Tackling piracy – entirely the wrong way.

On November the 24th I wrote a little analysis of a local piracy prosecution, and despite the risks of involving private companies in the affairs of criminal law[1], it seemed to be a reasonable conclusion.
There was a preponderance of evidence of wrong-doing, equipment and supplies which suggested it was more than personal use[2], and evidence it was an on-going practice.

On the other hand, there is the actions of a UK company called “ACS:Law”, which have not gone to plan.
It’s far too easy to fall in to the trap of slinging insults and all the rest, but I’m trying not to do that. I think this is illustrates the risks of having private companies involved in (allegedly) criminal proceedings. My understanding is ACS:Law may have presented what they would call “evidence” which was based on speculation and guesswork. Tragic.
The speculation was that the account-holder of the internet service to a particular residential address, was the actual user at the time.
The guesswork was that “the work” being made available was what ACS:Law thought it was, because they did not download the entire and complete file to check.

Yes, stealing copyrighted works is bad, but this isn’t the way to deal with it.

Edit: The full judgement is here.

Nearly forgot:
[1] Risks of private involvement in criminal proceedings. Have a google for “RLP letter”, and then be prepared to spend some time on the Consumer Action Group forums reading all the horror stories.
[2] I bought a spindle of 100 DVD+R discs. It’s more cost effective for personal use and costs nothing to store until required.


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