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ACS Law solicitor suspended for two years
Tuesday 17 January 2012 10:59:47 by Andrew Ferguson

The 'speculative invoicing' system that ACS:Law ran seems to have come to an end now, and with none of the cases ever going to full trial. ACS:Law sent letters to alleged file shares on the behalf of copyright holders requesting payment of several hundred pounds to avoid the case going to court. At the time the letters were being sent there was lots of questions about how accurate the data used was, and how some file sharing systems actually tainted data making it feasible that even with IP address information it was possible people had not shared the alleged content.

Fast forward back to early 2012, and following a complaint, the Solicitor's Regulatory Authority has finally ruled in a case, with the result that Andrew Crossley, the previous sole solicitor at ACS:Law has been banned from practising law for two years and fined £76,326.55. Mr Crossley was previously declared bankrupt in June 2011, which resulted in a Information Commissioner imposed fine being reduced from £200,000 to just £800 due to an affidavit pleading limited financial means.

This situation has clouded the whole copyright debate in the UK, particularly as with lot of the material that was alleged shared, the copyright holder was not the original content producer, but the rights to copyright had been purchased.

Broadband itself has disrupted the status quo of media distribution that started with the mass printing of the written word, which rendered rooms full cf copy scribes redundant, alas those firms that are attempting to exist on profits from back catalogues are likely to go the same way. Those firms likely to thrive and prosper are those that produce new, exciting and innovative material, i.e. something people are willing to spend money on to stimulate their senses, and those firms also ensure it is available across a wide range of media outlets.

Comments

Posted by rizla over 5 years ago
Bankrupt?

Yeah right - anyone want to buy a bridge?

I'm sure I won't be alone in wishing the very worst upon Crossley....
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
So gets off scot free? He should be struck off and serve prison time if he can't pay.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
I presume the not paying a SRA fine would result in not being able to practise if its still outstanding at the end of the 2 years.

The latest fine is a new debt too.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Maybe we should pat Crosley on the back, all hes done is made it almost impossible to sue file-sharers.

So until the DEA goes into full swing, we are free to share!
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Actually this may also apply to the DEA when "rights" holders get an anonymous list of file-sharers who have past a certain threshold and decide to sue them, hopefully crosley will have helped us there as well ;D
Posted by rizla over 5 years ago
"I presume the not paying a SRA fine would result in not being able to practise if its still outstanding at the end of the 2 years."

I would have assumed being an undischarged bankrupt would result in the same?

Anyway I don't think we've seen the last of Crossley...
Posted by Dixinormous over 5 years ago
He's an idiot, this was a clumsy attempt to follow the US model.
Posted by dustofnations over 5 years ago
When journalists tried to track him down, it turned out he lives in an 800k mansion with a Bentley Arnage sitting on the driveway. I can only presume those assets are, rather wisely it would seem, not in his name.
Posted by dustofnations over 5 years ago
Although that was some time ago, and if The Enquirer article is anything to go by this circumstances have worsened somewhat. Still difficult to know.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2139237/acs-law-solicitor-andrew-crossley-suspended
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