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Firm says its objective is to help its customers "exploit" their "rights globally"

Here in the U.S. the legal campaigns of the RIAA and MPAA are the subject of long standing controversy.  Decisions like the $1.92M USD verdict against mother Jammie-Thomas Rassert for 24 songs (allegedly representative of large infringement), largely divide the public, with some advocating suing infringers out of house and home and others blasting the tactics as thuggish and evidence of a out-of-touch intellectual property system.

The UK appears headed for more of this kind of controversy, as the law firm ACS:Law just secured approval from the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the addresses and personal info on 30,000 users from their internet service providers (ISPs).  The customers covered by the so-called Norwich Pharmacal Order are "suspected"  involvement with the illegal file sharing (P2P) of approximately 291 movie titles.  Of the suspected infringers, 25,000 had IP's with the UK service provider BT.

ACS:Law plans to try to shake down those who may have infringed, sending them threats to pay up or face a battle in court.  Judging by past settlements in the U.S., most of these cases will likely be settled for a few thousand dollars.  The letters do give some suspects an out by saying that if they think their connection was illegitimately reportedly used they can seek a solution, such as implicating possible suspects.  IP addresses are easily faked, hijacked, redirected and generally abused in ways that the systems employed by these kinds of trackers cannot detect.

Copyright protection organizations and their legal bulldogs have recently been particularly at odds with BT.  Their fury was particularly provoked when the UK Internet Service Providers Association which represents the ISP and others in June concluded that they were "not confident in [ACS:Law's] ability to identify [ILLEGAL] users."  ACS:Law fired back that BT was "shameful" for not taking greater action to prevent filesharing.  BT said such actions would violate its users' right privacy.

ACS: Law describes its company's objective, writing, "We are a law firm which specialises in assisting intellectual property rights holders exploit and enforce their rights globally. Illegal file sharing costs the creative industries billions of pounds every year. The impact of this is huge, resulting in job losses, declining profit margins and reduced investment in product development. Action needs to be taken and we believe a coordinated effort is needed now, before irreparable damage is done. "

Britain is home to some of the most aggressive copyright enforcement efforts.  Politicians with the majority Labour Party are looking to terminate filesharers who commit three offenses, forcing their ISPs to suspend their accounts.  British copyright organizations also recently threatened to sue a singing store employee, only to eventually back down.

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RE: It's only going to get worse for the pirates
By Hakuryu on 11/28/2009 1:26:34 AM , Rating: 2
It may be easy to applaud measures like this that apparently go after criminals, but you do not see the whole issue.

The mom sued $1 million dollars plus for sharing 24 songs, or the grocery worker sued for singing a song while at work - do you honestly think these people are in the same group as murderers and drug dealers? Do they deserve jail time and large fines?

The music/movie/software industry is trying to get precedents on the books to make future litigation go their way. There is no distinction between a Dad who copies movies because his kids are likely to ruin a DVD and a guy who copies movies to be sold for financial gain. That is plain wrong, no matter how you want to spin it.

RE: It's only going to get worse for the pirates
By Beenthere on 11/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: It's only going to get worse for the pirates
By siuol11 on 11/28/2009 11:29:57 PM , Rating: 3
Please procreate. We will all enjoy watching your kids grow up, turn on you, and eat you alive. A fate well deserved I say!

By Uncle on 11/30/2009 2:10:07 PM , Rating: 2
The reason for copyright would be an example of the likes of the original rock and rollers. One example, Pink Floyd-Dark side of the moon, still selling millions after 30 years. You think the likes of Puff Daddy or Britney Spears is going to do the same. Only in your wet dreams. The creators of original Rock and Roll will out sell the shit they have, and are selling today.That is what this copyright crap is all about, hold on to the money making machine. You think if these jerk offs were around during Mozart and Beethoven days we'd be listening to there music for free, NO, if it still sold millions, the sleaze bags would keep extending the copright. THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. If it still makes money after 300 years keep extending the copyright. Anti pirates been conned over so many times they can't see the forest for the trees. You ever look at a financial report on these companies. They don't refer to these musicians as Artists, their classified as assets, nothing more nothing less. Can they or can they not keep making money for the sleaze bags,that is what this copyright crap is all about. If these sleaze bags could copyright some of the old works retroactively, they would. I wouldn't doubt some lawyer is busting his brains trying to come up with a way to do just that. If he fails he can always get it legislated into law, like they have been doing.

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