ACS:Law fails to take action against alleged file-sharers
The saga of ACS:Law threatening internet users for unlawful file sharing has dragged out forever, with sweet little in the way of action, unless you count their cack-handed handling of personal data. Now they're attempting to make good on their threats and take people to court. The key word there is attempting, because the courts are having none of it.
According to TorrentFreak, at the end of last month ACS:Law asked a UK court to issue default judgments against eight individuals who didn't offer a defence. Instead, the judge considering the case picked it apart like a tiger at a finger buffet.
ACS:Law requested the judgments on behalf of their client, Media C.A.T, a company which “represents various owners or exclusive licensees of copyrighted works (“Rights Owners”) to monitor and protect their copyrighted works from acts of infringement.” So everything went pear-shaped straight away, because the claimant wasn't the rights holder.
Several of the individuals did offer a defence which meant ACS:Law had nowhere to go. In all the cases, ACS:Law didn't offer any evidence that any rights had been infringed by the individuals named - evidence is the sort of stuff that a judge finds handy when deciding people are guilty.
There was also the fact that nobody to date has being prosecuted for simply owning an internet connection that has been used for file-sharing. One of the major sticking points with all arguments about unlawful file-sharing, is that where a connection is unsecure, there's no way to prove who was involved. The judge stated that simply having an unsecure connection is not the same thing as "authorising" it to be used for unlawful activity.
The judge summed up the whole sorry mess by stating: “In all these circumstances, a default judgment arrived at without notice by means of an essentially administrative procedure, even one restricted to a financial claim, seems to me to be capable of working real injustice.”
In other words, for all their blow and bluster, ACS:Law are roughly a billion miles from being a serious threat to anyone.