The Textworks”, as well as Media C.A.T, there will be others I am sure.  What is so galling is that it seems that Bowden will be able to walk away from all this “Scot free”, his company being a Limited Company will protect him against costs that would have been surely awarded against him.  Bowden was described by ACS:LAW as a “Copyright Expert”, well, in addition to that he has also been a “Public Relations Agency” and also “Building Development”.

We will have to see what happens at 14:00 on Tuesday 8th February at the Patents Court.  What will become of the data that ACS:LAW still hold on people? Will it be destroyed or sold off to someone else? 

Andrew Crossley acquired a Limited Company called “Larper Ltd” back in April 2010.  What is worrying is that come the hearing on the 8th February, unless Judge Birss finishes the practice of “Speculative Invoicing” it can be picked back up by changing limited companies, folding and starting anew, I realise of course there are more parameters involved, ie the NPO granting, which I doubt will be allowed to be given out as freely as in the past.

Also of note is the number of EX ACS:LAW employees busy scratching the name of the Company from their CVs (Leyla Mehru, hello).  I believe we need to keep an eye out for the main players activities in all this, Adam Glen, Jonathan Miller, Terence Tsang seem to be the main ones in addition to Crossley and Bowden.  We have already seen that Miller plus one other “Ex ACS:LAW employee” were behind GCB Ltd. 

These are the details of the companies setup by Bowden and Crossley (I have included Media C.A.T as it seems interesting that it shares the same “Virtual space” as his new Company.

100milemedia.co.uk

Name & Registered Office:
100 MILE MEDIA LIMITED
2 ND FLOOR
43 WHITFIELD STREET
LONDON
UNITED KINGDOM
W1T 4HD

Date of Incorporation: 24/01/2011

Company No. 07503354
http://www.whois-search.com/whois/100milemedia.co.uk

 Name & Registered Office:
MEDIA C.A.T. LTD
c/o GATEWAY PARTNERS
43 WHITFIELD STREET
LONDON
ENGLAND
W1T 4HD

Date of Incorporation: 29/04/2002

Company No. 04426555

http://web.archive.org/web/20060402205823/http://media-cat.co.uk/

Name & Registered Office:
LARPER LIMITED
c/o ACS LAW SOLICITORS
20 HANOVER SQUARE
LONDON
W1S 1JY

Date of Incorporation: 06/04/2010

Company No. 07213422

ACS:LAW Email leak – BT escapes punishment as ICO loses credibility

February 1, 2011 4 comments

If a Man claims that he won’t burgle a shop, and has “Safeguards” to prevent himself from doing so, but then burgles the shop anyway, can you imagine a Judge saying, “Oh that’s ok, you had ‘safeguards’ so that you wouldn’t do it, the fact you HAVE done it is irrelevant”, can you see this happening? No of course not, but in what can only be described as a “parallel universe” ruling, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has done just that.

BT who sent details of their Subscribers to ACS:LAW, didn’t even encrypt the Excel Documents. ACS:LAW had gone to Court with a list of IP addresses claiming that they belonged to “Copyright Infringers”, BT WITHOUT mounting ANY defence at Court to defend their Loyal subscribers, sent the documents to ACS:LAW with NO protection whatsoever.

The Documents contained the following information on over 400 Subscribers their names, Postal address, IP Address, Alleged date of infringement (Hit Date), Time (UK Date Time), and the Content Name.

Remember these were everyday BT/Plusnet customers who had been targeted by ACS:LAW, NO evidence apart from an IP address were supplied and BT did NOT defend their customers at court.

On the Plusnet Forums, angry Subscribers wanted answers, they still do. A thread on the forum has attracted 130 pages, over 2000 replies and close to 100,000 views. They have STILL not got the answers regarding ACS:LAW. True Plusnet HAVE engaged with their subscribers on the forum, but they are stuck with having to deal with this issue via the BT Legal Team.

The ICO speaking to the Guardian said, The ICO closed its investigation into the apparent data breach earlier this month after ruling that BT was not liable for the mistake, which it said was committed by one of its employees. It added “Where it is found that the data controller has adequate policies and safeguards already in place, the usual and most appropriate outcome in these cases is disciplinary action taken by the employer”

Well we KNOW who that Employee is, his name is Prakash Mistry, he is the Senior Finance Manager at BT. Not sure about you, but I really don’t see much discipline happening there, do you? No ICO has acted shamefully in this, as the Solicitors Regulation Authority have in regards to ACS:LAW.

There seems NO justice for the man on the street in all of this and seems a classic example of a Corporation flouting the rules with impunity.

A letter from Prakash Mistry to ACS:LAW requesting a “Report”(A requirement of the NPO order RE Plusnet) into how many people had been taken to court, was met by an arrogant letter accusing those requesting the report on the forums were;

 “… written by pro-piracy advocates with their own specific agenda” and “our client is taking away a method of obtaining their members copyrighted works without paying for them and that upsets those who have enjoyed free media this way”

These were outrageous slurs on their subscribers, met with SILENCE by BT.

These concerns of course can be dismissed, BT being a corporation (No soul to damn, no ass to kick) and ACS:LAW a one man band, whose Boss Andrew Crossley is now discredited in the eyes of many.

What can’t be dismissed is the LACK of protection afforded to those affected by the ICO, as with the SRA it seems they are toothless; ball-less, impotent shadows, paper tigers with all the bluster of action but with the movement and intent of a slug.

 UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham told the BBC he had new powers, to act with fines,(Regarding ACS:LAW) of up to £500,000, but much like the BT “Safeguards”, that only works IF IT IS USED! Can we really look forward to the ICO doing much better with the case against ACS:LAW? We wait and see, but not holding any breath.

ACS:LAWs File Sharing Campaign-The Bubble has Judge Birss-t

January 25, 2011 13 comments
 
 

The portly figure of Andrew Crossley leaving the hearing on 24_01_11

 

“I have ceased my work… I have been subject to criminal attack,”, “My emails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats,”

So said ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley’s in a statement read out in Court AFTER he had left.

And with that he was gone, the infamous Lawyer who has led his Law firm to destruction and many thousands of innocent people to despair, has seemingly given up.  The man whose lies have broken marriages and familys and lives, issued his statement, and went, didn’t even hang about to deliver it himself.  

I have no doubt however, he WILL be back, maybe as an “Advisor” or “Co-ordinator), his Ego will demand it.  But what of his claims of threats, against him?

Today the Metropolitan Police has said it had no knowledge of any bomb threat against Mr Crossley or ACS:Law. The US Company that Crossley claimed to be working with Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver (also known as United Copyright Group),  evacuated its offices after receiving a bomb threat via email last October.

As those who have been following this story for the last few years, will know, ACS:LAW are “not the best at getting things right, indeed they even attempted SUE a forum that had included that very statement.  And this is the kind of scenario that made ACS:LAW the most hated Law firm in the UK, and the most complained about, over 500 complaints had been received regarding their practice at the point that Andrew Crossley was referred to the “Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal”, for the THIRD time!

They threatened to sue the owner of a domain that was called “BeingScammed” a website that provided vital information and help in the early days, In a leaked Twitter conversation the Paralegal and EX Davenport Lyons employee Terence Tsang said of this incident

TezimondoYes but I decided to not pursue him for costs and damages. Was feeling nice.

BeingScammed rebranded and morphed into BeingThreatened arguably a far more powerful base alongside the Slyck forum  for those letter recipients that felt that the ACS:LAW model did not pass the “Smell test”.  Indeed this very Blog was setup as a repository for the background to these people behind the practice, there is lots of it.

But Crossley is a consummate liar, a man who is VERY slippery indeed.  Many times he has been caught out and changed his now defunct website to suit the fact he had been found out.  The different Law Firms that cropped up alongside ACS:LAW (Tilly Bailey Irvine, Gallant Macmillan)  seemingly linked by a common purpose of “Copyright enforcement” were later exposed by the release of ACS:LAW of their email database to be linked also by Crossley as well, sharing letter templates and other ideas,  whilst the others though fell by the wayside, TBI first then Gallant Macmillan due to negative publicity, ACS:LAW had no such reputation that could be harmed so Crossley ploughed on.

An interview with Crossley by the Telegraph highlights the type of person that the public have been exposed to for nearly TWO years. 

When we spoke he had portrayed himself as a pauper, telling me that ‘less than a month ago’ he had been wandering around an air show with no money in his pocket and not a ‘penny to my name’. The leaked data painted a very different picture.

‘Hi Paul,’ he said, a few days later in an email to me. ‘One thing I wanted to scratch from the interview was I said I had no money recently. That was not an accurate reflection of the position.’

No not accurate at all, Crossley expected to make over THREE MILLION POUNDS himself (2010-2011) that would have been Crossleys cut, the GROSS revenue was to be a whopping TEN MILLION POUNDS.  That after all was what this tawdry mess was all about all along.

The excellent Torrentfreak posted an article regarding his attitudes to those less fortuate.

The story he trolls about regarding his “emails being hacked” is not true either, he was a target of a ddos, but he had the arrogance to mock that, it was AFTER this that his site was overwhelmed and in rebuilding his website the plank exposed his email backup to the World in the root Directory.  Why he had the WHOLE archive in such a place is still a mystery.  He has still not apologised to the public for exposing their details to the world.

Crossley is quoted from his emails to have attempted to “Sidefoot” the SRA investigation.

This year the Company GCB LTD seemed to have also joined the fray but the moment they started they were crushed by an outpouring of scorn and derision.  It turned out that a Paralegal from ACS:LAW had taken over GCB LTD, but Crossley denied ANY knowledge, this again was a lie exposed at the second Court hearing where Crossley let slip that in addition to Jonathan Miller there was an unnamed SECOND ex employee.

At the Court hearing it was disclosed by Crossley that GCB LTD had been planned in September, interestingly the same time period as the “Email leak”

The links to his friend Lee Bowden owner of Media C.A.T I believe are well established and have been reported on already.  Bowden is the Managing Director of “Piri Ltd”, and the “Text Works” in addition to Media C.A.T

Many people mainly those who stood up and refused to pay up, and some of the Media have come out of this well, a few have not.  Sky has still not even reported on their “Breaking News” Channel the fact of the ACS:LAW email leak, there is suspicion regarding Sky and ACS:LAW and the silence that SKY has tried to bring to this in light of them being the biggest ISP to let down their subscribers it is SHAMEFUL of them.  8000 of their subscribers linked forever with appallingly titled Pornography that is linked to their address and credit card details and SKY says……NOTHING

I believe, I really HOPE this is the end for this horrid “Speculative Invoicing”, only time will tell.

ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T monster falls flat on it’s face

January 17, 2011 1 comment

“It has been said that we have no intention of going to court but we have no fear of it”, so spoke ACS:LAWs Principle Andrew Crossley.  Well this was his big chance to prove all his critics wrong, and he failed completely.  True he had an excuse, an accident so it has been said, but there is a pattern that emerges that just before ACS:LAW are to be held to account “something” always happens.

Andrew Crossley has already been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for a THIRD time, and this Court Case must truly raise some searching questions amongst his peers.  Media C.A.T who Crossley represents are headed by Lee Bowden who is the Managing Director of Piri Ltd.

This case was called by Judge Birss, after an attempt by ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T to gain some “Default” judgements, so easy money for people who don’t turn up to defend themselves.  This hearing failed spectacularly as Judge Birss appeared astonished at the slack work that had gone into preparing the case for the nine people they were asking for judgments against.  The Judge called a halt to proceedings and after a search for all similar cases filed by ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T it was discovered their were another 27 on the record, the Judge ordered a hearing to try to sort out all the mess.

In the weeks between the Case being halted in December 2010 and the new one that happened today a new wave of letters went out to people, from a Company that stated that they were now acting for Media C.A.T and that ACS:LAW had handed over the work to them.  After much enquiry from the forums set up to help those accused the new Company GCB LTD withdraw from the work on the SAME day as this case was adjourned.

In the last week letters have been going out to the 27 people due in Court today stating that ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T were DROPPING the cases.  You just could not make up a more amateurish  ham fisted load of crap if you tried.  ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T Barristers attempted to discontinue all the cases but the Judge said only HE could give permission for that to happen

So with Crossley and Bowden not turning up it was left to the Barristers to try to deal with the mess, and by all accounts they were very badly briefed. So badly were they briefed that the Judge called an adjournment again until next week.  The Barristers for those accused are asking for punitive costs, and saying that the cases brought are “Pernicious” Rallis Barristers stated they were putting Media C.A.T “On notice” hinting that the “Wastage costs” would be “Off the scale”

One sad moment was when one of those accused and denying accusations of sharing copyrighted porn, representing himself in court, said: “I just want this whole sordid tale behind me” he apparently settled with no recourse to cost.  Although I understand the pressure on him it is the mark of this despicable “Pay or we Sue, Speculative Invoicing” that it can push people to despair.

The Judges reported opinion on hearing that ASC:LAW and Media C.A.T may resubmit the claims they have dropped, the Judge stated the “the reissue threat was “unprecedented” in his career.

I will leave the rest of this down to those who are better at reporting it 2.  I just wanted to get it off my chest.  The SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) should take a long hard look at itself.  We are here talking of a man who has been referred now THREE times to their Disciplinary Tribunal yet he is free to continue to wage his “war of attrition” against innocent people in the pursuit of money.  NO evidence, has EVER been tested in Court and it will be TWO years in May since he started, OVER two years if you take into account the previous Law Firm Davenport Lyons.

How can it be that the SRA is so powerless to stop a seemingly rogue solicitor like Andrew Crossley who has threatened individuals with ruin for trying to stand up to his bullying ways and has threatened whole forums as well.  It is just not acceptable in this day and age to allow this kind of travesty to continue.

ACS:BORE-2010 in review

January 2, 2011 3 comments

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 57 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 147 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 24mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 27th with 6,649 views. The most popular post that day was ACS LAW send out Phishing Questionnaires UPDATED.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were torrentfreak.com, slyck.com, consumeractiongroup.co.uk, ispreview.co.uk, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for gallant macmillan, andrew crossley, wordpress blog acs law, acs bore, and acs law wordpress.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

ACS LAW send out Phishing Questionnaires UPDATED February 2010
14 comments

2

Gallant MacMillan “Latest entrants into the hall of Infamy” demand Money for “Ministry of Sound” July 2010
61 comments

3

“Tilly Bailey and Irvine” Stop sending “Speculative Invoices” to save their Reputation April 2010
10 comments

4

Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Bailey and Irvine, SHAME ON YOU March 2010
1 comment

5

Received a letter from ACS LAW? Dont panic January 2010
3 comments

I would like to thanks Slyck, Enigmax of Torrentfreak and ACS:FLAW, or just Flaw who is a legend!  Thanks guys and gals onto 2011……

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