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Windows 7: Piracy vs. Daylight Robbery

07 Jun 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Piracy vs. Daylight Robbery

My colleague at work revealed to me today that he had sent a cheque for 290 to a firm called ACS Law.
He had received a very threatening letter from this firm which he showed me.
In it ACS Law said that they had evidence that he had downloaded a single album track last October using uTorrent.
They named the track and his IP address and said that if he paid the 290 within 28 days no further action would be taken but if he didn't he would be taken to court and possibly be liable for a fine of many thousands of pounds, be banned from the internet and even face imprisonment.
He was guilty as charged and in a panic sent off the cheque.
I've looked into this and it seems to be somewhat of a scam reliant on scaring people into sending money when there really isn't sufficient evidence to actually take to court.
See here:
ACS Law letter writing continues - Which? News

As it turned out my colleague had downloaded this track but it could have been his kids etc. and the way ACS Law operates is definitely very dubious.

Naturally I don't imagine for a moment that users of this forum would do such a thing, but if you know any patch wearing parrot fanciers you might want to give them a heads up.

It seems the best response is to ignore the correspondence. If you enter into a dialogue with this firm they've got you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have never heard of nor have ever received any correspondence from this firm. However, what I know from personal experience is that your friend's ISP should have been the first to contact him or her about the alleged wrong doing. The ISP should let the individual know that the copyright holder or their representative has found that the IP address was in the pool of IP address that downloaded the offending file. He or she then should have been given the chance to make sure that the offending file is not on their computer and if it is, to make sure it is deleted. Then your friend should have been warned that if the copyright holder or its representative find that the IP address has been involved in other unauthorized file downloads, that he or she would face more severe consequences.

To receive a letter in the mail this company-- without being notified from the ISP?? Your friend should have asked the ISP for any proof that their IP address was involved in the downloading.

Or, maybe your friend has a BS ISP who turns you in without giving you the benefit of the doubt. To everyone on the internet, my IP address just gives you my ISP and my general where-abouts. The ISP is the one who knows that the IP address is assigned to me. So if your friend got this letter out of the blue, then either the ISP is BS or it is a scare tactic.

(But after writing this, I read the link you posted and realized you're in the U.K. I guess what's happening over there is what we can expect in a little while...)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 10 Pro x64

My ISP (Plusnet) are currently investigating ACS Law after it was brought to light they were doing this, IF it turns out that they decide not to give any more information out (and it is looking likely) then this could go away very quickly, as Plusnet are actually a subsidiary of BT
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jun 2010   #4


Tell them to bring it on and prove it was them.

"Oops - my wi-fi router had no protection..."

I have received a few 'cease and desist or else' e-mails from foreign owned companies before.

The delete button has dealt with those scenarios quite nicely so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Just related this tale to a friend and he told me this.
It's anecdotal so may be apocryphal.
He's heard of someone who was accused of downloading a gay porno SM movie, which the hadn't, but they paid up anyway to avoid embarrassment.

That's pretty sinster
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate X64

I'm actually doing a dissertation around piracy and illegal filesharing so I've been reading quite a bit about ACS. They've been sending out lettings for quite a while now but very few (if any) have been taken to court. Like you said it is very dubious and ISPs have been complaining to the lawyers & solicitor's watchdogs. There are even some law firms who offer to represent you for free if you get taken to court by ACS because they are so confident that they can get the case dismissed easily.

With the Digital Economy Act being passed it does mean that the responsibility for report pirates is now with the ISP (at least ISPs with more than 400,000 customers). I've actually read through the Digital Economy act and the reasoning behind it is very lightweight. There are only two pieces of research mentioned as a reason for the proposed measures and they were both commissioned by parties that have an active interest in reducing illegal file sharing (BPI & IFPI).

From what I've read about the three strike rule it seems that it's believed to be very effective in other counties (85% people would stop sharing illegal music if they got up to 3 warnings) so it looks like its here to stay and could well become more widespread in the states.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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