ACS Law, the company behind the UK's most notorious 'speculative invoicing' scam, has been asked to bring all of its outstanding copyright cases to court at a single hearing.
After a number of high-profile gaffes in which the one-man bandit legal firm fronted by Andrew Crossley, a man who has twice been hauled before his lawyerly peers and found guilty of behaviour unbefitting a solicitor, has been shown to be laughably incompetent, a judge has demanded a single hearing at which we suspect a final nail will be put in the coffin of Crossley's obnoxious behaviour.
Crossley has been sending thousands of scattergun letters to broadband subscribers for years now accusing them of downloading and sharing music and films - most of which turn out not coincidentally to be be hard-core porn with some rather dodgy titles not suitable for a family audience - and demanding large sums of cash to make the whole unpleasant mess go away.
The only evidence offered in all of these cases is IP data provided by some equally unpleasant snooping outfits, backed up by personal data weaselled out of ISPs by court orders. There appears to be no evidence that the broadband subscriber is responsible for any or all activity taking place on a connection at any given time, but ACS Law's business model relies entirely on fear and embarrassment. There's anecdotal evidence that between 15 and 40 per cent of those receiving letters have simply coughed up the cash to avoid a costly (some figures put potential costs at up to £10,000) and embarrassing journey to court.
The fact of the matter is that the only recorded case of ACS Law winning one of these copyright cases in court was done so by default when the defendant failed to turn up.
Now it seems like the legal system is getting as tired of Crossley as his dwindling client list.
Following that latest legal lampoonery in which ACS Law got the accused's name wrong (Aaron not Alan), failed to provide the correct paperwork and provided an incorrect IP address as evidence according to Torrent Freak, the judge in the case has ordered that all outstanding ACS Law cases and those relating to a firm called Media CAT which is also feeding from the same stinking trough, should be lumped together in one hearing.
There are reportedly 27 individuals, eight of whom have been previously dragged through the mire, involved in the hearing. which will take place on January 17th.
Andrew Crossley once remarked,"It has been said that we have no intention of going to court but we have no fear of it."
If we're reading the runes correctly here, Crossley and his cohorts might have to look for another way of menacing money out of apparently innocent people.