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."
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."