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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 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: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……

ACS:LAW “Full steam ahead”….

December 14, 2010 6 comments

I was not going to write this piece, however the temptation to write about the abject failure of my wannabe nemesis, proved to overwhelming.  For the last 18 Months, Andrew Crossley and his Firm have held a cloak of fear over those using the Internet in the UK.

I will not go into great detail regarding his operations, suffice to say, if you are in the UK and you go online, you are at risk of a letter from Mr Crossley and his cronies, demanding money for some third rate game, music, or more probably some nasty sounding pornography that you MUST have shared, as ACS:LAW NEVER make mistakes. Ah hem

After thousands of letters, much distress from innocent recipients, and a MASSIVE betrayal of trust on the part of ACS:LAW who allowed their email database to be leaked online due to VERY poor security measures, all those who had received these nasty little letters wanted to see was a day in Court to prove they were innocent and the “Evidence” that ACS:LAW had was well shall we say crap..

That day came this week when under the advice of a QC, Crossley issued Court Proceedings against EIGHT people and attempted what is known as a Default Judgement.  The cases were brought in the name of Crossleys friend and Business Acquaintance Lee Bowden and his company Media C.A.T.

The actual outcome of this case turned into a fiasco, much of what is expected of ACS:LAW, not really know for “Getting it right” as has been noted on some of the support forums set up to provide help for his “victims”.  I would urge you to read Torrentfreaks account of proceedings here.

What is REALLY interesting however, is the RESPONSE from ACS:LAW.  You would have thought after accusing so many people, and knowing that your Business and all the shenanigans surrounding it had been exposed to the point that you were viewed as LAUGHABLE , including a record amount of complaints received by the SRA(Solicitors Regulation Authority) Over 500 at the last count that were investigated and which resulted in his THIRD referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (Following the people who started this Speculative Invoicing Scheme in the first place), AND the fact that he allowed the email leak which is one of the biggest in UK history,  AND that he has been derided in the House of Lords who declared his practice of sending “Threatening and bullying letters” as “Legal Blackmail”, Oh and not even being able to maintain a Website!

AND and…. Well you get the idea, he goes to Court seeking EIGHT default judgments, and LOSES, but not only that, only TWO of those were genuine in the sense that the others had either responded or their was no way of telling either way.   

So what was the response from Andrew Crossley?

I quote in part from “The Lawyer”

Andrew Crossley, the sole partner at ACS:Law, told The Lawyer that the firm was working to “correct the technical issues” involved with the cases and would be resubmitting applications for judgment against the individuals.

He said the firm was “full steam ahead” in its efforts to litigate against file sharers and there were more cases in the pipeline.

Wow did you see that? My emphasis of course, but “FULL STEAM AHEAD”!!  That sounds like the Captain of the Titanic, and like the Captain of the Titanic, he can’t see the icebergs ahead.  The Icebergs for Crossley are many but the Information Commissioner and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal WILL I am sure put an end to this miserable man and his campaign of misery.

Crossleys leaking of the email database has put so many people at risk of losing their jobs, their family’s, their reputation, yet repeated calls for Andrew Crossley to apologise for this has always resulted in SILENCE

“Ministry of Sound” buckle as ISPs stand up to them

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The Ministry of Sound has buckled under pressure of their disastrous “Speculative Invoicing” Scheme.  Like all bullies it has backed down after someone stood up to them and called their bluff.

That someone was the ISP BT,  BT it seems wanted Ministry of Sounds lawyers(Gallant Macmillan)  to  ensure the safety of it’s subscribers data.  This followed the catastrophic release by ACS:LAW of its emails online, exposing thousands of internet users personal data.  As Gallant Macmillan models its own plan on that of ACS:LAW it seems that BT was very concerned.

A hearing that had been adjourned until January 2011 was greatly anticipated by internet users and those wrongly accused by Gallant Macmillan and others as being a turning point in the future granting of Norwich Pharmacal Orders (NPO) the orders that a Court grants for the release of information.   Sadly now it seems that won’t happen.

There has been growing opinion that law firms had been abusing the NPO orders, using them to get information with no actual intention of going to Court for the sole purpose of gaining money by sending letters to people they suspected of sharing their “Works”.

BT has issued its own statement on the issue, most revealing was this “Ministry of Sound’s decision is clearly a matter for them. It’s a shame though that, in this instance, our concerns over the current process will not be examined by the court,”

Ministry of Sounds statement was put through the new Bull$hit Detector

The following is what came out

Ministry of Sound have had to put on hold their plans to send warning notices to 25,000 illegal uploaders on BT’s broadband network after discovering that the ISP has deleted over 20,000 of the records that Ministry of Sound had asked them to save pending the resolution of a court application.

This is not true, Ministry of Sound and their Lawyers are well aware of the data retention policy of BT.   Ministry of Sound/Gallant Macmillan looked set to lose a Court case adjourned until January 2011 that would have been a PR disaster for them.

Ministry of Sound launched a campaign in July targeting the illegal uploading of their music on the UK’s digital network. This work was undertaken by lawyers Gallant MacMillan and technology provider DigiRights Solutions who identified over 150,000 UK addresses from where Ministry of Sound’s copyrighted material was illegally uploaded on the internet.

Well there is nothing like adhering to the “Innocent until proven guilty” I guess.  It is not surprising as  the last thing that Gallant Macmillan would want is an actual Court Case where the alleged infringer actually challenged their evidence or rather lack of it as Gallant Macmillan would be most likely laughed out of the Court.

Since July, Ministry of Sound has been applying to the High Court to require ISPs to provide them with the customer data of the illegal uploaders. This process had been working smoothly and seen over 5,000 warning letters and settlement notices sent to illegal uploaders requiring them either to confirm that they had infringed Ministry of Sound’s copyright and make an out-of-court payment of £350 or risk legal action. Since this campaign was launched a large proportion of those contacted have settled out of court.

Well Ministry of Sound HAVE indeed been applying for these NPOs that require the ISPs to provide them with customer’s details.  This however had NOT been going smoothly and the 5000 warning letters were actually “Pay up or face Court and possible financial ruin” letters.  There Is no recourse to the law for those accused as Lord Lucas in the House of Lords has stated that it can take around £10,000 to defend one of these cases, this he concluded is “Straight forward legal blackmail”  Indeed the Judge who allows the Court Order for the ISPs to release Customer details Chief Master Winegarten said “There wouldn’t be this hue and cry unless you were pursuing people who were innocent. I can’t understand why in these thousands – hundreds of thousands – [of letters sent out] no-one has been sued.”

Last month BT decided to challenge this process following a security breach by an unrelated firm, ACS Law, and convinced a Master in the courts to require Ministry of Sound to provide additional information to ensure that the privacy of BT customers would not be breached. Ministry of Sound were happy to do this despite the substantial costs that were going to be incurred and in spite of the fact that the ACS Law security breach bore no relation to this application.

Well this is NOT true at all, indeed Gallant Macmillan are using the same business model as ACS:LAW and to further compound the connection, in the leaked emails from ACS:LAW it shows that Simon Gallant and Andrew Crossley met up for coffee (I am sure they were not just talking about the merits of HMV*), and Crossley later referred to Gallant Macmillan as fellow Brigands, so not as unconnected as we were first led to believe.  The fact that the Ministry of Sound had NO CHOICE but to go along with the adjournment as the quality of evidence was starting to be questioned
However, subsequently in legal correspondence it was revealed that BT has failed to preserve over 20,000 of the 25,000 customer records which Ministry of Sound had originally requested and which they had agreed to do their best to preserve. Whilst Ministry of Sound were happy to incur substantial legal costs to access 25,000 names it is simply not economic to pursue the 5,000 remaining illegal uploaders.

Why should this have anything to do with economics? Surely this is about a principle that the Ministry of Sound believes that people are stealing their music (The fact that this is NOT what they argued in Court is by the way it seems, as Ministry of Sound are a compilation label they only have the “Rights” to the track listing of an Album NOT the music, I know I know, now stop laughing)  This statement amongst all others proves that the Ministry of Sound are not interested in true justice but merely fleecing potentially innocent people out of money

Ministry of Sound CEO Lohan Presencer said: “It is very disappointing that BT decided not to preserve the identities of the illegal uploaders. Given that less than 20% of the names remain and BT costs have soared from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand pounds, it makes no economic sense to continue with this application. We are more determined than ever to go after internet users who illegally upload our copyrighted material. We will be making further applications for information from all ISPs. Every time that a track or album is uploaded to the web it is depriving artists of royalties and reducing the money which we can invest in new British talent.”

The XFactor has more original talent than the Ministry of Sound, nay I say Sir, Britains Got Talent has more talent, and that is saying something.
Further information:

Ministry of Sound

Ministry of Sound is a flagship for British youth culture; an iconic brand that includes a club, the world’s largest independent record label, and a multimedia entertainment business, all directed from the company’s South London home.

LMAO God help the British youth culture if this bunch of ambulance chasers are its flagship

Norwich Pharmacal Order

The IP addresses of illegal uploaders are identified using the same technology as is used for identifying other illegal activity online. An application is made through the courts to have ISPs hand over personal information relating to those customers. This process is known as a Norwich Pharmacal Order after a 1974 case where the House of Lords determined that:

“where a third party had become involved in unlawful conduct, they were under a duty to assist the person suffering damage by giving them full information and disclosing the identity of wrongdoers.”

For the application to be granted by a court the victim, in this case the copyright holder, must demonstrate:

• a reasonable basis to allege that a wrong has actually been committed
• the disclosure of documents or information from the third party is needed to enable action against the wrongdoer
• the respondent is not a “mere witness”, but is sufficiently mixed up in the wrongdoing so as to have facilitated it, even if innocently, and therefore be in a position to provide the information
• the order is necessary in the interests of justice on the facts of the case

When put together with the statements of Gallant Macmillan and the Ministry of Sound who seem to have already found the people guilty without a hearing the above statements regarding the NPO shows how abused the system has become.  It is a great shame that the Ministry of Sound have denied people the January hearing as it may well have been a turning point in the history of Speculative Invoicing, as it is Gallant Macmillan and the Ministry of Sound like ACS:LAW and Davenport Lyons before them have once again made a mockery of the Justice system.

The statement that ACS:LAW and Gallant MacMillan were not “connected” seems to imply that they did not know each other and did not work together, I call this an outrageous lie.  See the two statements below

*I think people have got used to being able to file share. Nobody would dream of going into HMV and walking out without paying. Even more to the point they wouldn’t dream of reproducing CDs and just giving them out to other people for free. – Simon Gallant (Gallant Macmillan)

“It is the equivalent of someone stood outside HMV with a pile of the latest albums, handing them out to people who were intending to go in the shop and buy it,” – Andrew Crossley (ACS:LAW)

Ok so they may have just come up with very similar sounding statements on their own.  However below are included the emails that PROVE they knew of each other, even meeting up.

 

ACS:LAW “We can’t prove damages beyond a SINGLE copy”

October 24, 2010 2 comments

For all those receiving a letter from ACS:LAW

ACS:LAW in one of their emails show SERIOUS doubts about their ability to prove the amount of damages they are seeking.  This email has already been released by better blogs than this, HOWEVER in light of ACS:LAW sending out BRAND NEW LETTERS OF CLAIM I though it only right to highlight this scandal further.

In an email from Adam Glenn to Andrew Crossley on the 19th August 2010, Glenn expresses his deep reservations regarding the actual proving of an “infringer” making the “Works” available to ANYONE else.

As far as I am aware there areNO academic studies which have evaluated how many people the average participant in aP2P session shares a file with. To empirically establish that it would be necessary to eithermonitor the packet level inbound and outbound transmissions of an infringer (an action whichis against the law) or have permission from the participants to record such information.Without some level of direction on quantification it would be impossible, as Newzbin found,to determine the degree of sharing.

This statement alone should prove encouraging for those innocent people caught up in this scandal.  ACS:LAW has been crowing about its bullet proof system for well over a year now, and yet here less than a month before the devastating release of their emails into the wild by either sheer incompetence or wilful sabotage by one of their employees sickened by their business practices. we have Adam Glenn raising questions about the very foundation upon which ACS:LAW had built it’s House of Cards.

Glenn goes on to dismiss Davenport Lyons infamous “Barwinska” case with a brutal assessment.

The Davenport Lyons model, in my opinion, failed to apply accepted and fundamentalmathematical principals in its calculation, including queuing theory, and would havedifficulty in passing an applied mathematics assessment if submitted in an “A level” statisticspaper.

And then a classic

Barwinska might make nice headline reading but it has, in my opinion, about as much legalforce as a Sun newspaper headline regarding the licentious behaviour of a D list celebrity

Remember ACS:LAW waving the Barwinska case around like a flag at the beginning of their campaign back in May 2009 ? how the Mainstream Media did NO investigating but took Davenport Lyons at its word ?, now ACS:LAW are laid bare, the Emperor really is wearing no clothes, he has no evidence, this is, as we always thought it was,  a barely legal “Shakedown”.

One wonders if Glenn had in mind the “D List Celebrity” as opposed to the Z List clients that ACS:LAW represents.  The pitiful stream of nobodies out to make a quick buck, whose so called “works” are so worthless you wouldn’t even find them in a bargain bin at the local market.

Please DOWNLOAD the email here it is long but worth a read

Or read it online here!

Please see TorrentFreak and Slyck Forums for more info and support

ACS:LAW Suffers massive Email leak to the net (SRA REPORT Included)

September 25, 2010 3 comments

ACS:LAW have been dealt a catastrophic blow to their “Speculative Invoicing” Business Model.  A staggering amount of emails both internal and external have been released onto the Web for all to see.  The leak is allegedto be from a DDos carried out by 4Chan

The leak confirms lots of things that we only thought before but that is for a later post.  What is of interest here is the SRA Report and the response from Andrew Crossley.  The Report includes a breakdown of money he has taken so far.

SRA Final Report ACS Law

acs law response to SRA

An online version of the email leak is available here. http://ueof.co.uk/acslaw/?_task=login (This will be up and down due to traffic)

ALWAYS check Torrentfreak for further developments and of course Slyck to debate the issues

Updates to come

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