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:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
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.
ACS LAW send out Phishing Questionnaires UPDATED February 2010
“Tilly Bailey and Irvine” Stop sending “Speculative Invoices” to save their Reputation April 2010
Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Bailey and Irvine, SHAME ON YOU March 2010
Received a letter from ACS LAW? Dont panic January 2010
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……
It was rumoured in the forums but now it is official, Gallant Macmillan are no longer representing Ministry of Sound.
In a terse letter to a person accused, Gallant Macmillan the controversial Law firm with links to the Infamous ACS:LAW has announced that it is no longer being instructed by Ministry of Sound, ALTHOUGH it also states that Ministry of Sound are in the process of instructing another firm and that the recipient would “likely to hear from in due course”
Although this sounds rather sinister, it may well be bluster, it is hard to think of what Law firm would pick up the Poison Chalice of further “Speculative Invoicing” cases.
Davenport Lyons fell by the wayside in May 2009, the firm who gained the paralegals from Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW are still struggling with the legal issues that they have brought on themselves what with the email leak that is being investigated by the ICO and the SRA referring their Principal Andrew Crossley to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as a result of sending out these letters.
Tilly Bailey Irvine attempted these “Speculative invoicing” for a short time, but long enough to also attract the attention of the SRA who are investigating them for the same reasons. Their reputation was further damaged whenthey were caught “vandalising” their page on Wikipedia in an attempt to erase all mention of their actions.
Terence Tsang the paralegal who left Davenport Lyons for ACS:LAW, left them for Cramer Pelmont. Cramer Pelmont announced that they would start issuing letters in the same model. This did not actually come to fruition though as the ACS:LAW email leaks showed that Tsang has also been working for ACS:LAW whilst at Cramer Pelmont, an accusation that Cramer Pelmonts head honcho Alex Brassey had denied just a week previous.
So just who WILL take instructions from the Ministry of Sound? I would like to think that no one would, but I have underestimated ACS:LAW before…..
Just also want ot say, HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR….PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THESE PEOPLE TO RUIN YOUR HOLIDAYS.
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
Davenport Lyons Hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Hearing
Date is set for 31 May 2011
The hearing of the disciplinary proceedings against Davenport Lyons has been listed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for 7 days commencing 31 May 2011. I or XXXXX will inform you of the outcome after the hearing.
Further investigations are continuing in relation to the pending
disciplinary proceedings against ACS(LAW) and I or XXXXX will
inform you when the matter is lodged and issued by the SDT.
The above is an email from the SRA confirming the date has been set for the hearing of the Davenport Lyons duo Dave Gore and Brian Miller.
Davenport Lyons are the Law firm that pioneered the hated “Speculative Invoicing” actions that served notice on suspected file sharers and threatened them with legal action unless they paid up £500 – £1000. Problem was that their hit rate of identifying people was very hit and miss.
When ACS:LAW took over this kind of action it was strongly rejected by ACS:LAW that they had ANY connection with Davenport Lyons such was the strength of this denial that a Solicitor had to settle out of Court for even suggesting it.
Since then however it has been learnt that not only did ACS:LAW take on the scheme from Davenport Lyons but that members of Brian Millers family were involved with helping them, his Wife Caroline even helping Andrew Crossley in a small office at his home. Not that Crossley appreciated the work from Davenport Lyons, referring to them as “a bit rubbish” and “arrogant”
This hearing is great news for all those innocent people targeted by this faulty scheme, and we look forward to the outcome of the hearing, knowing that Andrew Crossley is also heading towards a similar hearing in the near future. It is ironic that Miller, Gore and soon Crossley will have their day in “Court” something they have long denied the people they “Bully and harass”.
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.
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.
After one of the BIGGEST data leaks in UK history adding misery to thousands of people many of them innocent, ACS:LAW seem to be deaf to the cries of reason.
Unbelievably they have continued to send out letters of claim to people they suspect of illegal file-sharing. What it means to be suspected by ACS:LAW is unknown as their monitoring apparatus is NOT available for public scrutiny and indeed in some of the leaked emails even ACS:LAW staff were not convinced by the “Expert Witnesses” that are supposed to have see the software used to identify IP addresses.
Below is part of a scan of a letter sent THIS month (October) on behalf of Media Cat, whose Boss Lee Bowden goes back a long way with ACS:LAW Boss Andrew Crossley.
Lee Bowden “represents” RELISH Adult films that is owned by Jasper Faversham, AKA Jasper Orlando Slingsby Duncombe AKA 7th Baron Feversham. Faversham was disinherited by his Father (Got the title but nothing else), but of course this has NOTHING to do with money does it?
Media Cat are seen as small time chancers in the emails leaked, indeed Lee Bowden seems quite upset that he is not getting his cut, “Everyone is getting eir(sic) bit and I am owed £17k ffs.” Faversham himself does not come across much better “Much looking forward to sending letters to these f$$$ers,”, and that from a LORD no less!
In a startling email between Andrew Crossley and Andrew Hopper QC (concerning collaborating with Tilly Bailey and Irvine), Andrew Crossley dismisses Davenport Lyons efforts (Which he based his whole practice on) as “.. a little bit rubbish at doing this work” and adds “….to arrogant”
What is really interesting is that it appears that Andrew Hopper QC is actually working with ACS:LAW and also Tilly Bailey and Irvine by advising them how best to deal with the SRA.
In the email Crossley continues regarding Davenport Lyons arrogance by stating “…not like me, TBI or the latest brigand Gallant Macmillan”
The link with Gallant Macmillan is unfortunate timing for them in light of the email leak. Gallant Macmillan are back in Court on 4th October to contest the release of an NPO which will give them permission to get lots of further names from the IP addresses they already hold (for the Ministry of Sound).
The original hearing was on the 20th September 2010 but was adjourned as Chief Master Winegarten the presiding Judge had reservations about granting the NPO. This was covered in an article by Torrentfreak
It will be a VERY interesting October 4th when Simon Gallant walks through the door and has to put his case before the Judge, in light of ACS:LAW releasing their emails to the public
To write to Chief Master Winegarten CHANCERY DIVISION, ROOM TM 7.08, THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE, STRAND, LONDON, WC2A 2LL
The full email is here
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.
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)
Updates to come
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
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
It is the news that thousands of people have been waiting to hear. It has been a long time coming but finally the authority that regulates Solicitors in the UK the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has finally referred Andrew Crossley head of ACS:LAW to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
Crossley is no stranger to the Tribunal he has already appeared TWICE before (http://www.sra.org.uk/documents/consumers/SDT/Crossley%209346.05_0206.pdf)
From this Transcript of his SECOND appearance on 2nd February 2006 it can be seen in the summary
“At a hearing on 31st October 2002 the allegation that the Respondent had been guilty of conduct unbefitting a solicitor because he failed to file with the Law Society his Accountant’s Reports for the periods ending 31st December 1999 and 31st December 2000 was substantiated.”
One has to wonder if a Solicitor who has appeared what will be THREE times can possibly continue in his position. This all follows on from the Davenport Lyons people being referred to the same Tribunal for the same “Speculative Invoicing” plan.
Tilly Bailey Irvine are no longer under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA), after they quit the “Speculative Invoicing” that their were doing.
A new business called Gallant Macmillan has recently started the same kind of plan, representing the Ministry of Sound”. It would seem on the balance of probability Gallant Macmillan, will face the same fate that has befallen the previous companies that they sought to emulate in the near future. Unless of course Gallant Macmillan take the course of Tilly Baily and Irvine and quit to salvage some vestige of their reputation.
Andrew Crossley has been bragging recently that he has reclaimed a “million pounds for my clients”, a Lawyer with Zuxxez has told ACS BORE “If Andrew Crossley has recouped a million pounds it certainly wasn’t with us”.
It seems the Brains of the operation Terence Tsang has escaped any recriminations maybe as he was just the Para-Legal, but it is strange that he left ACS:LAW to go to Cramer Pelmont shortly after acquiring a “new Monitoring Software” the software that ACS:LAW claims uncovers file sharers and is NOT compromised by anything such as spoofing or cloning. (If it was so perfect as Crossley claims why then the new software acquired by Tsang).
Which? Consumer group have been a major force in this coming to a conclusion and their excellent posts and appearances in the media have been invaluable in keeping this in the spotlight. Indeed such has been their high profile that Andrew Crossley himself wrote a Press Release called “Which? Hunt” which bemoaned what he saw as Which? attempting to hassle the SRA into action. Nothing of the sort of course it was not just Which? but just typing ACS LAW into google will uncover 100′s of links to forums that contain thousands of posts.
Only FIVE Months ago I posted a piece on here regarding the “Davenport TWO” and speculated that it would not be long before Crossley followed in their footsteps, I wonder now how long for the others operating this ghastly method of protecting “rights”
Of course the time taken to deal with this is a joke, as it was with Davenport Lyons, all I can say though is IF the time taken has been because it is a THOROUGH investigation that will result in the STRONGEST possible punishment for these people, then all I can say is it is time well spent.
Of course Andrew Crossley is one of those people who would not smell smoke if his hair was on fire. We await with anticipation what will happen now with the SDT. Exciting times….