Gallant MacMillan claim to have sent out 7000 letters regarding the “Ministry of Sound – The Annual” Album. They are demanding £250 – £300 for each alleged infringement
What Is slightly amusing is that part of the “Settlement” is that you are allowed to keep a copy for yourself?? As a recipient of one of the letters pointed out, “gee thanks, a piece of crap I had never heard of and I get to keep it for £300, thanks, as I dont have it will they send me a copy?”
Another point of interest is that although according to the letter “Ministry of Sound instructed a Software Company to indicate when the file was shared” it does NOT name the Company!!
If you have received a letter is DO NOT worry, YOU are NOT going to JAIL, this is a CIVIL matter, and the flush is pretty much busted on this scheme now, (almost, not quite yet though)
Write a letter of Denial, send it and leave it there. Don’t get involved with further correspondence, if you KNOW you did not do it and you KNOW you did not authorise someone else to do it, you have done NOTHING wrong.
IF you have committed the infringement seek legal advice as the actual Cash demand is disproportionate
If of course Gallant MacMillan are ANYTHING like ACS:LAW then I would hazard a guess that many many people have been targeted who are totally innocent. The Frontpage of their website states “Pure legal advice. No funny business” Hmmmm
This all comes Hot on the heels of ACS:LAW issuing letters of Claim for ”Cascada – Evacuate the Dancefloor” and demanding monies of £200 – £400 (I wonder if a Judge actually heard this awful mess of muzak he might actually LAUGH the claim out of Court on the understanding that NOONE could have such bad taste as to waste their time in the first place)
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please provide any infformation on this “legal Scam” to assist my case.
I like many others have been infiltrated by these people and wish to defend my self family and friends from these people
The most worrying aspect about this scam is the advice floating around on the internet to the effect that, in the event you receive a letter from Gallant and Macmillan LLP, you should reply to it to deny your guilt.
What is the point in that – replying to a scam letter? For a start, replying confirms that (a) you exist, (b) you received the letter and (c) you are likely to make yourself a target for further correspondence. No-one should reply to phishing scam e-mails; speculative invoicing is no different. If you don’t reply to the letter(s) how are they to know that you received them?
If you receive any letters of this nature, never respond. Seek professional advice and, by all means, contact the Law Society.
Just one observation about Gallant and Macmillan’s website, having performed a search on their domain name. I will not post the results here, but show you how you can see for yourself.
Then copy and paste the following url into the search box:-
I am dubious about a firm of solicitors prepared to involve themselves in speculative invoicing, and feel even more so about a firm of solicitors whose domain name is registered to a “Biz Park” address. Something does not seem right, IMHO.
What if you did download such music? Then what happens?
What if you did download such music?? Then what happens??
If you illegally downloaded the music, the logical step would be to write to the firm of solicitors who you received the letter from asking them for further information, other than the IP address, to substantiate their allegations.
IP address alone is not evidence in itself. IP addresses can be subject to hacking and if you have dynamic IP address, how can you be certain that the IP address on the letter is yours or one you previously had?
Even if you illegally downloaded the piece of music stated on the letter, it’s still highly unlikely that the firm of solicitors who wrote to you knows this.
Don’t forget that many have received letters from ASC Law relating to Evacuate The Dance Floor by Cascada or Gallant and Macmillan about the Ministry of Sound. Large volumes of Sky Broadband customers have been targetted.
All kinds of music are illegally downloaded day in, day out. If this was genuine, the letter would be from other firms of solicitors – not merely ACS Law and Gallant and Macmillan – and would not relate solely to Evacuate The Dance Floor or the Ministry of Sound compilations.
Also, you would expect customers who use other broadband companies – not just Sky – to be targetted.
This has the word ‘scam’ written all over it and is the type you’d expect to see on the Real Hustle.
If you have illegally downloaded material, let the firm of solicitors prove it. The legal onus is on them to do so. Don’t admit or deny anything – just don’t comment on it if you decide to respond.
A relative received a letter from these scammers. I would guess that most if not all of the people at MOS and G&M, have at some point either a) copied a CD/cassette/record or b) been given a copy of a CD/cassette/record by a mate – assuming they have any. That is unless they are of an age that wouldn’t know where to begin – much like my relative where “file sharing” is concerned. Do they really think we don’t know that there is a certain level of hypocrisy about this?
i have recieved one such letter and promptly paid the demand as i did download one of the mos albums but honestly did not realise i was doing anything wrong but as i have 3 children and did not want the matter to go any further i thought it was bset to pay but i have become dubios in the last few days as the company will not supply a receipt is there anyway i can get my money back pls help
“i have recieved one such letter and promptly paid the demand as i did download one of the mos albums but honestly did not realise i was doing anything wrong but as i have 3 children and did not want the matter to go any further i thought it was bset to pay but i have become dubios in the last few days as the company will not supply a receipt is there anyway i can get my money back pls help”
How you reacted to the letter by promptly paying is exactly what the firm of solicitors who wrote to you wanted you to do.
I really think it’s highly unlikely that they targetted you because you actually downloaded this file.
You could write to them to ask for a refund, but this would be tantamount to saying, “That money you conned me into paying you – please can I have it back.”
I really feel for you in the fact that you handed over the money out of panic – a perfectly natural and understandable reaction from receiving a letter like this – but if I were a betting person, I’d be saying, sorry, I think that will be a ‘no’.
pleas any one who had a letter form this company read this link.copy then paste.
I received a “reminder” letter yesterday. I’ve never received the first letter at all. I haven’t downloaded this album either. But the reminder letter states I have 7 days to contact them or the client can “assume” I am guilty and take it further. I am phoning them today and seeking legal advice tomorra. They aren’t getting away with this.
It’s all hot air – if you are saying you had nothing to do with this, then there can be no legal action!
The letters issued by ACS Law and Gallant Macmillan have been designed to make you – and every other recipient – believe they will take you to court. They won’t – they are bluffing!
For a start, for civil action to succeed, they would need much stronger evidence than an IP address alone. Even the courts would time a dim view of any attempt to take a matter to court based on evidence which is flimsy at best and downright erroneous at worst.
These firms of solicitors are not too stupid to have worked out that it will not be viable to proceed a case for alleged illegal file downloading to court unless they can prove it and their chances of winning are strong.
Is it not the case that some of these firms work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis?
If they lose, they would be liable for legal costs, including those of the accused and their legal representation, a fact they also know, which would be very good reason not to proceed the matter to court. The safer bet is to ‘invite’ recipients to settle, and the fact that some already have, means their methods have worked.
If information on the internet is to be believed, in the region of 30,000 letters have been issued by one particular firm of solicitors. Now, if this firm is serious about legal action, how much time – both of theirs and the courts – would this take? And how much would they stand to be out of pocket if they lost each and every case in court?
This mass circulation of letters is about one agenda and one agenda alone: to give recipients the option to part with their money, and some will happily do so if they don’t understand what’s going on, are scared about the prospect of legal action and will do anything – even if it means paying – in the vain hope that it will go away.
These letters are everything about frightening recipients into meeting demands and nothing about justice. If this were about justice, then making sure the evidence is watertight and obtaining court orders to confiscate the equipment to which the illegal files were allegedly downloaded would be the priority above anything else – money wouldn’t come into it.
It’s a red herring.
For your own peace of mind, seek professional advice. The Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to put you in contact with firms of solicitors who have particular expertise in this field.
You also have the option to make a complaint to the Law Society if you feel that you have been falsely accused. In fact, I would recommend this because the more complaints the Law Society receives, the more likely they are to deal with the firms who have been sending the letters.
@Martin Could you scan and email me the letter? I would be VERY interested in seeing it. Of course I will redact ANY personal info as soon as it is received. I am only interested in the CONTENT. Thanks
hi im a sky broadband customer and i have contacted sky broadband and sky says it has fraud all over it and they will now be contacting gallant macmillan demanding to no why it is targeting there customers and i would advise any body else to do the same!!!sky told me if an offence had been committed that they would have written to you first as they are your isp
Don’t be fooled by Sky. They appear to be in back-peddling mode.
They may claim this has fraud written all over it, but ask yourself this – if this is their view, why did they roll over so readily and supply your details to Gallant Macmillan in the first place? And ask them why, when some ISPs have refused. I wouldn’t remain with an ISP who was prepared to do that to me.
So they may have been threatened with a Court Order, but they are a large enough company, with their own team of legal representatives, and are quite capable of telling them where to go. Other ISPs did.
Very good question? Why exactly has Sky rolled over so easily to Gallant Macmaillan and ACS? and why is the first thing I hear about this matter a letter demanding £350 off me? This whole thing is extremely underhand! they have gone and aquired information, in order to make allegations. I’m considering speaking to Sky about this, however I’m sure the call centre team in Katmandu are not going to really be in the picture are they!?
Am off to read an article from the Guardian on Gallant Macmillan…..
My father has been sent two of these letters now i need to sort this out, he isnt the type to listen to the ministry of sound to which they have accused him, the links supplied are right, especially robbie, it is good to read it for your self, if you are worried… please please dont send any money to g&m,
MOST OF ALL DONT PANIC, READ EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS FIRM BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP!!
As I have stated I am NOT a lawyer, merely someone who feels strongly enough to collate the information on these “people”. It is GREAT news that the SRA has sent ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and remember Gallant Macmillan are pretty much running the same thing here.
Lawdit the Lawyers who have cast much doubt on these solicitors gave some GREAT advice. “Lawdit’s advice cannot be clearer. Do not ignore the letter, engage with the Law firm and politely inform them (if this is the case) that you have not heard of the tune in question and it is not on your hard drive.
The evidence submitted by their client is not conclusive. It may identify the identity of the person from the IP address but it does not identify who actually committed the offence.
The name on the bill does not necessarily mean the same as the person who committed the wrong doing, As you do not know the identity of the person involved then politely refuse to pay, point out that this is the last time they will hear from you on the subject and wish them well!”
Good luck guys!
with reference to martin’s post above I am curious to know what has happened after the second letter you have recieved?
I am a Sky customer, and I have had a letter off Gallant Macmillan asking me to pay up £350 for a MOS album I have supposedly downloaded.
I have taken advice today from my local Trading standards office (consumer direct services) who have advised me NOT to act on the first letter.
However I am a bit confused as there seems to be so much advice flying around as to how to deal with these bullying companies.
I was also advised to report it to the Law Society – which is great, but I have many things to be dealing with other than fending off these “so called” legitimate legal companies.
comments appreciated !
very annoyed, Miss Molly 🙂
I received a second letter today from GM as i didn’t respond to the first letter. They have advised that firstly as i have not responded i am guilty and if i do not respond in 7 days then i did infringe copyright and they will take a copy of their letter to the courts to show what they have sent to me ….. as there is so much advice around i am at a loss as to whether to respond or not… i wont be paying them that much i am sure of. Also i am moving house soon so they wont have my new address to pester me any further.
I would merely send them a polite letter stating you did not do what they have accused you of and if they still believe they have a case to take it to Court. This is really all you can do. They wont of course, the last thing they want is for their case to be tested!
Kate, Hi, I contacted my local trading standards dept and they advised me after the first letter I perhaps need not reply, but to get back to them for advice if I hear from them again.
Like you say, you have just had a 2nd letter. The trading standards were really interested in what I told them about GM, maybe you could check out advice near to you, but the more people that report this the better.
I agree, that there is lots of info on here, and I wasn’t sure what to do after the first letter either.
I was advised that by initially replying to their first letter I would only be confirming to them who I was, and where I lived.
I’ve read lots, my advice to you (just personal opinion of course) would be try speak to your local trading standards or Citizens advice if you can. If you write to them/ GM, then state politely & clearly that you do not have any files they are referring to and inform them that you are taking advice on the matter.
this matter is becoming a real pain in the neck, and I know most of us just do not have the time to be dealing with GM.
regards Miss Molly
I recieved this same ”ministry of sound” letter from GM. The situation is that basically this was illegally downloaded on to my laptop from a mate of a mate who was staying with us at the time over the xmas period. As I’m not that up on file sharing and found out from the IT guy at work that it was on my laptop i paid the fine as i believed it was real and not a scam. I have today been googlin the GM ministry of sound letters and found out that they have been reported to the SRA and so far recieved 50 complaints about this! does anyone know if I have even a slight chance of getting my money back?? or if anything has happened to these scumbags?
I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of getting your money back. By your own admission, some material was illegally downloaded (although whether the material Gallant Macmillan has written to you about is the same which was downloaded is another matter). You’ve paid the money; it’s as simple as that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if you knew then what you now know, perhaps you wouldn’t have paid.
Ralli Solicitors are trying to gather a group of people together who have had letters from ACS Law. It might be worth contacting their helpline to see if they can be of assistance. I must warn you though, I have already tried to post a comment under their article published on their website to ask if the same help is on offer to those who have received letters from Gallant Macmillan. Surprise, surprise, my comment was not allowed!
So, we have a couple of big, bad wolves (ie ACS Law and Gallant Macmillan) and now another firm of solicitors is trying to do the ‘knight in shining armour’ routine to chase them away. Ho hum.
JUST GOT A LETTER 2 DAY SO I GUESS I JUST IGNORE IT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS ANY ADVICE
I too have received the first letter and can see the conflicting info-I spoke to a solicitor who is an expert in internet law (albeit criminal)and his initial advice was to ignore it and see if another comes.Problem is , reading the threads here,it looks like it will.I told him my concerns and he simply said to send a brief letter stating that you acknowledge receipt of their letter but did not authorise any breach of copyright and am not in a position to pay.He did say you could add any further correspondence would be treated as harrasment.
I`ve had one of these letters from Gallant Macmillan, I`m currently in the process of moving house and rang sky today to cancel are subscribtion but was advised that I cant because of the court order that gallant and macmillan have brought in trying to obtain my details. Im currently stuck paying for a sky tv package in a house that im moving out off. Any ideas or suggestions?
I would seriously doubt that could be true on the part of Sky. One trhing to do would be to ask for that in writing and then scan the letter and send it to me and I will post it up. I find this quite shocking.
SKY state that I cant cancel my contract due to this court action. They`ve told me to email firstname.lastname@example.org as no one on the cancellation team can cancel my contract due to this court action by GM. Alls they say is contact the third party
I hope thats not true as although Im stuicking with sky tv i am cancewlling my broadband on principle as they have provided my details to GM.
Anyone succesfully done this and whats the best deal for broadband at the mo?
This is 100% true, Ive been on the phone all day to SKY and im still no further to getting my contract cancelled due to the move. Im now stuck with sky tv, phone and internet until this is resolved, whilst not even living in the property.
Since receiving the letter from GM I have cancelled my sky subscription and faced no problems in doing so. My telephone and broadband are no longer active and the TV will be going off in the next few days.
Mark I have NOT allowed your comment as it is to long, although I have read it and cannot see where it barrs you from leaving them. I would appreciate it if you could ask them to send you a letter and then scan it. Could you see if they would put the email into a letter?
There should be NO reason why you cannot leave a firm you can no longer trust with your personal information.
Finally resolved the situation today after numerous calls to Gallant Macmillan who sent me an email cancelling any legal action against me. Finally got through to sky went through the complaints department and sent them the email and finally got it cancelled. It is in there terms and conditions to carry out this action. Thank god its finally finished with, extremely disappointed with SKY though…
Mark what did you do(ie letter) and say to get them to drop the action?I and others would benefit from knowing?cheers
I just emailed Gallant Macmillan saying that I have never owned a copy of the album or distributed it, That I have checked the computer in my house and their is no evidence of filesharing and that my internet connection was secure. Fair do`s to the guy, he was very helpful in helping me close the case once I explained my situation. Thank god this is all over….
One Tip. I got a template letter of the internet denying any wrong doing, this was`nt accepted by GM. They just want a letter in your own words denying any wrong doing. Sending this template letter will only prolong the case.
This sounds fishy to me….call me paranoid but this is all too easy.
Someone from GM prompting the recipients to contact them? Sounds plausible.
When did I say GM prompted me to call them?
Mark, you misunderstand me – I meant in the sense that perhaps you were from GM and prompting people on here to call in to GM in view of your “success story”.
I had to contact them and chase this matter up to get the case closed. It took a day of calls and emails to deal with this matter…
Still sounds fishy to me. I don’t believe you….sorry to be harsh but I think you work at GM and your trying to get people who are looking for advice by coming on this site to contact GM by implying that you have “won” and persuaded GM to drop the case against you.
Kate you really need to get a grip darling, this is a discussion forum and alls your doing is worrying people. I have successfully closed this case, it may have taken a few days but i`ve done it. I work in Wigan not London, and I work as a Civil Engineer. Wouldnt mind swapping salaries though Kate, so stop being so down beat about the whole situation and worrying people even more, it can be dealt with people, ignore this dame….
I am entitled to my opinion, and as you say this is a discussion forum, so please don’t belittle someone elses opinion.
I stand by what I believe and what I have said so anybody reading the above can do with it what they wish. I find your “story” far too unbelievable.
Whilst one should ALWAYS be aware that trolls WILL be on these boards, I can confirm that Mark is posting from a SKY IP, like you Kate are using what appears to be a Phone IP.
I have to ay the account Mark gives is rather unique in my experience, but I have no reason to disbelieve it.
Please EVERYONE be aware that members of ACS:LAW and Gallant Macmillan frequent these boards so be careful what you post!
Companies often try it on with their customers in the hope that the customer is less knowledgeable about consumer rights and contract law.
I am simply not convinced that Sky has the power to refuse to allow a customer to terminate their contract on the grounds of a Court Order arising out of the issue with Gallant Macmillan. That would be akin to a motorist not being allowed to sell their car and buy another after they had been issued a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Sky, however, is quite at liberty to uphold its terms and conditions and if a customer has signed a contract for a minimum period of 12 months, then Sky is entitled to impose penalties, as set out in their terms and conditions, if the customer wishes to terminate that contract early.
It might be possible to terminate the contract with Sky on the grounds of frustration of contract; certainly, if Sky were my ISP, I would have a problem with their supplying my details to Gallant Macmillan (or ACS Law) where guilt were assumed, but not proven, and I would not wish to continue my custom with Sky on that basis alone.
I would like to add a note of caution that those looking terminate their agreement with Sky should carefully read the terms and conditions, in particular, any penalties for early cancellation. Furthermore, anyone looking to terminate on the grounds of frustration of contract should seek legal advice beforehand.
My SKY account had run through the 12 month period and only required a 30 notice period until this problem with GM arised.
In which case, you are entitled to cancel your contract with Sky, provided that you give them 30 days’ notice. It sounds as though they are trying it on by using the issues involving Gallant Macmillan as an excuse. If your terms and conditions state that you owe them nothing other than 30 days’ notice, then that’s all you’re obliged to give; it’s as simple as that.
If I were in your situation, I’d be inclined to write to Sky’s CEO, Jeremy Darroch, to cancel your agreement. I suggest that your letter should detail all of the issues surrounding your disgruntlement with their supply of your details to Gallant Macmillan and the ensuing allegations of illegal downloading, which is not what you expect of them as your ISP, and that you give 30 days’ notice in writing to cancel your agreement. I also suggest that you advise of your intention to report this matter to Consumer Direct, Which? and BBC Watchdog. Send your letter by Recorded Delivery post.
As for anyone else who is having problems with Gallant Macmillan or ACS Law, by all means, send a letter of denial (assuming that you have been falsely accused) and warn them that you deem any further letters as harassment, for which you will seek legal advice. Finally, send a copy of your letter to The Law Society, ensuring that your letter to Gallant Macmillan states this.
The only way to deal with Gallant Macmillan and ACS Law is to stand up to them.
My wife receved the second letter from Gallant Macmillan asking for names of other residents in the household . As we could see the correspondence going on and on , especially as they had clearly not read the first letter , she followed advice to ring the Law Society who were tremendously helpful and reassuring . So make a phone call to the Law Society your first response , even though it sounds daunting . They will take your details but indicate that they take a very dim view of Gallant Macmillan’s actions !!
Hmm i am I right in thinking that Gallant Macmillan are also requesting further information in the form of a questionaire? Like this kind of thing? https://acsbore.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/acs-law-send-out-sinister-questionnaires/
Please let me know!
As you’re probably well aware, documents such as these are designed to intimidate recipients into supplying information.
If they look official, then it’s understandable why recipients would believe that they are obliged to comply with the request.
The thing is, with a computer and printer, it’s possible to engineer an official looking form, even if there is no legal right to demand information requested on that form.
Anyone who receives a form such as that in link above should seek professional advice as regards how to proceed. I daresay The Law Society would also be interested to receive a copy.
Postman as you can see from the link I provided, is that although it is from a Solicitor (ACS:LAW) it is hardly professional. My point was is Gallant Macmillan ALSO sending out these type of forms.
Your Wife mustn’t worry about this, and nor should you. If you have sent a letter of denial in response to Gallant Macmillan’s first letter, then that should be the end of the matter. If Gallant Macmillan persist with their contact, I would suggest seeking legal advice on the grounds of harassment, ensuring that you copy The Law Society into your correspondence with Gallant Macmillan.
The point wasn’t lost on me. These are all tactics which I believe are intended to replace those which have been in circulation for the past few weeks and have since lost impact.
I note that the emphasis on sending letters regarding the illegal acquisition of Cascada’s Evacuate The Dancefloor or Ministry of Sound Chilled 1991-2009 seems to have evaporated and now the latest batch of letters relates to porn!
Can I ask please what is the best way to react to a G & M first letter?I didnt download but I suppose canot prove that definitively just as they cant prove I DID.
Is it best to not reply-some people say you can get an automatic default judgement in their favour if you dont reply!SO ASSUMING you have to cknowledge it,what do you put to best prevent subsequent letters and is their any law that says you have to reply to further letters in a civil case?
Just send a letter of denial in your own words, stating that your IP address had no involvement in the copyright infringement as their correspondence insinuates.
Tell Gallant Macmillan that you consider this the end of the matter and if they contact you further, you will deem this harassment, for which you will refer this to a solicitor.
Advise that you are copying your letter to The Law Society and make sure that you send copies of your correspondence to the Law Society, as they are currently gathering complaints and will want to hear from you.
Good advice although I would also send a letter to my Local MP ( http://www.theyworkforyou.com/) and also the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). their is a form on one of my posts for this specific purpose here https://acsbore.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/how-to-complain-to-the-sra-about-acslaw-and-gallant-macmillan/
Please DO this if you can do nothing else these few steps will be of GREAT help in ending all this.
I will do as you say, and thanks for help putting my mind at rest
Try not to worry. I doubt this will go anywhere. If Gallant Macmillan was intent on pursuing the matter to court, there would be less emphasis on the suggestion for you to pay to keep this out of court.
If you understand the psychology behind the tactics employed by Gallant Macmillan and ACS Law, your fears should soon evaporate; you always have the option to call their bluff (which is what I would do).
They are not nearly as clever or as powerful as they would like everyone to believe!
Not sure about that Mark guy, I cancelled my sky bb and phone a few days ago with no probs. It was mainly because they wanted to charge me for moving service to new address, you get everything free if you sign with a new providor + joining bonus. I also mentioned to them that I dont trust them anymore as I had also recieved the GM letters. They had no comment on that and just said to contact bskyb with complaints and gave me email address : email@example.com
I noticed a few people are still worrying when they receive their first letter and not sure if to reply or ignore. I strongly recommend replying to the letter as it is a legal claim they are making against you (ok they don’t have any proof, and I doubt it will ever go to court), but to keep yourself in the clear in case it does, reply with a simple letter of Denial.
Keep the letter very short and do not offer any kind of explanation other than it wasn’t you or you have no knowledge etc and any further contact is tantamount to harrasment.
Also you can legally use a template letter. They will send you a second letter saying that you can’t, this is false, if they send out a letter refusing to accept your template letter, merely tell them that you are standing by your original statement and you will no longer engage in any correspondence with them.
Keep a record of everything they send and everything you send. Report them to your local councilor, trading standards and the SRA. The more complaints the better all round.
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