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ACS Law keeps lion's share of copyright cash

Controversial copyright-chasing law firm ACS Law keeps more of the cash it rakes in from speculative invoicing than it gives to the copyright holders it purports to protect.

According to research carried out by the Guardian, Andrew Crossley's one-man crusade against file-sharing - which sees many innocent broadband users accused of illegally downloading hard-core porn, applications and music, based on shaky 'evidence' provided through ISPs - nets more money for Crossley himself than for the owners of the files in question.

The report says that, in the case of a typical menacing demand for £300, ACS Law keeps £120, as little as £60 goes to the copyright holder, and the rest is used to pay the IP snooping outfit and the ISPs who provide the court-ordered information.

The figures were leaked when ACS Law's file servers were taken down by a group of hackers angry at the outfit's tactics.

A business plan from German copyright tracking company DigiRights Solutions, which was also leaked as part of the massive security cock-up, suggests that ACS Law could expect to keep as much as 80 per cent of the money accrued from sending out thousands of threatening letters to little old ladies.

An employee of Zooland records - which owns the copyright on Cascada's Evacuate the Dancefloor (pictured), one of the products often mentioned in the letters - told the Guardian that they had been ordered not to talk about copyright or ACS Law.

It wasn't clear how much of the collected cash actually made it into the pockets of the starving artists which ACS Law and its ilk pretend so magnanimously to protect, but we suspect it's somewhere between nothing and bugger all.