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Pursuing pirates or profiteering?

20 April 2011

Once again MediaCAT and its representative ACS: Law (acting by its only partner Mr Crossley) have been dragged before the courts, this time to answer a claim for the Defendants costs in dealing with the allegations. As reported previously, this case related to ACS: Law’s questionable conduct in pursuing internet users who it alleged had been involved in the illegal online sharing of pornographic films.

Judge Birss QC ordered that MediaCAT (who did not attend the hearing) pay the Defendant’s costs in the matter and made a ‘stage one wasted costs’ order against ACS: Law. This is a punitive order made against a party’s legal representative where the representative has acted ‘improperly, unreasonably or negligently’. Judge Birss was highly critical of Mr Crossley’s actions through ACS: Law, criticising his “improper and champterous” documents and “plainly negligent” drafting.  ACS: Law now has an opportunity to answer these findings.

Clearly the Judge was not happy with ACS: Law and MediaCAT’s blanket approach of demanding cash settlements from suspected file sharers, demonstrating that a more responsible approach should be taken when dealing with such suspected infringements.

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