We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Legal firm drops illegal downloading cases

ACS:Law 'plans to refile cases at later date'

ACS:Law appears to have dropped 27 cases of legal action against Brits accused of illegally downloading files.

The law firm was working on behalf of copyright firm MediaCAT and had issued a number of 'bullying' letters to web users it suspected of illegal filesharing. The recipients were ordered to pay compensation or face legal action.

All 27 web users facing legal action received letters last week claiming the cases were being dropped and the legal action would not take place. However, this move initially requires approval from the judge presiding over the case, something which had not been gained.

According to ComputerActive, Judge Birss QC said he felt "frank astonishment at receiving 27 notices of discontinuance" from ACS: Law.

Judge Birss has also refused to drop 26 of the cases, which will give the accused the chance to fight for damages from MediaCAT. The case has now been adjourned until January 24. However, ACS:Law told the court it plans to refile the cases at a later date when a number of errors have been corrected.  According to TorrentFreak the judge said he was "astonished" by this move.

In December last year, Judge Birss threw out eight cases against web users accused of illegal downloading as there was either no evidence the legal action had actually been served to the accused, or they had actually defended themselves.

Even more confusion has been caused after ACS:Law issued letters to the accused saying that a firm called GCB Limited was handling the compensation payments.

"In order to allow us to focus on the issuing of proceedings, our client has instructed agents, GCB Limited, to correspond with you directly in relation to the above matter in place of ACS:Law Solicitors," the letter reads.

However, GCB, which was formed by accountancy firm McLean Reid, claims it has nothing to do with the cases.

"We have no connection whatsoever with ACS:Law. GCB Limited was formed by us and appears to be being misused by some third party. We are taking urgent steps to ensure that our name is not in any way abused in this connection," the company says on its website.

See also: Legal firm to stop issuing net piracy letters


IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 for phones UK release date, price and new features: When will my phone get Windows 10?

IDG UK Sites

It's World Backup Day 2015! Don't wait another minute: back up now

IDG UK Sites

Get the free Adobe Comp CC iPad app for rapid layout design

IDG UK Sites

New 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (early 2015, 2.7GHz) review: Just about the greatest upgrade any...