Many people have received a letter from either ACS:LAW or Gallant Macmillan. These letters seem to act like a dragnet in that they may well identify the occasional person who is accused of file sharing who actually did it, but far to many times the dragnet has included many who are wholly innocent of what they have been accused of.
The wording of the letters of ACS:LAW and Gallant Macmillan are VERY similar and they have also used the same “Monitoring” Software.
With the recent news that ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley is following Davenport Lyons in being referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, a lot of people receiving a letter from Gallant Macmillan have started coming forward, claiming innocence.
With all this in mind ACS BORE has obtained a Proforma from the Solicitors Regulation Authority for people to fill out details of the letters they have received, as the SRA are looking to end this practice. This practise after all is very corrosive to the trust that people have in the Legal profession.
Here is a link to help you complete the form that the SRA require. It is a simple form that will not take long at all to fill out. PLEASE DO IT
Contact Centre Proforma – External Use Doc File
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Fax: 0207 320 5964
Here is a link to the previous appearances by Andrew Crossley at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
This letter sending dragnet of “Speculative Invoicing will ONLY stop when the SRA has a loud and booming voice saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, THIS IS NOT JUSTICE” and one of the best ways we can provide that voice is by filling out the form and sending it to them. If YOU do nothing then dont expect ANYTHING to change
I have sent a proforma to the SRA already. On the advice of a friendly voice in the Slyck forums I have also e-mailed my MP to ask if they would enquire with the SRA if an investigation into GM is currently underway.
That is excellent news. I know that many people have already repsonded to the SRA but I wanted to make it so people had NO excuse. Gallant Macmillan MUST be tackled the same as ACS:LAW as it IS the same system. Gallant Macmillan may have slightly sugar-coated their letters, but a turd is a turd, wether sucrose is involved or not!
Couldn’t agree more.
Despite all the excellent advice out there (this blog, CAG, Slyck, beingthreatened etc.) it is hard not to stress, worry and obsess about this stuff. Refreshing the same website tens of time a day hoping for news like we have about ACS eats up lots of ones time and causes some sleepless nights.
But I’m definitely on the up now and if GM send out a further robotic “a template is not compliant with the PAP” or “you have not proven your innocence, please babble on until you give us enough information to make a case against you!” then I will be happy to file it under harassment and possibly send another proforma to the SRA.
Have you seen the post by Ralli? I’m not altogether sure it’s a positive thing. Following litigation with more. The only upside I could see is that if they were actively pursuing ACS then it may hasten GM withdrawing from this “murky” field of practice. Although as you point out GM have demonstrated a small amount of nouse by veiling their threats and labelling their “evidence” as “inferences” in the hope of avoiding being tarred with the bullying brush.
I have seen this Solicitors offer and like ALL Solicitors I will treat them with caution. I have sent them an email for them to clarify what it is that they are actually trying to do with this offer. I await their response.
Recipients of ACS Law copyright infringement letters urged to come forward
NATIONAL law firm Ralli says recipients of file sharing bullying letters and demands for money may be entitled to compensation for harassment.
Ralli’s harassment law team is already providing advice on potential claims arising from the letters and is urging others to come forward so they can be included in a group action he is pursuing.
Michael Forrester, of Ralli’s Intellectual Property and Harassment Law teams explains:
“The legal basis for the claims being made against these alleged file sharers involves complex legal and technical principles. These are extremely difficult for a lay person to understand and can often mean that an innocent person is being pursued.
“We are advising people who have received these letters but have never even heard of the media they are supposed to have obtained. For example, a middle aged gentleman who has been accused of obtaining dance music when he has no idea what the genre is, let alone the artist!
“It can be incredibly upsetting for people to receive such letters and they may well have a claim for harassment against ACS Law so I am urging them to come forward.”
A similar lawsuit is currently being brought in the USA involving several filmmakers and over 14,000 individuals where settlements of between $1,500 and £2,500 are being discussed. At a preliminary hearing of the American case, the Judge criticised the letter sent to alleged infringers, and ordered that new letters be drawn up.
Anyone wishing to seek a free assesment of their case after receiving a letter from ACS Law can contact Michael Forrester or Clare Perchal on 0161 832 6131 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it necessary to reply to each of GMs letters. Even after you have sent a template LoD? Could they get a default judgement if not?
Slightly perturbingly Lawdit have put an update up on what to do in response to a GM letter.
It seems a very cautious response and a less firm stance than their “we will represent anyone for free in court against ACS”.
It also predicts a long and protracted exchange. People in other forums have stated that on enquiring with Lawdit regarding GM letters they have received a similar response and quote of £150+vat for an initial LoD followed by £25+vat per subsequent letter.
Less expensive than simply settling admittedly but it could quite quickly escalate to more……
I think the confusion lays between representation IF ACS:LAW ever issued proceedings. Lawdit have mentioned before that IF ACS:LAW brought an innocent person to Court it would represent them. THAT is VERY different from having Lawdit send letters to ACS:LAW BEFORE a court case.
GM getting fresh recognition on other blogs 🙂
Interesting developments with Logistep today, a quick google will turn it up