Notorious UK copyright trolls ACS:Law finally had to go to court to make its case against eight of the alleged copyright infringers to whom it had sent legal threats. The judge laughed the case out of court:
Judge Birss somewhat politely described the cases presented as having "a number of unusual features."
ACS:Law Take Alleged File-Sharers To Court - But Fail On a Grand Scale
1. The claimant, Media C.A.T, is not the rights holder of the works in question. A copyright case can only be brought by by the owner of a copyright or an exclusive licensee. Indeed, the Judge later noted that: "There is no plea that the works qualify for copyright protection at all."
2. "The Particulars of Claim include allegations about unsecured internet connections. I am aware of no published decision in this country which deals with this issue in the context of copyright infringement," wrote Judge Birss.
3. "The plea that 'allowing' others to infringe is itself an act restricted by s16 (1)(a) and 17 of the 1988 Act is simply wrong," noted Judge Birss. "The term used by those sections of the Act is 'authorising' and the difference may be very important if the allegation is about unauthorised use of an internet router by third parties."
Judge Birss later noted: "A key part of the plea of infringement rests on an assertion [by ACS:Law] that 'allowing' others to infringe is itself an infringing act, when it is not."
Warner Bros has sued talent agency Innovative Artists for running an internal-use Google Drive folder that let its clients and staff review movies in the course of their duties. They say the company ripped “screeners” (DVDs sent for review purposes) and put them on the server, whence they leaked onto torrent sites.
AT&T’s secret “Hemisphere” product is a database of calls and call-records on all its customers, tracking their location, movements, and interactions — this data was then sold in secret to American police forces for investigating crimes big and small (even Medicare fraud), on the condition that they never reveal the program’s existence.
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