Law Firm May Pay Back Victims For Aborted Piracy Claims

A UK law firm that controversially asked internet users to pay it for downloading content without authorisation may now itself have to pay victims for wasting their money.
In unilateral action last year that pre-dated the UK’s yet-to-be-implemented new piracy measures, ACS:Law sent thousands of letters, to people who downloaded films and music made by producers like adult film maker Sheptonhurst, threatening legal action if downloaders did not pay fees of around £500.
A court in February ordered ACS:Law to set aside those proceedings because it did not actually have rightsholders’ permission to take the action and because the action was being taken outside of judicial process.
In a further ruling Monday, a court said those who had paid money are entitled to go back after ACS:Law for wasted costs.
ACS:Law had hatched a plan with MediaCAT, a company which had purported to represent the rights of entertainment makers, to send the warnings far and wide in the hope of making money which they would share. Many recipients had not actually downloaded the material in question.