London – A British court has refused to allow anti-piracy
law firm ACS:Law and partner MediaCAT to drop copyright infringement claims
filed against 27 alleged file-swappers, despite the fact that both firms have
in recent weeks shut down operations and stopped doing business, TorrentFreak
The judge criticized the tactics of ACS:Law, finding fault in its
efforts to seek settlements with the alleged file-swappers in lieu of legal
Judge Birss QC also cited procedural errors, most notably the law
firm’s failure to include the actual copyright holders as parties to its claims.
That error has led to the court’s refusal of ACS:Law’s request to drop the
cases; copyright holders now have 14 days to join the lawsuits, or else they
will be dismissed.
"Whether it was intended to or not, I cannot imagine a
system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in
court," Judge Birss QC wrote.
"Why take cases to court and test the
assertions when one can just write more letters and collect payments from a
proportion of the recipients?"