UK Patents County Court Judge Birss QC is liable for the “wasted costs” incurred by defendants in the case since ACS: Law had to know that MediaCAT was not an actual copyright holder, and that their revenue sharing agreement likely violated the Solicitors Code of Conduct."MediaCAT was at best a “licensee” and not an actual copyright holder"
ACS: Law may have quit the mass P2P lawsuit business, but come Monday of next week UK Patents County Court Judge Birss QC is expected to hand down a judgment on whether the law firm is liable for the “wasted costs.”
The judgment concerns 27 of the file-sharing cases that Judge Birss had lumped together because of their “unusual features.”
ACS: Law and MediaCAT, the licensee of the copyrighted material at the heart of the cases, tried to have them dismissed before trial, but Judge Birss refused, saying they it would gain a “relevant unwarranted collateral advantage” to be used in notices in the future whereby the accused are threatened with notices that have been able to avoid judicial scrutiny.
MediaCAT even announced that it had quit the mass P2P lawsuit game, joining ACS: Law’s Andrew Crossley who quit a few weeks prior citing “death threats and bomb threats.”
Late last month Judge Birss officially axed the 27 file-sharing cases. He cited the fact that MediaCAT was at best a “licensee” and not an actual copyright holder.
Another source of concern was the revenue-sharing agreement between MediaCAT and ACS: Law. The two had allegedly agreed on a deal whereby MediaCat, the licensee of the copyrighted material, and ACS: Law were to split monies collected from the scheme (35:65).
Tritton also told the court that Media CAT and ACS: Law were liable for pursuing a case “which they knew or ought to have known was bound to fail (because the agreement cannot give Media CAT the right to sue),” and that they’re conduct brought the legal process and the solicitors profession into “disrepute.”
Guy Tritton, attorney for several of the defendants and the one who produced a copy of the agreement, said it likely violated the Solicitors Code of Conduct and the defendants deserved “off the scale” damages for “wasted costs.” He’s asking for asking for £90,000 ($146,448 USD) to cover the costs of his representing his clients in the case.
According to Ralli, the law firm for which Tritton works, the judgment on “wasted costs” is expected to be handed down next Monday, April 18th at 10:30 am in the Patents County Court. Ralli says it is also “continuing to investigate allegations of harassment made by recipients of copyright infringement letters,” and is likewise “continuing to urge innocent recipients of these letters to contact us.”
“We have also received substantial correspondence regarding alleged leaks of personal details, which could amount to a breach of the Data Protection Act,” it adds.
As for ACS: Law, attorney Andrew Crossley he still faces a review with the the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) over complaints by the consumer watchdog Which? that he engaged in “bullying” and “excessive” conduct for targeting innocent people.
His case will be discussed by the SDT at a “Pre-Listing Day” on June 3rd.
"it likely violated the Solicitors Code of Conduct "
It seems it was, as suspected at the time, a very shady set up to make easy money out of internet users.